What Is a UTM Code and Why Should You Use One?

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The digital age has brought so many advancements to marketing technology. From social media to search ads and everything in between, you’re now able to track and analyze data to your heart’s content. But sometimes…it’s not that easy. With multiple campaigns running at once, sometimes up to ten different media channels, and ad testing, tracking URLs and links can be a nightmare. 

There are plenty of tools out there to help track campaigns—Salesforce, Google Analytics, and the like—but there is a new way of tracking that’s helping revolutionize traffic tracking and data analytics: UTM (urchin tracking module) codes. 

What is a UTM code? 

UTM codes are snippets of code placed at the end of a URL that carry extra added information. This information, called a UTM parameter, can include the campaign source, medium, name, and even the content. When you use UTM codes in your digital campaigns, you can better understand how individuals consume your content. 

Google Analytics can then break down the traffic depending on its campaign and source, making data collection and comparison easier than ever.

What can you use UTMs for? 

Let’s say you’re running multiple messages for the same campaign, each linking to the same landing page, but coming from a different medium. When you use a UTM code at the end of your link, it makes it much easier to track and monitor marketing campaign data. They help you keep track of clicks and views, and help you understand which efforts are most successful. Change up your campaigns as you see fit while this data trickles in. Experiment. Try new things. After all, that’s what it takes to stand out from the crowd now days! 

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When do you use UTM codes? 

Use UTMs any and everywhere! We (try) to use them across all our marketing channels, whether it’s emails, digital ads, campaigns or even on our own website. It can get a little tedious sometimes having to create a new code for each and every link on your site, but it’s well worth it. The data you receive from these campaigns can help you determine which channels perform best. You might even find certain content works best on certain platforms, which is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. 

How do you make a UTM code? 

Creating a UTM code is simple. Just go to Google Analytics DevTools. As you can see, there are plenty of boxes to get as specific as you like, but for the sake of this campaign, we’ll keep it simple.

A UTM code being generated.

First is a box titled ‘Website URL’. Copy and paste the desired URL into this box. Then, input the campaign source, like a Google AdWords campaign or monthly Newsletter. Next input the medium. Finally, add the campaign name and you’re good to go. Below is your newly created UTM code. You’re now free to track and analyze to your heart’s content! 

When it comes to UTMs, however, you do want to be careful that your naming conventions remain consistent. If an entire department is creating codes that all track the same link but are all called something different, then you’re going to have a real data fiasco on your hands. 

UTM codes are a great way to track, analyze, and change materials and messages throughout your marketing campaigns. We hope this guide helps you create your own UTM codes, and that you start to use them in your efforts. But we know sometimes it’s not that easy. Maybe marketing isn’t your thing? Well we’ve got a group of strategic partners ready and willing to help your team take their efforts to the next level. Contact us today to get in touch with a partner and learn more about what we can do to help your business succeed. 

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