What is UTM parameters and how to use them for your marketing tracking

May 16, 2020

What is UTM 

Marketers runs a lot of campaigns to promote the business brand awareness and drive traffic to the website.  As much as we can, we want to be able to identify the source of traffic and improve its effectiveness. 

UTM or Urchin Tracking Module parameters is an additional parameter you can tag to your URL, so that you have better identify marketing campaigns that generate traffic to your website.  These parameters can be analysed by analytics tools and you can use them to populate reports. 

www.shopcada.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ndp2020

 

UTM Parameter

There are five variants of URL parameters you can use to track your online marketing campaigns from various traffic sources and media. 

Only Campaign Source, Medium, and Name are required, the rest are optional. You configure Term and Content based on different use cases and different combinations.  

  • Campaign Source
    Source of your traffic, where the visitor’s journey started.
    E.g.: Facebook, Google, Email, Influencer Blog.
    Example: utm_source=google

  • Campaign Medium
    Type or medium of the link.
    E.g.: Cost Per Click (CPC), QR code, Social Media
    Example: utm_medium=social
     
  • Campaign Name
    This is just to identify your specific campaign or promotion.
    This will show in your Google Analytic Traffic Sources. 
    E.g.: NPD promo 2020
    Example: utm_campaign=ndp2020

  • Campaign Term 
    The search term your visitors used. This is useful to track keywords during a paid search.
    E.g.: Working Dress
    Example: utm_term=working+dress 

  • Campaign Content
    The specific link that the user clicked and landed on your website.
    Useful for A/B testing ads and contextual ads to differential links point to the same URL.
    You may use two different ads copy in your A/B testing. You can track the effectiveness of each copy.
    E.g.: Buy Now and Checkout now
    Example: utm_content=buynow or utm_content=checkoutnow

 

How to generate UTM tracking link 

You can construct the UTM tracking link manually. 

Here is an example to append UTM parameters to your URL. 

Your URL is www.shopcada.com

Value

UTM Parameters

Source

Facebook

utm_source=facebook

Medium

Social Media

utm_medium=social

Name

NPD promo 2020

utm_campaign=ndp2020

And you UTM tagged URL will looks like 

www.shopcada.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ndp2020

 

Or you can use Google’s URL builder.

This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics and reporting in Shopcada.

 

Fews Items To Take Note

Consistent naming for easy tracking 

Facebook and facebook will be treated differently in reporting. Always use lowercase to avoid confusion in reporting. 

Use dashes over underscores, plus sign in your parameter

Dashes are preferred by Google and help your URL in search results.

If you have a url like word1_word2, Google will only return that page if the user searches for word1_word2. If you have a url like word1-word2, that page can be returned for the searches word1, word2, and even “word1 word2”.
- Matt Cutts 

Keep it simple and concise 

Keep your UTM parameters simple but provide the accurate information for tracking and reporting. Do not repeat the information. Since the URL is visible to publish, carefully select value and avoid sensitive information. 

Keep track of your UTM parameter

Keep track of your naming for parameters so you are using consistent naming conventions. 

 

Using UTM parameters in your Shopcada reporting 

In most of Shopcada's reports, you can create a custom report to track your marketing campaigns’ performance. 

You can do that using the ADDITIONAL FILTER available.

You can define the filter by selecting the required Campaign Source, Medium, Name, Term and Content.