What is UTM? Why Should I Use UTM Parameters?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module code and is the code added to the end of a URL or link.  UTMs allows you to measure where your traffic is coming from in more detail than you can get from referrer traffic.  If you do not use UTMs you will still see the referrer of traffic, but you may miss key details such as what specific post, tweet, page or link the user clicked to get to your site.

UTMs include the source, medium, and campaign.  An example UTM is below:


UTMs are a very valuable tracking tools to help you make better decisions.  A few important points to remember are:  be consistent, use dashes, don’t repeat yourself, use lower case, and keep it simple but descriptive.

Use UTMs consistently so you will have enough data from many sources to make good decisions.  You also want to be consistent with your naming convention (so it will be easier to Use dashes for spaces to keep the naming clean.  Make sure you don’t repeat a name.  This will ensure you have only one traffic source for each UTM.  Use lower case instead of camel case to prevent human error.  It’s easy to forget if you capitalized something.  If you keep it lower case, it just keeps it simple.   For UTMs make sure you keep it simple but be descriptive.  You will want the name to tell you right away where that traffic is coming from.

UTMs should be used all across your marketing efforts.  Below are 3 examples of ways you can use UTMs:

  1. Insert UTM parameters in the URLs you share on your social media profiles.
    This is a great way to differentiate all the different links on your social media. You should use different UTMs for your profile link, post links, comment links, and promoted content.
  2. Test the clicks from different email newsletters.
    Use different UTMs in different emails.
  3. Track the characteristics of the most effective banner advertisements.
    UTMs allow you to quickly see what is working and what is not.

UTMs allow you to track across different media as well as track certain campaigns.  If you have a certain type of content you share across different media, you may use the campaign term to track what is gaining traction across all platforms.

Check out Google’s campaign URL builder to build your UTM:


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