Using UTM Links in Digital Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide!

Wanna track your digital marketing performance and measure the ROI of your campaign? Even if you’re a beginner in digital marketing, you must know that you won’t succeed simply by a mediocre website and some social posts.

You have to track your digital campaign to know which of your strategies is performing well and which one is not. This way, you can be sure that you get high engagement rates and reach a good marketing ROI.

Using UTM links in your content is a great way to track your results and optimize your campaign.

What is a UTM Link?


As you know, the best tool for tracking and analyzing your URLs is Google Analytics. The thing is that you need to link your URL to Google Analytics to let it track your URL.

UTM links are codes that will be attached to your URLs and allow Google and other search engines to track them.

Urchin Tracking Module is the complete phrase for UTM and it is a tag used by marketers to track and analyze the results of their digital marketing efforts.

In other words, UTM links are simple codes that you can add to any URL to track and analyze different metrics.

A UTM link looks like this:

In fact, a UTM link includes your URL and some parts that are called UTM parameters.

What are UTM parameters?


UTM parameters determine what you want a search engine to track. As you can see in the example UTM link, there are 5 different parameters.

Here is the list of these parameters:

  • utm_source.
  • utm_medium.
  • utm_campaign.
  • utm_content.
  • utm_term.

Here is what these UTM parameters are and what they can do for you:

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Point 1

The first parameter is “source”. As it comes from the name, it determines the source of your traffic.

In the example above, the link’s source is Facebook. Source parameters can be social media platforms, email newsletters, and other sources.


Point 2

The medium parameter determines what type of traffic you’re receiving. Using this parameter, you can track any kind of traffic such as social or referral traffic.

The medium in the example above is “social,”. This means that the traffic is coming from social networks. This parameter can even be customized more to let you track any specific kind of traffic.


Point 3

The last parameter is “Campaign.” Using this parameter lets you track your campaigns, including ads, sales, blog post promotions, a/b testing, etc.


Point 4

This parameter is good to track CTAs like “try demo” in the mentioned example. Other examples of call-to-action phrases that can be used as the “content” parameter are “buy now”, “click here”, “learn more”, and “purchase now”.


Point 5

The term parameter is focused on the keywords used in PPC ads like the name of your products. This way, you can see what people search for when they find your ads. This tag is rarely used in organic URLs.

Advantages of using UTM links for digital campaigns


Now that you’ve learned different items of a typical UTM link, you need to know why you have to use them.

Here are the most important benefits of using UTM links for your digital marketing campaign:

Calculating the ROI of your marketing campaigns

ROI might be the most important indicator in every marketing campaign. Return On Investment is a measure of your performance, and is defined and calculated as:

ROI = (Increase in your sales - Your investment) / Your investment

The truth is that this simple formula is sometimes really difficult to measure. You need to track many effective items to be able to calculate your growth and the reason for your growth.

In other words, you have to know which factor has caused a growth in your sales and which factor has not.

So, you need to have insightful data on all your digital efforts to know which one is performing well and subsequently, include it in your formula. In other words, you have to define your conversion goals and track them to know the ones you’re reaching to and those you’re not.


UTM links are very useful in this regard. For instance, engagement rates, conversion rates, online sales, click rates, and many other factors can easily be measured by UTM links and therefore, find the effective items in your ROI.

Optimizing your marketing strategies

One of the most important matters in digital marketing is to recognize what your audiences like and what they dislike.

UTM tags help you identify what sort of content appeals to your audience so you can optimize your future content all over your digital channels.

In other words, you have to know the interaction of your audiences to every post including reviews, influencers’ posts, educational posts, discounts, promotional posts, etc. UTM tagging is best to help you in this regard.

UTM links can determine which social channels are best for your business and tell you which particular groups have higher engagement rates for you.

This is great for every digital market because it saves tons of money and time when tracking and reaching out to different social networking channels.

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Running and tracking A/B tests

Apart from tracking different channels, UTM links can help you find out the best version of your posts to get better results. UTM links are a good way to run and track your A/B testing on your site and social media platforms.

A/B Testing Tools

A/B testing is when you change a specific element in your site or social media post to figure out the interaction of your audience. From your website’s landing page to your hashtags in your social media posts, you can test and optimize your future activities accordingly.

A/B testing on social media or on your post can be easily managed by UTM tracking. With UTM tags, you can tag both the control and the variation with appropriate UTM parameters to figure out the best option in getting higher engagement rates.

Analyzing influencer’s campaigns

Influencer marketing is now considered an amazing way for increasing brand awareness. Social media influencers, bloggers, and other personalities with the ability to endorse businesses can greatly help you get higher engagement rates.

Of course, this is not for free and you need to pay lots of money if you want to collaborate with highly-engaged influencers. As a result, you must use a tool to track the performance of your campaign, and UTM links are great for that.

UTM tags can simplify tracking each influencer’s campaign. So, you can figure out which one is performing well to establish a long-lasting partnership with them.

How to create UTM codes?


As mentioned earlier, UTM links are tags by which you can track your traffic. Now, it’s time to know how to create them. Of course, Google Analytics is a unique tool in this regard but there are also other alternatives to it.

Google Analytics


Google Analytics is an unrivaled tool in tracking any digital metrics. You track the traffic of your URLs, the source where your traffic originated, and the type of your visitors.

Covering the traffic from social media sites/apps like Facebook and Twitter, Google Analytics enables you to know how social users interact with your content.

Google has a free built-in UTM builder by which you can easily find all the information about your URLs, traffic, and its sources.



Terminus is another tool that helps you create and manage UTM tags for your digital campaign. It has several outstanding features that make it a good alternative to Google Analytics.

For instance, if you want to add several UTM codes to a particular URL. The tool is really user-friendly and you can easily do tracking your URLs with several simple clicks in it.

URL Builder


URL Builder is another alternative to Google Analytics in creating and managing UTM tags. The tool allows you to add more than one tag to any URL so that you can track several different aspects at the same time.

Here are other benefits of using URL Builder:

  • Recording your previous URLs and parameters.
  • Providing a central place for building URLs.

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UTM links are the best tools for tracking and analyzing digital marketing campaigns. Try to use them to calculate your digital marketing ROI and recognize your weaknesses and strengths. Of course, using them needs a certain degree of expertise so try to assign it to a professional team. Now that we’re living in the age of coronavirus. It would be best to revise your digital marketing campaign and include UTM links in it.

Author-Image-Tom-SianiThis article is written by Tom Siani. Tom is the content manager of Blog Waves with more than 5 years of experience in this digital industry. He is also collaborating with some well-known brands in order to generate traffic, create sales funnels, and increase online sales. Follow him: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook.

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Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".