A Beginners Guide To UTM Parameters

What is the first thing you do before you buy? Check out the reviews online. You can also check social media. Perhaps you can do a price comparison to your favorite retailer. You can be sure that a customer will research before they open their wallet. A majority of online shoppers do their research before buying. You need to know how people find your website online if you want to draw them to it. Understanding the connection between customers and your products can make all the difference in whether you sell or fail. UTM parameters are a popular way to establish this connection and understand its impact.

UTM parameters are a tool that allows you to analyze marketing campaigns using tools such as HubSpot or Google Analytics. UTM parameters allow you to track the various channels of your campaign and provide data that can be used for campaign optimization.

Learn the basics of UTM parameters today and how they can help you in your digital campaigns.

What are the UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters are information bits that are added to URLs to reveal the nature and origin of visitors to your site.

An example is bitly.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=utm-best-practices&utm_content=utms-best-practices-blog

The main URL is in bold, and the gray part refers to UTM parameters.

This information can be interpreted using tools like Mixpanel, Google Analytics and Kissmetrics. This would be described as: “The visitor clicked our email newsletter for UTM Best Practices campaign, which took them to UTM Best Practices blog.”

This format can be used for other newsletters and sources, ads, or channels.

Urchin software corporation created the Urchin tracking mode, which is the long form for UTM. Google purchased Urchin in 2005 to provide the foundation for Google Analytics.

Types of UTM Parameters

Each UTM field answers one question about your site’s visitors. Below are the UTM parameters:


UTM Parameters are important

We’ve now explained the technicalities behind UTM parameters. Let’s discuss how vital they are to web performance. UTM codes can track each link’s performance to help you identify where traffic is coming from. This could save you time and money in the long-term.

You can, for example, track the traffic coming from social media and the amount of money generated by your Twitter page.

You can also use UTM parameters in email and messaging to segment your audience accurately and gain deeper insight into your buyer personas. Which are your customers? Which country are they from? What is their age? UTM parameters are able to provide all these details.

This information will let you know if your campaign is working as you expected.

What are the UTM Parameters?

UTMs can be used in many ways, as we have already mentioned. Looking for inspiration? These are just a few examples of how you can use UTM parameters.

Optimize Ad banner placement Placement is crucial when you have multi-ad campaigns. UTM parameters can help you determine the best place to place your ads on your website. The data from your tagged URL will show you which ads are most successful in terms of clicks and conversions. Monitor social media performance. You could use UTM parameters to track which campaigns are converting the most traffic and conversions. To determine which social media channel performs best, you can create a UTM tag. Analytical tools can use the utm_content to determine where a link is located, which is useful for A/B split testing. You can also use the utm_content for determining which content drives more engagement. UTM tags are added to the URL of your newsletter to reveal your newsletter’s performance and traffic. It is also possible to identify which templates or email copies are in need of improvement.

Use UTMs to tag URLs: Best Practices

Use a consistent and simple naming convention

Avoid complicated UTM codes. They can be difficult to track and manage. Keep your codes short and simple. These are the UTM rules that you can use to help your campaigns.

Be specific with your names. This will allow you to keep track of tags in future campaigns. This makes it easier to manage your team. Be consistent. Be consistent. This makes it easier to analyze. All UTMs that are associated with social media links should be assigned the value utm_medium=social. You will have different line items if you use “social_media”, “social” or “social”. Use lowercase. Google Analytics is sensitive to case. Management will be easier if you use the same case. A new line item could be created by using Facebook vs. Facebook, for example. Your UTMs can be modified by adding underscores or dashes. To maintain consistency, you can use a few of these. Avoid spaces as they can cause URL disruption.
pply Short URLs

Once you have your URL tagged with all the metadata, it’s time to shorten links to make them more memorable and visually appealing. Bitly allows you to leverage custom-branded links for easier naming.

Eliminate redundancies

By avoiding repetition in tags, you can keep the URL short. A utm_campaign with the name “this_is_year_2021”, for example, is redundant. Instead, simply say “year_2021”. Avoid using the same name on two UTM tags.

Spreadsheet to track URLs

You can quickly track your growing number of UTM codes and links by using a spreadsheet. To avoid duplicates and errors, make sure you record each campaign accurately.


UTM Do’ts

Use UTMs on Internal Links: UTMs can cause tracking problems. When linking to your website from within, additional tracking is not necessary. UTMs are not recommended for SEO/Organic Search. UTMs won’t impact organic search engine rankings. Google Analytics tracks organic search traffic. Keep campaign names short and simple. A campaign name can be reused across platforms. It is now mandatory that you use a different campaign title for each source/medium.

UTM parameters allow you to track your customer’s journey through every touchpoint. Bitly lets you take a closer look at the parameters to make these links stronger, faster, and better.

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