How To Use UTM Tracking Parameters – A Complete Guide

It is possible to direct the market on the Internet. Email, social media, and ads are all ways you can drive traffic to your website.

Understanding where traffic is coming from is crucial.

There’s good news! You can easily track online marketing campaigns with marketing attribution

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what is.

These are the UTM parameters.

Most modern analytics tools can use UTM parameters. Without them, you are missing out on the full potential of your data analysis.

What are the UTM Parameters?

UTM is the Urchin Tracking module. You can add 5 UTM parameters in your URL to point to it.

UTM Parameters attached to URLs indicate where visitors came from before landing on your website.

The five UTM parameters are listed below.

  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_content (optional)
  • utm_term (optional)

These are their meanings. These are the meanings of these words. we will explain them shortly.

Urchin Web Analytics developed the parameters. Google purchased Urchin in 2005. Urchin’s product Google Analytics was then created

Why use UTM Tracking Codes

You want to see where traffic leads, especially if you’re paying for it.

A web browser usually returns the URL of the site visited by visitors when they click on links. Note: “Referrer” spelling is wrong.

The HTML referer can be seen in action. See the What’s our Referer?

What you should see:

You should be able to find something very similar to what you just saw. It could be different depending on how you arrived there.

You should see that it shows you visited our site. Because analytics from have identified as the origin of your visit to

Many digital marketers use the HTTP referer to attribute content.

Here is an example of a blank HTTP referer. This link is available.

The URL was identical to the one before. But the HTTP referer couldn’t be passed.

We’ll be discussing why in a minute.

If your analytics tool doesn’t have an HTTP referer, it will not report any traffic. If your analytics tool does not have an HTTP referer, it will report traffic that doesn’t include one.

It is important to decrease the number of falsely reported traffic entries.

I’ve said it many times, and it’s worth repeating: Traffic isn’t all the same.

Quality matters more than quantity. Traffic can convert better based on its source.

It might surprise you to learn that your Facebook paid ads to convert better than your organic tweet.

UTM parameters form the foundation of marketing attribution. These parameters will assist you in determining that.

What happens when the HTTP Referer doesn’t exist?

The HTTP reference may not always be available

There are a few scenarios in which the reference information could be left empty.

  • Many apps can be used on smartphones, including email, messaging, and video.
  • Bookmarked link
  • The =”> Link contains a rel=” no referrer HTML tag. These HTML tags are available in WordPress version 4.7.4 and newer.
  • To remove the referrer from the visitor’s computer, a proxy server is utilized.
  • Email link clicked
  • Redirect an https ://–based website to a URL that is HTTP://
  • Links can be found in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF.
  • To block the referrer, a website visitor installs an advertising blocking plugin.
  • An automated spider or bot that clicks the link.

UTM Parameters

This happens nearly every day!

UTM parameters must be used when linking to your website.

  • Paid search traffic
  • Emails
  • Documents
  • Organic social media
  • Paid social media
  • Links to publicly accessible sources (e.g. social media ).
  • Affiliate links
  • Online (i.e. Online (i.e.


UTM parameters cannot be used to search organically. UTM parameters should only be used to link to your website.

What do the UTM Parameters refer to?

There are five UTM parameters in total. Two of them are optional, and three are required.

The definitions of the options:

  • utm_source — From where your traffic came. ActiveCampaign is also an option.
  • Utm_medium: Identifies the type and origin of the hyperlink.
  • Utm_campaign — URL, promotion, or any other information from the source traffic that originated. This parameter must be unique to each campaign.
  • utm_content (optional). This is used to determine the click order on pages that have multiple links in the same campaign.
  • Keyword — Optional — This is useful for searching keywords that have been used on your website.

It is sometimes easier to show than explain.

External Website (Fastlane Forum).

This parameter was created to locate a Fastlane Forum link we had included in our signature.

Email Newsletter

All emails we send are marked with our logo. The utm_content and utm_campaign for each email must differ.


This is an example of a Tweet linking to our article. It was interesting to see where that traffic comes from.

As a guide

You must pass a UTM parameter to any link that you create. This allows you to determine the source traffic.

UTM tracking does not exist. Technically UTM parameters are flexible.

A lack of organization can lead to incorrect use of UTM parameters.

Here are our suggestions for creating UTM parameters.

  • Be consistent with your name convention. Stick to the naming convention, and that’s what is most important.
  • Use lowercase parameters. Use lowercase characters if you are using mixed cases.
  • Spaces should be used sparingly. Any URL builder will convert any options into a well-formatted URL format. It makes the URL format easier to understand.
  • Do not use dashes but underscores. Spaces and underscores are easily confused so don’t use them.
  • UTM parameters shouldn’t be used on your website. UTM parameters should never be used on your site.
  • You should not use Parameters to search organically. Search is the only area where you don’t need UTM parameters.

Your site should be open to third-party links It is not possible to control the UTM parameters used. Use a link to improve your SEO.

The following is a list of recommended utm_sources.

This is a lowercase version of the brand names, without the domain extension. There will be no spaces, dashes, or underscores.

  • Bing – bing
  • Delicious – delicious
  • Digg – Digg
  • DuckDuckGo – duckduckgo
  • Facebook – Facebook
  • Foursquare – Foursquare
  • Google – google
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn
  • Pinterest – Pinterest
  • Quora – quora
  • Reddit – Reddit
  • Tumblr – Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • YouTube – YouTube

The list is similar to the utm_sources lists. Google Analytics expects them.

  • CPC = Cost per Click. This is a paid advertisement.
  • Email-Any link clicked in an email
  • Organic – Google Analytics automatically adds organic to all organic searches (meaning that they are not paid).
  • Push – A notification via a web browser push
  • Referral: A link to another site or service
  • Social – All organic social media traffic not paid for

Create UTM Parameters

No need to know How to format URLs.

ActiveCampaign will automatically create UTM parameters.

UTM parameters are not available on all web services. You will have to manually create these links.

Google provides a free tool, campaign URL building.

Type the URL, the desired utm_source, or utm_medium, and enter

This program will generate your URL, which you can then copy and paste wherever it’s needed.

Track UTM codes

If you don’t keep track of all your links, you won’t reap any benefits.

Tracking the code can help you avoid inconsistency and confusion if multiple developers are working on your website.

A Google sheet is the most efficient way to keep track of UTM codes. Google Sheets allows you to easily input and share UTM codes.

Download our free template. The spreadsheet follows our formatting recommendations.

All of your links can be managed online. A Campaign URL Builder has been added.

Sign up below to get your copy.

Reduce UTM Parameters

Long URLs are confusing to users. Link trackers allow you to find URLs, share them, and even email them.

Bitly is a well-known link tracker. This domain is not yours. Links must use “”.

Bitly also uses the same namespace for all customers for its free version. So if the link “” is already taken (it is), you can’t use it for your purposes.

Bitly offers commercial plans that extend beyond its free service. They are however expensive and do not include many features.

I used ij. cm for all the short links on our website Investor Junkie. This attribute is required for any shortened URLs you use.

Rebrandly is a superior alternative to Bitly.

  • Your domain name is unique
  • Built-in UTM Builder
  • Analytic Reports to Track Conversions
  • Bitly offers paid options that are cheaper than Bitly’s

I love it because it is free.

Our Take

Rebrandly targets influencers who want to reduce the number of links. Bitly doesn’t have all that many features. Rebrandly is a fantastic service and one that every digital marketer should utilize.

Hide UTM Parameters

UTM codes are not always visible to website visitors. People often share links that have UTM codes from different sources.

You can share a Twitter URL on Facebook. Twitter may be incorrectly linked to this source.

You can avoid this by simply deleting the UTM parameters once you have collected their data.

Wistia created a JavaScript plugin that you can use on your site. Fresh URL for more details.

Google Ads with UTM Parameters

If your use third-party tools to analyze data, then you’ll also need UTM parameters.

Google Ads had this feature since its inception. UTM parameters are optional if you stay within Google’s ecosystem.

Google Ads lets you auto-tag any ads that you create. If you have only Google Analytics, this is a great option.

When someone clicks on an ad in the browser, an automatic-tagging system will add a parameter called “gclid”, to their session. The -enabled option must be set at a minimum.

You can set this option to ensure that all ads you create include the right UTM parameters.

These steps are a bit obscured within your Google Ads account. Follow these steps to activate this option:

  1. Choose the Settings option in the left menu of Google Ads For All Campaigns.
  2. Click on Account Settings at the top.
  3. Select Tracking – Use URL tracking as your next step.
  4. Enter your tracking URL in the Tracking Template Field. Here’s what we suggest you do.
  5. Click the SAVE button after you’re done.

I suggest the following tracking template:


The template generates all the necessary parameters to display your ads.

It is also worth reading about the ValueTrack parameters. There are many choices that you have and we aren’t going to cover them all.

Facebook Ads With UTM Parameters

Facebook wants you to remain within its ecosystem, just like Google. This is called fbclid.

It automatically tags every click on your website. Only if you’re using Facebook analytics.

Facebook has recently begun using UTM parameters for its ads. You couldn’t use your analytics software.

You can edit any ad you wish to make use of this feature, and then move to the Tracking section. Here’s how it works:


Google Ads makes this impossible. This information will be copied into each ad you create.

NOTICE: Facebook’s site_source_name documentation may not be correct as of the writing. In the documentation, the variable is named Site_source_name should be used.

You can use this setting for any Facebook Ad you make. Simply copy and paste the information.

Facebook provides additional information about URL parameters.

Facebook decided to use its site_source_name variable name convention. These are the analytics you’ll see:

  • Facebook – FB
  • IG – Instagram
  • msg – Facebook Messenger
  • an Audience Network (ads on Facebook)

Google Analytics allows you to rename source “fb”, and “ig” respectively, to show the complete source name. This is however beyond the scope of this article.

Microsoft Advertisements With UTM Parameters

Microsoft (Bing) is an ad network, search engine, and search engine that is frequently overlooked. As I’ve found, Microsoft is great for seniors.

UTM tracking looks very much like Google. Don’t worry about adding parameters to each ad. Create a template and set it.

Click on the “All Campaigns” link in the left menu and then click “Settings”. Once you are in this section click the “Account Settings” tab. Add this option to the Tracking template.


By clicking on “Auto-tagging of Click ID”, you can turn on conversion tracking by Microsoft. This will include Microsoft’s version’ gclid (also known as msclkid) in every ad.

Click “Save” when you’re done.

Microsoft documentation contains more information on tracking template variables.

Google Analytics

After all your work is done, you want to have the ability to monitor all of this data.

Let’s assume you have Google Analytics. Start immediately if it isn’t already!

Google Analytics will be the focus of your attention: Acquisition > All Traffic> Source/Medium.

The area gives you information about the sources and media for traffic to your website. To find out more, simply type “Campaign” in the dropdown menu.

These data can be used in various areas of Google Analytics.

Append UTM Parameters To An Order Form

I made the WordPress plugin UTM Tracker.

  1. Stores the UTM codes when a website opens. These codes can then be used to track user movements on the website.
  2. Adds UTM codes and other options to web pages automatically.

Track these conversions in your email list or contact form. Compatible with most major WordPress plugins.

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