The easiest way to capture UTM parameters in Joomla
Learn the easiest way to capture UTM parameters in your Joomla website and send them through to your CRM and other tools
Can you measure the exact number of leads, customers & revenue being created by your various marketing channels & campaigns?
If not, how do you know what's working and what's not?
Tracking the origin of every lead & customer is critical if you want to know which campaigns, content & channels are working and which one's to continue to invest in.
In this article, we'll show you how to capture UTM parameters in your Joomla website and pass them to your CRM and other tools so you can run reports that show you the ROI of your marketing efforts.
4 steps for capturing UTM parameters in Joomla
Using Attributer to capture UTM parameters in Joomla is easy. Here's how to do it in 4 easy steps:
1. Add UTM variables to your ads
Your first task is to add UTM parameters to your ads and campaigns. This allows Attributer to find out exactly where your website visitors are coming from, and in turn, relay them to your CRM for reporting on.
You should attach UTM parameters to any ads or campaigns you want to run. This could be on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or on search engines like Google and Bing.
It's even a good idea to attach them to bespoke campaigns as well. These include advertisements you may have in trade publications, email campaigns, etc.
2. Add hidden fields to your website forms
The second step is to add hidden fields to the to your website forms. As the name suggests, hidden fields are fields that are technically on the form but are not visible to end users.
Joomla has a number of form building extensions that make it easy to create forms with hidden fields. The major ones like Convert Form, Proforms, Balbooa & Breezing Forms all have simple point and click options to either add a 'Hidden' field type to your form or make a standard 'Input' field type hidden.
Here the hidden fields you need to add to your forms:
- Channel Drilldown 1
- Channel Drilldown 2
- Channel Drilldown 3
- Landing Page
- Landing Page Group
3. Attributer automatically completes the hidden fields with UTM parameters
With all these in place, Attributer will look at visitors as they arrive at your site and if they have UTM parameters in the URL, write that data into the hidden fields in your forms.
Let's take a quick look at how Attributer works using Dropbox as an example.
A user googles "ways to share large files" and finds a Dropbox ad in the paid results. The user clicks the ad and fills out a form to request a demo.
In the form's hidden fields, Attributer will add the following tracking information (depending on what UTM parameters Dropbox uses):
- Channel = Paid Search
- Channel Drilldown 1 = Google
- Channel Drilldown 2 = Brand Campaign
- Channel Drilldown 3 = Dropbox
On top of this, Attributer also includes landing page information, which might look something like this:
- Landing Page = www.dropbox.com/features/share
- Landing Page Group = Features
4. UTM parameters are passed into your CRM
When the user submits your form, the UTM parameters written into the hidden fields are captured alongside the lead's name, email, phone, etc.
From here, you can send this information to your CRM, email marketing tool, billing platform and more using the native integrations that come with your selected Joomla form building extension.
Alternatively, you can also use tools like Zapier to send it to Google Sheets, Excel and hundreds of other destinations.
What is Attributer?
The steps above show how you can use Attributer to capture UTM parameters on your Joomla site and send them to your CRM and other tools.
But how does Attributer do this?
Attributer is a sequence of code you place on your website that looks at technical information about a visitor (UTM parameters, referrer, device, etc) to determine how they got to your site.
It then sorts each visitor into a series of channels such as Organic Search, Paid Search, Paid Social, etc. It then stores this data in a cookie in the visitor’s browser.
When the user fills out a form on your website with those hidden fields, Attributer uses the data stored in the cookie to fill out the hidden fields.
Finally, when the user submits the form, the UTM parameters and other marketing attribution data are passed through to your CRM and other tools along with the lead's name, email, phone, etc.
Attributer was originally created in 2017 and now captures UTM parameters and other lead source information on over 1.7 million website visitors every single month.
Why using Attributer is better than capturing raw UTM parameters
There are other tools and methods for capturing UTM parameters on your Joomla website, so why use Attributer?
Here's why it's so much better:
1. Captures all traffic
Attributer captures ALL sources of traffic to your website and passes it through to your CRM and other tools.
This not only includes the paid channel you have been able to add UTM parameters to (like your Facebook and Google Ads), but it includes the channels where UTM parameters aren’t present (like Organic Social, Organic Search, Direct, Referral, etc.)
This means that when you run reports in your CRM to see where your leads and customers are coming from, you'll be able to see the source of ALL your leads and customers and not just the one's that have come from your paid campaigns.
2. Remembers the data
A large number of other tools & methods for capturing UTM parameters require the UTM parameters to be present on the page where the form is completed. This can present a challenge because the page the form is completed may not be the same page it landed on from the ad.
As an illustration, think of someone clicking your Google ads and going to a landing page you created for that campaign.
Once you've sold them on your product or service, they immediately click the ‘Get A Quote’ button and are taken to a different page where they submit your quote request form.
In this example, the page they complete the form on is not the same page they originally landed on. Therefore, the UTM parameters are lost.
Fortunately for you, Attributer works differently. It saves the UTM parameters in a cookie in the user’s browsers, meaning that regardless of what page the user completes a form on the UTM parameters will always be passed through.
3. Provides cleaner data
A common issue faced by other UTM parameters capturing tools is that the data is often messy.
Imagine this: some of your Google Ads campaigns are tagged with UTM Source=Google (capital G), while others are tagged with UTM Source=google (lowercase).
If you were using another UTM capturing tool it would simply pass these raw values into your CRM, and when you tried to run reports they would appear as two different sources of leads (when in reality they are the same).
This may seem strange, but it often happens if multiple people or agencies have managed your Google Ads over time.
With Attributer though, you don't have to deal with this though because it takes the possibility of capitalization and other inconsistencies into account, and would ascribe these leads to Paid Search regardless.
4. Captures landing page data as well
Do you want to know how many customers and leads come from your blog? Are those in-depth content pieces you spent hours writing really worth their stress?
Attributer not only captures UTM parameters and other channel data, but it also captures the landing page and the landing page group.
This means that you can see how well certain sections of your website are performing (i.e. your blog) in terms of generating revenue, customers & leads.
And since it captures both the landing page and the landing page group, you can look at the performance of content groups as a whole as well as how individual pages or pieces of content are performing.
As you can see, Attributer is so much more than a basic UTM parameter capturing tool. It does a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure you get better data for analysis.
It captures all incoming traffic data, ensures it isn't lost when visitors go from page to page and cleans it to make it easy to run reports.
Ready to experience the power of Attributer? Start a 14 day free trial to see if Attributer is right for you.
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About the Author
Aaron Beashel is the founder of Attributer and has over 15 years of experience in marketing & analytics. He is a recognized expert in the subject and has written articles for leading websites such as Hubspot, Zapier, Search Engine Journal, Buffer, Unbounce & more. Learn more about Aaron here.