What are UTM codes? …and Why You Should Use Them

What are UTM codes? …and Why You Should Use Them pixelwork

What are UTM codes? …and Why You Should Use Them

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. The name is a relic from the days before Google Analytics (GA) existed. Urchin was a web analytics program acquired by Google in 2005, which marked the beginning of Google Aanalytics.

UTM codes are simple code snippets added to the end of URLs that communicate with the GA code on your web page. In essence, UTM codes allow you to track where traffic to your site originated in GA.

Why do you need them?

Analytics is a powerful tool for marketers. Tools like Google Analytics not only give us detailed information about the sources that are driving the most traffic to your website, but also the quality of this traffic.

This data can drive big decisions like In which channels you should invest, what changes to make on the site to improve user experience, and much more.

Simply put, without proper tracking, you are flying blind. The key word here is "appropriate". It is not enough to have GA installed on your site. You have to empower the tool by establishing appropriate tracking parameters for all your marketing campaigns.

Where should they be used?

Luckily, Google AdWords and some other platforms like Bing Ads have built in the functionality to tag URLs without any additional work. Is called automatic labeling and I highly recommend activating it. It massively simplifies things and works seamlessly with GA.

Almost everything you do online requires custom tagging. For example, Facebook and GA don't play so well together So if you want to get detailed Facebook data in GA, you should tag everything you post as non-organic and paid.

  • Do you manage email campaigns? Label them.
  • Do you promote yourself on Outbrain? Label.
  • Do you tweet about an upcoming event? I tag it.

It's easy to set up. It only takes a few minutes to create these custom labels.

How to Create UTM Codes

Luckily, Google has created a very simple tool to help us with this, because if you're like me, the idea of ​​​​typing custom URL parameters is not the most comforting.

Use the Google URL creator.

Fill out this small form and Google will generate a custom URL ready to use.

URL Builder Analytics Help


  • If we were to promote a blog post through Facebook ads, we could fill out the basic required fields as follows:
  • Website URL: http://seite.mx/cuantas-busquedas-se-hacn-en-google/
  • Campaign Source: facebook
  • Campaign medium: CPC
  • Campaign name: google searches per second
  • Result: http://seite.mx/cuantas-busquedas-se-hacn-en-google/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=busquedas%20en%20google%20por%20second
  • Additional: This is a long and unattractive URL. Don't leave it like this. Use a URL shortener like bit.ly or Google's URL shortener to polish it up.

As easy as that. If you are not using UTM codes, I recommend you start. If you have questions about how they work or why you need them, let us know.

We are happy to help you.