UTM Parameters

What are UTM Parameters?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, and UTM Parameters are short text codes that you can add to URLs (or links) to help you track the performance of a website page or campaign. 

UTM parameters are a simple, direct, and solid approach to follow the traffic on the web. They're not influenced by changes to outsider cookies or the Facebook pixel. 

As marketers, we're always looking for newer and more efficient ways to track site traffic and conversions. And UTM parameters enable you to do exactly that. Advanced tracking options that help keep you on top of your marketing campaign can help you increase traffic and analyze metrics.

By tagging your URLs with UTMs, you can easily understand how visitors interact with your website.

Let’s take a look at how to create UTM parameters.

How UTM Parameters Work

UTM parameters work with analytics programs to provide you with in-depth data related to your social media results.

Now, there are five different UTM parameters. Google Analytics requires the first three, and you should use them in all UTM tracking links. But the last two are optional and are used specifically for tracking paid campaigns.

  1. Campaign Source: The platform (or vendor) where the traffic originates, like Facebook or your email newsletter.
  2. Campaign Medium: You can use this to identify the medium like Cost Per Click (CPC), social media, affiliate, or QR code.
  3. Campaign Term: You’ll use this mainly for tracking your keywords during a paid AdWords campaign. You can also use it in your display ad campaigns to identify aspects of your audience.
  4. Campaign Content: If you’re A/B testing ads, this is a valuable metric that transfers details about your ad. You can also use it to differentiate links that may point to the same URL.
  5. Campaign Name: It’s used to identify your campaigns, such as your website or specific product promotion. 

How to Create UTM Parameters

You can manually add UTM parameters to your links, but it’s a lot easier to use an automatic UTM code generator.

1. UTM generator option 1: Hootsuite Composer

  • Click ‘Create,’ then ‘Post,’ and write your social post as usual. Make sure to include a link in the text box.
  • Click Add tracking.
  • Under Shortener, select a link shortener to create a compact link to use in your social post.
  • Under Tracking, click Custom.
  • Enter the parameters you want to track and their values (up to 100 parameters for paid customers or 1 for free users).
  • Under Type, paid plan users can choose Dynamic to let the system adapt the values automatically based on your social network, social profile, or post ID. Otherwise, select Custom to enter a specific value.
  • Click Apply. Your tracking link will appear in the preview window.


2. UTM generator option 2: Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder

You can create UTMs using the Google UTM generator, then paste the links into your social media posts.

  • Head to the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder
  • Enter the URL of the page you want to link to, then enter the values for the parameters you want to track.
  • Scroll down to find the automatically generated campaign URL.
  • Click Convert URL to Short Link, or click Copy URL to use a different URL shortener. You can always use Ow.ly to shorten your link in Hootsuite Composer.
  • Paste your link into your social media post and shorten it if you have not already done so.

3. UTM generator option 3: Google URL builder for app ads

If you’re advertising an app, you can use either the iOS Campaign Tracking URL Builder or the Google Play URL Builder.

These UTM generators are similar to the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder but include a couple of additional parameters to identify your app and measure ad data.

Key Takeaway

UTM parameters can help you integrate bits of code into URLs to track your site traffic and performance better. By tagging your URLs with UTMs, you can easily understand how visitors interact with your website.