So you now have a regular schedule pinning great content to Pinterest with links back to your website or landing pages, hopefully you are even getting some re-pins and extending your reach. So how do you determine just how much website traffic is coming from your Pinterest strategy?
What if you need to know or more importantly measure, the effectiveness of pins to different boards have on that traffic. If you have verified your website through Pinterest you get some useful analytics, however it is general in nature. To get highly specific data for different types of pins, you need to use UTM codes.
UTM means Urchin Tracking Module, in essence it is simply an extension of the standard URL that allows Google to track the source of traffic to your site. This has no effect on your URL provided you create the UTM correctly. And yes they do work for Pinterest now!
This is an example of a UTM code I use for Pins to my Inspirational Quotes board.
Everything after the ? Is determined by up to 5 parameters you specify.
In this example they are
The campaign “source” is Pinterest
The campaign “medium” are Pins
The campaign “term” is Quotes
The campaign “content” is Inspirational Quotes
The Campaign “name” is May
You do not have to use all 5 parameters, if you do not want be this specific. I suggest you be very specific though, once you get used to using UTM codes you will be hungry for the highly targeted data they can supply.
What this now tells me is the traffic that came to my website from Pinterest, using Pins I have pinned to my board Inspirational Quotes in May.
Creating your UTM codes for Google Analytics is very simple, to create yours ensure you are logged into your Google Analytics account, then use the Google URL Builder
This is what you will see
From here it is as simple as entering your URL and the 5 parameters you choose, your analytics profile will do the rest. You will find the data under your Reporting tab, then scroll down to Acquisition, then to Campaigns. Now you can see exactly where that traffic came from, compare one marketing campaign against the next or month by month, board by board.
Of course you can use the same concept for your Twitter or other social media profiles and campaigns. I would suggest using a Bit.ly or similar URL shortener when you do. It is a simple way to really test and measure your on-line efforts and determine with great accuracy where your traffic is coming from.
If you are outsourcing your social media management to a marketing firm, insist on the use of UTM codes. You will no longer need to rely on internal reports supplied, that you have no way of confirming the accuracy of. The REAL data will always be at your disposal to truly track and justify your expenditure.