How to Create UTM Codes to Track Your URLs [Quick Tutorial]

The ability to measure your performance and success is one of the most crucial aspects of online marketing. Regardless of which tools you use, the goal is to prove that your efforts are worth it. Measuring the impact, however, could get a little tricky, especially without the right tools. Sure, you know that Twitter drives a certain percentage of traffic to your website, but do you know if your company’s tweets were indeed the ones that were actually driving those visits? Fortunately, you can prove it with special codes that can be added to the end of your URLs.

Also known as UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters, a UTM code is a simple code or snippet of text that is attached to a custom URL for tracking a source, medium, and campaign name. It enables Google Analytics to tell you where visitors came from as well as what campaign led them to your website. UTM codes are commonly used to create a vanity URL for each offline campaign, then redirect that URL to a designated address you assign it—most likely your domain name. This will ultimately allow you to make educated decisions on your future marketing campaigns.

Why is UTM important?

UTM codes can be used in a number of locations such as online advertisements, social media pages, and websites. As such, if you spend a lot of time on social media, you might be publishing a lot of links per day. With UTM codes, you can track the performance of those links so you can see where the traffic is coming from. UTM essentially answers some basic questions about your website’s traffic. Where is the traffic coming from? How is it getting to me? It tells the story of how your traffic arrives at your site.

Here are five things you can track with UTM codes:

1.     Campaign – Groups content from one campaign in your analytics

2.     Content – Tracks different types of content that points to the same URL from the same source, medium, and campaign codes

3.     Source – Which website is generating traffic to your website

4.     Medium – Which marketing medium the link is featured in

5.     Term – Used to identify the keywords paid for in a PPC ad

How to create UTM codes for your URLs (in Google Analytics):

The easiest way to create UTM codes for your links is to use Google Analytics URL Builder.

1.     Set up UTM codes – Using the Google URL Builder, assign the URL, campaign, source, and medium information in the selected boxes.

2.     Use the link in your marketing – If you want to shorten your link, you can use bitly.

3.     Measure your success – Google Analytics will track your campaign given that you already use it. You can access them under “Audience”, then “Sources”, then “Campaign”. You can click on each campaign to view source and medium.

Follow these tips and you're done! You’ll have your custom tracking codes installed and running in no time to keep track of all your marketing metrics. 

Angela Gaddi
Angela Gaddi Hire Me

Freelance Writer

Angela writes about IT security, privacy, free speech, politics, social media, and the intersection of business and consumer tech. Has a special aptitude for privacy, cult literature, film noir.

Hire Me

Next Article

4 Characteristics of User-Friendly Websites