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The Top UTM Tagging Mistakes to Avoid

November 18, 2023 | Jimit Mehta

As digital marketers, we all know the importance of tracking and analyzing our campaigns to make data-driven decisions. But have you ever stopped to think about how accurate your tracking actually is? The answer to that question might surprise you.

UTM tags, those little snippets of code we add to our URLs, are a crucial part of campaign tracking. They allow us to see where our traffic is coming from and how it's interacting with our website. But, as with any tool, there are common mistakes that can skew our data and lead us down the wrong path.

In this article, we'll dive into the top UTM tagging mistakes that marketers make, and more importantly, how to avoid them. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, you'll find valuable insights to improve your tracking accuracy and get the most out of your campaigns. So let's get started!

Not using UTM tags at all

The first mistake that many marketers make is not using UTM tags at all. UTM tags are simple snippets of code that you add to the end of your URLs to track the performance of your campaigns. Without these tags, it can be very difficult to accurately track the success of your campaigns and determine where your traffic is coming from.

For example, let's say you're running a social media campaign and want to see how much traffic is coming from Facebook versus Twitter. Without UTM tags, you would only be able to see the overall traffic to your website, but not the specific source. However, by adding UTM tags to your URLs, you can track each social media platform separately and see exactly how each is performing.

So, if you're not using UTM tags, you're missing out on a valuable tool for tracking your campaigns and making informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Start using UTM tags today and start getting the insights you need to improve your marketing efforts!

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Improper use of UTM parameters

Another common mistake that marketers make with UTM tags is improper use of UTM parameters. UTM tags have five different parameters (source, medium, campaign, term, and content) that allow you to track specific information about your campaigns. However, if you're not using these parameters correctly, your data can become skewed and you may not be able to make accurate decisions based on the information you're seeing.

For example, let's say you're running a campaign on both Facebook and Twitter, and you want to track the performance of each. If you only use the "source" parameter and use "Facebook" for both Facebook and Twitter traffic, you won't be able to accurately see how each platform is performing. Instead, you should use the "source" parameter for the specific platform (e.g. "Facebook" or "Twitter") and the "medium" parameter for the type of traffic (e.g. "social media").

By using UTM parameters correctly, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Don't let improper use of UTM parameters skew your data - make sure you're using these parameters correctly!

Inconsistent naming conventions

Inconsistent naming conventions can also be a major issue when it comes to UTM tagging. This simply means that you're not using a consistent method for naming your campaigns, sources, and other parameters. This can lead to confusion and make it difficult to accurately track and analyze your data.

For example, let's say you're running a campaign for a new product launch. If you use "New Product Launch" in one instance and "Launch of New Product" in another, it can be difficult to see the performance of the campaign as a whole. By using consistent naming conventions, you can ensure that your data is organized and easy to understand.

To avoid inconsistent naming conventions, it's important to establish a clear system for naming your campaigns and parameters. This can be as simple as using a specific format for naming your campaigns or using a shared document to keep track of your naming conventions. By doing so, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Not using unique tags for each campaign

Using unique tags for each campaign is crucial to ensure accurate tracking and analysis of your marketing efforts. If you're not using unique tags, you may be unable to see the performance of each individual campaign, and instead, all of your data will be combined into one large group.

For example, let's say you're running two separate campaigns, one for a new product launch and one for a sale. If you use the same UTM tags for both campaigns, it will be difficult to see the performance of each individual campaign and determine which one was more successful. However, by using unique UTM tags for each campaign, you can see the performance of each individual effort and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

By using unique UTM tags for each campaign, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Don't let the lack of unique UTM tags lead to inaccurate tracking and analysis - make sure you're using unique tags for each campaign!

Not using UTM tags on all links

Another common mistake in UTM tagging is not using UTM tags on all links. This means that you're not tracking all of the links that you're using in your campaigns, which can lead to a significant loss of valuable data.

For example, let's say you're running a social media campaign and have links to your website in your posts. If you're not using UTM tags on all of these links, you won't be able to see how much traffic is coming specifically from social media, and instead, this traffic will be lumped in with all other traffic to your website.

By using UTM tags on all links, you'll be able to see the performance of each individual link and determine which ones are driving the most traffic. This information can then be used to optimize your campaigns and improve your marketing efforts.

So, don't miss out on valuable data - make sure you're using UTM tags on all links in your campaigns. By doing so, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Not properly encoding special characters in UTM tags

Another important aspect of UTM tagging is properly encoding special characters in your UTM tags. If special characters (such as spaces, ampersands, etc.) are not properly encoded, they can cause your UTM tags to break and result in inaccurate tracking and analysis.

For example, let's say you're running a campaign for a new product with the name "Super Cool Product". If you use "Super Cool Product" as your UTM campaign name without properly encoding the space, your UTM tag may break and the data for this campaign may not be accurately tracked.

To properly encode special characters in your UTM tags, you can use the URL encoding method, which replaces special characters with a code. This ensures that your UTM tags will work properly and your data will be accurately tracked and analyzed.

By properly encoding special characters in your UTM tags, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Don't let improperly encoded special characters skew your data - make sure you're properly encoding all special characters in your UTM tags!

Not testing UTM tags before launching a campaign

Before launching any campaign, it's important to test your UTM tags to ensure that they're working properly. If you don't test your UTM tags before launching a campaign, you may not be able to accurately track the performance of your efforts and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

For example, let's say you've just added UTM tags to a new campaign and are ready to launch. If you don't test these tags before launching, you may not realize that there's a problem with the tags until it's too late. This could result in inaccurate tracking and analysis of your campaign, and you may miss out on valuable insights and opportunities for improvement.

To avoid this, it's important to test your UTM tags before launching any campaign. You can do this by using a tool like the Google Analytics URL builder to create test URLs and see how the tags are working. By doing this, you'll be able to catch any problems with your tags before launching and ensure that your data is accurately tracked and analyzed.

So, don't let untested UTM tags lead to inaccurate tracking and analysis - make sure you're testing your tags before launching any campaign! By doing so, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Not using UTM tags for all mediums (eg email, social media, etc)

Using UTM tags for all mediums is crucial to ensure accurate tracking and analysis of your marketing efforts. If you're not using UTM tags for all mediums, you may miss out on valuable data and insights about the performance of your campaigns.

For example, let's say you're running a campaign on social media and email. If you're only using UTM tags for your social media efforts, you won't be able to see how your email efforts are performing. By using UTM tags for all mediums, you'll be able to see the performance of each individual medium and determine which ones are driving the most traffic and conversions.

By using UTM tags for all mediums, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Don't let the lack of UTM tags for all mediums lead to inaccurate tracking and analysis - make sure you're using UTM tags for all mediums in your campaigns!

Not regularly reviewing and cleaning up UTM tags

Regularly reviewing and cleaning up your UTM tags is an important part of ensuring accurate tracking and analysis of your marketing efforts. Over time, your UTM tags can become cluttered and disorganized, leading to inaccurate tracking and analysis.

For example, let's say you've been using UTM tags for several months and have not reviewed or cleaned them up. Your tags may have become cluttered with old campaigns and incorrect data, leading to inaccurate tracking and analysis of your current campaigns.

To avoid this, it's important to regularly review and clean up your UTM tags. This can involve removing old tags for campaigns that have ended, updating tags with correct information, and organizing your tags in a clear and consistent manner. By doing this, you'll be able to ensure that your UTM tags are accurate and your data is properly tracked and analyzed.

So, don't let cluttered and disorganized UTM tags lead to inaccurate tracking and analysis - make sure you're regularly reviewing and cleaning up your UTM tags! By doing so, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Not using UTM tags with Google Analytics goals and funnels

Using UTM tags in conjunction with Google Analytics goals and funnels is an important part of tracking and analyzing the performance of your marketing efforts. If you're not using UTM tags with your Google Analytics goals and funnels, you may miss out on valuable insights about the performance of your campaigns.

For example, let's say you have a goal in Google Analytics to track conversions on your website. If you're not using UTM tags in conjunction with this goal, you won't be able to see which campaigns are driving the most conversions. However, by using UTM tags with your Google Analytics goals and funnels, you'll be able to see the performance of each individual campaign and determine which ones are driving the most conversions.

By using UTM tags with your Google Analytics goals and funnels, you'll be able to get a clear picture of your campaign performance and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. Don't let the lack of UTM tags with your Google Analytics goals and funnels lead to inaccurate tracking and analysis - make sure you're using UTM tags with these important tools!

Final thoughts

UTM tags are an important tool for tracking and analyzing your marketing campaigns, but as with any tool, there are common mistakes that can skew your data and lead to inaccurate tracking. In this article, we covered the top 10 UTM tagging mistakes to avoid, including not using UTM tags at all, improper use of UTM parameters, inconsistent naming conventions, not using unique tags for each campaign, not using UTM tags on all links, not properly encoding special characters in UTM tags, not testing UTM tags before launching a campaign, not using UTM tags for all mediums, not regularly reviewing and cleaning up UTM tags, and not using UTM tags with Google Analytics goals and funnels.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll be able to ensure accurate tracking and analysis of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Want to use UTM tags to personalize your website for different campaigns? Try Markettailor for free.


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