UTM Codes will be a new word for you if you’re new to digital marketing! Successful marketers use different tools for tracking and measuring the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns.
UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module (UTM), valuable snippets of codes attached to the end of any website URL.
UTM Codes even pinpoint specific sources to indicate the traffic of a website. At a minimum, it includes a traffic source, a medium, and a campaign name.
When the UTM codes are used correctly, UTM tracking is one of the powerful tools present in the data analytics toolkit.
It can also refer to keyword terms and content identifiers. It’s all because UTM codes assist in identifying top-performing content based on specific marketing goals.
Want to know more about UTM code and how they operate? Read our blog, and unfold more exciting facts & figures.
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Table of Contents
What are UTM Codes?
A UTM code is simply a snippet of code that you can add to the end of a URL for tracking the performance of campaigns and content.
There are 5 URL parameters: source, medium, campaign, term, and content.
You can track the dimensions and get them with UTM codes on your analytics report. It gives you a clearer insight into marketing performance.
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The UTM refers to Urchin Software which initiated the codes for use in the Urchin web statistics analysis program.
Later Google purchased the company in 2015 and brought Google Analytics at the end of the year.
Sadly, Google discontinued Urchin in 2012 and integrated UTM codes in its software which we later introduced as Google Analytics.
The UTM code itself possesses two structures:
1. UTM Parameters
UTM parameters start with a unique point. There are a total of five quadrants which you can track like utm_source, utm_campaign, utm_content, utm_term, and a lot more!
2. Tracking Variables
A unique variable is used to identify the dimensions being tracked, as the name of the traffic source. The “=” sign precedes this variable.
So, you can have numbers, letters, hyphens, and ‘+’ characters along with spaces in the variables.
Let me tell you a little more about the UTM codes; and they can be long and complex! For agencies and marketers, you can use UTM codes to calculate the impact of your digital marketing campaigns.
So, if you’ve struggled before with marketing attributes, UTM codes are the saviors with extremely hand mechanisms.
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What can you track with UTM codes?
As discussed before, there are five UTM parameters that you can track first!
The first 3 are the most used parameters, like Souce, Medium, Campaign, but you may even choose to follow all 5 in the additional insight!
1. Campaign Source (utm_source):
You can use these parameters to identify the source of the traffic. It could be a website or any other medium by which you can bring back quality results and analyze the results accordingly.
For instance: utm_source = google
2. Campaign Medium (utm_medium):
You can utilize this parameter to identify the medium for sharing and accessing your link. It could be anything like an email, social media post, cost per click (CPC), or any other method.
3. Campaign Name (utm_campaign):
Here comes the most critical parameter for tracking our campaigns so far! You can use these parameters to identify a movement and promotion tied to your link.
Example: UTM_campaign = summer-sale
4. Campaign Term (utm_term):
You can utilize this parameter for paid search campaigns to track relevant ad-based keywords. It will help you identify which campaign is performing better and which keywords result in the site visit.
For example: utm_term=campaign-gera
5. Campaign Content (utm_content):
Lastly, the fifth parameter is used for determining what any visitor clicked on to get on the website; however, multiple links were pointing to the same URL.
It’s a well-described example of a landing page with multiple CTAs! It’s used commonly for A/B testing and content-targeting advertisements.
These parameters are also used for distinguishing between ads pointing towards the same URL.
How can you create your UTM codes?
You can try out all these UTM codes manually without any external assistance. Google offers a handy Campaign URL Builder tool that you access online.
The Google URL Builder will walk you through the entire process of customizing and tracking URLs. These Google UTM builders define each UTM parameter, just in case you require a refresher!
We recommend everyone shorten their URL before sharing it with anyone across your digital marketing platforms. UTM codes can make your URL a bit unappealing because of the length.
How to use UTM codes on Google Analytics?
Share them instantly once you’ve completed and created your campaign and tracking URLs. Google Analytics will start pulling the information automatically, and you can access all of these statistics within your analyzed reports.
Follow these steps to succeed in viewing your UTM codes in action within Google Analytics:
- Log in with your Google Analytics account
- Connect with your website
- Once you’ve logged in successfully, the default view will enable you to see the Home screen, and However, in the desktop view, on the left side of the screen, you will see a series of Reports.
- You can click on any according to your desire.
- Click on Acquisition and then select Campaigns
- Once you click on Campaigns, the dropdown will expand, and you can then click on All Campaigns.
In this way, you can succeed in successfully seeing the analytics and overview of your campaigns in a real-time environment.
Best Practices For UTM Tracking – A Quick Overview
Before you officially start adding UTM codes to your social media campaigns, learn about the best practices for UTM tracking.
1. Establishing a UTM naming convention
Establishing a naming convention for your entire team to use overall is essential. If half of the department uses ‘facebook.com’ while the rest are using ‘facebook’ under the UTM codes, you will face a backlash!
So, all the fellas planning to use UTM codes for analyzing their campaign’s success rate agree on a single name convention.
It should include all the names for different mediums like “social vs. social media” or “search vs. paid searching,” etc.
Even if you capitalize somewhere or some extra spaces, it will mess up your campaigns. You should set up rules from the beginning to avoid contradiction.
2. Easy to understand names
Your campaign content and other source links should be easy to understand and analyze. So, anyone looking at the code should get an idea of what you’re trying to say through your UTM code!
Based on the campaign name alone, you can see how you can target worldwide Facebook with just a simple UTM code.
It’s so generic and straightforward that anyone who doesn’t even know UTM codes can understand it in a single glance.
3. Shorten links to keep them user-friendly
The complexity of your URL link will make it difficult for the users to read and understand both! As you plan to start with your campaign, your URL will become longer and longer.
The solution is to shorten the link and keep it minimal by using different tools available online like Bit.ly or Rebrandly, through which you can turn any lengthy links into a shortened URL.
This technique is way more helpful, and you can quickly turn out things in your favor!
Over To You | UTM Codes & Tracking
We hope you got enough information related to UTM codes and how you can analyze the credibility of your campaigns! So, are you ready to connect with UTM tracking and analytics experts?
If yes, give the Cydomedia team of experts a call to get started with UTM tracking codes, ensuring your codes are organized to set the bar high overall.
You can even build custom reporting dashboards essential for your brand’s success.