Links from Episode:
- Data Driven U (Resources + Education for Digital Marketing Expertise).
- Google Analytics Mastery Course
[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. I am really excited about today’s episode. We’re going to be talking about Why Bother with UTM parameters, which is something that comes up a lot. And something that I think is a little bit of a complex topic to unravel. And with me, I have a very special guest today.
[00:00:18] Kevin Dieny: I have Jeff Sauer he is the founder of data-driven. He’s an agency owner, business coach, he’s blogger of Jeffalytics. If you’ve ever heard of that, that’s how I found him. He’s a lecturer and a recently retired digital nomad after four years on the road. He is a firm believer in data-driven marketing. Jeff’s work has been featured in many industry publications and best of lists.
[00:00:39] Kevin Dieny: Jeff has had 50,000 or more digital marketers enroll in his Google certification programs. He has delivered over a hundred keynote presentations and workshops in 20 countries. So thank you and welcome to our podcast, Jeff.
[00:00:55] Jeff Sauer: Yeah, thanks for having me.
[00:00:57] Kevin Dieny: So to set the stage a little bit. Let’s properly define what we’re talking about when we say UTM parameters.
[00:01:05] Kevin Dieny: So every business that wants to drive more traffic to their website. Could really by what we’re talking about today, which is implementing, and making sure you’re using and bothering with UTM parameters. They’re essential, I think for quantifying and refining marketing campaigns. So there’s that aspect to it.
[00:01:24] Kevin Dieny: If you’re in the marketing side. I think it becomes easier to justify marketing expenditures. When you can prove the lift or what channels traffic is coming from, the conversions that are coming from like your website traffic, or campaign efforts. And that makes it a lot easier to make a business decision around: should we put money into this marketing campaign? Should we put money into this ad? Or is this source of traffic worthwhile?
[00:01:48] Kevin Dieny: Some of them are short-term decisions, right? Like if this thing is happening are better than that. And, but most marketing is longer term, so bothering with UTM parameters today has a profound impact on what will maybe take place months down the road.
[00:02:01] Kevin Dieny: The first question I have, Jeff, you can jump in on this. Is why are businesses, you think, not bothering to take the time to use UTM parameters?
[00:02:10] Jeff Sauer: I think the reason why is often times. It’s either a business or the marketing team doesn’t even know they exist, or that they’re part of the process for tracking your marketing. Or… that, there’s no process to say, every time we drive traffic back to our website, every time we run a campaign, every time we are on a podcast or do a paid search ad that we need to make sure that we’re tracking that.
[00:02:35] Jeff Sauer: Now the reason why that happens is because Google analytics is so easy to use. You know, for example, if you were to go to Google analytics now and install it on your site, all you need is a Google account or an email address. And then it says, take this piece of code, put it on your site and you’re tracking. And that’s fantastic. It’s a feat.
[00:02:57] Jeff Sauer: It’s amazing that we have that at our disposal, that we can do that. But because that piece of code gives you this security blanket, or the safety net, saying you put it on your site and you’re tracking data and they make it so easy. That’d be like, option one. They don’t tell you about option one, B or C, or option two are the things that you need to do.
[00:03:17] Jeff Sauer: The configurations that will make Google analytics speak the language you want it to and to work for you. And so what happens is, and it’s compounded even further, whereas you install. The snippet of Google analytics, and then you hook it up to Google ads, or you hook it up to your SEO campaigns. And then they’ll tell you that you have traffic from Google.
[00:03:38] Jeff Sauer: They’re very good at telling you that Google drove you traffic either through this search engine organic results or through paid media because they make it a one-click to set up Google. But all the other traffic to your site, whether it’s from Facebook, their major ad competitor, or if it’s from an email campaign you send, or if it’s from being on a guest on a podcast or a direct mail piece, you send any other way, you send somebody to your site, Google analytics, not only doesn’t know that you sent that traffic, but they don’t tell you that you should be tagging that or keeping track of it.
[00:04:10] Jeff Sauer: And so they make it easy to make Google the center of the world. Because when you think Google is the center of the universe, you’re going to probably spend more money with Google ads. It’s the reason why they give the tool away for free, but they don’t give you the, the follow-up to say, the next thing you need to do is to make all the rest of your data makes sense.
[00:04:30] Jeff Sauer: And so this is one of, probably the three configurations that I recommend as a mandatory way to make Google analytics make more sense for your business. And that is campaign tracking or UTM parameters.
[00:04:42] Kevin Dieny: When I was thinking about this topic for the last weekend and my wife asked about it, I was like, okay, so UTM parameters, you put them in the URL and she’s like, what’s the URL? And I was like, okay, let’s go back a step. When you put a link in the email, let’s say, and you want people to click on it.
[00:05:00] Kevin Dieny: That link is the URL like a link and a URL are all kind of synonymous. And then the UTM information is just added, dimensional details that, are on the link that tell us more about it. Now, if we have multiple emails going out we may want to know, which email, if we have some emails associated with one single campaign, we might want to know what campaign it was.
[00:05:22] Kevin Dieny: And so the UTM parameters are that extra added context. And I know you mentioned there’s maybe three things that you may recommend when someone sets up the GA, did you want to just, I guess, touch on what those other ones are just so we put it in context. What if UTMs are important in the top three and maybe what the other two things are?
[00:05:40] Jeff Sauer: Absolutely. Google analytics is easy to install and then these UTM parameters, or what I call campaign tracking allows you to identify the source of traffic to your site. And so in Google analytics that we all use what I call Google analytics three or the classic Google analytics it’s been around for awhile.
[00:05:58] Jeff Sauer: There’s the ABC reports: acquisition, behavior, and conversion. And the ABC is like, basically you need to acquire traffic to your site. Campaigns help you identify the traffic so that the additional configuration you want to do for the A’s of the ABC reports is where did that traffic come from?
[00:06:18] Jeff Sauer: The B is behavior it’s what did they do on your site? What did they do while they were visiting your site? Did they click on the call to action button? Did they scroll a certain amount? Did they go to your site and leave? Another, I guess, widely known secret, but little known secret. When you’re first getting started with GA is that Google analytics only tracks page views.
[00:06:40] Jeff Sauer: They don’t track what happens within a page. And so you could spend 45 minutes inside of a page, clicking around on every button and Google wouldn’t track that unless you gave them supplemental tracking, which is called event tracking. And so the second thing to consider is event tracking to make your behavior reports cleaner. And so tracking what’s within a page, instead of just the fact that the page was served up.
[00:07:01] Jeff Sauer: And then the, C one, the conversion one is setting up goals to help Google know what outcomes happened when somebody came to your site. And so a goal is basically saying, did somebody convert or not. And then we, the definition of conversion for me is that somebody took a favorable action that is designed to help you make more money or make more of the result you’re looking for to fuel your economic engine.
[00:07:25] Jeff Sauer: And that requires configuration too. And so there’s these three things that are uber important. Like I’m almost like I wouldn’t use Google analytics if I didn’t do all three of those. That Google doesn’t even tell you about. And so that’s why, anytime that somebody says, Hey, how does this work? Can you do a podcast to talk with us?
[00:07:43] Jeff Sauer: I’m like, yeah, I want everybody to know this because I love Google analytics, but also I want you to do it in a way that enables you to get more actions that fuel your economic engine, whether it’s leads or sales or, or any number of things you can’t do more if you don’t know the outcome that happened.
[00:08:02] Kevin Dieny: The part I was always struggling with and explaining this is like, there’s so much good information in there. And a lot of businesses work a little different, one of them may just want leads. Some of them may have more of an interest in getting someone to the, to a cart on the e-commerce side of a business.
[00:08:18] Kevin Dieny: Another one may be trying to segment the people who get there so they can refine a later audience for a later ad or something like that. Like there, there may be a lot of layers, like an informational part of the site. The traffic that gets there, it comes from a source and that’s like the first that’s one of the first legs of getting someone to the website is where they came from.
[00:08:37] Kevin Dieny: UTM parameters help inform us about that insight. Businesses may feel like man, UTMs are a lot of work. You’re telling me I have to put something on the end of all my links. That could be a lot of work.
[00:08:48] Kevin Dieny: If I’m doing a lot of campaigns or if I have a ton of ads, that seems like a little bit of work. So what’s the value add? So question, for you it would be, how can, insights from the UTM parameters add value to a myriad of types of businesses?
[00:09:03] Jeff Sauer: Yeah. Yeah. So I love what you’re saying about. Everybody has a different Google analytics. If you install Google analytics, it’s the same. If you have a five person cat blog as a million person a month e-commerce website, right? It’s the same Google analytics and Google’s smart and they can read minds when it comes to searching, but they don’t know what you’re trying to achieve.
[00:09:24] Jeff Sauer: You need to tell them what you want, right. What you want to achieve. And so that’s a big part there. Now, as far as why you should tell them that. The reason why is pretty simple to me. And that is as a marketer, or if you’re running traffic to your site, you want to assign credit for the different activities you do.
[00:09:42] Jeff Sauer: And so, for example, if you have a, let’s just use a round number, if you have a thousand dollar budget to send people to your website, or to try to bring in new business. You want to know if you put a hundred dollars into 10 different things, a hundred dollars into a yellow pages ad, into a Google search ad, into Facebook ads, into email marketing, into say you do a hundred dollars into 10 different things.
[00:10:05] Jeff Sauer: Well, from my experience, not all 10 of those things are going to give you the same results. Some of these things will have a 10 X return on your investment. Some of these things will give you zero return on your investment. And so the chances are that they all perform the same as is slim to none.
[00:10:22] Jeff Sauer: And so if you want to know that you have a a hundred dollars, you can put into things. Would you want to put a hundred dollars into 10 different things or would you want to put the whole thousand dollars into the one thing that’s working for you? Whether that’s ads or certain channel. And so the only way you can tell that is if you tell Google analytics which traffic is coming in.
[00:10:43] Jeff Sauer: If you have to say that this came from email, you have to say, this came from advertising you have to say where it came from. And so the only way you’ll know how to divide that pie in a way to get more results is to tell Google that. Or to tell whatever your analytics tool is. Now, the reason why this is important and just think about the outcome that can come from that is if you spend a thousand dollars on ten channels, and some of them give you a hundred percent return on your ad spend some of them give you a zero.
[00:11:09] Jeff Sauer: Then you’re probably going to average out to a thousand dollars back. So you spend a thousand, you get a thousand back. Now, if one of these things has a one hundred percent return every time you do it, then you put a thousand and you get $2,000 back.
[00:11:21] Jeff Sauer: And so which one would you rather go with? The one where you’re sort of hoping that one of these, that they all work equally and then you get your thousand dollars back or knowing… Hey, if I put a thousand into this one channel, I will get 2000 back. I’m riding that one. Cause that’s what my business is going to thrive doing.
[00:11:37] Jeff Sauer: You don’t know that if you don’t use these parameters, if you don’t track it, if you don’t feed it, good data.
[00:11:42] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, I’ve heard it said quite a lot actually, attribution is expensive. In Google analytics case, the tool is free. You can put the parameter in that’s free. You have attribution. There’s lots of built in really cool tools in Google analytics to help you do attribution and see the different levels of channels overlapping, or channels bringing in traffic and resulting in the ROAS of return on your ad spend or per se, like what channel is lifting my conversions.
[00:12:10] Kevin Dieny: But at the same time, there is a little bit of effort involved there. Are there any tools or tricks or templates, or suggestions, you have to make it easier to build the UTM parameters?
[00:12:21] Jeff Sauer: Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent. So there’s varying levels. You can do it. The first thing is to recognize in whatever process you have for sending traffic to your site, that you need them. And so asking the question, are we tracking this? Asking that before you do a campaign instead of after, and that might sound obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times people have come to me and said, Hey, we didn’t track this.
[00:12:43] Jeff Sauer: Can you figure it out? And it’s like, no, you can’t. So you need to have a good source. So you need to do this commit to doing it. And then every time you run a campaign. Now the easiest way to do it. And the one, if you’re running like one campaign a month or every so often is if you just Google campaign URL builder, or Google analytics campaign builder, there’s a tool that’s free on Google, where you can put in your base URL, and then it asks you to put in the five UTM, the five UTM parameters in there.
[00:13:12] Jeff Sauer: And then it will tell you it’ll build that URL for you. And that’s always where I recommend starting. Those five parameters are the source, the medium, which is the sources who sent you the traffic. The medium is how they sent you the traffic. So a source would be like call source sent you the traffic and the medium would be a phone call, let’s say, and then a campaign, what is the exact campaign we’re running?
[00:13:34] Jeff Sauer: So you can get down to, this is the campaign. It’s the July campaign versus the June campaign. Then you have two other ones that are less often used, but there’s still, that can be nice for you. One is content, like what was the content that was displayed on the screen or on the call to action?
[00:13:49] Jeff Sauer: What was the phone number that they called? What was the tracking number they called. Hint hint. And then the final ones term, and that’s if you’re doing paid search, you can actually put in what is the keyword that somebody searched for. So those are the five parameters, and I’m not expecting you to remember them, but that campaign builder tells you here’s the five things and they even give you examples that are in writing.
[00:14:10] Jeff Sauer: So you can see the embodiment of what I’m talking about. That’s definitely the starting point and for most people, if you’re doing this a couple of times a month, or you’re doing a big quarterly promotion, just use that tool. Now, if you want to have a history of what URL’s you built, what parameters you have.
[00:14:26] Jeff Sauer: I highly recommend the next step is to create a spreadsheet that captures all those tracking URLs. And if you’re an Excel jockey or a Google sheets jockey, you could actually build those parameters without using Google’s thing just in your own, in a spreadsheet. I think that’s if you’re doing it daily, right.
[00:14:43] Jeff Sauer: If you’re doing it all the time, but if you’re just getting started, just use that tool and then paste the final URL into a note book or a document. So you know what you built.
[00:14:52] Kevin Dieny: That’s how I started. And then I eventually was like, okay, I want to standardize these. I want these to have a similar format. I also want to make sure I’m doing them right every time. And then once I was like, okay, I’m not the only one doing this. Now I have a team. I need them to be able to have this follow the same standards.
[00:15:08] Kevin Dieny: Then I was like, okay, here’s a spreadsheet that everyone will use. And when you put the wrong thing in it, won’t let you do it. I built a little builder template thing in my spreadsheet guru time. I put that together. And that was really helpful to keep it in a standard way. And that way, whenever we jump into Google analytics, there wasn’t like four or five different ways of spelling CallSource or Facebook.
[00:15:29] Kevin Dieny: There was one standard and it cleaned up the data quite a bit, especially when you’re getting into multiple people, multiple levels of people. But when it’s just you and maybe one person or two people doing it, it can get using the Google campaign builder tool is really effective. That’s been really helpful.
[00:15:45] Jeff Sauer: There’s also software that you can use to, like, I have a friend who built one called like campaign tracker.io, and that software just helps you keep track of it. But I think that that’s more when you’re at a volume when you’re doing a lot of it.
[00:15:57] Kevin Dieny: There’s tools that will check to make sure the link’s working, it’s not a broken thing. There’s a lot of really cool tools out there to help. This may not be so tedious and not be so hard. One thing you did mention, which is, when you ignore it, and then you start doing it from that point on is when you can start doing the analysis you told the story about someone who didn’t start track didn’t do any tracking and then asked, okay, now, can you tell me what happened with this?
[00:16:17] Kevin Dieny: Retroactively can’t really look back and pull out the details unless they were there. That’s the way that it works. Privacy is increasing in, browsers and technology. So if someone’s like, why should I bother with UTM parameters now, possibly if down the road, is privacy going to take away all this tracking?
[00:16:35] Kevin Dieny: And is starting now too late? That kind of, a conflict that someone’s having, what would you say to all that?
[00:16:41] Jeff Sauer: That’s an awesome question. I don’t recommend losing sleep at night over something you have control over, and if you’re running a campaign, if you’re driving traffic, you have control over where they go to. And so I wouldn’t lose sleep over that. And in fact, it’s one of the few things that, that will fight through the privacy noise.
[00:16:59] Jeff Sauer: Is that if you own that relationship and you’re the one that’s driving the traffic or renting the traffic from a search engine or from a social network, like Facebook, you control that. And so as long as you left that on the field, or you did your best to make sure that the things you control were done well, you will know how your campaigns performed.
[00:17:16] Jeff Sauer: There’s some traffic that no matter what you do, won’t show up in your reports properly, or that could be a problem. But that’s outside of your control. You can do some stuff to try to be as good of a steward as possible, but once it it’s outside of your hands, you’re really risk mitigating instead of just like completely in control or in the driver’s seat.
[00:17:37] Jeff Sauer: And so UTMs are definitely for when you’re in the position of being in the driver’s seat. Now, when it comes to privacy, I just mentioned or alluded to that UTMs are the one thing that will shine through privacy because you’re not really giving up somebody’s privacy or violating it by adding those parameters in there.
[00:17:54] Jeff Sauer: In fact, you’re making it more clear as to where they’re coming in. Now, the reason why privacy is important here is because Google has a lot of liability. If they’re storing data or they’re giving away data that does violate somebody’s privacy. And so they might in the future, they might, or a browser, even anybody that that’s in control of data has to be like, they’re plugging up holes where somebody can see certain information.
[00:18:19] Jeff Sauer: And so that’s actually what worries me the most is that if they move to plug up holes or to make it to the data is more obscure, you’re going to get more obscure data. That’s less useful. The only way around that is campaign tracking it’s UTMs. And so it’s basically giving you even more signal through the noise.
[00:18:39] Jeff Sauer: And so the only way to cut through privacy problems, and noise, and so on is that if you are driving it, you’re measuring it, you’re tracking it. It makes the value proposition even stronger in my opinion, is that it might be the only data you can rely on in the future.
[00:18:54] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s a really powerful statement. And I really liked the idea of, if it matters, if the marketing you’re spending money, if the performance matters, if any of that matters to you, measurement then must matter. So the cost of doing it, which can be mostly mitigated like the time. There is some time investment, but for the most part it’s not too crazy.
[00:19:16] Kevin Dieny: Once you get it, once you have done it a few times, it becomes a lot easier to do over and over again. Or you may have a standard. And so it’s easy to plug away. There are tools that, may make it even easier to do. Some email platform tools, have standard UTM parameters that they’ll throw in every time so that you don’t really have to. Ad platforms have what are called tracking templates, which will allow you to slap on a format at the end of an ad, a URL for you on every time to help mitigate and make that easier.
[00:19:45] Kevin Dieny: But at the end of the day, they want you to measure it because they want you to see the performance. An ad platform is like, Hey, spend money with us. They want you to know it’s working. Otherwise you’re going to be like, why would I spend money here? So they want you to do it.
[00:19:57] Kevin Dieny: Our company wants you to do it because it shows more granular detail when you go to ask the question, okay, this is great. I now know what channel it came from, but now I want to know what campaign it came from. I want to know if it came from a paid, an owned, different types of channels, organic things like that.
[00:20:13] Kevin Dieny: I want to know that information. The types of information that you need come from that additional layer of data and being able to see how people move between them. The question that’s going to take us to the next direction I have is where should businesses be using UTM parameters?
[00:20:27] Kevin Dieny: There’s definitely places where you definitely want to use it. There are places where you actually don’t have to use it. So I want to talk about what those could be.
[00:20:35] Jeff Sauer: Let’s talk about where you probably don’t need to use it. You don’t need to use it for organic search. If somebody finds your website, Google will discern that pretty well. If you’re running Google ads and you’re using their auto campaign tracking, you don’t need to add UTMs to your URL.
[00:20:51] Jeff Sauer: They’ll do that for you. And then it’s not required on social media, because if somebody comes to you from Twitter or Facebook, Google analytics sorta knows that pretty well. Although, they don’t know what campaign it was. It would just be that the website sent you traffic or that the mobile version sent you traffic.
[00:21:09] Jeff Sauer: That would be a case for why you’d want it. So it’s basically everything else is better with UTMs. So everything else, meaning any email you send out, mostly bulk email. Now you could add it to individual emails you send out, but I wouldn’t recommend that because if it’s going to one person, you don’t really need a campaign.
[00:21:30] Jeff Sauer: Any social posts that you control? Definitely any paid social, definitely. Any shortened hyperlink, if you do a Bitly link or a shortened link, definitely put those at the end of it. So that the final URL gets those UTMs that gets over the space or size problem. Any phone call that comes in any QR code that you put into the marketplace should have.
[00:21:54] Jeff Sauer: Any direct mail piece with a vanity URL that redirects to your main site should have it. It’s basically anytime that you are trying to get somebody to find you, you should make sure that effort to try to find them is trackable because otherwise you don’t really know where your sales can come from, you can’t attribute your marketing and see.
[00:22:14] Jeff Sauer: You’re putting money into the wrong thing. You’re allocating your resources inefficiently, if you can’t track it. And so if you want to know where you should put your resources to get a 10% lift, a 20% lift, a 30% lift, a hundred percent lift for the money you spend in marketing. This is the only way to do that.
[00:22:33] Kevin Dieny: I really like laying out each channel. Thank you for putting down and naming the channels and then the sources and helping them understand that the channels that we measure a lot of times are the ones where we do have dollars behind.
[00:22:47] Kevin Dieny: But even the ones we don’t have dollars behind are still important, especially if we’re running a specific campaign or there’s been a lot of team effort behind it. It may not have a cost associated with the ad budget, but, there’s a cost of time consumption.
[00:22:59] Kevin Dieny: We’re spending a lot of time working on something, we want to know how it worked, ended up working out. And also some agencies use it cause they want to differentiate themselves from, let’s say a company that has multiple agencies. They want to be making sure that their traffic is signaled and stands out.
[00:23:15] Kevin Dieny: And so that’s why it’s critical being able to see this is the traffic my agency is bringing versus something else. I know that some agencies will do that or enable that technology or use those parameters to do that. A little question here off something you said before, which was the ABCs.
[00:23:31] Kevin Dieny: We’ve brought someone to your website and let’s say you have used a UTM parameter. So, I know exactly what campaign they came from, I know, and I brought them to the site. Am I done there and I’d say, no, but I was curious if you could elaborate on how the B, the behavior, what they do can then inform a better strategy for the, A for the acquisition?
[00:23:51] Kevin Dieny: So if you’ve used UTM parameters and you brought them to your website and how could their behavior now help you guide your acquisition strategies and help inform, what channels are working, because there are some behaviors that are better than others.
[00:24:03] Jeff Sauer: Yeah. I love it because that is truly why I got into analytics. And so this is an existential thing for me, and that is, I used to be only doing paid ads, so I’d pay money to Google and then Google, it had this conversion tracking. So we’d bid on a keyword. And then it would go to a website and then either they bought, or they didn’t like the Wolf of Wall Street, either they buy or they die.
[00:24:26] Jeff Sauer: In about 2%, on the average of the web, we’ll end up doing the conversion part. And so that means that you’ll send a hundred clicks to a website and two of them will do something you want them to do. And then 98% you’ll have no idea. It’s a black box. I was attracted to Google analytics because I wanted to see inside that black box, I wanted to know how the sausage is made.
[00:24:45] Jeff Sauer: I wanted to know how I won or how I lost. Right. I wanted to have more control over my fate because otherwise I’m just guessing. I didn’t want them to take away the guesswork. And so that middle part is really nice because it helps answer the question as to whether that middle 98%, was effective or not.
[00:25:01] Jeff Sauer: And so a few things, one is they say that it takes, I believe between five and eight times hearing a message to, to want to buy something. And so to expect that every one of those hundred people is ready to buy would go against your contact strategy. You need to talk to them more often.
[00:25:15] Jeff Sauer: You need to have multiple touch points. This allows you to see, okay, well maybe I’m not in the fifth touch point, but did that person scroll down far enough in order to see half the content. Did they spend more than a minute on the page? Did they end up clicking on the phone thing, but then not dialing or, what did they end up doing in that case?
[00:25:33] Jeff Sauer: Did they, hover over the phone number and sort of think about it? Did that give them intent that they were going to purchase that they were going to call you? Those are all things you can do within the process that will tell you a little bit more about that 98. And then instead of optimizing towards those two sales or those two leads, whatever you call it, you would optimize towards a better experience for those 98%.
[00:25:55] Jeff Sauer: And that can be the choice of traffic you send, like in choosing one channel or over the other, or it can be self-reflection and say, okay, our website is not as good as we thought people are going there. And then 98% of them are leaving within five seconds. We have to redo the whole site. We have to redo a landing page, send them to a landing page instead of our homepage, so on and so forth.
[00:26:17] Jeff Sauer: And so those are all things you can do in between that will give you a better idea as to whether this ad spend is productive, or if it was just a complete miss.
[00:26:26] Kevin Dieny: You mentioned, some behaviors there that may not be out of the box tracking by Google that you may have to, let’s say you wanted to see who clicked on a specific element, like a phone call and a phone number, scroll depth, a video on the page you want to know did people watch this video.
[00:26:42] Kevin Dieny: There’s been some mistakes too, where, we put a button on the page but we forgot to put the link in the button it’s there, but if you click on it, it does nothing. And so some of those, I almost look at it like there’s performance.
[00:26:54] Kevin Dieny: You want to track, you want to see the time on page. You want to see where they scroll and let’s see where they clicked. If we’re on a mobile or desktop or tablet, you want to see whether the experience was still ideal. And then there’s other things that are like marketing insurance. Which is okay, this button worked or what happens when they click this button?
[00:27:11] Kevin Dieny: Does it do what I think it’s going to do? If they click this thing does it do like I expect it to do, and it may work fine testing here in our browser here. And it may look great here on like our Mac or our screen, but then elsewhere, man, it just doesn’t work and it’s not as good. And, some of that comes packaged in some other tools.
[00:27:29] Kevin Dieny: I know there’s tools that do like heat mapping and stuff like. And so there’s just a lot of stuff you could do, in the behavioral area to unravel that black box to see what’s in there. And it, even going down, like a couple of those holes, like diving in there can really reveal a lot about what’s working.
[00:27:48] Kevin Dieny: What’s not, and it, it could absolutely point to, we need a new website, we need a new concept, a new design. We need something to, to change here. And then that could potentially lift it. And I could change things. The whole analytics world. Is not, like a crystal ball.
[00:28:06] Kevin Dieny: Jeff’s going to tell you everything is going to work exactly perfectly right for your business. Neither could I, no one can, it takes so much experimentation. It takes a lot of playing around fiddling around or seeing what’s going to work with your, your specific audience. If your audience is much older. I know this from working with, you know, older audiences, you need a larger font size.
[00:28:27] Kevin Dieny: They can’t read this on the page. That might be why they’re just sitting there on the top of the frame and not moving down. There’s a lot of, there’s so many things and questioning, why are they doing this? Why aren’t they, why is their mouse stuck on the right side? Or why is this happening?
[00:28:40] Kevin Dieny: That behavioral element fills in. And I think that’s, it can be such a funny experience, such an interesting experience.
[00:28:46] Jeff Sauer: Talking about like personal missions is that data is cheap. It’s almost free. I mean, it is free. Google analytics can give you a lot of data. It’s the human element, it’s the insights, it’s the piecing together what somebody’s story might be. That is really exciting to me. And it’s exciting to many people, but it, but it takes time and effort to do.
[00:29:05] Jeff Sauer: And, you want to get data so that it’s not getting in your way. You want to make it so you’re getting as clean of data as possible. So then you can do the piecing together this story as to why somebody came in. I’ll give you a quick one, and that is the reason why I started doing phone call tracking for my clients is because I’d send them with Google ads to a page and I’d get a couple of people filling out the form.
[00:29:26] Jeff Sauer: And I didn’t know how to track the phone number. And I was not getting credit properly for all the work we were doing, all the things we were driving and on some clients they did phone call tracking and other ones they didn’t, and it was, 200% of the number of people who filled out forms, did phone calls.
[00:29:42] Jeff Sauer: This is in the home improvement space. And if we wouldn’t have tracked that we would have had zero, almost no attribution for our ads. And they would have had to spend a, you know, a third as much money on ads. They wouldn’t have thought that it was successful. And so you have to start a piece together what is the story here? What are we trying to do?
[00:29:58] Jeff Sauer: And then what extra data or information can we put in place to help us confirm that, to validate that this is what’s happening? And so that’s how I fell into the world of call tracking is because Google analytics does a lot, but it doesn’t really do everything right.
[00:30:14] Jeff Sauer: These things can work together in synergy and in concert and it leads to a better product and better results and better tracking of results.
[00:30:22] Kevin Dieny: You’re touching on the ABC, the C of the conversion. So we talked about the acquisition, we’ve talked about the behavioral elements, the conversion, is something where not everything has to be a form.
[00:30:34] Kevin Dieny: It could be a call, it could be a chat, it could be a text now, it could be a click to get directions, it can be an add to cart, it can be a purchase, it can be a lot of things and you can miss out if you’re not tracking all the ways that your audience converts. If you’re just tracking one of them like, oh, I’m just going to track this form.
[00:30:54] Kevin Dieny: Well, what about the numbers? What about the, their support lines? Maybe there’s sales lines, maybe there’s a cart. Maybe there’s a number in the cart. There’s a lot there. But it’s important too. Is there anything else that you wanted to add about the ABCs or about the converting element here?
[00:31:09] Jeff Sauer: No, I would just look at it as getting past the initial fear of data and the technical piece. There’s a lot of software out there that makes it easier than ever. Google analytics made it easier than ever. CallSource has made it easier than ever to track this. They’re just asking you to put snippets on your site and so on.
[00:31:27] Jeff Sauer: If you really want to get geeky and you have a lot of snippets of code, Google tag manager is my favorite. It puts them into containers and then it allows you to do a lot of extendability and communication between systems. That’s a really cool thing to do, but, start looking at it as, how do I track the data that’s coming in so that then you can do the fun part.
[00:31:46] Jeff Sauer: Which is saying, how do I get more and better results? And the companies that have the best results, it’s not by chance. They’re not lucky. It’s not an accident. It’s because they say, okay, well, this is good, this information, but how do I get more?
[00:32:03] Jeff Sauer: They stopped doing the things that aren’t working or decide to improve them, and they double down on the things that are working. And you can’t really do that with any certainty without having this data in your hands. Getting the data is one thing, fortunately it’s easier than ever now.
[00:32:18] Jeff Sauer: And then analyzing it is the next thing, which is really important. The things that it enables you to do are tremendous. And that’s where if you meet any resistance or if it’s a little bit overwhelming to think about these things, just realize that. The feeling in the end, at the end of the day, to know that you put your money in the right spot and that you will get a lift of any percentage.
[00:32:39] Jeff Sauer: It all happens because you put these steps in place. And so it enables a ton for you.
[00:32:44] Kevin Dieny: A big takeaway of what you said there for me, it was, this can be fun. This can lift your business. This can drive more traffic, it can drive better behaviors. It can add more conversions, more sales revenue to your bottom line you’re already spending money on. I’m talking to you businesses, you’re already spending money on your marketing.
[00:33:03] Kevin Dieny: So knowing what’s working, what’s not working, being able to cut off the fat and focus on what’s important, or being able to properly say, this is why we’re not getting the results we want, or this is what’s holding it back. Or this could help us get more performance out of this.
[00:33:20] Kevin Dieny: A lot of that has to do with UTM parameters. So in that sense, I say it’s worth the time and it’s valuable. It takes those insights. Provides them to you. You need to look at them, understand them, measure them. Understanding what’s there. But once you get the hang of that, then you’re able to really improve performance or reduce something that’s friction or causing an issue for your audience to get to wherever they want to get to which, which is ultimately the conversion there.
[00:33:46] Kevin Dieny: You’re trying to get them there as fast as they can, and they want to get there as fast as they can, as easy as they can with as much trust as they possibly can. And you want to get out of the way. So UTM parameters are helping all those things and making that so much easier.
[00:34:00] Kevin Dieny: We’ve been able to touch on, I think, why it is important to bother with UTM parameters. Was there anything else you wanted to add on this entire topic or touch on before we close out Jeff?
[00:34:10] Jeff Sauer: I think that fun is a key operative here. I tried a lot of stuff in my life as a marketer. I tried a lot of stuff. You know, social, SEO, PPC, call tracking, web design, everything. The one thing that’s always made me excited is to have that Aha moment to understand human behavior better and how I can mold my website experience, the media we buy, everything we do in order to get humans to do more.
[00:34:43] Jeff Sauer: And I can only imagine that if you’re listening to this podcast and you are a CallSource customer or prospective customer, then, okay. I would feel pretty good if I could mold my customer’s behavior to do the action I want them to take. I have control of that.
[00:34:58] Jeff Sauer: It’s not just an accident that some companies are doing better than others. It’s part psychology, it’s part data, it’s part everything. Right? But the fun, the most fun part for me is to realize that this data supports you and it helps you get answers more quickly. We’re in an era now, the online world where you can get fit data right away, it used to be 50 years ago that you would do something and then you’d know if it worked or not a year later.
[00:35:24] Jeff Sauer: Now you can tell if something’s working in near real time. And so that’s exciting and that’s something I’m like, okay, this is really cool. And I’ve dedicated my entire career to that feeling and helping other people get that feeling too.
[00:35:37] Kevin Dieny: I have felt that feeling and I wish I could feel it all the time. The Aha moments are so awesome and wonderful. They are tremendous for careers, for businesses and I want everyone to know you can do it. UTMs are totally doable and gosh, it opens up the door to so much. Now, if you want to, connect with Jeff, if you want to know more about, what he does, what he can offer, Jeff, is there any sort of a way people can get to know you connect with you or find out more about you?
[00:36:08] Jeff Sauer: Yeah. So I have a website it’s called datadrivenu.Com, like data-driven than the letter u.com. And it’s basically where I teach people, the power of both the Google suite of tools and Facebook ads and a bunch of other digital marketing areas. But it’s basically, if you have zero experience at all, or you’re more of like an intermediate marketer, either way, if you have no experience of data or some experience or enough to be dangerous, I have several online courses that teach you from the ground up.
[00:36:40] Jeff Sauer: Assuming no knowledge, even at the beginning, all the way to where you can be pretty advanced. Using Google analytics, tag manager, Google ads, Facebook ads. And so data-driven U is like a, it’s an online teaching community. And then you can either get courses one at a time. So you could just buy the Google analytics course, or I have a membership where you can become and, learn everything from me and there’s in the membership.
[00:37:03] Jeff Sauer: There’s hundreds of hours of content. And so if you were like, this is pretty interesting. I know that I have a long way to go, or I want to learn more. I would love to teach you more and again, I’d make it accessible. So it’s not like everything goes over your head in minute one, we go step by step by step through these things.
[00:37:19] Kevin Dieny: I’d totally check it out. I’ve been a follower of Jeffalytics for a long time and I really, I get a ton out of it. It’s one of those places where I go to and I walk away from it and I have ideas for what I want to implement. I really recommend it. And I really appreciate Jeff you coming on to our podcast and adding so much value to this and helping, I think everyone get a better foothold on why UTMs are so important.
[00:37:42] Kevin Dieny: So really appreciate it.
[00:37:44] Jeff Sauer: Thanks for having me and happy campaign tracking to all of you.