A UTM code is a basic snippet of code added to the end of your URL to assist with tracking the performance of content and social media campaigns. There are 5 URL parameters available for tracking, including: Content, term, campaign, medium and source.
The dimensions you follow through your UTM codes appear in your analytics reports, giving you a more precise overview of your marketing performance. Google’s URL builder offers a quick way to create UTM codes. All you need to do is add your website address and choose your campaign parameters.
The components of a UTM code
A UTM code will look like this:
UTM codes are split into two components:
- The Tracking variable: A unique code or that identifies the dimension being tracked (such as the social media site you’re earning traffic from)
- UTM Parameter: The source, campaign, content, term, or medium you’re tracking.
What does a UTM code track?
As mentioned above, there are many different parameters available to track with UTM codes. Here’s the information available on each tracking code:
- Traffic Source: With the source parameter, you’ll find out exactly where your traffic came from. UTM_Source will show, for instance, which of your social accounts receives the most attention. Example: &utm_source=Instagram
- Medium: The Medium parameter tracks what kind of content your visitor came to you from. Example: &utm_medium=social
- Campaign name: With the campaign name option, you’ll track the performance of a specific strategy in your marketing plans. For instance, you might use this parameter to evaluate the difference in impact between two Facebook campaigns. Example: &utm_campaign=facebook-campaign-1
- Content: If you have multiple links that are all sending users to the same URL, the content parameter will track which link drove the most traffic. Example: &utm_content=linkoption
- Keyword term: Finally, with the term parameter, you’ll track which keyword your website visitor found you with. Example &utm_term=what-is-a-utm-code
Benefits of using a UTM code
A UTM code is a powerful way to track additional information about your campaigns through Google Analytics. However, if you have a long-standing campaign that you need to track for a long period, it’s often easier to use a social media publishing tool like Sprout, with URL tracking built-in.
With constant access to URL tracking solutions, you’ll be able to:
- See where your website traffic is coming from and increase your investments in the right area.
- Know which links customers are clicking in a campaign and optimize your call to action content.
- Examine the impact of each campaign and learn more about which social channels your customers are present on.
Before UTM codes, it was challenging to track content variables in A/B testing. However, with a tool like Sprout Social and a basic knowledge of UTM parameters, you can be in the driver’s seat of every campaign.
Recommended for you
How to use social media ecommerce effectively in 2024Published on December 4, 2023 Reading time 8 minutes
How to gain a competitive advantage by analyzing marketing initiatives by competitorsPublished on November 30, 2023 Reading time 7 minutes
Inside The Arboretum: How Sprout built a 10,000-member strong communityPublished on November 30, 2023 Reading time 7 minutes