Introduction To UTM Parameters with Examples: Basics + Importance & Best practices.
Having the ability to track and measure your campaign’s success is one of the vital powers a great marketer should bear in this digital age we live in, as it’s the basis of optimizing and improving your campaigns, UTM parameters can greatly be of help in measuring marketing effectiveness.
In this guide l dive deep into what UTM parameters are and how to use them to better get more insights and better your performance.
What are UTM parameters?
UTM parameters are simply unique text codes added to the end of a URL that help marketers track the effectiveness of various types of campaigns.Quote; UTM is an abbreviation to Urchin Tracking Module. Google acquired Urchin Software in 2005, resulting in the creation of Google Analytics.
Example URL with UTM parameters:
Here’s a normal URL without any tracking
And here’s the same URL with four UTM parameters added:
Let’s break down what this code means.
Note; spaces are shown as “%20” in the URL &”– “this tells our marketing tools that we’ve finished defining the previous UTM and we’re about to start a new one
- https://arrow3media.com/pay-per-click-management/ – This is the regular URL
- ? – this tells your browser that everything after this point is just data
- utm_source= new%20vision – we’ve defined “new vision” as our UTM Source.
- utm_medium= paid search – we’ve defined the UTM medium as “paid search”
- utm_campaign= PPC_partnership – we’ve defined the UTM Campaign as “ppc partnership”
- utm_content= video%20banner – we’ve defined the UTM Content has “video banner” so we can track traffic down to the individual link of the campaign
Why Do We Use Them?
Tagging your URLs with UTMs enables you to drill deeper into your traffic not only in terms of which platforms, but the specific campaigns and content that influence customers to click through. The availability of detailed information opens doors for optimization and experimentation.
Types of UTM Parameters Available For Campaign Tracking
Let’s take a look at the five UTM tags that help marketers track the different information types
- Source: This parameter helps identify where is my traffic coming from? “that is to say search, social media among other referrals.
- Medium: This parameter indicates what marketing channel directed a visitor to your website, such as email, social media, PPC ads etc.
- Campaign: This parameter names the specific campaign the link was a part of, that is to say if your campaign name was back 2 school.
Example: utm_campaign= back_2_school_sale.
- Term: This parameter helps indicate key words tied to your campaign, that is to say if your campaign is for a finance institution targeting words like loans, savings account & friendly rates
Example: utm_term=loans, utm_term=savings-account, utm_term=friendly-rates.
- Content: This parameter helps to track the specific types of content that point to the same destination from a common source and medium.
Example: utm_content=cta-button, utm_content=footer
Tools for Building UTM Parameters
Google URL Builder This is a free which tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics”
Terminus UTM URL Builder: This tool is Battle-tested and built to handle robust UTM tracking
How Does UTM Tracking Work?
With all this talk about adding UTM parameters to URLs, you surely are already wondering how does this all actually work? After you create a URL like this http://www.yoursite.com/?utm_source=blog and sharing it in your campaigns, do you need to do anything else? You don’t.
If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, it will work automatically. The GA script will correctly detect all the UTM parameters and build the campaign reports for you.
Expert tips for using UTM parameters
- Be specific
Garbage in garbage out which is why if the share content on say Facebook with the tag, with “social-media” as the source this will then be wasted effort as this would be vague. Therefore, be as descriptive as possible for better data.
2-Use Lowercase Letters
It’s important to note that UTM parameters are very case sensitive not saying this to scare you but as a good practice l recommend you to stick to lower case as this will save you from messing up your reports in scenarios were you accidentally put your one source say as “facebook” and for another “Facebook” as these will be counted as two separate sources.
I hope this article inspires you, to get started with UTM tagging and let us know how it goes.