The Importance Of UTM Codes In Your Marketing Strategy And How To Use Them

utm codes feature image

If you’re in the business of content marketing, it’s important that you keep track of the content you’re sharing. You need to know where your leads are coming from, what campaigns are doing well, what content is driving people to your site. Basically, you need to measure your success so you can maximize it. If you don’t know exactly how to do that, it can seem daunting at first. But it’s a lot less complicated than you might think thanks to UTM codes.

What is a UTM Code?

A UTM (Urchin Traffic Monitor) code is a line of code you add to the end of a URL. It helps you keep track of where your users are coming from. You can also keep track of other useful insights such as  what source, campaign or medium led them to your site. Here is an in-depth example of the various UTM parameters courtesy of Google:

Source: Google Analytics URL Builder
Source: Google Analytics URL Builder

In case you were worried, a UTM code doesn’t affect your content in any way. It’s simply something you add to a custom URL to keep track of content in whatever analytics system you’re using. After you get the hang of it, you could start using UTM codes a little creatively. For example, you could start to track whether or not guest posts tend to drive traffic to your site, or compare the success of the same piece of content on various channels.

How to set up UTM Codes in Google Analytics

By now you’re probably sold on the idea of adding UTM codes to your marketing strategy. But how do you go about setting them up? Luckily, Google Analytics has made it easy with this handy URL builder tool. It allows you to create custom UTM links, which will then synch up with your Google Analytics account and allow you to track where your traffic is coming from.

All you have to do is simply fill in the form, as shown below. Voila! You now have your own custom UTM code!

Google URL Builder
Source: Google Analytics URL Builder

Those custom URLS can be quite long and unsightly. You can shorten it with a tool such as bitly, especially if you’re sharing it on a social media site like Twitter.

As you can see, generating and implementing UTM codes isn’t half as difficult as you might have thought. After you begin using UTM codes as part of your marketing routine, you’ll sure to gain some valuable insights into how your content is doing on various marketing channels.

Any questions, or tips with how you use UTM codes yourself? Drop us a line in the comments!