A top-notch practical tutorial and UTM structure. UTM parameters have become all the more important after the iOS 14.5 updates.
We have been quite surprised to see the amount of Shopify merchants using the UTM parameters wrongly - or not even using them at all. Unfortunately, that's the case even with Facebook Ads or marketing professionals.
UTM parameters have become more important after the iOS 14.5 updates. Facebook Ads reports started not working so we need an alternative source to check the performance of the campaigns. Google Analytics would do that for you - but ONLY IF you set up the UTM parameters correctly. It causes more harm than good when it is not correct.
We prepared a top-notch practical tutorial and UTM structure. Follow along and make sure to apply it to every Ads campaign.
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An import note before we start, you should have proper UTM settings even if you use Facebook Conversion API on Shopify. Facebook Conversion API will only get the data into your Facebook Pixel, but you still want to use your marketing campaigns' performance on Google Analytics. If you don't know how to set up FB Conversion API on Shopify; we have another guide for that!
What are UTM Parameters?
We always love to provide brief information on the topic. You can skip this section if you are only interested in our final solution on UTM parameters.
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are added at the end of the URL to define where this specific traffic comes from.
As an example, we would like users to visit our homepage (or any other landing page) when we are running ads for our store. And most probably we are running more than one ad. This is where the UTM parameters come into play.
If I use the same URL for both campaigns, I will not be able to differentiate the performance of these 2 campaigns on Google Analytics.
URL Without UTM:
Campaign 1: https://analyzify.app/
Campaign 2: https://analyzify.app/
URL With UTM:
Campaign 1: https://analyzify.app?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=AdName1&utm_campaign=Campaign1
Campaign 2: https://analyzify.app?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=AdName1&utm_campaign=Campaign2
Now, Google Analytics will be able to recognize the campaign name, the traffic source, ad name, and even more parameters if we provide.
How to Build and Use UTM Parameters
Let's start with common mistakes:
- Do NOT use UTM parameters for internal links on your website. UTM is only to be used with external links.
- Do NOT use UTM parameters for Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads already automatically ads the source details. So UTM is not needed there.
- Do NOT type your UTM parameters manually on Facebook. We will provide you a dynamic script below. You will insert the same code into each ad - and the dynamic values will be automatically inserted.
You don’t need to worry about Facebook Ads. However, if you want to create UTM parameters for other placements, you can always use Google's UTM Builder. You will type your landing page URL and the UTM details, and the new URL with the UTM parameters will be automatically generated.
Which UTM parameters are required?
There are five UTM parameters and three of them are required.
- utm_source (required) – the source of your traffic such as search engine, newsletter, Facebook
- utm_medium (required) – the medium the link such as paid, organic, social, ppc
- utm_campaign (required) – the name of the campaign such as "Summer Sale" - "Remarketing" - "Early Adaptors"
- utm_term – we use this to print the Ad Group ID on Facebook Ads for Shopify stores
- utm_content – we use this to print the Ad Group Name on Facebook Ads for Shopify stores
UTM Parameters on Facebook Ads
Most Shopify stores rely on Facebook and Instagram as a marketing channel. More often than not we see the wrong use of UTM parameters. Make sure to follow the steps below for EACH Facebook Ad Campaign/Ad you are running.
Where to place UTM Parameters on Facebook Business Manager?
The most common mistake we see is advertisers or Shopify merchants tend to place the UTM parameters in the Website URL section.
DO NOT use UTM parameters in the URL field:
The URL field should only include the landing page URL and parameters should be excluded from here. If it's a shopping ad, you don't have to do anything here as the URL will be retrieved from the catalog.
2. Scroll down to the "Tracking" section and there is a specific section for UTM parameters called: URL Parameters.
The Best UTM Format for Facebook Ads
Facebook allows you to add dynamic fields into the UTMs. That means you don't have to type the campaign and/or ad set names for each of them. So the ideal format we propose includes the dynamic parameters.
Here you go:
So when you paste this code into your Ads; the values will be dynamically changed for each ad set and campaign so you do not need to worry about creating different UTMs for each ad set. Let's break it down:
- Placement (such as Facebook_Desktop_Feed, Instagram_Stories) as a campaign source,
- "Paid" as a medium for Analytics to recognize it as a paid campaign,
- Campaign name for the campaign field,
- Campaign ID for the ID field,
- AD ID for the Term field,
- AdSet Name for the Content field
Please make sure to include this in ALL OF YOUR ADS. You should expect your Google Analytics > Campaigns report to look like this:
Bonus: UTM Format for Pinterest Ads
We know you love Pinterest Ads as well! Facebook and Pinterest use different dynamic parameters. We have also prepared a UTM code block that will work on Pinterest Ads.
Here you go:
You will need to place this UTM code into the Ad tracking URLs > Tracking URL section. You can find the related field in different places if you are running other types of ads. Any questions or issues? Don't hesitate to ask below.
Facebook provides campaign & ad level conversion reports and results. However, it is always great to keep an eye on Google Analytics reports as well. You will see different results as they use different attribution models. It can be quite insightful.
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