The purpose of a UTM code is to allow you to track, via Google Analytics, how many people have clicked on the link to which you have assigned a UTM code. A UTM code can also provide a more accurate insight into where your website traffic is coming from.


What does UTM mean?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and is simply written a small code that can be linked to all URLs that subsequently generate data in Google Analytics, where you as a marketer can follow, for example, a digital marketing campaign.

What does a UTM consist of?
It's quite simple to make a UTM code, you don't even need to be a developer. The code itself is made in very small chunks of information, as you can see here:

  • Website URL. You start by inserting your website's URL. In the example above, we have simply inserted our own URL: https://inboundcph.dk (always remember to include https:// in this field).
  • Campaign Source. Next, you need to enter which source your link, and therefore your UTM, code should be inserted on. In the example above, we have used a campaign on the entrepreneur portal Amino. It could also have been a social media, your email signature, a website you collaborate with or your own newsletter - if your newsletter provider doesn't automatically put a UTM code on for you (check this first).
  • Campaign Medium. The campaign on Amino in the above example is through a banner, and therefore we call campaign medium display, since Google Analytics' Default Channel Grouping has already grouped all your website traffic into the following: Direct, Organic Search, Social, Email, Affiliates, Referral, Paid Search, Other Advertising, Display and (other) Campaign Medium is about the type or nature of the link.
  • Campaign name . As it is our SEO book, in the example we want to market via a banner on the entrepreneur portal Amino, then Campaign Name is of course SEO book. It could also have been a product name, mail_signup_Facebook or offer_august_2020

In the above example we have only filled in the mandatory fields, but as you can see in the image it is also possible to enter a Campaign Term and a Campaign Content. This is rarely necessary, but let's look at them anyway.

  • Campaign Term. Campaign Term is used for paid searches. For example, you can use utm_term to list the keywords for your ad.
  • Campaign content. Campaign content is used for A/B split test and content-targeted ads. For example, you can use utm_content to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL. For example, whether it is a logo link or a text link

Once the above is filled in satisfactorily, you can press copy URL and paste it where you want your UTM to work from - it's that easy 🙂

Example of copying the URL/UTM code:

Link to UTM tool

There are various tools that can create UTM codes.

We use this: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

Important UTM rules of thumb

Last but not least, we'll go over some good UTM rules of thumb you should be aware of if you're going to start working with UTM codes:

  • Use lower case letters only
  • Never use an asterisk
  • Do not use special characters
  • Never use spaces but use _ (underscore) or - (hyphen)
  • Do not create UTM codes for internal links on your website
  • Check if your newsletter provider and other ad platforms insert UTM codes for you, if they do don't create one yourself.

Have a great time.

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Ian Rosenfeldt

Founder & COO

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Do you need help with your Google Marketing efforts, or are you considering whether it makes sense for your company to focus on SEO and Google Ads? Contact Ian Rosenfeldt and have a dialogue about your project.

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