If you want to improve your marketing efforts, you absolutely need to track how your marketing efforts are performing right now. In this episode I will explain how you can use UTM tags to easily track all of your marketing efforts. This will allow you to dive deeper into your campaign performance on different levels.
Because of this, these are literally the first steps I take when I start working with a new client.
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I am Jasper Meurs, and you're listening to Growth Journal, the podcast where I talk about everything I am learning while I am growing my business. And today, we're talking about tracking your marketing efforts. So the first thing I do when I start working with a new client is cleaning up their campaign tracking, and there is a good reason for this. So imagine sitting down with a client for the first time, and basically one of the first questions I will ask them is "How are your current campaigns doing? Where are your leads coming from?" And if I'm lucky, they will say, "Have a look in Google Analytics." If I'm unlucky, they will say, "I have absolutely no idea." Now when we're working with the lucky case and we have some Google Analytics to work with, there is another issue I might run into quite often.
And that is I will open Google Analytics, I will look at where the traffic is coming from. So acquisition, and I will see this one row in there called direct none. And it would be the biggest row in there. Usually my first question after that is, "Are you running any email campaigns?" And they would probably say, "Yes." My next question would be, "Are you tracking those email campaigns?" And they would track. So at this point, I'm like, "Okay, we need to fix this first before we can start with anything else for your marketing." And the one solution for this. And it's actually quite easy, so I'm always surprised why people don't actually use it. And it's something called UTM tags. So UTM tags are basically one golden tool that is used across multiple platforms. So tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot will use it to show you where your traffic is coming from and also where your leads are coming from.
And you can see the quality of traffic, the quality of leads for the different channels that you actually are tracking, because you are not only using UTM tags to track your email campaigns, but you're also using UTM tags if you run any campaign whatsoever online. If you're running a social campaign. So even an organic social post, let's say you add link to one of your Instagram posts add UTM tag at the end. And you will know who came from that exact post, what campaign it was part of and you can see how this is actually performing.
So the next question obviously is what are UTM tags? So UTM tags are structured in a certain way. They have three components that you almost always use and then a fourth component and even a couple other components, but a fourth component that you will use quite often, the other components are not used that often. So we'll just keep it to these four for now.
The first component is the source. Where is my traffic coming from? For example, Instagram. The next component is medium. How is my traffic coming to, and this can be paid social or organic for example. The third one is campaign. Why is this traffic coming to you? So if you're running a specific campaign, let's say I'm running a campaign to promote my podcast. I will tag this. Let's say podcast promotion, August 22. And I will add this UDM campaign to all the links that I'm sharing across different channels. This way I can exactly see how this campaign is performing, how many people are coming in to my website, to my podcast pages through this campaign. And how does this performing, how this traffic is performing? Are these people actually subscribing to my podcast, for example.
These are obviously all things that I would track on my website. The fourth one is content. This is optional one I was talking about. And this is basically telling you, what did someone see when they came to your website? So something you would mention in here is the kind of creative that you were using for this specific campaign that had this link, how someone came to your website. Now keep in mind that these are case sensitive. So when you are working with a larger team, I would propose to always use them in a lower case, just to be sure that someone is not using Instagram at a capital I and the other one is using it all lower case, because then you will actually have two different sources. And after that, it's probably also a good idea to keep an Excel document where you will keep track of all the different UTM tags you are using. Share this with your team at a date when a UTM deck is created also at the name of whoever created the UTM deck, and this will probably make your life a whole lot easier.
Now, once you start working with these UTM tags and you're using something like Google Analytics or HubSpot, to make sure that you can see how your different campaigns are performing, how your different channels are performing. Here are a couple of example questions that you can actually answer at that point. So one question could be "What creative is bringing in the most leads?" This is something, this is a question you can perfectly answer when you are using UTM tags properly. Another one is "Which channels are driving the most traffic to your websites? And how is the quality of this traffic?" Like, are these people bouncing on the website? Are they just seeing one page and they're gone again, or are they actually coming to your websites, being quite intrigued by what they see and start going through different pages on your website, which is probably the ideal scenario we're looking for here.
Also, how are your marketing campaigns performing? So let's say we are doing the podcast campaign as this actually working an example here is a couple of weeks ago at a first test campaign of which I already assumed that it would not be the greatest way to actually get traction for my podcast, but I tried it anyway. And I was just using the podcast cover with some sentence with it on Instagram, to get people to come to my podcast page and maybe got like two or three subscribers out of this, so not a whole lot. And this is something when you're actually tracking that campaign, but otherwise I wouldn't even know how it was performing.
And you can even take a little bit deeper in this campaign. So let's say you are doing this podcast campaign on Instagram, you're running it on TikTok. Maybe you're running like some YouTube ads. Then you can also see how each channel within this campaign is performing. And you know ,for example, how you can spend a little bit more budgets on the channel that's working best. Let's say the TikTok ads are working best for you. Spend a little bit more money there and you will get more leads out of it.
So what are the action steps that I want you to take after listening to this podcast? So number one, the most important one, if you haven't done this yet, make sure you install Google Analytics on your website. It's a free tool, and it's going to give you a lot of information going forward to make the right decisions for how to optimize your website. The second one is whenever you are setting up a marketing campaign, make sure that all the links that are going to your websites are decked with UTM tags. The only exception here is when the links are on auto websites. So for example, if you're posting a link on a forum somewhere, or you maybe have like multiple websites and your linking between those websites, those will automatically be linked as referrals. But if they're part of a campaign, it would still be a good idea to actually add the UTM campaign deck as well. And then the third one is, make sure you have this, for example, a Google sheet, to keep track of all the different UTM tags that you're using.
I will also link a tool in the show notes. It's a free tool by Google developers that you can actually use to generate these UTM links. And it'll make it a whole lot easier for you if you're not really familiar with it. So just to be clear about this, if you add UTM tags to a link, this won't change where people are going. So we basically will have the page, the URL that you would send someone to. And then you have a question mark behind that followed by the different UTM tags. And these UTM tags are just processed by your website, but at won't change where people are actually going.
So it's good to know that, and this tool will actually create these full UTM links for you. So we will put in the landing page where you want people to go. You will put in your source, your medium, your campaign, maybe your content, and then you will get like the lead that you can actually share on social channels, for example. So that brings us to the end of this episodes as always, thanks for listening to Growth Journal. If you enjoy your show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts.