What is UTM tracking and what can it tell me?

How do you know which marketing campaigns attracted which visitors to your website? UTM tracking can help you identify them on Google Analytics.

“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion” W. Edwards Deming.

One of the best things about digital marketing is that we can track virtually anything, giving us valuable insights into our marketing campaigns and audience behaviour, thus enabling us to optimise performance. One way to do this, is by using UTM tracking codes that works with Google Analytics.

What’s a UTM tracking code?

UTM (originally called Urchin Traffic Monitor) tracking codes are codes added to the end of a URL. These codes serve to identify specific campaigns, links, or banners. By placing different UTM tracking codes on every ad, link, and banner, your analytics tool can help you identify and lets you track the performance of every single ad, in every different form, and help you optimise the performance of your campaigns.

How do I use it?

You can differentiate your UTM tracking codes by UTM parameters. The most commonly included are source, medium, content and campaign. They will appear as such in your UTM tracking code:

Key UTM tags

Once you have a UTM tagged URL, you can use it as the landing page, or the webpage to point your ads or marketing activities to. Some of these include:

  • Emails
  • Facebook ads
  • Google Ads (Previously known as AdWords)
  • Digital banners on ad networks

If you’re using Google Analytics to track your website’s performance, refer to this quick guide for using UTM tracking codes and Google’s Best Practices for creating Custom Campaigns.

Here’s a tool designed to easily help you generate your UTM tagged URLs.

How will I view my campaign performance on Google Analytics?  

You can track the performance of your campaigns and different ad forms on Google Analytics, log in and head to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.

The list shows statistics generated by the “utm_campaign” tags in your URLs. Each line shows how much traffic a particular campaign has generated. If you click on each campaign name, you can see the various sources/medium they originated from. You can also see the breakdown of the content by selecting it in the "secondary dimension".

Google Analytics campaigns view

With your UTM codes in place, you now have an overview of performance by source and medium over a period of time.

You can also do this using Adtiq, which allows you to view, manage, and optimise Facebook and Google campaigns on a single platform.

Generate your own UTM tagged URLs with our free tool.

  • UTM tracking codes are added to urls to identify and track specific ads, links or banners
  • You can track the performance of every ad in every format in order to optimise performance
  • UTM tracking codes can be inserted into emails, Facebook ads, Google search ads and banners
  • With UTM tracking codes in place you can get an overview of performance for each asset used in a campaign


Sign up for Adtiq today