What is a UTM Code and How Can I Use It?

Estimated Reading Time 4 minutes

The Basics

In it’s simplest form, a UTM code is an extra piece of code that is added on to the end of a URL, allowing you to track data from clicks on those URLs in Analytics.

A UTM code is made up of six key components, although you don’t need to include each of them in your custom URL.

UTM Code Anatomy

Your UTM code might look something like this:

http://www.digital-clarity.com/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Autumn%20Offers&utm_term=DigitalClarity&utm_content=Logo

In this example, we’ve set our website URL as the homepage, the Source as Newsletter and the Medium is Email. For the campaign, we’ve used the subject of our email, ‘Autumn Offers’ – note, the %20 means that we’ve included a space. We’ve set the content to ‘Logo’, so that we can tell if a click was on our logo in the email.

The ampersand (&) is a connector for each of the different components, and the question mark after the website URL starts off the UTM code.

When should I use a UTM code?

Theoretically, UTM codes can be used any time you want to see where specific traffic has come from, such as organic or paid social posts, certain links in an email shot, and even partner sites.

For example:

If you’re sending out an email shot, and you want to know how many people have clicked on various links within your email, and what they’ve done when on your site, you can use UTM codes to gather the data in Analytics.

The main areas you should include when creating a UTM code are the website URL (goes without saying) and the Source and Medium.

Consistency is Key

One thing we’d thoroughly recommend is being consistent when using UTM codes, as it will make your life easier. If you start off with Email/Newsletter as your Source/Medium, then a few months later switch to email/newsletter, you’ll skew the reporting as these will be reported separately in Analytics.

Where can I find the data in Analytics?

If there’s been clicks on your URL, you’ll be able to find the data in Analytics. Once you’ve logged in, navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source Medium. The reporting works in the same way as if you were reporting on something like google / organic, in that you can see everything from sessions to bounce rate and any conversions that may have occurred from the specific URL.

Google’s URL Builder is a handy tool that helps you to build your custom URL from each of the components. Try it out here.

Sophie Burrows
Using her photography experience on locations such as the London & Milan Fashion shows through to using her rich creative flair in Adobe’s Marketing Suite, Sophie is a member of the Digital Clarity creative content division. Graduating from The University of Hertfordshire with a 2:1 degree, Sophie is involved in semantic architecture for blog and content creation that involves writing, video and podcast production.

One of our team members is very much looking forward to attending an evening @harfordmanor organised and hosted by @savills and in conjunction with horological masters @mjjwatches #windsor #berkshire

×

Hot on the heels of the @iabuk report on video growth - we’re delighted to be well and truly certified by @google #video #advertising #googlepartners #digitalclarity

×

Search still the daddy though online video spend overtakes banner ads for the first time. See latest @iabuk / @pwc_uk digital #adspend report #digital #advertising #video #UK #ppc #adwords

×

#Repost @s0phieburrows ・・・ Thanks @bingads for the bubbly! #bingbeat #thirstythursday #winning #digitalclarity #prosecco 🥂

×

Happy 80th Birthday Sir Bobby Charlton - a gentleman and true football legend 🙌 #bobbycharlton #legend #greatness

×

Waiting for sunflowers. An experiment in the @digitalclarity lab. Who will have the tallest sunflower? Thanks to #pure360 for the pots. #emailmarketing #seo #digitalclarity

×

What a way to celebrate your 20th birthday @maxverstappen1 wins the Malaysian Grand Prix #f1 #lewishamilton #danielricciardo picture via @f1

×

Great talk by Tim McLoughlin Head of Social Media at Hotels.com on engaging #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #travel #travel_conf

×