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Marketers, Tag Your Links!


If you have an email program or you use social media for your company’s marketing strategies, you have no excuse for not tagging your inbound links to optimize results and goal-tracking.

Need to know whether the money you spend on your monthly newsletter is working or even worthwhile?

Tack this string onto the end of your inbound links in your email:
?utm_source=”emailsoftwareprovider”&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=”monthlypromotion”
If you are an ecommerce company, you can track these subscribers through to conversion and get an idea of how much your email campaign is worth to you. If you are not an ecom company, you can track goal completions (you do have goals set up right??) attributed to this sect of subscribers and at worst you can see how they interact with your site differently than people coming to your site through referrals or direct routes.

If you are active in social media, a string like:
?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=landingpage1
can be helpful in determining what channels are converting for you and what ones aren’t. Replace “twitter” in the “utm_source=twitter” section with facebook, pinterest, linkedin, etc. for wherever the link is being posted. This will allow you to track inbound visits via campaigns, medium, or source, and give you a better idea of who is coming to your site and where from.

The more places you have links being put out, the more confusing it can get, so I recommend having a spreadsheet for naming conventions. It could look something like the Excel chart to the right. Make sure you update it with any ongoing campaigns you have. This is a great way to benchmark various campaigns’ effectiveness. You can easily generate any number of tracking strings at Google’s own URL builder and if you need more specific tags you can add utm_term and/or utm_content as well. Just make sure that you have Source, Medium, and Content at a minimum, or the link will break.

Any inbound link that you are putting out into the ether should have tracking strings attached to it otherwise it’s no good to you from a reporting standpoint. With the exception of Google Adwords, this is mostly a manual process but it is well worth it when trying to determine the worth of your marketing efforts.

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