What Are UTM Codes? Here's How to Use Them (w/ Examples)

Tracking where your website traffic comes from is a wise move for marketers. You should always be looking for windows of opportunity to optimize and leverage new strategies in the mediums that are performing well for you.

But finding the specific nuances of your traffic flow can be tricky if you don’t have the tools necessary or know where to look.

One simple and easy-to-use trick is to write UTM codes into your links.

What Is a UTM Code?

A UTM code, short for Urchin Traffic Monitor, includes small pieces of coded data that attach to the end of a URL to help you keep track your content and campaign performance. UTM codes have two components and five standard parameters.


The two components of UTM codes are:

  • Tracking variable: UTM codes have a unique variable that identifies the dimension you are tracking. The variable always comes after the “=” sign. The variable after the equals sign may only have letters, numbers, periods, hyphens, and a “+” sign. 
  • UTM parameter: The UTM parameter starts with “utm_” and there are five different parameters you can track: utm_campaign, utm_source, utm_email, utm_term, and utm_content. 

Most people turn to UTM codes to track campaign performance. The code will help differentiate the traffic coming from each source and medium by campaign. Essentially, the UTM code performs one function – to help your analytics tools track your visitors. 

Let’s break down the five UTM codes to help you understand what you can track when you…

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