Successful marketers use many tools to track and measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns; the UTM link or Urchin Tracking Module is one of these tools that marketers use today to follow a digital campaign. In this article on the Smart Strategy blog, we would like to explain the UTM link meaning, how to create UTM links, and UTM link builder mission for marketing purposes. So stay with Smart Strategy.
What is a UTM link meaning?
In straightforward terms, Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes are pieces of code that are attached to the end of a URL and explore a lot of details about that link or URL. According to UTM link meaning, UTM codes are primarily used to identify specific website traffic sources. UTM codes include traffic source, media, and campaign name. They may also contain keyword terms used in the campaign and content identifiers.
When used correctly, the UTM system is one of the most powerful tools in the data analysis toolbox for marketers. UTM links are vital because they help you identify top-performing content based on your marketing goals.
UTM link builder tutorial
Before we go to the UTM link builder tutorial, let’s briefly review how UTM codes are created.
1. Urchin Software created UTM codes for use in its Urchin web analytics program for the first time.
2. Google bought the company in 2005 and launched Google Analytics at the end of the same year.
3. In 2012, Google discontinued Urchin and integrated UTM codes into its Google Analytics software.
While you can view traffic source information by default in Google Analytics, UTM codes allow you to dig deeper into the data for a campaign to discover the exact content that drives visitors.
If your website has Google Analytics enabled, you can start working with UTM links. However, if you haven’t activated Google Analytics or are looking for an agency to help you analyze data for a digital marketing campaign, SmarStrategy‘s dedicated team of data strategists and UTM experts will help you.
What are the 5 critical parameters of the UTM system?
There are five types of UTM link parameters, also called UTM tags or codes. These parameters are used to track the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns based on specific data points. You can add UTM parameters in any order at the end of the URL, separated by question marks and &.
Campaign source, campaign media, and campaign name are required parameters in the UTM code generator. Campaign duration and campaign content are optional UTM parameters.
Here are five UTM parameters identified in Google Analytics:
Campaign source (utm_source): This parameter determines the traffic source. This source can be a website, search engine, newsletter, or social network.
Campaign Media (utm_medium): This parameter is used to identify the medium used to share and reach your link. This parameter can be email, social media, cost per click (CPC), or any other method.
Campaign name (utm_campaign): This parameter is used to identify a campaign or advertisement related to the UTM link. This parameter can be the product’s name, the type of sale, the name of the discount code, etc.
Campaign term (utm_term): This parameter is used for paid search campaigns to track relevant keywords based on ads. This parameter helps digital marketers identify which keywords led to site visits.
5. Campaign Content (utm_content): This parameter is used to determine which CTA to click on to reach your site when there are multiple links to the same URL, for example, in an email or on a landing page with multiple CTAs. This parameter is also used to differentiate between ads served for a URL. This UTM link parameter is usually used for A/B testing and targeted content advertising.
How can we create UTM links?
We can write UTM codes manually without using any tools in a text editor. However, Google offers a handy tool called Campaign URL Builder that guides us through how to create custom tracking URLs.
This UTM link builder also defines each of the UTM parameters.
Most professional marketers use UTM link builder and recommend shortening your URL before sharing it on digital marketing platforms. UTM codes can make your URL look a little murky regarding user experience, impacting user clicks. It will be shorter and more beautiful.
Examples of UTM tracking codes
Here are some sample URLs to give us a better idea of how UTM tracking works.
Our scenario in this example: Let’s say you’re an online marketer tasked with measuring the amount of traffic your summer sale generates through paid search, paid social media marketing, and email.
Follow-up of a click advertising campaign with a UTM link
First, you’ll create a tracking URL for a Google cost-per-click (CPC) campaign to promote your summer sale landing page with the keyword camping gear.
This tracking URL might look something like this:
2. Campaign tracking from social networks
To determine the success of a paid social media campaign on Facebook that drives users to your summer sale landing page, you need another tracking URL.
Your tracking URL might look something like this:
3. Email marketing campaign tracking with UTM links
You should also measure traffic generated from an email marketing campaign with three links (a logo, an image, and an orange CTA (call to action) button) that direct users to the summer sale landing page.
Your tracking URLs might look something like this:
How to view UTM link data in Google Analytics
Once you’ve created your campaign tracking URLs and shared them, Google Analytics will automatically start receiving data. You can access these statistics in your reports.
You must follow these steps to view your UTM codes in Google Analytics:
- Log in to the Google Analytics account connected to your website.
- After logging in, in the desktop view, there is a series of reports on the left side of the screen. Click on the Acquisition option.
- A new set of menu items should appear under Acquisition. Click on Campaigns.
- Once the campaigns menu opens, click on All campaigns.
Following the steps above will take you to the All Campaigns Reports section in Google Analytics. You will see the campaigns defined in your tracking URLs on this page. You can also sort campaign data by many factors. Now you can measure the results of your ad campaigns with this data.
Better decision-making with the UTM link builder
The UTM link builder helps you determine which of your digital marketing campaigns are successful. This tool allows you to create effective campaigns and avoid wasting time on ineffective campaigns.
For all its advantages, the UTM link is still not an exact science, as it can quickly become unbalanced by creating too many UTM codes or duplicate codes. Therefore, you should always try to keep it simple to increase accuracy.
In this article from Smart Strategy, we tried to introduce you to the UTM link meaning and how to create UTM. The UTM link builder is one of the best tools for digital marketers to track advertising campaigns and know how successful they are.
Also, UTM links are used to optimize future campaigns and improve the quality of current campaigns in digital marketing.