What is UTM tracking and why you desperately need it

UTM tracking is a fundamental way of tracking various parameters of your inoming website users.

One of the most amazing things of current digital marketing campaigns is the ability to instantly cluster and segment your incoming users. If let’s say your grandfather or -mother, or even your parents had a business back in the day, they also relied on advertisement. However, they did not have the ability to instantly see, if their campaign was successful or not and had no way to adapt the campaign on the fly – like with UTM tracking nowadays.

In this day and age however you can easily see how much a click costs, how much a lead costs, what you spent to make that one sale – if you choose to implement UTM codes. If you don’t do it, well then you should not even put “Basic knowledge in digital marketing” in your resume.

What is a UTM code and why will it help me?

UTM Codes are added to a URL to make the traffic from sources visible. They will not alter the destination of the URL, it only adds more information for either Google Analytics or other analytic tools.

URL without UTM code:
(tells you nothing about the traffic source)

URL with UTM:
(tells me in Google Analytics, that the traffic is from Facebook, from our TheVentury page, and the goal of the post was to generate leads in November 2016)

So you say it’s too much work to do it? You don’t want to burden yourself with yet another task? Think again! The UTM Tracking will help you to easily segment your incoming traffic and furthermore to identify and compare potential funnels you want to invest time and money into! It will have a major impact on your ROI calculation.

Available UTM codes:

  • UTM_source
    will be used for defining the platform/page you posted (e.g.: facebook / linkedin / hackernews
  • UTM_medium
    will be used for defining the subpage where it was posted (eg.: for Facebook the group/page ID // for linkedin the group ID…)
  • UTM_campaign
    will be used for defining if it was a paid ad (paid), a manuell posting (man)…
  • UTM_content
    can be used to add further information (if campaign=man then we can define who posted)
  • UTM_term (not often used)
    e.g. a keyword

How to built your own URLs for campaigns or social media activities with Google URL Builder

There are different ways to build your own UTM codes for your URLs – for the beginning you can use Google’s URL Builder Tool – which is quite nice if you just have a few URLs now and then to generate.

I have pre-filled the fields we would use for a link in our newsletter about growth hacking.

As you can see, you just need to copy-paste the URL that the builder is spitting out and of you go. The Google URL Builder even has a URL shortener for your convenience.

UTM Link Builder Pro Tip

If you have a lot of links to “spice” up, the Google URL Builder is not necessarily the best solution since it will take a lot of time to do process all. We created a simple excel spreadsheet in order to improve the speed.
We have pre-filled the most common expressions, however ever you can 100% customize it.

Screenshot of our UTM Generator Spreadsheet

Get your UTM Generator Spreadsheet for FREE


UTM Link Builder Pro Tip #2

Use custom short URLs in order to track offline marketing campaigns. To get your own custom short URL use services like buffer, bit.ly, or the self-hosted yourls.

Get your UTM Generator Spreadsheet and kick ass with your tracking superpowers!

Lastly: Feedback is appreciated! Did you like our post, did you miss something or do you have a way better idea to track your campaigns? Bring it on, we are happy to hear it: hello@theventury.com or on our Facebook page.


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