What are UTM tags and why are they needed?

How to use UTM tags? Contextual advertising

Marketing activities on the Internet require constant monitoring and analysis. To track the effectiveness of launched contextual advertising, you need to use special tools.

UTM tags are considered one of these tools. They are designed to transfer information about the traffic source to analytical systems and services. These data allow you to carefully analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the developed advertising campaign.

What are UTM tags?

UTM-tag (the name comes from the English abbreviation Urchin Tracking Module) is a kind of variable that consists of the name of the parameter and its value. This data is specified in the URL of the page.

What does a UTM tag look like?

Important! Links that contain such labels are recommended only if you need to work with external traffic sources. When inserting tags into internal links, there may be problems with search indexing of pages and errors in tracking statistics of clicks through external channels.

What are UTM tags for?

Why do we need UTM tags? Using UTM tags allows you to:

  • Get information about all clicks to a specific page, as well as the traffic source. All this information can be obtained and analyzed using reports from special analytical programs or services (Google Analytics, Yandex Metrika, Facebok Pixel, etc.);
  • Get detailed statistics on the fulfillment of the goals of the advertising campaign (applications, sales, filling out forms on the site);
  • Select from the general pool only profitable advertising channels, as well as the most “money” keywords and sites.

What are the types of UTM tags?

The following types of labels are distinguished:

  1. Required. These tags contain the required minimum set of parameters, which already allows you to track the source of the transition, the traffic channel and the name of the advertising campaign;
  2. Optional (optional labels). With the help of this type of UTM tags, we can expand the list of data collected about our target audience, and refine the data received. Thanks to these tags, it is possible to conduct A / B testing of various ads, banners, get a list of keywords that brought traffic to the site, and much more.

Dynamic UTM tags for use in Google AdWords

In addition to the required and optional tags, advertising systems such as Google Ads, Yandex.Direct, and Facebook provide additional parameters that can be used when running an advertising campaign in these networks. The table shows examples of such tags for Google Adwords.

UTM tags for Google AdWords

How to use UTM tags correctly – useful tips

Creating UTM tags is a difficult process that requires certain skills to work with it, the ability to correctly interpret and analyze the information received.

There are some tips for optimizing your work with them:

  • A link with a UTM tag must contain only Latin letters;
  • A question mark is required at the end of the link and before the label itself;
  • To tag links, it is better to use the same sequence of variables in the URL. This will make the resulting label more readable, especially if several people are involved in the project;
  • The value of parameters, or variables, is preceded by an equal sign “=”;
  • Use only one case for labeling (for example, GOOGLE and Google will appear as 2 different traffic sources in the final report);
  • You can only use Latin letters, numbers, hyphens, dots, or the “+” sign in the variable name. If you need to add other symbols, you must use the ASCII encoding system;
  • You need to remember that spaces are not allowed when creating labels. Instead, use the plus sign “+”;
  • Labels must be separated from each other. You can do this with the ampersand “&”;
  • The order in which parameters are placed in the link text is not critical;
  • In the case when the label must be attached to a link in which a hash is indicated using the pound sign “#”, the full text with the hash is placed after this icon;
  • Sometimes, the site you’re working with may be configured to redirect URLs with a specific value (such as “?”). Therefore, before launching the AC, it is better to check whether the addresses of pages with tags are cut off on the site.

TOP 5 mistakes of internet marketers

Promotional UTM tags only work effectively when they are properly created and used wisely. To comply with these conditions, you need to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes.

The most common mistakes when working with tags:

  1. The question mark before the label itself is missing. In this case, the browser that the user is using does not read it as a label, but tries to find a non-existent page on the site;
  2. Missing separator “&” (ampersand) between labels. In this case, analytical services will not be able to recognize where one label ended, and the second one began, and they will give incorrect statistics;
  3. Multiple question marks. The browser will automatically replace question marks with special characters and again give incorrect statistics;
  4. Mistakes in parameter names. The data that the label carries will remain unaccounted for;
  5. Different names of variables in different campaigns. For example, if you add a UTM tag in one campaign, in which the source is designated as “FB”, and in another as “Facebook”, then it will be extremely difficult to analyze the overall statistics.
Сергей Шевченко
Сергей Шевченко
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