Pinterest announced today that they are now adding support for Google Analytics UTM variables or “tracking codes,” which will allow content creators to measure the performance of each Pin. If you’ve only been reporting how much referral traffic Pinterest brings to your site – you’re in for a real treat.
Sure it’s nice to know how much Pinterest accounts for total traffic but understanding which piece of content is driving all that traffic is even better! All you have to do is add a snippet of text at the end of your URL.
Marketers that run pay-per-click (PPC) or display ads, do this all the time—I know because I used to be a Search Engine Marketing Manager and tagging ad campaigns was super important for tracking performance.
So what are UTM Tracking Codes?
I like to think of them as Who, What, Where, When and Why variables because they complete the story of your analytics. A typical URL with a tracking code looks something like this:
Campaign is usually the name of your promotion. Example: utm_campaign=SpringCleaning
Source is the name of the website that is driving traffic to your site or blog post. Example: utm_source=Pinterest
Medium is how that traffic is delivered like PPC, display ads, email or social media. Example: utm_medium=Social
Content identifies the type of content like leaderboard, header photo or pin. Example: utm_content=Pin
Term is the keyword to help describe the content. Example: utm_term=audit
The great thing about UTM Tracking Codes is that you don’t have to use all of the five variables, you can choose the bare minimum or get super detailed.
How to Use UTM Tracking Codes on Pinterest
Let’s say you have an online website selling dresses and you wanted to create a Pinterest board for “Little Black Dresses Under $100.”
If the URL for the little black dresses you want to pin was http://www.dreamdress.com/lbd-lace, I would edit it to become: http://www.dreamdress.com/lbd-lace?utm_campaign=LBDUnder100&utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=Pin&utm_term=lbd-lace
So when someone comes to your site and buys a dress (any dress), you can take a look at your analytics and find out what that person was looking at on Pinterest that drove them to purchase.
To break it down even further, I would set up UTM variables like this:
- utm_campaign=Name of Your Pinterest Board
- utm_term=Keyword Describing Pin
Helpful Hint #1: If you want to change the source of an existing Rich Pin, Vincent Ng at MCNG Marketing has a great tutorial on How to Link Your Website to Any Pin on Pinterest.
Helpful Hint #2: You can use Google’s URL Builder to create your “tagged” URL but it can get really messy if you have a lot of Pinterest Boards or campaigns that you want to track. You want to make sure that your campaign names are spelled the same and have the same letter case. If you used “LBD100” and “lbd100” as your campaign names, Google Analytics would think that they’re two different campaigns and you’ll have traffic metrics for two campaigns when you really wanted them to be rolled into one. To help you avoid making that mistake, you can use my Google URL Builder Worksheet.
Pinterest Google URL Builder Worksheet
If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I’m a huge data nerd and I love Excel. With a few Excel formulas, I’ve made it super easy for you to add your UTM tracking codes and have it automatically append to the end of your URL.
All you have to do is fill out columns A – H and the worksheet will give you a tagged URL in column K that you can copy and paste to Pinterest.
The formulas in the worksheet are updated all the way down to row 50 so you can easily get started.
Ready to give it a try? Get my Pinterest Google URL Worksheet for FREE when you sign up for my newsletter!
UPDATE: Sorry this freebie is no longer offered.