Using ‘UTM tags’ to see where your website traffic is coming from

Many of us small business owners spend hours of our lives blogging and posting on social media to try and increase traffic to our websites, to eventually increase sales of our products or services. Without any way of knowing what’s working for us it can be hard to focus on the right areas. Is Twitter brining 90% of your sales, or a complete waste of time. How about the newsletter – is that working? Adding special tags to links that we post or include in emails can help us narrow this down.

Seeing traffic sources in analytics

Most analytics services will show where your website traffic is coming from. You’ll see search engines and other sites that link to your website here. We use Plausible Analytics and this is shown in the screenshot below with data from our previous brand fcswebsites.co.uk.

utm tags website traffic plausible

So what’s a UTM tag?

By adding a parameter called a UTM tag to the end of a link, we can give it a name and see more than just the site it came from. If you’re running multiple campaigns or post a lot on socials, you can see which posts are working best for your. This is also great for newsletters and other places that aren’t websites.

We used a tag called “utm_source” with the value “socialMedia” for this test example. You can see this below, and how it appears in our analytics above. The source is shown as ‘socialMedia’ in the list of sources on the bottom left of the image.

It can get more refined if you’re running multiple campaigns across various websites, social media and paid ad platforms.

UTM tag example

How do I use a UTM tag?

It’s as simple as choosing a name and value for your tag. These can be meaningful names and all you need to do is create a link with the name and value included and use this wherever you post links to start tracking!

“Source”, “Medium” and “Campaign” tags are often used to really dig into the activities that are making a difference to your business.

Adding contact form or purchase tracking with your analytics service can give you even better measurements of your enquiries or sales. We saw one client who was using all kinds of marketing just focus on one profitable form of marketing after tracking where his sales were coming from. This saved a huge amount of time as he could stop all the other activities.

Summary

UTM tags are a quick and easy way of seeing exactly where your website traffic is coming from, and focusing your efforts on what works.