So, you’re running a marketing campaign. Suddenly, you get a spike in customer traffic.

Great news!

In order to replicate this success, you need to understand where the traffic is coming from.

But basic analytics can only tell you the website your traffic came from – Facebook, LinkedIn etc…

How can you tell what specific ad, post, article or email campaign is driving your traffic?

One of the benefits of UTM links is the level of detail they provide in pinpointing your traffic sources.

Want to understand what UTMs are, and what their benefits are for your social media campaign?

Not sure how to add them to your URLs?

Read on to learn more.

What are UTM links?

You might be wondering what exactly UTM links are. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. This is a string of code that can be added to the end of URL links to track them in finer detail within analytics tools, including Google Analytics. UTM links offer a more detailed analysis of traffic sources than URL links alone.

What is the use of a UTM link?

A URL link can tell you what website has sent traffic to your site, but the benefits of a UTM link far surpass this. A UTM link can tell you a wealth of specific details, including the exact content, mediums and keywords that are directing consumers to your site.

What are the types of UTM parameters?

There are five parameters in a UTM code, and each serves a different purpose in tracking your link.

1. UTM source

The UTM source is a mandatory parameter that records the source of your traffic. It is usually the platform your content was published on – whether Google, LinkedIn, or an email newsletter.

2. UTM medium

The UTM medium is a mandatory parameter that records what type of content the source is. This is generally dependent on the source. If your link is coming from Twitter, then its medium will be ‘social’; if it’s from an email campaign, its medium will be ‘email’.

3. UTM campaign

This is another mandatory UTM parameter that refers to the content you wish to analyse. It might be the name of a product or campaign, e.g. ‘New Product Email Campaign’.

4. UTM term

This is an optional UTM parameter, mostly for use with paid advertising, that captures the traffic from a particular ad term you have used for the campaign.

5. UTM content

This UTM parameter is also optional, and it helps you to track two different pieces of content on the same medium, e.g. two different LinkedIn ads. It can be very useful for A/B testing, or for when you are running multiple variations of the same ad.

Why are UTM parameters so valuable?

There are many benefits of UTM links, but here are some of the key reasons they are so valuable.

Identifying the source of traffic

It’s one thing to have a boom in traffic to your website – it’s another thing to understand why your views are going up. UTM links can help you to identify successful content – and improve struggling posts.

By utilising UTM parameters, you can find out what exact Facebook post, email newsletter or website link is sending customers your way. Through this, you can learn what works, and what marketing strategies, CTAs and trends to replicate in future campaigns.

Comparison between sources

One of the benefits of UTM links is that they make a great tool for marketing comparisons. Which email campaign performed the best for you? Which fell behind?

UTMs enable you to examine the reasons behind disparities in content outcomes.

Did one campaign utilise a popular trend? Or was the Call-To-Action placed higher in the email? All this analysis is made possible by using UTM links.
The UTM parameter ‘content’ can be used for A/B testing and comparing multiple versions of an ad, which means you can understand how differences between similar ads are influencing your audience.

Understanding your campaigns

Another major benefit of UTM links is that they can help you to develop an overview of your marketing campaign, from what is working to what is not.

UTMs help you to see where individual email newsletters and LinkedIn posts fit into a wider whole. You can see how certain pieces of content are performing within context. Are there particular keywords that are consistently successful? Is there a pattern to what sells well?

How do I use UTM links?

As long as you understand the structure of URL links, you can write a UTM link yourself. However, this can allow for human error. In most cases, it is far better to use a URL builder.

Using a UTM link builder is a reliable way of crafting URLs with UTM parameters. It involves filling in a form with details of your website URL, campaign source, medium and name, as well as the optional UTM parameters if required.

After you have filled out the required fields, an automated URL will be generated for you, which you can copy and paste for use in your campaigns. UTMs can be incorporated into most analytics tools, including Google Analytics.

Are there any pitfalls to using UTM links?

When using UTM, I’d always recommend testing your links before publishing them across the internet. The reason for this is that many custom servers are prone to stripping the tags of the link. In some cases, even redirecting your link to a 404 page. Google is prone to blocking the occasional UTM link.

By testing your link, you can ensure that the server you are using supports the link, but also that you are linking to the correct page.

Start using UTM links today!

UTM links provide detailed analysis for identifying sources that are driving traffic to your site. They are short strings of code added to the end of URL links, and are generally best to be created through a UTM link builder.

The benefits of UTM links are numerous, including helping you to identify sources of traffic, compare the success of particular pieces of content, and understand your wider marketing campaign.