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I own an affiliate blog through which I started earning commissions in the last couple of months.

With that said, I'm having a hard time tracking my converting articles. Whenever i get a commission and I check the reports in the affiliate programs dashboard, I don't get enough data, like "page", "keyword", or "anchor text".

Please note that I already use Google Tag Manager which is good for knowing the user's engagements, but it's not 100% accurate in telling me which page brought me a particular commission.

So I did some searching, and I found out that UTM parameters would be good for this since the companies that I promote encourage using UTM for tracking.

This leads me to my question, knowing that I use cloaked links, is there any way to add the UTM parameters to the redirected URL with dynamic values? (without me having to change all the links on the site)

Ex: www.mysite.example/visit/product1 => www.companysite.example/product1/?id=777&utm_source=article-1

Is there any method to pass on the utm_source parameter to the final redirect URL with a value of the current page?

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  • Can you explain more about how these cloaked links work? Is it: somebody clicks on an affiliate link on some site with a link that goes to your site, then your site redirects to the final destination? – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 18 '20 at 20:48
  • No, on the contrary. The cloaked link is on my site, and when somebody clicks on it, it should redirect them to the final destination link by automatically adding UTM parameters. – marouane91 Dec 20 '20 at 14:26
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For clarity -

Please note that I already use Google Tag Manager which is good for knowing the user's engagements, but it's not 100% accurate in telling me which page brought me a particular commission.

I think you possibly mean Google Analytics Global Site Tag gtag.js version of tracking?
Google Tag Manager itself is a tag management system and provides no reporting information/functionality. It is used for installing/configuring various vendors tracking (such as Google Analytics) and conversion tags/pixels to a website.

Regarding the following:

No, on the contrary. The cloaked link is on my site, and when somebody clicks on it, it should redirect them to the final destination link by automatically adding UTM parameters.

Unless you have access to analytics tracking the other site www.companysite.example, then you are not going to see this data within GA.

UTM params would usually be used on your external affiliate links, leading to your website, to then track their activity on your site.

Are you tracking outbound links in Google Analytics? You could setup a custom report on outbound links, to track things like the source/medium etc of the visitor on your site that then clicks an external link

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  • I don't have access to the google analytics tracking of the "companysite", only through their affiliate dashboard. So i guess it's not possible in that case? Only if i add UTM paramaters to my own cloacked links, ex: mysite.com/visit/company?utm_source Have i missed something? – marouane91 Dec 22 '20 at 1:21
  • UTMs would be added to your affiliate links say in emails to send ppl to your site, or if you were to share your affiliate links on social media, or some other external site to link back to your site. – Bronwyn V Dec 22 '20 at 11:18
  • Hmm, I see! Thank you for clarifying that. So they serve better for defining external channels of marketing. As for me, i intended to use them to know more about my onsite data. So i guess UTM is not optimal for within the site? – marouane91 Dec 24 '20 at 5:13
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    No, utm tags should not be used within a site. You can use utms on the external pointing links, but that isn't information that is going to help you with attribution etc within your GA reporting. – Bronwyn V Jan 3 at 0:40
  • Thank you very much. You made it clear for me, so utm is a no no inside the side, more useful when it comes to tracking alternative marketing channels. – marouane91 Jan 4 at 4:39

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