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Will there be any impact on traffic if one use UTMs for internal linking within site?

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Level 1

What I know is using UTMs for internal linking is not recommended in google because when a user arrives at your website, this counts as a new session and a new pageview in Googe Analytics. If that user then follows a link with a UTM parameter while on your site, it will trigger a new session. 

This is problematic because it.

  • Creates an artificially high session count
  • Won't attribute conversions correctly
  • Inflates your bounce rate
  • Reduces average session time

So, the question is, should we expect any of such impact on adobe analytics? 
I think, it shouldn't because adobe analytics recognizes CID parameter and not
UTMs.

1 Accepted Solution

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Correct answer by
Level 7

Hi @VSR1990 

 

  • the visit count will not be affected by using different campaigns
  • allocation depends on your settings (see below remarks with a best practice for internal campaign tracking). Default in AA is "most recent"
  • bounce rate is not affected at all (would not know why this should be a problem in GA as well)
  • average visit duration also not impacted since visit number is not inflated

 

As a best practice, internal campaigns should not be tracked in the standard campaign / eVar0 field.

Instead, you should create a separate eVar that holds internal campaigns. 

 

This topic has been covered before, maybe this helps.

https://experienceleaguecommunities.adobe.com/t5/adobe-analytics-discussions/internal-campaign/m-p/2...

 

Hope that helps

Björn

 

 

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2 Replies

Avatar

Correct answer by
Level 7

Hi @VSR1990 

 

  • the visit count will not be affected by using different campaigns
  • allocation depends on your settings (see below remarks with a best practice for internal campaign tracking). Default in AA is "most recent"
  • bounce rate is not affected at all (would not know why this should be a problem in GA as well)
  • average visit duration also not impacted since visit number is not inflated

 

As a best practice, internal campaigns should not be tracked in the standard campaign / eVar0 field.

Instead, you should create a separate eVar that holds internal campaigns. 

 

This topic has been covered before, maybe this helps.

https://experienceleaguecommunities.adobe.com/t5/adobe-analytics-discussions/internal-campaign/m-p/2...

 

Hope that helps

Björn

 

 

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Community Advisor

In addition to @bjoern__koth's answer, Adobe Analytics can track UTMs or CIDs or both.. while CID may be the "Adobe standard", your implementation can use either... in our company, since we have free GA4 and Parse.ly (both of which use UTMs), I am not going to ask my team to double campaign (and potentially create inconsistencies but having non-matching data), that I use the UTMs for our Tracking Code (eVar0) and Marketing Channel processing rules.

 

Now, in GA, new sessions are created with each use of a UTM, Adobe does not do that, but it's still not good practice not to use UTMs for both your external and internal tracking codes ... since each use of the UTM will override the last touch value (last touch attribution). However, if you are ignoring UTMs in your tracking completely, then technically I guess this isn't an issue... but then you wouldn't be using them for internal campaigns either?

 

Adobe does not start a new session/visit with each campaign, regardless of using UTMs or CIDs... this allows you to get more granular detail about cross channel visits (unlike GA). For instance, a user may come to the site via a newsletter (with a newsletter campaign), then in the same session be checking out social media in another tab and follow a link to your site (second campaign), and then maybe they do a search and find a paid link to your site (third campaign).... all in one logical visit. In GA, since new sessions are created on each use, that can (as you said) impact average session length and bounces particularly if a user hits multiple pages in a row with UTMs.. each page view would be it's own session, and each would count as a bounce.

 

Regardless of which you use.. CID or UTMs, it's always best practice to keep your External Campaigns separate from your Internal Campaigns.... which is why you should set up your own separate eVar (with the attribution you need - I like visit... it's easy enough to use custom attribution to get a longer view) to track your Internal Campaigns (either using ICID or ITMs, or some other custom parameter).

 

While there are less impacts in Adobe, it's still not good from a reporting standpoint... and understanding (and looking at the cross section) of your External Campaigns (what brought the user to the site) and your Internal Campaigns (how you drove the users within your sites) is a lot easier to look at when they are separate dimensions.