What You Need To Know About UTM Parameters

Most people had never heard of the term UTM parameter. The term itself sounds a bit intimidating and complicated, but in reality, it’s a simple tagging system that is implemented so that you can monitor your website traffic, and discern how your visitors interact with your site. It can be done even without the help of a programmer. 

What are UTM Parameters?

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are tags added to a URL to aid marketers in tracking their effectiveness. Therefore when a visitor clicks a link, the tags send data to Google Analytics to determine how users engage with the link and gauge how effective your advertisement is. Links that lead to the same page are distinguished by the tags to make it easier to track data on the various uses of the link. 

To illustrate, when you use UTM parameters, you will be able to discover whether the visitors came to your site because of a specific Facebook post rather than because of Facebook referrals in general. 

Why You Should Use UTM Parameters

UTM parameters provide insight into the particular use of a URL and what campaign effectively brought traffic to your website. 

It allows you to gather data on a single URL level instead of being able to collect data only on the page level. Moreover, it aids in assessing the results from pay-per-click campaigns or social media posts. 

Advantages of Using UTM parameters 

There are so many benefits to using UTM parameters, and the number of ways that it could be used is almost boundless. Here are some of the benefits of UTM parameters: It could be used to tell where your site traffic and conversion are coming from; it could identify which backlinks bring the most traffic and what are the top-performing channels; it could be used to measure which call to actions and links are the most successful within your email rather than just giving a general overview from your newsletter, etc. 

To illustrate, a clothing site posted an ad both on Facebook and Twitter. Because of the UTM parameter, the brand will ascertain which link that was posted on both social media platforms had more shares and conversions. The brand will gauge which platform is more effective in helping them reach their target market. 

Remember to add UTM tracking to any links specifying your website to ensure that you get valuable insights. Where you can use UTM parameters on: 

  • Hyperlinks to your destination pages – Using unique UTM parameters, you can discover which channels drive traffic with the most significant conversion rates on all incoming links to your destination pages. 


  • Links to your post or article – don’t forget to include a UTM parameter to your links to check which article or post drives the most traffic to your website. 


  • Links to social media posts – track shared URLs to discover which channel or posts on your social media accounts drive the most traffic to your website. 


  • Links in your newsletters – when you track each link corresponding to its UTM parameter to track which content in your newsletters attracts the most clicks


  • Links for ads – if you carry out pay-per-click campaigns, it’s essential to set boundaries that ascertain the type and banner size that will work best for your ad. 


  • Links in guest posts – don’t forget to add a particular UTM parameter whenever you post on guest blogging sites that have links to your website. You’ll be able to check the traffic coming from every particular visitor post. 

These are just some examples of how you can make use of UTM parameters. It is generally better to add UTM tracking on any external link specifying your website. It’s crucial to add a UTM parameter if you’re in charge of an external incoming link.

5 Types Of UTM Parameters

There’s an assortment of specifications you can use in UTM tracking. Some parameters are essential, while some are flexible. The flexible settings give rise to the possibility of tracking data that is distinctive to your ad set up and aim.

1. Source

It refers to the search engine, social network, and newsletter name sending out the traffic. 

Use: Required

Code: utm_source

Example: utm_source= facebook


2. Medium

It tracks the channel driving the traffic to your website. Simply put, it pinpoints the medium the link was used on. Marketing channels that incorporate multiple traffic sources are Social, Organic, Paid, Email, and Affiliates.

Use: Required

Code: utm_medium

Example: utm_source= social


3. Campaign

It refers to the distinct campaign that you’re running. It could be a tagline, a product name, a promotional code, individual emails or posts, etc. 

Use: Required

Code: utm_campaign

Example: utm_campaign= wellness-blog-outreach

4. Term

It tracks keywords or phrases connected to your campaign and is suggested for paid campaigns. However, this is not necessary if your Google Adwords and Analytics accounts are linked since you can use the auto-tagging feature.

Use: This is optional and rarely used nowadays

Code: utm_term

Example: utm_term= get-healthy, utm_term= lost-weight, utm_term= beach-body

5. Material

If you have several links in one campaign, the material differentiate them and to help you oversee different ads in one campaign. 

Use: Optional

Code: utm_content

Example: utm_content= green-button, utm_content= sidebar-cta, utm_content= footer


What to Remember When Writing UTM Parameters

The following format is employed by UTM parameter: All UTM parameters are initialized with a question mark (?) at the end of the base URL; each UTM parameter starts with its name and followed by an equal sign; never use spaces; UTM parameters are case sensitive; each UTM parameter is segregated by an ampersand (&); UTM code shows individual specifications followed by an equal sign and your identifier (utm_code= your-identifier).

UTM Parameter Proven Ways

Create a naming convention for your UTMs. It’s so easy to end up being irregular with UTM parameters. The best way to avoid it is to find one naming convention and stay with it. It makes it easier to remember the format, such as using only lowercase characters and using dashes rather than underscores, plus signs, percentage symbols, or highlights.


Make a spreadsheet to track your UTMs. It’s beneficial to create a spreadsheet that lists all your URLs so that your UTMs are organized. Make a naming convention guide document that outlines clear directions for tagging links. Google Analytics tracks all data connected to your links. However, it’s handy to have a different file to manage all your links and UTMs. 

Remember that your readers can see it. Always remember that your readers can see the input expressions that you add to your conventions. Therefore, you must not add anything that you don’t want your readers to detect. 

Shorten the link. You can shorten the link to hide UTM parameters by using link-shortening tools. Another reason for reducing the link is for better user experience.


Connect your tracking data with your CRM. Connecting your tracking data would give you a better understanding of how marketing channels influence your bottom line. 


Measure social media ROI through UTM parameters. If your links have a UTM parameter, it will help you discern and substantiate your posts’ value on social media. You will be able to determine how these posts drive traffic to your website. UTM parameters provide you a lot of data to work with, making it easier to assess success on a post-by-post basis. 

While using UTM parameters allows you to discern which strategy is most cost-effective and successful, it’s still important to understand it’s still not always faultless. It only provides you an opportunity to gather data that you can’t stumble upon without the tags’ help on private links. The data you collect with the help of UTM parameters can aid you in your objectives, tracking your progress, and refining your social strategy. 

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