How To Use and Create Strong UTM Parameters; What They Are, Why We Use Them, + How To Create Them

UTM Parameters or Urchin Tracking Module is a collection of text that can be added to the end of a URL to help track source, medium, and campaign within an analytics platform. UTMs should be added to any URL that is a part of a campaign, especially on emails and any paid social media campaigns, to help track ROI and traffic. 

UTM Best Practices

Best practice for UTMs involves adding information on source, medium, and campaign to each URL that is being used. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating UTMs.

  • Source should always be the name of the platform being used, like Facebook.
  • Medium should be listed as the type of source, like Social, Paid-Social, or Email.
  • Campaign should be the name of the campaign and should be consistently named. 

UTMs should be used on any paid media outside of Google Ads including, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as any emails that are being sent linking back to your site.

How to Create UTMs

To create your own UTM codes, you want to use the following parameters after your destination URL:

utm_source=
utm_medium=
utm_campaign=

Immediately after the URL, include a “?” and between each of these parameters you want to have an “&” . There should be no spaces in any of the fields. If you want more than one word, use a hyphen or underscore as a space.

A final URL might look like this:

https://www.test.com/?utm_souce=facebook&utm_medium=social-paid&utm_campaign=promo_2020

Google also has a free tool to help create these UTMs. 


Follow the best practices outlined above. Use the final URL you are looking to push users to, add the source, medium, and campaign. Copy the final URL and use in marketing efforts.

Reporting; Where to Find UTMs in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, you can find the efforts of your labor under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. To find the campaign used, you will need to select “Secondary Dimension” and type in “Campaign” to see the campaigns associated with their source/medium.

If you want to look at campaigns as a whole, head to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns

Summary


If you are not using UTMs, you should be. Make sure you are using UTM parameters on the end of all inbound URLs such as social media posts and emails to understand where your users are coming from and to make sure you can do accurate campaign tracking.

If you have any questions about UTMs and tracking URLs, give Digital-ade a shout!

UX: User Experience Today

Picture this. It’s 2020. You plop down on the couch after a long hard day of work and click on the TV. You navigate to your favorite streaming service, lets call it.. Yulu, and try to continue watching the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race that you left off on the night before. To your surprise, it does not immediately pop up although it was the last thing you watched. You click around 20 times, getting increasingly frustrated, until you finally find the “Continue Watching” section to find the next episode. Ugh! THIS is poor UX or User Experience (and I might be speaking from experience).

User Experience or UX, is probably something you don’t even realize is a big part of all things digital today. From streaming services, apps, and websites, user experience should be intuitive and easy. UX puts the user in the forefront of design and functionality.

UX is not only something that users engage with, according to Google, it is going to be a part of their ranking algorithm from an SEO standpoint. If Google feels that a website will not provide the user a good experience, it will affect its average rank.

Let’s review some basic UX staples.

Site Security

Site security is something that has been on the rise of importance for UX. What this means is that a website should have a secure server which can be seen when a website URL beings with https and not http. This can be accomplished very easily through purchasing a secure license through a hosting server.

Responsive Design

Back in the day, it was not uncommon to see different subdomains of websites that might begin with an ‘m’ or an entire different url that demonstrates that it is a mobile website. This is no longer considered best practice. Websites should be responsive to the screen size it is presented on. You can easily tell if a site is responsive a few different ways. In a desktop browser, by simply changing the width of the screen using your mouse, website design should adjust. A more advanced way to check this is to right click on any website and select “Inspect” and clicking the ‘Toggle Device Toolbar’ icon within the development tools. (The icon looks like a tablet and phone). Regardless of your method of testing, responsive design is a must for UX today.

Site Speed

Page load speed is another great UX factor that should be monitored on a regular basis. You can find an assortment of interesting statistics surrounding site speed like this article ‘7 Page Speed Statistics Every Marketer Should Know’ by Unbounce and this article, ‘How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line’ by Neil Patel. Think With Google has some great stats as well surrounding Mobile and Desktop speeds.

Site speed should be monitored for image sizing and compression, redirects, and 3rd party calls, just to name a few.

UX can be altered and updated at anytime. While it is helpful to begin designing a website with the assistance of a UX designer, UX is something that should not wait until your next redesign. You can begin working on your UX today. A funny thing happened while I was writing this article this week. Earlier this year, Yul.. I mean Hulu, launched a brand new menu and overall better user experience which my tv updated to this week.

Google outlines how to understand the algorithm update in their developer tool article ‘Understanding Page Experience in Google Search Results‘, but also, if you have questions or would like some further insight into your website and the overall UX, reach out to us here at Digital-ade.

SEO: Why It’s Important

As one of the main pillars of digital marketing, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is overall seen as one of the most important ongoing efforts you can make to bring new users to your website. The biggest challenge? You will never be done with SEO, so the longer you wait, the more distance you have to travel.

Search engines, like Google and Bing/Yahoo, are always trying to provide the user with the most relevant information based on their search query. So, the golden SEO question arises, how do you become one of the top results on a search engine results page (SERP)?

Google does not come straight forward with their ranking algorithm, however there are a number of things that you can do to make sure your website and content are as tight and polished as possible. We will break these things down to 4 different areas; technical SEO, linking, user experience (UX) and keywords.

SEO: Technical SEO

Technical SEO is related to the technical aspects of your webpage that we know are related to search engine ranking. Some of these include, including relevant H1 tags, unique page titles and meta descriptions, intuitive URLs, redirects and technical errors. These types of errors can be crawled and reported back to help influence updates to your current site to be set up for search engine crawls.

SEO: Linking

Linking is a more difficult aspect of SEO. We know that Google looks at link equity, or link profiles to know what sites are reputable. Moz, one of the industry leaders in SEO and digital marketing, has created a algorithmic number that calculates domain and page authority based on linking. Domain Authority is calculated out of 100 to determine the reputation of a domain based on links. For example, if a site with a high domain authority links to your site, you will receive the benefit of a higher domain authority. The same happens if a spammy site with a low domain authority links to your site, you could potentially be docked points to your domain authority to reflect that. In order to keep a healthy link profile, it is recommended to review your backlinks and disavow any links that look like spam that could bring your domain authority down. More advanced linking strategy can be worked on to improve your domain authority through link strategy.

SEO: User Experience

User experience or UX, relates to just that; the experience the user has while on the site. This can relate to site speed, site security, and mobile friendliness. Much like search engines, your website should focus on giving your users the best experience possible. Have you ever felt pain points when trying to find something on a website and simply cannot find it!? This is poor user experience. Simple ways to enhance UX includes making sure your site is using a https instead of an http server, monitoring your site speed through image size and code optimizations, and most importantly, making sure your site is mobile friendly and responsive.

SEO: Keywords

Perhaps the most important aspect of SEO are keywords. When we look at search queries we look at them in a few ways; branded vs. non-branded, and short-tail and long-tail keywords. Branded keywords are the easiest to rank for. If a user knows your brand name and uses it as a query in a search engine, the user already knows of your brand and is looking particularly for you. The strategy comes into play for non-branded keywords. You will want to incorporate important and relevant keywords into your content and technical SEO where applicable and responsible as to not stuff keywords. With these non-branded keywords you also want to consider short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are shorter and more broad queries that are related to your content while long-tail keywords include more words and are more specific. Keyword research should be performed to make sure you are considering related content and to see where your competitors are placing within popular search queries.

SEO does not need to be complicated and is one of the most beneficial ways to receive new users to your site by simply making sure your site is up to best practice especially where technical SEO, linking, UX and keywords are concerned.

If you have any questions related to SEO or want to know how Digital-ade can assist you and your site to get up to speed with search engine optimization, contact us today!

Welcome to Digital-ade!

Welcome to Digital-ade! I honestly cannot believe that this has all come to fruition within the last month and I am very excited to share this business and experience with you!

Through the past few years I have thought and pondered over the idea of starting my own digital marketing agency or freelancing. I’m not sure if the quarantine got to my head, but I was tired of sitting around and with the world in its current state, I figured now was the best time to jump into the entrepreneurial game and offer my services. As we know now, digital presence means more now than ever, especially when storefronts and businesses may not be able to sell in person.

I want to thank my husband, my friends, colleagues, and parents for their support, input, recommendations and help as I have been working on getting Digital-ade up and running.