Best Practices for Google's UTM Parameters

We will be discussing the best practices for UTM Parameters on Google Analytics.

About UTM Parameters

  • UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are tags that you add to the end of a URL to allow for tracking.
  • It is very important to add UTM parameters to the end of your URLs when tracking with Google Analytics and other analytics platforms (like Orbee's!)
  • This helps us determine where your visitors are coming from so we can make better marketing decisions for your advertisements, or adjust any webpages because they are not easily accessible to your visitors

You can learn more about UTM parameters on our Knowledge Base. 

What links should I tag?

  • Email Campaigns: the links that you send should be tracked because you want to see which subscribers are clicking on your links and you can see the type of visitors that click your email campaigns 
  • Social Media Campaigns: it is important to place UTM parameters on social media platforms, you should know who is clicking on your advertisements to target specific audiences. 
  • Paid Campaigns: it is very important to add UTM parameters to paid campaigns because you need to be able to see who is clicking on your advertisements and which users are converting because of these ads

Tips when adding UTM Parameters

  • Add UTM parameters to all traffic that you can control, even unpaid traffic
    • This will help you keep track of where your visitors are coming from, and it is important to see where conversions are being made
  • Set the campaign parameter to the campaign name
    • It will make it easier to keep track of the campaign, especially if it is a paid campaign
  • Set the term parameter to your target audience so it will be easier to determine whom you are targeting in that specific campaign 
  • When you set the content parameter, set a name that will allow you to identify the individual advertisement
    • If you are creating an ad for a specific model of a vehicle, set the content parameter to that vehicle.
  • When creating a UTM tag, try to keep the tags all lowercase; having a capital letter in your tag will change the URL and may cause problems if you attempt to type in the URL yourself
  • You should always stay consistent when creating tags. If you are consistent with your tags, it will prevent confusion and will also make sure your tags will be trackable 
  • Reduce using redundant words (try not to use the same word for the source/medium); if your source is facebook, you should not put your medium as facebook. You should change it to carousel or post depending on the advertisement
  • UTM tags work better with dashes than underscores. When a user looks up keywords on Google, it will index the underscore in addition to the keywords.
    • For example, if you use a dash in summer-sale, Google will look up both summer and sale. If you use an underscore, in summer_sale, Google will attempt to search for summer_sale.
  • You should always add UTM tags when creating campaigns because it will cause less confusion and make it easier for you to analyze the data that comes from each campaign

Common Mistakes with UTM Tagging

  • Not tagging your URL
  • No consistency with the UTM tagging
  • Using the wrong parameters 
    • For example, setting the medium as campaign and vice versa
  • Using different cases for each tag
    • Using uppercase for one UTM tag, and using lowercase for a different one
  • Using long campaign names
  • Tagging internal links
    • Tagging internal links will lose where your users came from and just state that they came directly to your site; Google will automatically track the traffic from your website

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2020 10:09 AM

Have any questions about UTM tagging? Feel free to contact us!