UTM Parameter Guide

What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are a type of URL parameters. URL parameters can be appended to the end of an URL to transport information about the person using the link. Their primary purpose is to measure the performance of marketing campaigns. There is a total of five UTM parameters:

  • utm_source - which site/app the user comes from
  • utm_medium - type of traffic, e.g. organic vs. paid
  • utm_campaign - name or ID of the marketing campaign
  • utm_term - a search term
  • utm_content - name or ID of the ad

Although each UTM parameter was tailored for a specific piece of information to be transported via the URL, they can be repurposed to transport any information one sees fit.

What can I use UTM parameters for?

There are many ways to utilize UTM parameters to make your life easier. You can use them on affiliate links, so you know which influencer sent the customer your way. Or you can use them for ad campaigns, to identify whether a visitor of your landing page came from let’s say Facebook Ads or Snapchat Ads. But you can also use it on your social media page, so that you know how many visitors came to your website from there. The limit is your imagination.

What does UTM stand for?

UTM is short for Urchin Tracking Modul. Urchin was a web analytics service that got acquired by Google in 2005, making Urchin the predecessor of Google Analytics.

Why should I use UTM parameters?

With ever increasing privacy measures tracking becomes gradually more difficult. UTM parameters are a simple way to reliantly transport the most important information via the URL without having to deploy overly invasive tracking measures.

What do UTM parameters look like in action?

https://www.example.com?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=black-friday& utm_term=men-who-like-to-read&utm_content=my-video-ad

UTM parameters are attached at the end of the original page URL. A question mark is used to separate the original URL from the URL parameters. The value of the UTM parameter comes after the equal sign. UTM parameters are separated by an &-sign.

If you are ready to use UTM parameters to improve the tracking of your ads, then head over to our UTM builder and generate tailored parameters according to your needs.

In order to make UTM and with that URL tracking more convenient, most of the big ad marketplaces such as Facebook Ads and Reddit Ads support a variety of dynamic URL parameters - also referred to as macros - that dynamically generate certain bits of information such as the campaign name for you so that you don't have to insert it manually. Head this way to learn more about URL macros.

If you would like to learn which macros are supported by the various ad marketplaces and what purpose they serve, check out our macro glossaries:

The companies responsible for developing the macros listed across this website may change their functionality at any time. We have no control over this and cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information regarding macros across this website.