Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters are five variants of URL parameters used by marketers to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media. They were introduced by Google Analytics' predecessor Urchin and, consequently, are supported out-of-the-box by Google Analytics. The UTM parameters in a URL identify the campaign that refers traffic to a specific website, and attributes it to the browser's website session and the sessions after that until the campaign attribution window expires. The parameters can be parsed by analytics tools and used to populate reports. Example URL, UTM parameters highlighted, after the question mark (
UTM parameters in a URL identify the marketing campaign that refers traffic to a specific website. To define and append the relevant UTM parameters to the appropriate URLs, marketers routinely use simple, spreadsheet-based, or automated UTM builder tools, including the Google Analytics URL Builder for websites, and the equivalent Chrome extension. When a hyperlink is followed that contains a URL with UTM parameters, the web analytics software of the destination website interprets the parameter information and attributes it to the browser's website session and the sessions after that until the campaign attribution window has expired (by default, six months in Google Analytics).
UTM parameters that are passed to URLs can be parsed by analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, with the data used to populate standard and custom analytics reports. Web analytics software may attribute parameters to the browser's current and subsequent sessions until the campaign window has expired.
There are five different UTM parameters, which may be used in any order:
|utm_source (required)||Identifies which site sent the traffic, and is a required parameter.||utm_source=Google|
|utm_medium||Identifies what type of link was used, such as cost per click or email.||utm_medium=cpc|
|utm_campaign||Identifies a specific product promotion or strategic campaign.||utm_campaign=spring_sale|
|utm_term||Identifies search terms.||utm_term=running+shoes|
|utm_content||Identifies what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site, such as a banner ad or a text link. It is often used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads.||utm_content=logolink or utm_content=textlink|
While UTM parameters are a great tool to help calculate the unique number of clicks on a specific link, navigation choices on a Web site, and how much time is spent looking at it, there are those who don't want to have their clicking behavior tracked after looking something up via Google or elsewhere. Using tools like LinkScrub.com or the Tracking Token Stripper Chromium extension results in both more private browsing as well as more aesthetically-pleasing URLs.
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- "Using UTM Parameters in Adobe Analytics". Adam Greco. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- "UTM Builders Guide". M. Mitova. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- "Google Analytics URL Builder". Google Analytics. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- "Google Analytics URL Builder Chrome Extension". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- "Campaign URL Builder". Google. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- "LinkScrub - Clean Your Links!". LinkScrub. Retrieved 2019-05-13.