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How-to 5 min read October 21, 2019

What are UTM marks and how do they work

UTM marks are tags due to which you can track links following and receive some data for traffic source analysis. The UTM marks help to identify the advertisements and campaigns which attract the biggest number of users and the most beneficial clients.

What are UTM marks

UTM is an abbreviation of "Urchin Tracking Module". This system was designed to track the links following using GET queries. When a user clicks such a link, the following parameters data are conveyed to analysis systems which collect statistics by each of the hyperlinks.

What are the UTM marks for?

Due to the UTM marks, you can objectively estimate the efficiency of every single traffic channel, find out what advertising types are economically effective. Also, the analysis helps to determine what advertising channels worth contributing to as they provide the maximum conversion.

To ensure tracking, you need to add special UTM parameters and their values at the end of the URL. Below you can see an example of such a link:
UTM parameters and values in the URL address
To simplify the further stats analysis, you should use relevant keywords while choosing parameters.

To get the advanced statistic data, you can use ValueTrack dynamic parameters in Google Analytics. They allow getting data not only about the source of a following but also about a type of the device used, user's location at the moment of clicking, and many other pieces of info. For example, using the {ifmobile:[value]} parameter, you can track the users who entered your site via smartphones.

How to create a UTM mark

To create the UTM mark, you need to use five basic parameters:

  • utm_source — helps to identify the traffic source, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, etc.;

  • utm_medium — is used to see a particular advertising channel such as PPC, email, banners;

  • utm_campaign — this is an identifier of a campaign, particular ad, certain good promo code, etc.;

  • utm_term — is provided you mark campaigns with the keywords manually. This parameter shows the entered key phrase, which made a user see the ad.

  • utm_content — helps to distinguish the links within a common letter or piece of the ad. Due to this feature, you can see which of them are more effective.

The first three parameters are obligatory. The other two ones are chosen optionally. For example, the mail merge UTM marks are:

?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=en-summer_updates.

After choosing the needed marks, each of them is supplied with an arbitrary value, which will be used in Google Analytics reports.

What UTM marks generators are better to use in 2019

To simplify the process of the UTM marks creation, you can use online generators. Besides, to avoid making the links too long not to frighten the customers and not to disclose your in-side marketing information, the hyperlinks can be shortened, and the UTM marks can be generated with fewer GET parameters.

To create short links with the UTM marks, special online tools like Bitly should be used.

Enter the site URL and choose the needed parameters: source, medium, name, term, content. Then click "Build URL" and the tool will automatically create the link. Further, you just have to copy the generated link and paste it in your campaigns.
UTM marks generator online utm.io
This tool has similar functions but includes explanations to every field, and creating the short link is optional.
Online UTM generator UTM maker
Google Campaign URL builder
You need to fill out the required fields and copy the built link:
Link with UTM marks in Google Campaign URL Builder
This tool also has an additional function for logged in users — you can convert the built URL with "Google marks" into a short link using Bitly.

How to check the UTM marks in Google Analytics

To see the UTM links following report in Google Analytics, go to the section "Reports" — "Channels".
UTM marks analysis in Google Analytics

Conclusion

1
UTM marks are a convenient tool for tracking and optimizing your advertisement campaign in search systems, email, push newsletters, banners, and other sources of traffic.
2
UTM marks are most easily generated in special online tools which allow building URLs with particular parameters just for a couple of minutes. Besides, you can generate both full and short links.
3
Dynamic parameters allow tracking the UTM marks and receive advanced statistic data about following, including user's location data, information about the device used, and search phrases according to which were shown the ads.

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