Value Track + UTM Parameters = Tracking Success at a Granular level

When talking to a new client, we often get requests for help on measuring and optimising AdWords activity more efficiently. The most common is how to add the keyword a specific customer clicked on before registering to their data records. It is often thought that this can only be done through buying in a 3rd party piece of software or ad management tool. However, this is not the case. Without any additional cost, it is possible to get keyword level or other information surfaced in your analytics systems.

The way to do this is to combine two supported methods of getting insight about your visits and search activity. These technologies are called ‘UTM parameters’ and ‘Value Track’. UTM parameters are small additions you can add to the end of your destination URL that enable you to pass information to Google Analytics and most other major web analytics platforms. For more details on how you can use UTM parameters and what they are visit our blog post on the topic.

Value Track parameters are dynamic strings you can use as placeholders within the UTM Parameter string. With both of these in place, you can then capture the records provided as part of your registration data. If that sounds a little complicated, then take a read of the example below.

Our consumer is looking to purchase some flowers for Mother’s Day. Normally, on each advert placed via Google AdWords the advertiser will provide a destination URL like the below:

https://flowershop.com/landing-page

With utm_parameters you can add some parameters to that URL to capture where the user came from:

https://flowershop.com/landing-page?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=generics_flowers

In this example, you can see in the information after the ‘?’ symbol some examples of manually added utm_parameter values that provide more information about the source of the customer. In this case, the customer has come from a PPC ad on Google via the campaign targeting generic flower terms. By adding these fields to your customer registration data you can add a lot of information about your customers and as a result learn useful insights such as the average value of a PPC customer compared to those from other channels. However, if you want to know specifically which keyword, the task is a little tougher. As you can only set a destination URL for each advert, you cannot manually add a value for the keyword. This is where Value Track comes in.

https://flowershop.com/landing-page?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=generics_flowers&utm_term=keyword

Here we can see that for utm_term instead of manually inserting the description of the source or channel-type we have inserted {keyword} as a placeholder. This tells Google AdWords to dynamically insert the keyword into the URL. As a result, if a user clicks on ad on the below search result the destination URL would be converted from ‘utm_term={keyword}’ to ‘utm_term=flowers’.

flowers_-_google_search.jpg

Value Track offers a large range of different dynamic elements that can be placed into the URL. To see the full range of supported parameters click here.

With this kind of tracking in place you can now see valuable insights such as which keywords deliver the best customer value or what types of keywords are delivering return on investment. Using the Hyphen platform, you can tie together all of this data and easily see across all your advertising channels which areas are most profitable or most likely to drive growth.

Paul Davis

Hyphen Technology Ltd, 7 Albert Mews, Albert Road, , London