A Complete Guide to UTM Parameters and Tracking | Mediatool

A Complete Guide to UTM Parameters and Tracking


A Complete Guide to UTM Parameters and Tracking

Track your website traffic, see how effective your campaigns are, and prove ROI with UTM codes.

UTM codes are one of the best ways to track online traffic. They’re a simple, straightforward, and reliable way to accurately track traffic you’re sending to your web properties—such as from social media—and they should be a key part of your online marketing toolkit.

But what exactly are UTM codes, and what does UTM stand for? Read on to learn about the benefits of UTM codes and how to set them up to begin tracking your traffic.

What are UTM parameters?

In a nutshell, UTM parameters are pieces of code in URLs that enable you to track clicks and traffic from a specific source, such as from a single social media post. UTMs—short for Urchin Tracking Module—may seem technical, but they’re actually an easy and dependable solution to tracking online traffic sources that help you organize your digital marketing campaigns.

Here’s an example of a UTM code (the UTM is everything after the question mark, which we’ll get into below):


The benefits of UTM codes

There are three main benefits of using UTM codes in your marketing campaigns:

  1. UTMs help you track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and measure your ROI

Adding a UTM code to one of your web property links—like in social media posts, for example—helps you to measure how effective that link is in generating traffic. They can also help you measure and prove the ROI for your specific marketing activities. For instance, you can show your clients or manager how your tactics are driving website traffic, lead generation, and conversions.

  1. UTMs give you precise data about conversion and traffic sources

UTM codes help you see which marketing tactics are working and which are the most cost-effective. This is very useful to know when it comes to optimizing your campaign and improving your budget allocation. For instance, perhaps you’re getting great traffic from Facebook, but traffic on Twitter—while lower overall—is bringing in more leads and conversions. You can use insights like these to tweak your campaign and reach your goals.

  1. UTMs enable you to A/B test your content

A/B testing is great for confirming what engages your audience. Perhaps you’ve always assumed that your social media posts with images perform better than those without but you haven’t tested it. Using UTMs codes you can test assumptions like these and get the data to confirm what resonates with your target audience and drives conversions.

How do UTM codes or parameters work?

UTM codes give you a detailed picture of where your website traffic is coming from via your chosen analytics tool (like Google Analytics). There are five UTM parameters and you should use the first three in all your UTM links:

  • utm_source: identifies the social media network, website, publication, etc. sending traffic to your website, for example, Facebook, blog, newsletter, etc.          
  • utm_medium: tracks the channel driving the traffic, for example, organic social, paid social, cpc, email newsletter, etc.                   
  • utm_campaign: the name of your specific campaign so you can track its activities, for example, the product name or an identifying code.
  • utm_term: tracks paid search keywords.
  • utm_content: allows you to track similar content in a campaign and links within the same ad.

Put the UTM parameters together and this is the URL you’ll use in your post:

http://www.yourdomain.com utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid_social&utm_campaign=summer_sale&utm_term=social_media&utm_content=video_ad

Fear not: you don’t have to manually create each UTM link, there are UTM generators that do that for you! Read on to learn how to set them up using a UTM link builder and begin tracking your posts.

Create UTM codes in Mediatool 


In Mediatool you can create your own UTM parameters using our Conventional Code Builder which is customizable to your needs. Create UTM codes in bulk for all of your campaigns, brands and product lines. Simply enter the fields you want to make up the UTM code and create a template that you can use again and apply to your whole marketing plan. 


As well as creating UTMs in Mediatool, you can set up integrations to automatically track the results from them. Pick and choose what you track and turn it into your own reporting dashboard that you can export and present to the rest of the team at the click of a button. Don’t waste anymore time hunting for the right data and gain the clarity you need to focus your time being the inspirational marketing leader you should be! 


To find out more about setting up UTMs in Mediatool, click here. To see for yourself how Mediatool can help you become a better marketing leader, book a chat with a member of the team. 

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