A UTM parameter, or UTM code, is simply a tracking tag that you add to the end of a URL. By adding a UTM-parameter to your URL you can use monitoring tools like Google Analytics to measure where your traffic comes from and how visitors behave on law firm’s website pages. For legal marketers, this means that you can use UTM codes to calculate the impact of your specific marketing activities. If you’ve ever struggled with marketing attribution, UTM codes will come in handy.
Understand UTM Parameters
UTM stands for “Urchin Traffic Monitor” and the name comes from the web analytics software which served as the base for Google Analytics. It’s simply text, or a snippet of code, added to track clicks and performance of campaigns and content.
A UTM code looks something like this:
The string of text starting after the “?” is the UTM code.
It’s important to note that a UTM code will in no way impact your actual campaign landing page and if you remove the code from the URL, the page will load normally. The UTM code only serves one purpose: to help your analytics tool track the source of your visitor.
What can you track with UTM codes?
There are an incredible number of things that your law firm can track using UTM codes. They help you to identify the sources of your traffic. Use these codes to evaluate how much traffic comes from a particular social media campaign or your email campaign. Track traffic coming from advertisements and any other source. If you’re socializing a blog post across all social media platforms and want to know which platforms lead to more traffic back to your website, you’ll want to take advantage of UTM tracking code.
There is only one situation where you should not use UTM tracking: internally. Whenever a link with a UTM code is clicked, Google considers this a new visit. In other words, Google will analyze a single visitor who visits multiple pages on your website (with UTM codes) as several visitors, giving you a lack of useful data.
What are the different parameters I can track?
There are five different UTM parameters that you can use separately or simultaneously when tracking your law firm’s digital marketing campaigns. The first 3 are used most often by legal marketers (Source, Medium, Campaign), but for additional insights you may also choose to track all 5. Here are the 5 parameters that you can track and what the categories refer to:
1. Traffic Source:
This source parameter allows you to track where the traffic originated from, like Facebook, Google or your law firm’s email newsletter. Example: ?utm_source=Google or ?utm_source=newsletter and ?utm_source=Bing.
You can use this to identify the medium like Cost Per Click (CPC), social media, email, referral, display ad, etc. Example: ?utm_medium=banner and ?utm_medium=email.
3. Campaign Name:
If you want to differentiate between two campaigns that you’re running on the same platform or medium, use the campaign parameter. For example, you can use the campaign parameter to differentiate traffic between different LinkedIn Ad campaigns. Example: ?utm_campaign=webinar and ?utm_campaign=free_consultation
If you’re A/B testing ads, then this is a useful metric that passes details about your ad. You can also use it to differentiate links that point to the same URL. Example: utm_content=creative1 and utm_content=creative2.
5. Keyword Term
This parameter is used mainly for tracking your keywords during a paid search campaign. You can also use it in your display ad campaigns to identify aspects of your audience. For example: utm_term=car_accident_attorney_nyc.
If you’re using more than one parameter, and “&” sign will be used to separate them. For instance, ?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=email.
Setting Up the UTM Tags
The process of setting up UTM tags is incredibly simple thanks to the convenient Google URL Builder. This is perfect for smaller campaigns for law firms. You may want to use a paid program for larger campaigns. As you set up your UTM tracking, remember that the parameters are case sensitive and it’s important to be consistent in your naming. For example: If you name a source “LinkedIn” in one UTM and use “li” in another, they will show as two different sources in your analytics tool.
Once you know where your traffic is coming from, you can use that knowledge to focus your law firm’s digital marketing efforts. With UTM tracking, your law firm will be able to see what social media networks and what posts and campaigns are generating the most web traffic. This means you will be able to make more data-driven digital marketing investments.
If you need assistance setting up analytics tracking or deciphering your findings, let us know. We can help you measure and make the most of your digital marketing efforts.
Updated and Republished from April 11, 2019.