How to structure your UTM links using our UTM generator:
Even though it is fairly easy to add UTM parameters to your campaign urls, it is indispensable to understand the importance of setting and sticking to conventions when scaling your online marketing campaigns. Otherwise, you will very quickly loose the overview (and data) over your ongoing marketing campaigns.
Table of content:
- The basics: General definitions and basic knowledge
- Best practice: How to best structure your UTM links, when running an online marketing campaign
General definitions and basic knowledge
UTM is a format that allows you to trace back the traffic of your website and attribute it to specific online marketing campaigns. Knowing which traffic source is most effective and efficient, allows you to optimize and adjust your online marketing strategy on an ongoing basis.
A UTM tracking link consists of the following parts:
- website url: The target website, that the link is referring to
- tracking parameter: a UTM parameter is a trackable entity.
- Parameter value: the parameter value relates to the tracking parameter and allows you to differentiate traffic sources
- UTM tracking code: is the combination of tracking parameters and the related values
- Tracking link: The combination of all parts sums up to the final tracking link, that can be used and implemented in online marketing campaigns.
Available tracking parameters:
- UTM_source (required) – Describes WHERE the user is coming from (The origin, where the user clicked on the link that lead him to your website – e.g. newsletter, name of a website)
- UTM_medium (required) – Describes the type of the link to your website (e.g. email, banner, textlink)
- UTM_campaign (required) – Describes the general campaign that you are running. If you are promoting a conference named “Tech Meetup”, the name of the campaign could be “tech_meetup_early_bird”
- UTM_term (optional) – This parameter can be used to make a keyword specific differentiation, when running paid search ads
- UTM_content (optional) – This parameter is usually used for A/B – Tests
Best practice: How to best structure your UTM links, when running an online marketing campaign:
Lets stick with the example from above – the online promotion of an event: as an online marketer, you are very likely to advertise and spread the campaign through various online channels, like your social media channels, e-mail invitations to your e-mail user base, promotion on external event promotion websites and possibly through display ads. Taking all definitions from above in consideration, it makes a lot of sense to plan the structure of your UTM tracking links:
Hence, the tracking links for your campaign will look like this:
Creating this example, we avoided several pitfalls, that you should definately avoid, when you start creating your personal tracking links: they are all related to CONVENTIONS:
- Being inconsistent with parameter values: Decide on how to name your parameter values (e.g. “E-Mail” vs. “email” vs. “mail”) and use the same naming convention across all your campaigns
- Neglecting case sensivity: UTM parameters are case sensitive. There is no right or wrong. Just decide on how you will deal with case sensivity and stick with it
- Handling spaces: As you can see in the infographic above, we simply replaced all spaces with underscores
- Not naming required fields. Missing out on required fields will lead to a loss of data within your Google Analytics, since the clicks are not being tracked and attributed to your campaigns correctly
Especially when you are working with an entire marketing team, it is very important, that everyone follows the same conventions. If you do not define and stick to your own conventions, you are very likely to lose Data when creating custom reports in Google Analytics. Using a UTM generator to create your UTM tracking links helps you to avoid spelling mistakes. We offer a free UTM generator at the top of this page.
Analyzing your campaigns:
Log in to your Google Analytics Account and follow the menu: Traffic > Sources > Campaigns.
By clicking on the individually listed campaigns, you will be able to view campaign specific information, such as campaign source, campaign medium etc.