What Are UTM Codes, and How Can Your Firm Use Them?

It’s hard to maintain a successful law firm in 2018 and beyond without investing time and effort into digital marketing. If your firm is running paid ads on Google or simply adding high-quality content for search engine optimization efforts, you’re giving your firm a fighting chance of connecting with millions of potential claimants online.

One way you may be able to set your firm apart from the seemingly endless competition is by using UTM codes. This technique gives your firm even more insights on Google Analytics (link), enabling you to customize your marketing campaigns based on what seems to be most successful so far.

What Are UTM Codes?

A UTM code is a line of text used within a hyperlink to track the source of an online visitor and the specific campaign that brought him to your firm’s website. It’s essentially a way to tell Google Analytics a little more about your website’s users. “UTM” stands for Urchin Tracking Module—it refers to little footprints in the sand left by sea urchins as they travel across the ocean floor.

UTM codes are helpful for any law firm managing multiple digital marketing ads because it allows you to specify variables that affect your campaigns. By setting up UTM codes in Google’s URL Builder, you can differentiate between users who clicked on different ads pointing to the same URL, such as ads displaying unique text or a different image.

How Can Your Firm Use UTMs Online?

There are four tags you can set on Google’s URL Builder:

  • Source—where your traffic comes from (Google, Facebook, etc.)
  • Medium—the type of marketing you’re using (social media, PPC)
  • Campaign—what effort brought the traffic (promo, SSDI buyer persona)
  • Content—Optional, but for different types of content within one Campaign that both point to the same landing page, such as (sidebar, header)

Once you’ve built a UTM code, you can use it to target variables that may lead to more (or less) clients. Here are just a couple of examples of how your firm may be able to use UTMs online:

  • Determining what time the day a social media post receives the most clicks
  • Identifying images that lead to more referral traffic
  • Pinpointing an ad with a strong call to action
  • Determining which social media platforms receive the most traffic
  • And so much more!

If your firm uses any form of digital marketing that displays your link across different platforms, UTM codes allow you to identify which efforts are successful.

How About Using UTMs Offline?

While the vast majority of UTM codes are used online, you can use them offline as well. This makes it possible to measure traditional marketing efforts like billboards or TV ads.

To set up UTM codes for an offline digital marketing effort, you’ll need to create the tracking code and then condense the link so it’s easily accessible for someone not viewing the link on a computer. Tools like bit.ly or Google’s URL shortner will provide you with a short link that’s easy to type into a phone after viewing a URL in person. It won’t be as clean as www.yourfirm.com/get-help, but it will allow you to pinpoint how much direct traffic is from offline marketing efforts.

How to Get Started?

If you’re considering using UTM codes, try just one campaign initially so you get an understanding of how to build the URLs and where to find your data in Google Analytics. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can incorporate UTM codes into all of your online (and potentially offline) marketing efforts. The more knowledge you have, the better you’ll be able to make cost-effective marketing decisions in the future.