Best Practices for Using UTM Parameters for Tracking

Data is the lifeblood of effective marketing, and there are few pieces of data more important than traffic attribution: That is, which platforms, ads, content, and sites are producing visits.

With a firm grasp on traffic attribution, you’ll more easily understand which of your campaigns are effective and which initiatives are providing you with the most ROI.

Luckily, Web analytics platforms provide you with the keys to this information.

Google Analytics has the most popular implementation of UTM parameters – a tracking method that associates user sessions with the appropriate referrer.

To see UTM parameters in action on your Google Analytics account, visit the Referrals tab under the Acquisition menu. Here, you’ll see traffic sources and acquisition methods.

However, you can go even deeper with specific UTM parameters to empower your campaign.

The Five UTM Parameters and How They Are Used

URLs can be designed with built-in UTM parameters using the Campaign URL Builder associated with Google Analytics. This allows individual URLs to be associated with specific campaigns and platforms from the beginning, making associated traffic more visible in analytics.

Five UTM parameters round out your options:

1.Campaign Source

This tag identifies a specific source of traffic, such as Facebook or another social media platform. You can define separate URLs for each individual source or platform. This is a great way to know how a piece of content is performing or whether paid traffic is generating results.

2.Best Practices for Using UTM Parameters for Tracking Campaign Medium

The medium is a more general “type” of traffic. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could all be identified as “social.” You can define this tag any way you like that makes sense within your campaign – for example, “blog” or “ppc.”

3.Campaign Name

This is the name of the marketing campaign that the parameter is associated with. Naturally, this tag should always reflect the name of the overarching effort it’s part of. Each campaign should have a single, specific name used across all analytics platforms and documentation.

4.Campaign Term

Campaign term is usually only used for paid keywords. Outside of this, you can leave it blank.

5.Campaign Content

This is used to identify the specific call to action in a URL when you’re managing multiple ads.

The UTM parameters you create will appear in the page URL, appended to the filename with a question mark. Remember, these parameters will be visible to your end users. Some users may find a page with lots of tags to be suspicious or unpleasant.

By combining UTM parameters, you can ensure that you’ll always have granular data on users’ experiences just before they reach your site. This allows you to optimize your campaigns more effectively, save money, and raise conversions.