How to Use Google Analytics UTM Parameters for Better Data Tracking
Brody Hallon 25 May, 2022.
Google Analytics Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters allow you to track different user segments and behaviors within your website. By understanding the data you collect through UTM tracking, you can improve your website's user experience (UX) and increase site traffic.
What Can You Track with UTM Codes?
UTM codes are tiny bits of code that you add to links to track their performance. When someone clicks on a link with a UTM code, it sends data about that click to Google Analytics. This data can help you understand where your website traffic is coming from, how effective your marketing campaigns are, and more.
UTM codes are easy to create and use. You just need to add them to the end of any URL as a query string. For example, the URL https://www.google.com/?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=article would become https://www.google.com/?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=analytics-code-example.
To learn more about ways to track website data, see our e-commerce analytics tools guide.
Types of UTM Parameters
What are the five UTM parameters? They include:
- Source The utm_source parameter specifically tracks the origin of website traffic, such as a specific website or campaign. This information can be used to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and to improve website traffic.
- Medium The utm_medium parameter is used to identify the marketing medium (e.g., email, search engine, or social media). The parameter value is assigned a code, such as "CPC" for paid search, "social" for social media, or "email" for email marketing.
- Campaign The utm_campaign parameter identifies the specific campaign you are measuring. This can include the name of the campaign, the marketing channel (such as email or social media), or the specific advertising creatives you are using.
- Content The utm_content is a parameter that is used to track how users are interacting with different types of content on a website.
- Term The utm_term is used to identify the specific keyword or phrase that was used to find a given URL. This information can be used to measure the performance of different marketing campaigns and determine which keywords are most effective in driving traffic to a website.
Another great way to track the success of your marketing campaigns is to use e-commerce analytics. Check out our e-commerce analytics dashboard guide to learn how.
How to Use UTM Codes in Google Analytics
Before you get started with UTMs, you must have Google Analytics set up on your website. Once Google Analytics is ready to go, navigate to Google’s free URL builder to start creating your first UTM codes. Once there:
- Decide which of the five UTM codes would work best for the tracking you’d like to perform.
- Using Google’s URL builder, generate unique URLs for every ad or link you’d like to set up tracking for.
- Once completed, check in on your reports for Google Analytics to make sure they are set up correctly and are measuring the metrics you’d like them to. To do this, from the Google Analytics dashboard, navigate to “Acquisition” > “Campaigns”.
If you use Shopify, Google Analytics is sure to help you track your online store’s successes. To learn more, see our guide on how to add Google Analytics to Shopify.