Now that you know what a UTM is, it’s time to learn how to properly tag your URLs and what pitfalls you should avoid.
Knowing the Parameters
There are five types of standard “UTM parameters,” each of which helps Google Analytics interpret unique and specific information. They are color coded below to help show what kinds of data can be gathered.
- Source (utm_source) — shows where your traffic came from
- Medium (utm_medium) — shows what type of link was used (email, cost per click, etc.)
- Campaign (utm_campaign) — shows if a specific campaign or promotion drove the traffic
- Term (utm_term) — shows if a search term was used to bring the traffic
- Content (utm_content) — shows what kind of content brought the traffic (clicking on a banner ad, hyperlinked text, etc.)
Here is an example of a URL with all UTM parameters in place:
Now that you know how it looks, let’s dive into some important Do’s and Don’t’s.
DON’T forget that UTMs are case sensitive.
With UTM tagging, you need to establish a naming convention and stick to it. Google will read the UTM Source tags for “FACEBOOK” and “Facebook” as entirely different Sources.
DO place UTM tags before URL fragments.
If your original URL looks like this:
Then your UTM-tagged URL should look like this:
If your URL contains a URL fragment (typically demarcated with a # in the URL), then you need to place your UTM tags before the fragment.
DO use a URL builder.
There’s no reason to make UTM tagging more challenging for yourself—you can avoid a lot of potential issues and snares by using a URL builder. This tool will walk you through the step-by-step process, ensuring that you don’t leave out any valuable parameters.