UTM Parameters 101
If you use Google Analytics or similar tools, you’ve probably come across the acronym UTM before. So, what is it?
UTM parameters are tags added to the end of a URL for the purpose of tracking data. The tags are added to the URL, creating a new link for you to share your site’s content. The new URL does not change the content, but it does track the data from the tags in the UTM parameter. You can see an example from one of our blogs to the right.
UTM parameters are particularly useful for a webpage that can be accessed from many different mediums, such as a fundraising event link shared over social media. The parameters will allow you to easily interpret where traffic to the page is coming from and how they engaged with your site while they were there.
There are five main tags used in UTM parameters. The most important tags are Source and Medium.
- The Source tag, like search engines and newsletters, is required to identify where the user found the link to the page.
- The Medium tag, such as paid search or email, shows the type of traffic or marketing channel that brings a user to your site.
These tags are valuable for interpreting where to focus marketing efforts based on data-driven performance. The Campaign, Team, and Content tags are primarily based on the individual post or ad rather than engagement with your site.
The other UTM tags are optional and are more typically used for paid search ads. These tags include:
- The Campaign Tag, like an annual sale or specific service, is internally used to identify the campaign associated with the URL.
- The Term Tag identifies the keywords used to search for paid ads.
- The Content Tag is used for testing different ad and post performance based on the content.
Using UTM parameters allows you to get a more clear understanding of your nonprofit’s website traffic. Data-driven insights can help you identify where to focus promotional events and what content encourages the most engagement. You can create your own UTM parameters using Google Analytics Developer Tools.