Wtf is a UTM?!


Wtf is with all these three-letter names for things in marketing? Wtf is a UTM? Well if you want to learn how to accurately track how people got to your website, you’re gonna want to read on…

What is a UTM?

If you can guess what UTM stands for, then you sir, are a genius. It actually stands for ‘urchin tracking module’. And, like a sea urchin, they’re… no, no I have no comparison. Right, anyway, a UTM is technically a code made up of text that is added to a URL (that thing in the address bar) and tells analytics tools a bit more information about each link.

Imagine you are running some new exciting video content and publishing it across all the different social media platforms. How are you going to be to track which posts on which platform had the most impact? Yes, you could look at engagement measures like Likes and Comments, but the reality is we want to drive people to your website. So, which post was the most successful at that? That’s where UTM’s are your saving grace.

Essentially, they’re a great tool to stalk people through to your website, but in a non-creepy way.

Here is a quick look at what a UTM looks like;

Why are UTMs important?

These easy-to-make bits of code help you to track the performance of each link you post. This gives you more insight into what’s working well and what isn’t, as well as providing more reliable and in-depth insight into where the traffic to your site is coming from.

UTMs can, essentially, answer three very important questions when it comes to tracking your efforts;

  1. Where is the traffic coming from?
  2. How is it getting to me?
  3. Why is it coming to me?

Otherwise known as; 1.) Source, 2.) Medium, 3.) Content.

These are the bits that sit here:

Typing out this massive string of ‘code’ would be an unnecessary challenge, with so much potential for it all to go wrong. After all, no one’s perfect! Therefore, most people use UTM generators or builders. We, the awesome people we are, have made a UTM generator for you!

Click here to access our free, GIANT UTM Builder. Just make a copy of the sheet (File, Make a Copy) and get going!


Simply plug in your website and fill in the form. It will gather data like the platform you are posting on, the specific piece of content it relates to and will generate you a link you can use in your post. That way when someone clicks on that post to your website, you will be able to see that in your analytics. Read on to discover how.

How do I use the UTM builder?

So, as you’ll see with the builder, there are a couple of sections to fill in before it auto fills your final UTM’d link.

URL: where the traffic is going
For example;
> fill in the URL section with the link you’d like to track. Consider that you can’t track traffic to things like social platforms, because their analytics don’t provide this information. You can, however, track the traffic from a social platform to your website.

Campaign name: why it’s going there

For example; jedibox2018
> This section is, as you may have guessed, for your campaign name! This just helps you when segregating later data. People use it to differentiate between sales, e.g. spring_sale / summer_sale.

Source: where it’s coming from

For example; Facebook
> You’ll see this is a drop down box in our downloadable version, providing you with the most generic and most important kinda source metrics to measure. Pick which one is applicable, this metric tells you where the traffic is coming from.

Medium: how it’s getting there

For example;  organic or email
> This tells you how the traffic is getting to your destination. Did they visit your landing page from social media? Did they visit from your email newsletter? All of these are important metrics to understand which marketing medium was behind your successes.

Content name: things to note

For example; blue_image or amberlinkedin
> this is a great place to note something that might differentiate the links. For example, if you link to the same website, under the same campaign, then you could differentiate by noting the image you used or the individual who shared it on their personal feed. Great for A/B testing.


Where do I find UTM information in analytics?

Right, so you’ve officially hacked the system, become a coder and coded a UTM. Even the CIA couldn’t stop you now. But you now need to actually learn how to find the information and grab some actionable insights. There are two places to find UTM information in your Google Analytics dashboard:

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns

You’re then best off exploring to get yourself familiar with these sections, but you’ll find you can explore the sections of the UTM through the secondary dimension on most analytics pages.

No more WTFing?! when you hear the term UTM. Instead, wow them with your urchin talk and ability to throw mad datasets at them. Now you know, you’re invincible on the web.

Sitting there still thinking WTF is ToV? Well once again, we’ve got you covered. Check out the blog and let your WTFs become ‘WhyTF have I not been using this sooner?”.

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