UTM code (UTM parameter)

What is a UTM code?

The UTM code, or UTM parameters or tags, is a system used in digital marketing to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns, specifically for measuring the performance of URLs (website links/UTM links) in generating traffic and conversions.

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, a web analytics software developed by Urchin Software Corporation that was later acquired by Google and became the foundation of Google Analytics. UTM codes are appended to the end of URLs as query parameters and are used to collect data on website visitors and their interactions with the website.

UTM codes are added to the end of URLs. They are used by web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to track the performance of marketing campaigns and provide insights into the effectiveness of different marketing channels, campaigns, and content. They are a valuable tool for digital marketers to measure and optimize their online marketing efforts.

UTM codes typically consist of five parameters.

  • Source (utm_source) – source parameter identifies the source of the traffic, such as the website or platform where the link is placed, e.g., Google, Facebook, or email.
  • Medium (utm_medium) – medium parameter specifies the traffic medium, such as email, social media, or CPC (cost-per-click) advertising.
  • Campaign (utm_campaign) – campaign identifies the specific marketing campaign or promotion associated with the link, e.g., summer_sale or new_product_launch.
  • Term (utm_term) – term parameter is usually used for paid search campaigns to specify the keywords or terms used in the campaign.
  • Content (utm_content) – content parameter is used to differentiate between different pieces of content within the same campaign, such as ad variants or links within an email.

Example of the UTM code:


Why Are UTM Codes So Important?

UTM codes are extremely important for any online business or marketer who wants to measure their marketing campaigns’ performance accurately. Without UTM codes, it can be challenging to identify the specific source of website traffic or determine which marketing campaigns generate the most conversions.

By using UTM codes, businesses can track and analyze the results of their marketing campaigns with greater precision. This information reveals which campaigns drive the most traffic and conversions, which platforms are most effective, and what types of content generate the most interest.

Through this data, businesses can identify which campaigns need adjustment and which should be scaled up to drive more robust results. UTM codes help companies tailor their marketing strategies to the needs and preferences of their target audience, leading to better engagement, higher customer satisfaction, and increased profitability.

Moreover, UTM codes can optimize SEO efforts by identifying the top-performing search terms, resulting in increased organic search traffic. They also help identify the best-performing marketing channels, enabling businesses to shift marketing spend to higher-converting channels.