How To Use and Create Strong UTM Parameters; What They Are, Why We Use Them, + How To Create Them

UTM Parameters or Urchin Tracking Module is a collection of text that can be added to the end of a URL to help track source, medium, and campaign within an analytics platform. UTMs should be added to any URL that is a part of a campaign, especially on emails and any paid social media campaigns, to help track ROI and traffic. 

UTM Best Practices

Best practice for UTMs involves adding information on source, medium, and campaign to each URL that is being used. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating UTMs.

  • Source should always be the name of the platform being used, like Facebook.
  • Medium should be listed as the type of source, like Social, Paid-Social, or Email.
  • Campaign should be the name of the campaign and should be consistently named. 

UTMs should be used on any paid media outside of Google Ads including, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as any emails that are being sent linking back to your site.

How to Create UTMs

To create your own UTM codes, you want to use the following parameters after your destination URL:

utm_source=
utm_medium=
utm_campaign=

Immediately after the URL, include a “?” and between each of these parameters you want to have an “&” . There should be no spaces in any of the fields. If you want more than one word, use a hyphen or underscore as a space.

A final URL might look like this:

https://www.test.com/?utm_souce=facebook&utm_medium=social-paid&utm_campaign=promo_2020

Google also has a free tool to help create these UTMs. 


Follow the best practices outlined above. Use the final URL you are looking to push users to, add the source, medium, and campaign. Copy the final URL and use in marketing efforts.

Reporting; Where to Find UTMs in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, you can find the efforts of your labor under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. To find the campaign used, you will need to select “Secondary Dimension” and type in “Campaign” to see the campaigns associated with their source/medium.

If you want to look at campaigns as a whole, head to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns

Summary


If you are not using UTMs, you should be. Make sure you are using UTM parameters on the end of all inbound URLs such as social media posts and emails to understand where your users are coming from and to make sure you can do accurate campaign tracking.

If you have any questions about UTMs and tracking URLs, give Digital-ade a shout!

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