You already know that you need paid search, but now that you have campaigns up and running, are they working as well as they should? With a little tinkering and analytics magic, you can maximize your ads’ effectiveness and rake in serious ROI. LDM is rooting for you (yes, you!) to get the most bang for your buck, so let’s walk through how to track paid search traffic using UTM parameters.

What can I learn from tracking paid search traffic?

Google, Facebook, and all the other ad platforms want your campaigns to do well, because the better your ads perform, the more likely you’ll keep spending, right? The only trouble is, learning how to turn your PPC ads into serious money makers can involve a lot more digital marketing magic than most people have the patience for.

In order to perfect your paid search strategy, you’ll need to dive deeper into:

  • Which ads are performing best based on size, color, design, placement, and type
  • Which keywords are generating more clicks
  • Which campaigns are most engaging
  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • And more!

All of this is possible through adding UTM codes to your paid search ads!

How to add UTM parameters to paid search campaigns

Okay, but what is a UTM code anyway? Short for “Urchin tracking modules,” this is a piece of code that works like a secret agent, keeping tabs on how traffic funnels into your site. This data plugs directly into your Google Analytics, helping you to track email campaigns, organic content, and more.

Google now encourages auto-tagging for Google Ads, which helps you save time, avoid errors, and create more detailed reporting. This eliminates the need for meticulous naming conventions and advanced understanding of tracking best practices because Google takes care of everything for you! Nice!

In addition to making your life easier, auto-tagging ads provides expanded reporting dimensions, including:

  • Query Match Type
  • Ad Group
  • Final URL
  • Ad Format
  • Ad Distribution Network
  • Placement Domain
  • Google Ads Customer ID

To get started with auto-tagging:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the menu on the left, click Settings.
  3. Click the Account settings tab above the table.
  4. Click the Auto-tagging section.
  5. To enable auto-tagging, select “Tag the URL that people click through from my ad”.
    To disable auto-tagging, clear the selection.
  6. Click Save.

If desired, you can still manually enable UTM parameters for paid search using a campaign UTM builder.

Once your campaign is live, watch that data filter into Google Analytics to see what’s working!

What to look for with PPC tracking

Now that you have all this PPC data coming in, what should you do with it? Some of the top PPC KPIs include:

  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate
  • Quality score
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Impression share
  • Average position
  • Budget attainment
  • Lifetime value

All of these metrics will bring to light different pros and cons with your campaigns, whether you’re spending too much (or not enough), converting like crazy (or not at all), or killing it with quality.

But if considering all these different benchmarks has your head swimming, don’t worry! Working with a digital marketing agency can help you break down the data and formulate smart campaigns optimized for success. And we know just the team!

Launch strategic paid search campaigns with LDM!

Look, there is A LOT to consider when it comes to paid search, but the super brains at Launch Digital Marketing are here to lead you towards your most successful campaign yet! We work with businesses across Chicagoland to map out strategies that work, and we can do the same for you! Contact us for a free 30 minute consultation today!

Meet Crystal Duran

Crystal Duran is a Senior Copywriter at Launch Digital Marketing. With a master's degree in Mass Communication and several published books to her pen name, she is a self-proclaimed word nerd and staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.