We all know that platforms like Meta can be a large driver of traffic to your website but Google Analytics doesn’t always make it clear where traffic is coming from. UTMs are vital for helping you know exactly what traffic is coming in from your Facebook or Instagram strategy. Read on to learn how UTM codes can help you understand the impacts of your ads.
What are UTM codes?
UTM stands for “Urchin Tracking Module”. It is a simple query string that can be added to any URL to track clicks and the performance of marketing activities. Google Analytics may give you an overview of any Facebook or social traffic, but it won’t give you the detailed and distinctive data you need to make optimizations or campaign decisions if you don’t have UTM tracking in place.
Using UTM codes with your Instagram or Facebook ads can help you identify where your visitors are seeing your campaigns or where placements might not be impactful. With UTMs, the video creative you were testing or a new product soft launch campaign from Facebook can easily be identified in Google Analytics – without UTMs? You’re probably going to spend a bit of time analyzing your campaign’s impact and digging through data. Keep in mind that while you can add URL parameters to your ads on Meta platforms, you will still need to use a website analytics tool to track the results like Google Analytics. It is estimated that over 20% of clicks, orders, and other conversions received through Meta ads are lost when the data is transferred.
The good news is that Meta allows you to add UTM codes within Ads Manager. This can be done either manually or dynamically.
Manual vs. dynamic UTM codes
Manually setting your UTM parameters can not only be a time-consuming task but it can easily lead to errors. UTM parameters are case sensitive. If you use an uppercase letter instead of lowercase your data will be unnecessarily split in Google Analytics.
We recommend using dynamic UTM parameters to save time and keep your data as clear and clean as possible.
Dynamic UTM parameters
Meta currently offers eight URL dynamic parameters to place on your ads:
Tips to Implementing UTM Codes
Now that you know why UTM codes for Meta ads are crucial, you can start to implement them. And here are some things to keep in mind.
First of all, make sure that you have naming conventions. If you work as part of a team, make sure they are clear and universally used. Campaigns are often rolled across multiple channels even if you are only using UTM’s on Facebook, having naming conventions can help keep things consistent for data quality.
And don’t forget to keep your whole digital marketing strategy in mind. If your medium is “social” it would suggest organic traffic, something like “paid_social” or “social_ads” would make more sense.
Struggling with UTM parameters or have any other questions? Check out these other UTM related resources or reach out to our team! We will be happy to help.