Tagging URLs is a simple and effective way to capture data about your digital marketing efforts. It is the process of adding parameters to the end of URLs that gather and record data. The most commonly used parameters are Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs), which are supported by Google. There are five main UTMs parameters available: Medium, Source, Campaign, Content, and Term. These are discussed in more detail in the next section.
UTM parameters can be added manually to URLs or appended through auto-tagging with certain platforms, such as AdWords for example. Auto-tagging automates the process of appending parameters to URLs. There is also the option of URL builders to speed up tagging URLs manually. With a URL builder, you simply need to specify the values to be used for each parameters and the builder will format the URL for you.
To understand how UTM parameters work, let’s look at a typical URL without UTMs:
Now, let’s check out a URL with UTMs:
As you can see, the second link contains much more text. UTM parameters always go after the top-level domain (.com in this example) and begin with a question mark. After this, the order of the parameters don’t matter, but following a consistent naming convention is advised. Ampersands need to be placed between each parameter to separate each UTM. Now we can go into more detail about what each parameter represents.
Learn about best practices for setting up UTM parameters.
Source identifies the subchannel that is the source of your traffic.
It answers the question: “Where is this person coming from?”
In a social media example, the source of traffic is the social media platform being used.
This parameter maps to the Marketo Measure ‘Touchpoint Source’ field in SFDC.
Marketo Measure Best Practice: This parameter tracks the source of your traffic, so it is not suitable to use it to indicate the ad type, E.g. retargeting, sponsored, etc. It is best used to track the higher level subchannel. Remember, you are answering the question “where is my traffic coming from?” You are looking for the referrer. In this example, UTM Source is the place where your ad is located (not the actual webpage, as that is automatically tracked outside of tags). If you are tracking a drip-email campaign, then drip email is the source.
Each parameter gathers information relevant to the value assigned. The value of each tag allows you to track and sort all of your digital campaigns and answer the questions: where, how, and why?
Here’s a chart of the UTM parameters Marketo Measure parses and the corresponding Touchpoint field they are tied to:
|UTM Parameter||Corresponding Marketo Measure Field|
|utm_campaign||Ad Campaign Name|