Using UTM parameters

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Monitoring different marketing channels and their effectiveness can be challenging. With UTM parameters you can track the channels that readers use to access your content. You can also find out which are the most cost-effective marketing channels with these parameters. The channels you monitor can be, for example, different social media channels and newsletter deliveries that all use unique URL addresses that include the UTM parameters.

Five different kinds of parameters that help you gather data about your site traffic can be added to a URL address. When someone clicks a URL address with UTM tags, the parameters in it and their data is transferred to your Google Analytics account. You can follow the visitor traffic from different channels on the Acquisition tab in Analytics.

Google shares this information about the parameters:

"There are five parameters you can add to your URLs:

  • utm_source: Identify the advertiser, site, publication, etc. that is sending traffic to your property, for example: google, newsletter4, billboard
  • utm_medium: The advertising or marketing medium, for example: cpc, banner, email newsletter.
  • utm_campaign: The individual campaign name, slogan, promo code, etc. for a product.
  • utm_term: Identify paid search keywords. If you're manually tagging paid keyword campaigns, you should also use utm_term to specify the keyword.
  • utm_content: Used to differentiate similar content, or links within the same ad. For example, if you have two call-to-action links within the same email message, you can use utm_content and set different values for each so you can tell which version is more effective.

Each parameter must be paired with a value that you assign. Each parameter-value pair then contains campaign-related information.

For example, you might use the following parameter-value pairs for your Summer Sale campaign:

  • utm_source = summer-mailer to identify traffic that results from your Summer Sale email campaign
  • utm_medium = email to identify traffic from the email campaign vs. the in-app campaign
  • utm_campaign = summer-sale to identify the overall campaign

If you used these parameters, your custom-campaign URL would be:

  • When you add parameters to a URL, you should always use utm_sourceutm_medium, and utm_campaign.
  • utm_term and utm_content are optional."

There are several different kinds of tools for creating UTM parameters, such as Google Analytics URL-Builder

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