Guide to UTM Analytics

Tracking your website data is a crucial part of building and maintaining an effective online presence.

Tracking your website data is a crucial part of building and maintaining an effective online presence. Advertising, links, and data combine to create a larger picture of what your web content is doing and how users are finding that content.

What Is UTM 

Urchin tracking module (UTM) analytics are tools used by analytic tools to determine data related to the link and the associated marketing campaign. While many analytics can tell you which website led to a click to your URL, UTM analytics take it a step further and show information as detailed as which specific ad was clicked. As a result, UTM analytics provide a more in-depth and detailed approach to understanding your marketing.

Where Do I Find UTM

Your UTM data is at the end of a URL. When looking at the end of the URL, there is a series of seemingly extra words which mention the social media or search engine directory that led to your link click. This data is extremely valuable as you determine which ad spend is giving you the best return.

How to Use UTM

Google Analytics is the easiest way to add UTM to your URLs. Optimization (SEO) is the go-to tool for ensuring your web content reaches the clients you seek. There are several ways to utilize the UTM tool.

  • Track your Google activity: see where the clicks originated.
  • Check email activity: determine which links within your company emails and newsletters are leading to click-through.
  • Track activity from external sites: using other blogs or sites to lead to your URL can be tracked through UTM.
  • Determine which social platform is best for you: while each social platform has value, some are better suited to different business models.
  • Track which ads are working: ads cost, and every click is money spent. Tracking which ads lead to clicks and purchases can help you eliminate ads that get clicks but do not lead to revenue.
  • Watch for patterns: some advertising or web content does better at different times of the year, so the ability to check for seasonal changes is valuable when knowing which ads to set up and when.
  • Find your audience: UTM can show you the location of users who have followed your links. This information is especially useful in determining if there is one demographic that your ads appeal to over another.

How Do You Learn UTM

Google provides step-by-step instructions for how to add UTM to your campaign. The initial look at UTM can seem overwhelming, but the amount of data gained from the tool is invaluable. Once you’re using UTM, it becomes second nature. One bonus to UTM is that it isn’t affected or distorted by other social media tracking tools. It stays true to form. 

UTM is easy to use and easy to change if the ad or targeting isn’t working well for your product. You can easily compare two separate data pieces and quickly determine the best ad or marketing tool for you.

In setting up your UTM, you need five main parameters.

  1. Source - this is required and tells you where the traffic originates. For example, if your traffic comes from Twitter, your UTM would include ‘&utm_source=twitter’
  2. Medium - this is how the user found you. For example, if you’d posted a blog with a link, you could add ‘&utm_medium=blog’
  3. Campaign - this is another required parameter that tells you which ad campaign or marketing schedule your content connects with. For example, if you launched a spring ad, you’d include ‘&utm_campaign=spring’
  4. Content - this is optional but useful when comparing two different types of content to track which is more efficient. For a/b tracking, you would use ‘&utm_content=a’
  5. Term - this is another optional parameter, which you could link to ad bids based on search terms. For example, new shoes as a paid search term would be ‘&utm_term=new_shoes’

Is It Really Worth Using

Knowing precisely what your emails, blogs, advertising, and other marketing resources are doing is what keeps a solid business model growing. In a digital world dominated by SEO and data analysis, UTM is far too valuable to ignore. 


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