UTM Parameters: What are they, and How do they work?

If you are a business website owner, it is important to track your marketing performance and know-how your viewers find your content, and UTM parameters are the best way to do so.

UTM Parameters, these mixtures of numbers, letters, and symbols, that sometimes appear at the end of URLs, can help you and so many other marketers optimize the campaigns and increase ROI.

What are UTM Parameters?

"UTM" stands for "Urchin Tracking Module,” which Urchin Software Corporation developed and acquired by Google in 2005. This was the foundation for what we now know as Google Analytics.

UTM Parameters (often referred to as UTM tags or codes) are short text codes and customized information inserted at the end of URLs that allow analytical tools like Google Analytics or Autopilot to detect the origin of your website traffic.

UTMexample

It is simple and effective to use these parameters to track down your website traffic from multiple sources, including landing pages, social media campaigns, emails, and determine whether or not they are effective. In fact, when it comes to tracking and optimization, UTM tags are considered as one of the two "pillars of tracking" and should definitely be used in your campaigns.

Why are UTM Parameters important?

Using UTM codes provides you with information on links' placement and purpose and makes it easier to track down elusive clicks and traffic originating from a specific campaign. For instance, you can identify which Email campaign generated the most web traffic or which call to action in your social media campaign derived the most revenue. Following are some important reasons why you should consider UTM tags in your marketing strategy:

  • It helps you get full data on your conversion and traffic sources.
  • It allows you to A/B test individual campaigns and view them side-by-side.
  • UTM codes can easily be tracked with Google Analytics.
  • They provide data that allows you to understand your buyer personas better and choose effective channels to reach them

Additionally, they can help you answer these three fundamental questions:

  • Where is the traffic coming from?
  • How is it getting to you?
  • Why is it coming to you?

How do UTM parameters work?

In order to gain valuable insight and identify which campaigns and promotional strategies are driving traffic to your site, you should first understand the five types of UTM tags.

Utm_source

This is the source indicator that allows you to see where the traffic is coming from. A landing page, blog post, Social Media, or email newsletter? Here are a few examples of UTM sources:

  • A social post on Instagram, utm_source=instagram
  • An ad on Facebook, utm_source=facebook
  • An email newsletter, utm_source=newsletter

Utm_medium

This is the most general value of your UTM code. UTM Medium identifies the type of channel driving your traffic, like organic traffic, paid ads, or emails. By adding the parameter &utm_medium=social to your links, you can track every visitor that comes from that link.

Utm_campaign

Why is this traffic coming to you? This parameter shows the topic that drives traffic to your website the name of your campaign. It could be a specific sale event like a 40-off sale in December 2022. Your UTM code could be like utm_campaign=40percent-Dec22.

Utm_content

Using this parameter, you can track a specific piece of content or advertisement in your campaign to see how well they perform in driving traffic and conversions. UTM content enables you to A/B test campaigns and content in an ad and figure out which one is most effective.

Utm_term

Which keyword drove this traffic to your website? Term is a UTM code used for tracking paid keyword-based advertising and also the CTA on the link.

In this article, we covered the basics of UTM Parameters. You can also learn more about the related terms that were mentioned in this post on our blog and encyclopedia section to optimize your marketing strategies and grow your business.

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