How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Digital Marketing Performance

How To Use Utm Parameters 01232023
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UTM parameters are the secret to understanding your website’s performance. They’re a set of values that you add to your digital marketing campaigns and track on your analytics platforms, like Google Analytics (you can also use UTM parameters in other tools).

The best part? They’re free!

Here’s how to use them so you can optimize your marketing efforts and drive more traffic to your site.

What are UTM parameters?

Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters are used to track the source, medium, campaign and content of website traffic. They’re a way to track your digital marketing performance so you can see how effective your campaigns are in terms of ROI and revenue.

Here’s an example:

If you were running a LinkedIn ad campaign and wanted to see how people who visited the landing page or clicked on it interacted with your site, you could use UTM parameters to see those results and gain actionable insight you wouldn’t otherwise have.

How do you create a UTM parameter?

You can create a UTM parameter by adding it to the end of your URL. For example, if you wanted to track this link: https://www.example.com/products/product-page/, you would change it to look something like this: https://www.example.com/products/product-page/?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=abc123

The first part of the UTM parameter in the new URL above starts after the “?” with utm_source. There are multiple ways you can use these parameters to sort your data in Google Analytics (and other reporting tools). For example, say we want to see how many people clicked on our Facebook ad versus our Twitter ad when they went through any page on our site that had both links embedded into it – like this blog post! We could add two different utm parameters at the end of each link so we can see which one got more clicks than others – one with utm_source=facebook and another with utm_source=twitter.”

How to use UTM parameters

UTM parameters are a great way to track and report on your marketing campaigns. They’re also a good way to collaborate with other members of your team, or with your clients or customers. You may be using UTM parameters in several different areas when you’re managing digital marketing—maybe you use them for email marketing, website tracking and reporting, social media monitoring and reporting, or even pay-per-click advertising.

Each area is different, but one thing remains the same: UTM parameters make it easier for you to see how each part of your efforts contributes toward the success of your overall digital strategy!

Why UTM parameters matter for your business

UTM parameters are codes that help you track your marketing efforts. They allow you to see how well each of your campaigns is doing and where the most engagement comes from, so you can make changes if necessary.

  • You don’t know how many people clicked on a link in an email or social media ad
  • You don’t know which ads were most effective at driving sales
  • You have no idea which keywords convert into sales better than others

7 UTM best practices

1. Use a consistent UTM naming convention

The first step to setting up a UTM tracking system is choosing a consistent naming convention for your UTM codes – this is especially important with your campaigns and content. Since you’ll be using the same naming convention over and over again, it’s important that you choose one that will remain easy to remember, use, and often overlooked, scalable.

2. Add UTM parameters to all links that you share on a consistent basis

UTM parameters are there to help you track overall marketing performance, and if you’re not using them on a consistent basis, then there’s no point in using them at all since you’ll have an incomplete dataset.

When adding UTM parameters to your links, there are two things you should consider:

  • Don’t use them just because everyone else is doing it; make sure it makes sense for your business goals first
  • Make sure that the UTM parameters are used consistently across all platforms so that you don’t end up with inconsistent data points later on in analysis phase which could affect ROI calculation accuracy too much if not corrected properly beforehand

3. Do not use UTM tags on internal linking

You should not use UTM parameters on internal links. Your site will have its own tracking codes, so you don’t need to add any new ones. If you do this, you’ll end up with an extra layer of data that will cause you headaches down the line.

An exception to this rule will be linking from subdomains or alternative domains your company owns depending on your websites’ structure, but it’s best practice to avoid internal linking 90% of the time.

4. Use UTM parameters for A/B testing

Use A/B testing to test and confirm what content is best for your audience. This can be achieved through multiple verticals, but an example would be splitting your audience and sending out two identical email campaigns, one with a cover image, and one without, with unique UTM content codes that will give you insight you wouldn’t otherwise have on what your audience responds better to.

5. Create a spreadsheet for your UTM links

You need to know what links you’ve used and where, so that you can tell which UTM campaigns are working and which aren’t. The best way to do this is with a spreadsheet that tracks your UTM links. This can be a manual process or semi-automated and only require a few dropdowns and campaign names for each UTM generated.

6. Track influencer marketing success with unique UTM codes

If you’re doing influencer marketing, it’s important to track your success.

Using unique UTM codes for every one of the influencers your company works with will allow you to measure and compare the ROI of the influencer campaigns. This will also allow you to see which influencers you would like to partner with long-term and what types of posts their audiences are receptive to.

7. Keep it simple

Don’t over complicate things. As with any strategy, it’s important to keep things simple. There is no right or wrong way to use UTMs, as long as it works for you.

We recommend creating a simple guideline for you and your team to follow regardless of the circumstances to keep everyone on the same page and successfully tracking digital marketing efforts.

How to Use UTM Parameters: Conclusion

To sum it up, UTM parameters are strings of code added to links used by marketers to track and measure the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. You can use them to test different strategies, compare performance between different channels, and optimize future efforts so that you’re always getting the most out of your investment.

Now that you know how to utilize UTM codes in your Digital Marketing Strategy, it’s time to put them into practice.