UTM Code Implementation

UTM codes, or Urchin Tracking Modules, are pieces of code that can be added to the end of your click URL in order to track certain dimensions of your digital advertising campaigns in your analytics reports. Utilizing URLs with unique UTM variables for each campaign or creative allows website traffic to be categorized in Google Analytics for in-depth performance analysis across source, medium, campaign and content. 

UTM Code Parameters
UTM Code Variables
Implementation & Reporting
Macros as Variables

 

UTM Code Parameters

Parameters are the different dimensions that can be tracked in analytics reports. The following are the parameters that can be used to track aspects of Pontiac campaigns:

  1. Traffic Source:
    &utm_source
  2. Medium:
    &utm_medium
  3. Campaign Name:
    &utm_campaign
  4. Content:
    &utm_content
UTM Code Variables

To create the click URL you will need to assign a unique variable to each parameter. These variables will appear in Google Analytics reports for all users that arrived on your website by clicking on this URL . Variables can contain numbers, letters, hyphens, ‘+’ signs and periods.

  1. Traffic Source
    Example: &utm_source=PONTIAC
    If you are running simultaneous advertising efforts across various platforms, this parameter will allow you to distinguish which traffic arrived through Pontiac vs. Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
  2. Medium
    Example: &utm_medium=display
    When running a report by medium, compare performance between organic, paid, search, etc or by media type ie. banner, video, native.
  3. Campaign Name
    Example: &utm_campaign=NameofLineItem
    If you are running more than one Line Item in Pontiac, this will allow you to differentiate which campaign is driving the traffic. For example, &utm_campaign=Remarketing and &utm_campaign=Prospecting
  4. Content
    Example: &utm_content=Creative1-300×600
    The content variable can be used to differentiate between different creatives, creative sizes, or creative types.
Implementation & Reporting

Once you have created variables for each parameter they must be added to the end of the URL. Manually add parameters and variables or use the Google URL Builder here: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

Example:

Take the website https://pontiac.media and add the above variables: https://pontiac.media?utm_source=PONTIAC&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=Remarketing&utm_content=Creative1-300×600

When you upload creatives to the Pontiac platform, use the new URL with UTM parameters & variables as the click URL. You can then view reporting broken out by these variables in Google Analytics. 

In the Google Analytics dashboard, use the ‘Acquisitions’ -> ‘All Traffic’ -> ‘Source/Medium’ report to see where traffic on your site is coming from. Traffic driven by a campaign with the above click URL would appear in this report as  ‘Pontiac / display’.

 

Macros as a Variable

Additional information can be passed through to Google Analytics utilizing Pontiac Macros as the variable in the UTM code. This will allow dynamic information to be passed through for each impression. See the full list of macros here: https://wiki.pontiac.media/?page_id=1661

This will further breakdown reporting by each variable passed through the macro. One recommended use case is to implement the Seller Member ID macro as a variable for medium to evaluate exchange performance across the additional stats provided by Google Analytics such as ‘Bounce Rate’, ‘Avg session Duration’ and ‘Pages visited per session’. 

By implementing the following – &utm_medium=${SELLER_MEMBER_ID} you can view a breakdown of Pontiac traffic by each exchange through which the impressions were purchased.

For example: https://pontiac.media?utm_source=PONTIAC&utm_medium=${SELLER_MEMBER_ID}

The following would display as line items in the source/medium report and give you data for traffic by exchange ID:

‘Pontiac / 357’

‘Pontiac / 280’

‘Pontiac / 273’

These Seller Member IDs must be mapped to Pontiac Exchange IDs utilizing the the Seller Id Mapping here: Pontiac_Seller_ID_Mapping

The report above would indicate that this traffic was driven by Pontiac ads purchased through OpenX, Microsoft Advertising Exchange and Verizon Media Exchange (O&O). You can then compare the bounce rates, average session duration and more to evaluate quality of the traffic and optimize campaigns accordingly.