The Basics of UTM Codes

by | Feb 12, 2024

By Kaylee Lauriel, PR Intern

The future of digital marketing is here, and it goes by UTM Codes. UTM codes, or Urchin Tracking Module, are snippets of code attached to the end of a URL and are used to pinpoint specific source of traffic to a website. Using these codes is essential to understand how effective your marketing is.

Five UTM Parameters

There are five parameters to every UTM code that are necessary to track different aspects of your marketing campaign.

  1. Campaign Source – the source of your traffic such as website name, search engine or social network.
    1. UTM Parameter example: &utm_source=facebook
  2. Campaign Medium – tracks what type of traffic the visitor came from such as email, social media

or cost per click.

  • UTM Parameter example: &utm_medium=email
  • Campaign Name – enables you to track the performance of a specific campaign, such as differentiating traffic between different Facebook Ad campaigns.
    • UTM Parameter example: &utm_campaign=summer-clearance
  • Campaign Term – tracks relevant ad-based keywords to help identify which keywords resulted in a site visit.
    • UTM Parameter example: &utm_term=sports-equipment
  • Campaign Content – distinguishes between ads pointing to the same URL to determine what someone clicked on to get to your site.
    • UTM Parameter example: &utm_content=navlink

The Whens and Whys of UTM Tracking

Use UTM codes to better evaluate promotional campaigns. Tag every advertisement of your campaign with these UTM codes to see what type of content best resonates with your target audience. By using UTM parameters, you will be able to see what ads drive more traffic to your website and evaluate what will be appealing to potential customers. By using UTM codes, you will be able to refine your entire marketing strategy and create even better ads that bring more traffic to your website.

UTM codes allow you to track where traffic is coming from and find the right channel for your audiences to help properly measure each campaign’s ROI. In order to understand if your marketing is successful or not, UTM tracking is a must.

UTM Tracking Tips and Tricks

Creating your own UTM parameters can be tedious and overwhelming. Follow these tips and tricks to make sure you’re not making life harder for yourself or your team.

  • Use a pre-determined naming system

Long lines of code can be bafling at the best of times. Come up with an agreed-upon format for each of the five parameters and ensure that your team comprehends what they mean.

  • Use simple language

Use language that is easy to understand and doesn’t go deep into company jargon. Remember that your audience will see the codes you use and they will need to understand what it means as well.

  • Remember that UTM parameters are case-sensitive

It is recommended to use all lowercase to make things easiest for you and your company. One accidentally capitalized letter could mean all the difference when trying to track information for your campaign.

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