Just like you wouldn’t wear snow boots in summer, you don’t want to add UTM parameters to every URL. Now that you know what UTMs can do and some rules for UTM-tagging URLs, here are a few ways you should and shouldn’t use them in your marketing efforts.
DON’T use UTM tags on internal links.
If a link on your site directs users to another page on your site, don’t tag it with UTM parameters. If an internal link is tagged with UTM parameters, Google Analytics will think that a user has entered your site every time a user clicks that link — creating flaws in your data.
DON’T tag outbound links with UTMs.
Don’t make more work for yourself. Data is automatically passed through links that direct users away from your site. Unless you want to pass specific campaign information between two affiliate sites, tagging outbound links is redundant.
DON’T use UTM tags in non-site links.
Non-site links, such as a link to a PDF or a Mailto link, should never be tagged with UTM parameters. This will break the link!
DO transition to an HTTPS domain.
Know the security certificate of the sites you use. While security protocol allows referral information to pass from an HTTP page to an HTTPS page, this information doesn’t typically pass from an HTTPS page to an HTTP page. Facebook is now set to HTTPS by default, so you might lose your referral data if you’re linking to an HTTP site — even if you use UTM parameters. To sidestep this issue and prevent data loss, consider transitioning your site to an HTTPS domain.
Go Forth and Tag
Now that you’re armed with knowledge about UTM parameters and tagging your links, sally forth and collect your data! When in doubt, go here for tips, tricks, and guidelines, and always tag responsibly.