What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are tags attached to URLs to measure the success of online marketing campaigns. Learn more about their meaning and application here.

What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are special tags that are appended to the URL of a web page to obtain more information about the origin and target group of traffic sources. They are predominantly used in online marketing, especially for campaigns in Google Analytics, to measure their success and optimize ROI (return on investment).

Origin and meaning of UTM parameters

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, named after the Urchin Web Analytics system, which was later purchased by Google and became the basis of Google Analytics. UTM parameters were developed to collect visitor data in a structured way, making it easier to analyze marketing activities. They help to better understand the effectiveness and performance of different traffic sources.

The most important UTM parameters

There are five main UTM parameters that are frequently used:

  • utm_source: Identifies the source of the traffic, such as a search engine, social network, or other medium.
  • utm_medium: Indicates the delivery medium, for example, whether it is organic or paid search results, email marketing, or a banner ad.
  • utm_campaign: Allows traffic to be associated with a specific marketing campaign, such as a special offer, product release, or seasonal promotion.
  • utm_term: Optional parameter for performance measurement of keywords in paid search campaigns (SEA).
  • utm\_content: Is especially useful when multiple links are used on the same page for the same campaign, such as different banners or call-to-action buttons. This parameter can be used to determine which link is more effective.

Tips for using UTM parameters

To effectively deploy UTM parameters, some best practices should be considered:

  • Uniform and consistent naming of parameter values to avoid later confusion or missing data.
  • The information collected with UTM parameters should be evaluated regularly to optimize campaigns and use marketing budgets wisely.
  • It is advisable to use URL shorteners such as Bitly or TinyURL to shorten long URLs with many UTM parameters to make them more user-friendly.

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