UTM parameters - tracking, the key to online marketing success
UTM parameters – tracking, the key to online marketing success
Did you know that effective data analysis is an indispensable part of building success in today’s online marketing world? The introduction of UTM tags can change the outlook of your business, allowing you to more precisely track and analyze the sources of traffic to your website. In this article, I explore the ins and outs of UTM tags and show you how to use them in practice to improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Tags – UTM parameters what is it?
Tags, UTM parameters is a website tracking tool that allows marketers to better understand where users are coming from and what actions they are taking on the site. “UTM” stands for “Urchin Tracking Module,” a reference to the name of the company that originally created the tags – Urchin Software Corporation. Today, UTM tags are widely used in analytics tools such as Google Analytics to provide valuable data on marketing campaigns and performance.
UTM tags are added to URLs as parameters and consist of five main components:
Source (utm_source): Determines where the site’s traffic comes from. This could be the name of a specific advertising campaign, a website, a link to a newsletter or another marketing channel.
Medium (utm_medium): Indicates the type of medium that redirects the user to the page. It can be an email link, an ad, a post on social media, etc.
Campaign (utm_campaign): Indicates a specific marketing campaign with which UTM tags are associated. Makes it easier to identify different campaigns in analytical reports.
Term (utm_term): Is mainly used in paid campaigns to identify specific keywords or phrases that attracted a user to the site.
Content (utm_content): Used to distinguish between different elements inside a single campaign. Often used in A/B testing or variant ads.
An example URL with UTM tags might look like the following:
Each element of the UTM tag is marked with the appropriate prefix, for example, utm_source= for source, utm_medium= for medium, etc. With UTM tags, we can easily track the effectiveness of various campaigns, traffic sources and marketing activities, allowing for more accurate decisions and optimization of marketing strategy.
Here are some examples of URLs with UTM tags:
Link to your homepage with a UTM tag indicating traffic from Facebook:
URL to a landing page with a UTM tag, tracking traffic from an email with the subject line “Special Offer.”
Link to a product category page with a UTM tag that identifies the source as Google Ads:
How to Use UTM Tags Effectively?
Effective use of UTM tags is key to obtaining valuable analytics data that will help you better understand the sources of traffic to your site and evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. Here are some tips to help you use UTM tags effectively:
Consistency and Consistency
Make sure you use the same source, medium and campaign names in all UTM tags. Consistency in naming will make it easier to analyze the data and allow the results to be compared in a uniform way.
Accurate Identification of Source and Medium
Choose the right source and medium that best describes where the traffic came from and how users got to your site. For example: “facebook” as a source and “social” as a medium for Facebook traffic.
Unique and Descriptive Campaigns
Use campaign names that are unique and descriptive. Unique names will make it easier to identify individual campaigns in reports, and descriptive names will allow you to quickly understand the purpose of the campaign.
Accurate Indication of Dates and Contents
If you use UTM tags in paid campaigns, use terms that refer to specific keywords or advertising phrases. For content tags, identify different versions of ads or items that are tested in the campaign.
If you are running multiple campaigns, consider automating link generation with UTM tags. Online tools such as
Google URL Builder
will make it easier to create and track links with appropriate tags.
Check Regularly Results
Regularly analyze data from your UTM tags in an analytics tool such as Google Analytics. Monitor the traffic sources that bring you the most valuable conversions, and adjust your marketing strategies based on this data.
Set Conversion Target
Define conversion goals in Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of individual campaigns. This will make it easier to assess which activities yield the best results.
Use content tags to A/B test different variations of ads or content. This will help you identify the most effective approaches to your audience.
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Where to Apply UTM Tagging?
UTM tagging can be applied in a variety of places and situations to better understand the sources of traffic to your website and evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing efforts. Here are some key places to use UTM tagging:
Links in Advertising Campaigns
If you are running ad campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads or Twitter Ads, it is a good idea to add UTM tags to the links leading to your site. This allows you to accurately track traffic and conversions from each campaign, making it easier to evaluate their effectiveness.
Links in Newsletters
If you’re doing email marketing, it’s worth applying UTM tagging to links in your newsletters. This will help you know which content and offers attract the most visits to your site.
Links in Posts on Social Media.
UTM tagging can also be used for links posted in posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. This enables more accurate tracking of traffic from individual social media.
Links in Blog Articles
If you have an active blog and you link to your products or offer pages, it’s also a good idea to add UTM tags. This will allow you to track which articles are bringing you the most traffic and conversions.
Links in Landing Pages
UTM tagging can be applied to landing pages that are created specifically for specific campaigns. This will allow you to accurately track traffic from various sources to your specially designed site.
Links to Promotional Offers
If you’re running promotions or special offers, it’s a good idea to use UTM tags to track how much traffic and conversions these promotional links generate.
The use of UTM tagging across channels and campaigns allows for more precise tracking of website traffic and more accurate analysis of the effectiveness of marketing efforts. However, remember to be consistent and consistent in your use of UTM tags to make your data readable and easy to analyze in analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
Configuring and verifying the operation of UTM-tagged url in GA4
Setting up Google Analytics 4 (GA4) along with verifying the performance of created URLs and analyzing statistics can provide valuable information about your website traffic. Here are the steps for configuration and analysis in GA4:
Google Analytics 4 configuration
- Create a Google Analytics Account 4: Go to the Google Analytics website and sign in to your Google account. Create a new GA4 account if you don’t already have one.
- Add Property: In your GA4 account, create a new property and give it an appropriate name to easily identify it.
- Configure Tracking: Configure tracking on your website by adding the GA4 tracking code to each page. Make sure you also add a Global Site Tag (gtag.js) to the header of your page.
- Add UTM Tags to Links: Add UTM tags to the links you want to track in GA4. You can use online tools to generate links with UTM tags or manually add tags to each link.
- Check Correctness of Action: Make sure UTM tags are correctly added to links. You can test their performance by clicking on the tagged links and seeing if the data appears in GA4.
Analyzing Statistics in Google Analytics 4
- Campaign Action Reports: In GA4, you’ll find reports related to campaign activities, including information on clicks, impressions, conversions and transaction values for individual UTM tags.
- Reports in the Activities Tab: Visit the “Activities” tab in GA4, where you can find information on the effectiveness of various marketing channels and traffic sources. There you can select various metrics and filters to analyze the data in depth.
- Data Segmentation: Take advantage of GA4’s data segmentation capabilities to compare different campaigns, traffic sources or user groups. This allows you to more accurately assess which UTM tags bring the most valuable conversions.
- Track Conversion Goals: Set up conversion goals in GA4 to track the actions that matter most to you, such as filling out a contact form or placing an order. You can analyze conversion data for individual UTM tags.
- Real-Time Reports: In GA4 you will also find real-time reports that allow you to monitor current traffic and user activity with UTM tags.
GA4’s analysis of UTM tag data provides a better understanding of the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns and activities. This allows you to adjust your marketing strategies, identify the most valuable traffic sources, and optimize your efforts to achieve better results for your business.
The introduction of UTM tags is a key component of effective tracking and analysis of traffic sources on a website. They allow us to understand precisely where users are coming from and what actions they are taking on our site. UTM tags allow us to identify the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns and activities, which enables accurate decisions and optimization of marketing strategy.
I help companies investing in Internet marketing – together, among others. with the use of UTM tags and analysis in GA4, we can achieve success in building an effective online marketing strategy. Contact me!
I have been active in Google Ads, SEO and e-commerce for almost 10 years. Now I share my knowledge and experience on the blog, on social media and in courses, audits and training sessions.
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