UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success and PPC Failure

UTM stands to represent the Urchin Tracking Module. Google provides this tracking construct to help you understand how and where your audience interacts with your website and content.

What are the UTM Parameters?

“Urchin Tracking Module” parameters are five variations of URL parameters that marketers use to measure the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources.

UTM parameters are critical for identifying traffic sources and behaviour and can help you identify how to change your targeting strategies, track performance, and convert that traffic.

What are These Parameters?

You can add six UTM parameters to your URL (see the example). These are:

  • Campaign ID – (‘utm_id’) – To indicate which campaign traffic is coming.
  • Campaign Source (‘utm_source) – To indicate the source of traffic. For Example Facebook, Google, Instagram, Email marketing, etc.
  • Campaign Medium (‘utm_medium) – To indicate the source of this traffic. It could be, for example, a paid campaign (ie. CPC, ad, email banner, or tweet.
  • Campaign Name (‘utm_campaign) – To indicate the campaign’s name. This could be a paid campaign you used to set up your Facebook ads. You can use this name to help you understand the name of your campaign that brought you traffic.
  • Campaign Terms – (‘utm_term) – This parameter is optional but extremely useful when you want to understand which search keywords brought users to your site from Google search ads.
  • Campaign Content – (‘utm_content) – This optional parameter is often overlooked but can help you understand which creative or copy wins. This format allows you to identify which Facebook ad performed best by simply adding the name of the ad. Accordingly, you can measure your CTRs and the time spent on your site.

How to use UTM Parameters?

This URL Builder allows you to create your UTM parameters in your URL.


It’s very easy – you need to fill in the required parameters.

Once you have generated these parameters, copy the URL and paste it into your landing pages, campaigns, social links, etc.

UTM Parameters for Social Media Campaigns and PPC Campaigns

We now know what UTM Parameters mean. Let’s learn more about their benefits in Social media and marketing campaigns, including PPC Campaigns and Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads.

Site Traffic Analysis

These parameters can be used to determine where your website traffic comes from. This is the most useful and broadest application. You can use the Google Analytics ‘Source/Medium” report to determine traffic sources. However, UTM parameters add a layer of insight. These parameters allow you to identify which ad, social posting, or profile contributed to the traffic.

You can learn more about website traffic contributors using UTM parameters via Facebook.

  • Facebook post (image, video, live, etc.)
  • Sources from Facebook Profile – Your profile picture or link to your site will show you the sources.
  • Social share – a post you have shared on another person’s timeline.
  • A Facebook group allows you to track website traffic through a shared social post.

LinkedIn, Instagram and Google + allow you to use UTM parameters. These parameters can be similarly used on Twitter, but with a restricted amount of characters due to Twitter’s character limit.

TIP: If you are unsure whether to post a long URL in a Facebook post, try using a bit.ly linking option. This will reduce the URL with UTM parameters and make it look cleaner in your post.

Analyse the effectiveness of your communication strategy or A/B tests

UTM parameters can be used to understand the results of content A/B testing across channels.

It might be worthwhile to determine which communication is most effective for your audience. UTM parameters can help you determine which social media platform or content leads to your website.

To Understand Your Influencer Strategy

To track how much website traffic your key contributors and influencers generate, you can create individual links using UTM parameters. This is especially useful if you have multiple blogs, news or product launches that you want to promote via influencers and bloggers.

To understand the effectiveness of your paid search keywords

These parameters will help you determine which ads are most engaging. They will also reveal which ads have the highest clicks and which ads lead to more time on websites pages. This can be used to determine the search terms that users use when searching for your product/service.

To understand the revenue generated by these campaigns

UTMs are useful for identifying traffic and indicating which campaigns or sources are generating revenue. You can analyze the actions of your audience on your website by setting up “Goals” (e.g. Form submission, Download, Purchase) in your Google Analytics.

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