What is a UTM code?
A UTM code is a portion of text appended to URLs that enables you to generate Google Analytics data and track visits to that URL. It is one of the most important tools used by marketers to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Why is it important?
While traffic source information is available by default in Google Analytics, UTM codes help you delve deeper and uncover the exact content that is driving traffic to your campaigns. Here’s how:
A UTM code gets appended at the end of your URL and typically looks like this (see the highlighted text in the URL):
As you can see in the above URL, the UTM Code consists of distinct sections or individual tags called UTM Parameters (utm_medium, utm_source, utm_campaign, and utm_content).
Here’s what these UTM Parameters mean:
1. UTM Campaign
This parameter is used to identify the marketing campaign tied to your URL.
2. UTM Medium
This parameter is used to identify the medium used to share/access your URL. It helps you track what type of traffic the visitor originated from – Email, social media, cost per click, etc.
3. UTM Source
This parameter is used to define your campaign source, i.e., the source from where your traffic originates. It could be a website name, a search engine, a social network, etc.
4. UTM Content
When you have multiple links pointing to the same URL (such as a landing page with two CTA buttons), this parameter is used to identify which link was clicked.
5. UTM Term
This parameter is used to identify the search term (keyword) that resulted in a site visit (in the case of paid search campaigns to track relevant ad-based keywords).
How do UTM codes work?
When a click is received on a URL with a UTM code, the UTM parameters are returned to your Google Analytics account.
How does that help you?
Let’s say you wish to share your Landing Page on your business’s social media profiles. At the same time, you wish to track which social media profile drove the most traffic to your landing page.
You can do so by appending different UTM codes to your landing page URLs when sharing the URL on different social media profiles.
- When sharing the Landing Page on Facebook, append the UTM code with facebook as the source parameter.
- When sharing the Landing Page on LinkedIn, append the UTM code with linkedin as the source parameter.
You can then view the traffic break-up by source in your Google Analytics account.
This is a simplified example explaining how UTM codes can help you. To better grasp your visitors’ behavior and understand what exactly is driving the traffic, we recommend that you use all the five parameters in your UTM code.
Now that you are familiar with how UTM codes work, let’s proceed and look at how you can generate a URL with a UTM code for your Landing Page.