The Ultimate Guide to UTM-Links (Parameters)

What are UTM-parameters?

UTM-Parameters (Urchin Tracker Module) are snippets of text that you add to your links so you can track where your traffic is coming from.

As you can see on the picture below, you need to attach the UTM-parameters in the end of your URL:

While it’s probably clear that UTM-parameters helps you track your traffic, we often recieve questions about HOW to use them.

Here’s what you can do with the use of UTM parameters inside Triggerbee:

  • Create visitor filters based on which campaign your visitors came from

  • Show a specific widget ONLY to campaign specific visitors

  • Create automations based on visits from campaigns, like adding labels to visitor profiles for better segmentation

 

Think of UTM-codes as answers to questions.

- What’s the name of this campaign?

- Where was this URL clicked?

- How was the URL displayed?

 

UTM-parameters

Here are the most widely used UTM-parameters:

 

Campaign

Campaign name identifies the name of the campaign.

Prefix: utm_campaign

Answers the question: What is the name of this campaign?

Example: utm_campaign=black-friday-iphone-offer

 

Source

Source helps you identify if a visitor came from search engines, social networks, your newsletter or mobile traffic.

Prefix: utm_source

Answers the question: Where was this URL clicked?

Example: utm_source=facebook

 

Medium

You can use medium to identify if your visitor came from social media, email, text message (SMS), CPC, banner ads, etc.

Prefix: utm_medium

Answers the question: How was the URL displayed?

Example: utm_medium=social-media

 

You can also use these 2 terms, although they’re mostly used by advanced users:

Term

Prefix: utm_term

Answers the question: What keyword is this link for?

Example: utm_term=black-friday-offers

 

Content

Prefix: utm_content

Answers the question: How is this ad performing, vs another ad?

Example: utm_content=black-friday-banners-640x200

 

How to build a link the correct way

When you build your UTM-parameters and start tracking your links, building them in a correct way is key to staying organized.

A dash sign is the preferred character to bind words together. Don’t use underscores, percentage signs or plus signs unless you have a specific reason to do so.

Recommended:
campaign-name-123

source-name-123

medium-name-123

 

Not recommended:

campaign_name_123

campaign%name%123

campaign+name+123

 

You also need to put a question mark “?” to initiate your UTM-Parameters, after your domain name, like this:

Don’t forget to put an ampersand sign “&” after the name of your UTM-code if you need to add additional parameters, like this:

There are also a few tools that can help you build links the correct way. If you are using Google Chrome, you can use The Effin Amazing UTM Builder.

 

Tracking links in personal emails

Triggerbee can help you create links with individual UTM parameters for each recipient of a link and then keep track on the usage of that link. This way you can keep track of whether or not a recipient uses the link and how he/she interacts on your website after clicking.

To use this powerful technique you use the link builder inside Triggerbee. First, you need to click on “Contacts” in the top left menu.

Fill out all the fields in the popup that appears.

You’re done, happy mailing!

Triggerbee’s own UTM-parameters look a little different, but don’t worry. Here’s an explanation how it works when you’ve sent out a link in one of your personal emails:

In the example below you will be notified by email when kevin.smith@myprospects.se uses the link and can track him when he uses your website.

 

More examples

A good tip is to use “utm_campaign” in your email footer. You can for example promote your latest blog post and see if your footer link drives any additional conversions, or perhaps even purchases. It’s easy to add, and adds a lot of additional value.

Email footer:

 

Here, the link would be structured like this: https://triggerbee.com/blogg/headline-2016-12-03/?utm_campaign=felix-email-footer

 

Post on Facebook:

Example link: https://triggerbee.com/blogg/headline-2016-12-03/?utm_campaign=headline&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social-media

 

Link in your newsletter:

Example link: https://triggerbee.com/landingpage/offer/?utm_campaign=campaign-name&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

 

Link in your AdWords campaigns:

Example link: https://triggerbee.com/landingpage/?utm_campaign=summer-sale&utm_source=google-adwords&utm_medium=search

 

Negative aspects of using UTM-parameters

According to a study done by 33across, 82% of all online sharing is done by copy-pasting links. Something to keep in mind is that any UTM-parameter you add to your link does not automatically go away if they change medium.

As an example:

When you post a link on Facebook, you’ll probably add the string: “utm_source=facebook”.

But... if someone copies your link and posts it on Twitter, it would still show up as traffic from Facebook.

Now, this isn’t normally a problem unless your content spreads a lot. If you have a presence on all major social media networks you’ll probably add the correct source according to what social network you post it on.