URL Tracking with UTM Parameters: How It Works


If you're running any sort of online marketing campaign, then you must be tracking your results. After all, how can you hope to improve your campaigns if you don't even know what's working and what isn't? That's where URL tracking comes in.

In this blog post, we'll give you a crash course on everything you need to know about URL tracking and UTM parameters, including what they are and how you can use them to track your marketing campaign results.

What are UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters are a set of five variables added to the end of a URL to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns.

The five variables are:

Each variable corresponds to a piece of information that can be tracked, such as the name of the website where the user came from (utm_source) or the specific ad clicked on (utm_content). By adding UTM parameters to URLs, marketers can get a more detailed picture of which online campaigns result in conversions. As a result, they can make more informed decisions about where to allocate their resources to maximize ROI.

The Obsessed Marketer

Why are UTM Parameters Important for URL Tracking?

UTM parameters provide valuable data that you can use to improve your marketing strategy. By understanding which channels drive the most traffic, you can focus your energy on those channels and produce better results.

Additionally, you can use UTM parameters to track conversions. This way, you can see which campaigns result in sales or leads. Ultimately, they are essential for any marketer who wants to optimize their campaigns and get the most out of their marketing budget.

What Can You Use UTMs to Track?

UTMs are incredibly versatile and can be used to track just about anything. Here are a few examples:

Woman using a smartphone to track marketing campaigns using UTM parameters.

Creating tracking links with UTMs is actually quite simple. All you need to do is add a few parameters to the end of your URL.

Here's an example of what a tracking link might look like:


As you can see, each parameter has an assigned value. In this example, the utm_source is set to “facebook,” the utm_medium is set to “cpc,” and the utm_campaign is set to “spring_sale.”

You can add as many UTM parameters as you want to your tracking link, but the three most important ones are utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign. These will give you the most data about your campaigns.

Start building your own tracking links here:https://ga-dev-tools.web.app/campaign-url-builder/

How Do You Read UTM Reports?

Once you start collecting data with UTMs, you'll need to know how to read your UTM reports.

The first thing you'll want to do is log into your Google Analytics account. On the left-hand side of the screen, you'll see a menu of options. Under the “Acquisition” heading, click on “All Traffic.” Then, click on “Source/Medium.” This will pull up a list of all the traffic sources and traffic mediums that have been used to visit your website.

Next, you'll want to take a look at the “Medium” column. This will tell you what type of traffic each UTM is responsible for bringing to your site. For example, if you see a lot of traffic coming from UTMs with the medium “email,” then you know that your email marketing campaign is successful. If you see a lot of traffic coming from UTMs with the medium “social,” then you know that your social media campaign is successful.

Finally, you'll want to look at the “Session Duration” and “Pages/Session” columns. The Session Duration column will tell you how long each session lasted, on average. The Pages/Session column will tell you how many pages were viewed during each session. Together, these two metrics will show how engaged your visitors are when they come to your site through a UTM.

UTM data in a graph showing different series of numbers

What are the Best Practices for Using UTMs?

There are a few best practices you should follow when using UTM parameters.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your UTMs are effective and provide valuable data.


UTM parameters are a valuable tool for marketing campaigns. They provide detailed insights into user behavior and can improve your site or marketing strategy. By understanding how users interact with your site, you can make changes that will encourage them to stay longer, visit more pages, and come back again in the future. In addition, UTMs can track the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns and identify which ones are providing the most value for your business. If you're not already using UTMs in your marketing campaigns, now is the time to start. Contact us today and let us help you get started!


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Filed Under: Analytics, Business Tips

About Jon Maday

Jon recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in marketing and economics. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and loves his Chicago sports teams. Jon found his passion for marketing while in college and decided to pursue a career in the digital side of marketing. He is an eager learner and started with Viral Solutions as an intern before accepting a position upon graduation. Outside of work, Jon enjoys hanging out with friends and watching sporting events.