UTM parameters are short text codes added to your URL or campaign landing page to track online traffic coming onto that particular page through a particular campaign.
For example, you have an URL: www.abc.com (Without UTM parameters), and you’re running multiple campaigns with a landing page the same as www.abc.com, there will be very limited information you will get based without the UTM parameters :
1. How the audience behaved from this campaign.
2. Which website pages they scrolled
3. How much time do they spend on the page
4. And most importantly, the conversion you’re getting through that campaign
Why this is important: UTM URLs allow you to assess how effective your marketing activities are
When this is done: Any time you plan on linking to your site as a part of a specific campaign (paid or not.)
Who does this: The person responsible for executing the campaign.
An example of UTM link:
Here you see, the link remains the same but with additional parameters: utm_source, utm_medium,utm_campaign
However you can add other UTM parameters like utm_keyword or utm_content to dig more into the analytics, but we are keeping the source, medium, and campaign only for a better understanding
How to create a UTM tracking link:
All you’ve to do is to add the extension Analytic UTM builder to your browser
Once the extension is downloaded and enabled,
Go to your URL>Click on the extension>Fill in the required information on the source, medium, and campaign> copy the URL added with parameters.
TaDa, that’s it
Here’s a quick short video:
Best Practices to create UTM parameters:
- URL parameters are case-sensitive, Facebook and facebook means two different sources for Google Analytics
- Don’t use spaces, replaces with dashes (-): Spaces are not allowed in URL’s
- Be consistent with the parameter values: Example: if someone in your organization add the ‘source’ as FB, while another person add it ‘facebook’, your analytics tool will consider the incoming Ad traffic from two different campaigns, ‘fb’ and ‘facebook’
How UTM parameter reports look like in Google Analytics:
Here you can easily see in the Google Analytics Report:
Mailchimp traffic via E-mail campaign is getting the highest number of traffic. Similarly, you can easily differentiate between the different traffic sources along with the advertisement medium.
By knowing this information, you can easily see which platform or campaign is performing the best and where you should invest your hard-earned bucks.
Frequently Asked Questions – UTM Parameters
- Do we have any character limit to UTM parameters?
Ideally, no. But it’s recommended to keep it to less than 2000 characteristics so all browsers can easily understand it. Plus limited characters make the reports easy to read and understand
- Should we use UTM links for internal link building?
Never, once the user clicks on the internal link, your google analytics will not pass on the UTM values and consider it as traffic from the internal page.
- Do UTM parameters affect search engine rankings?
No, UTM neither improves nor harms the search engine results.
- Do UTM parameters pass from HTTP to HTTPS websites?
Short answer, no
- Do UTM parameters work on a shortened link?
Yes, Links having UTM parameters can get very long, use a URL shortener like bit.ly.