If you're running a website or have just set up your first website, it might be essential for you to know how people find your content. Our SEO Director, Jon Goodey, explains how one of the best ways to do that is through UTM parameters.
What are UTM Parameters?
UTM parameters are five tags you can add to the end of the URLs for your marketing or promotional efforts. When someone visits an appended URL, it allows analytics software to track information about the visitor, such as how they found your site and if they interacted with any content associated with a campaign. This can be useful if there are multiple ways to access your online assets and you want to figure out which channels are most effective.
UTM parameters are crucial for several reasons
Using a combination of the five tags can assist your team in gathering critical insights into which promotional efforts are bringing visitors to your site. This sort of data, in turn, allows you to figure out which campaign types are effective, and which aren't, allowing you use the sort of content that results in an improved campaign ROI.
Being able to monitor what types of offers or content are popular on your website, you can begin to utilise UTM parameters in email, messaging, and social campaigns to determine which platforms are ideal for your buyer personas and current website audience.
What are the five UTM tags, and how do you use UTM Parameters?
The five tags of a UTM parameter are:
- Source: The site or platform where your link was shared (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Medium: The general category of the link shared (e.g. social media, email marketing, paid ads)
- Campaign: The specific campaign where the link was shared (e.g. summer sale, holiday promotion)
- Term: The keyword or phrase associated with the campaign (optional)
- Content: The specific content associated with the campaign (optional)
If you're unsure how to get started, plenty of resources are available online, like this guide from Google Analytics. They go into detail on how to set up custom campaigns, do a manual set with example URLs and even how to see custom-campaign data.
What types of tools can be used to create and monitor UTM parameters?
Google has also provided a helpful tool for building out a URL and including the UTM codes so that you can track the performance of your campaign. All you need to do is fill in the details the example form below, and you can start monitoring right away using the real-time view in GA and GA4.
Here is an example of the UTM code that will get created for you to add to the end of your URL:
The campaign would then be recorded in your Google Analytics as:
Source: google / Medium: cpc / Campaign: spring-sale / Term: shoes /
Will UTM Parameters still be used with GA4?
In short, yes, and in this link, Google goes into more detail on how to set up and collect campaign data using GA4, so as we move forward to using GA4, UTM tracking codes will still be used just as much.
When used correctly, UTM parameters can give valuable insights into your website's traffic and help you identify the most effective marketing channels. So if you're not already using them, be sure to add them to your URLs and start tracking your traffic today.