UTM Tracking Being Removed

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
100
HI everyone

We use UTM tracking on our clients GMB listings and the UTM tracking keeps getting stripped from the URL. We reached out to GMB support as this has happened many times and no matter how many times we put back the tracking, updates takes it out

GMB support wasnt helpful and told my team member she had to "refer to analytics help "

Anybody have this happen before and know what the heck GMB support is talking about?
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,020
How are you managing GMB today? Through a tool or are you manually updating? Also if using Yext, why did you decide to not link GMB? Did you manually exclude it?
 

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
100
How are you managing GMB today? Through a tool or are you manually updating? Also if using Yext, why did you decide to not link GMB? Did you manually exclude it?
Manually. Login through GMB and manage directly. We didnt link GMB because we did it once for a big client and it caused huge issues in their GMB dashboard. Never again.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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1,020
Interesting. What kind of parameters are you using? Can you share the string? I'm thinking maybe Google doesn't like format you're using. Usually it's been tools that have overwritten the parameters.

How many times have you updated the main website field? After updating a few times it sometimes sticks for me.
 

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
100
Interesting. What kind of parameters are you using? Can you share the string? I'm thinking maybe Google doesn't like format you're using. Usually it's been tools that have overwritten the parameters.

How many times have you updated the main website field? After updating a few times it sometimes sticks for me.

&utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google-my-business&utm_term=549

I would say 4-5 times at least.
 

Brian Barwig

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
74
Like @Eric Rohrback said, it could be Yext if you are using that or any other 3rd party listing management service. Google may be editing the UTM code, but that is unlikely.

The other most common reasons UTM parameters are removed are Google is finding links without UTM parameters on other prominent websites, and changing the GMB listing. Another reason is a competitor is editing your GMB listing and removing the UTM.
 

Greg Schueler

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Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
147
&utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google-my-business&utm_term=549
The first & should be a ?. (Unless there is more items before the &.

Also, test the full link in the browser. I had a client adding the ?utm after the trailing /slash and the server didn't redirect it properly which caused an issue. But, test your version to make sure it physically works.
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,020
The first & should be a ?. (Unless there is more items before the &.

Also, test the full link in the browser. I had a client adding the ?utm after the trailing /slash and the server didn't redirect it properly which caused an issue. But, test your version to make sure it physically works.
100%. The start of any string needs to be ?utm_ and not &utm_

That could be the cause of why the string keeps getting dropped. It's not formatted correctly.
 

Lluc

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
37
The first & should be a ?. (Unless there is more items before the &.

Also, test the full link in the browser. I had a client adding the ?utm after the trailing /slash and the server didn't redirect it properly which caused an issue. But, test your version to make sure it physically works.
Good eye!
 

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
100
Its funny you guys said that! I did a side by side on various clients I saw that. I am going to have them change that and hopefully it sticks!
 

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
100
So a little more on this. The reason why it has a & rather than a ? is because the client already has a ? in their URL. Dont ask. Long story

IF we add the additional ? in the in the UTM it goes to a 404. But now Google apparently doesnt like that ampersand.

Any ideas to get around that?
 

CarrieHill

Administrator
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
75
You have to jump through some hoops to use UTM tracking in URLS that already contain question marks due to your CMS. Try this method:

From: 14 Common Mistakes With UTM Tags (and How to Avoid Them)

5. Incorrectly using ‘&’, ‘=’, ‘?’ and ‘#’ symbols in UTM tags
Make sure you use a question mark (?) before the first query parameter and then separate all others with ampersands (&).

Example: https://example.com/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=paid+social&utm_campaign=summer+sale+2019

utm-tags-question-mark.png


In some cases, if your CMS uses question marks to show specific content, you might need to use an anchor character (#) instead of a question mark. URL builder helps you generate those links.

Bear in mind, if you use ga.js and you’d like to use the anchor character in your URL to tag your links, you need to set _setAllowAnchor to “true”. Otherwise, your campaign tracking won’t work.
 

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