How to Create UTM Tracking Links in Google Analytics

How to Create UTM Tracking Links in Google Analytics
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
June 28, 2024
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
08 mins to read
Sara Hassan

UTM tracking links are essential tools for digital marketers to track the effectiveness of online campaigns. By using these parameters, you can see where your traffic is coming from and how users interact with your content. This guide will walk you through the steps to create UTM tracking links in Google Analytics. UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are tags you can add to a URL. When your link is clicked, these tags are sent back to Google Analytics and tracked. The five main UTM parameters are:

utm_source: Identifies the source of your traffic (e.g., Linkedin, Facebook).

utm_medium: Describes the medium (e.g., email, PPC).

utm_campaign: Names your marketing campaign (e.g., New Year Promo).

utm_term: Identifies paid search keywords (e.g., CRM+ Software).

utm_content: Differentiates similar content or links within the same ad (e.g., header_banner, footer_link).

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating UTM Tracking Links

Step 1: Define Your Campaign Parameters

Before creating your UTM links, decide on the values for each parameter:

Source: The platform sending traffic (e.g., newsletter, social media).

Medium: The marketing medium (e.g., email, PPC).

Campaign: The campaign name to group related content (e.g., summer_sale).

Term (optional): Keywords for paid search campaigns.

Content (optional): Differentiate similar ads or links (e.g., logo_link, text_link).

Step 2: Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder

Google provides a free Campaign URL Builder tool to simplify the process. Here’s how to use it:

Go to the Campaign URL Builder: Visit Google’s Campaign URL Builder.

Enter the URL: Input the URL of the page you want to track.

Fill in the parameters: Add your source, medium, campaign, term, and content.

Generate the URL: The tool will create a URL with the UTM parameters appended.

Step 3: Test Your UTM Tracking Link

Before using your UTM link, test it to ensure it works correctly:

Copy the generated URL.

Paste it into your browser: Ensure it redirects to the correct page.

Check Google Analytics: Verify that the parameters appear in your reports.

Step 4: Use Your UTM Links

Share your UTM links across your marketing channels. Use them in:

Email campaigns: Track the performance of newsletters.

Social media: Measure engagement from different platforms.

Paid ads: Analyze the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

Blog posts: Understand which posts drive traffic and conversions.

Analyzing UTM Parameters in Google Analytics

Once your UTM links are in use, monitor their performance in Google Analytics:

  1. Go to Google Analytics: Log in to your account.
  2. Navigate to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns: Here, you’ll see data on all your campaigns.
  3. Review the metrics: Analyze traffic, bounce rate, session duration, and conversions for each campaign.

Track Campaign Performance

UTM parameters are invaluable for tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns. By tagging your URLs with specific parameters, you can pinpoint exactly where your traffic is coming from. This detailed tracking allows you to see which sources and mediums are most effective at driving traffic to your site. For instance, you can compare the performance of a Facebook ad versus an email newsletter. With this information, you can make data-driven decisions to allocate your marketing resources more effectively and refine your strategies to maximize engagement and conversions.

Measure ROI

One of the most critical aspects of any marketing campaign is understanding its return on investment (ROI). UTM parameters enable you to track the precise origins of your web traffic, allowing you to measure how much each channel contributes to your revenue. By analyzing the data collected from these parameters, you can identify which campaigns and channels provide the best return on your marketing spend. This insight helps you to justify your marketing expenses and make informed decisions about where to focus your budget for the highest returns.

Optimize Marketing Efforts

Optimization is a key component of successful marketing, and UTM parameters provide the granular data needed to fine-tune your efforts. With detailed insights into how different campaigns and channels perform, you can identify what works and what doesn’t. This enables you to optimize your content, targeting, and spending. For example, if a particular social media campaign is underperforming, you can analyze the UTM data to understand why and make necessary adjustments. Continuous optimization based on UTM data ensures that your marketing strategies remain effective and aligned with your business goals.

Best Practices for Using UTM Parameters

Keep it Consistent

Consistency is crucial when it comes to using UTM parameters effectively. By maintaining a consistent naming convention across all your campaigns, you ensure that your data remains organized and easily interpretable. This means deciding on a standard format for your parameters, such as using lowercase letters and specific terms for different mediums and sources. For example, always use "email" for email campaigns and "social" for social media platforms. Consistent naming conventions help avoid confusion and ensure that your reports in Google Analytics are clear and accurate, making it easier to compare the performance of different campaigns over time.

Be Descriptive

Using clear and descriptive names for your UTM parameters is essential for effective tracking and analysis. Descriptive names provide context about the campaign, making it easier to understand the data at a glance. For instance, instead of using a vague term like "spring," use "spring_sale_2024" to specify the exact campaign. This level of detail helps you quickly identify which campaign the traffic is associated with, making your reports more meaningful and actionable. Descriptive parameters ensure that you and your team can easily interpret the data without needing to refer back to campaign details.

Avoid Spaces

When creating UTM parameters, it's important to avoid using spaces, as they can break URLs and cause tracking issues. Instead, use hyphens or underscores to separate words. For example, instead of "spring sale," use "spring-sale" or "spring_sale." This practice not only ensures that your URLs remain functional but also makes them more readable and consistent. Using hyphens or underscores helps maintain the integrity of your links and prevents any potential errors that might arise from improperly formatted URLs, ensuring that your tracking remains accurate and reliable.

Shorten URLs

Long URLs with multiple UTM parameters can be cumbersome and unsightly, especially when shared on social media or in marketing emails. To keep your links clean and user-friendly, use a URL shortening service like Bitly. Shortened URLs are easier to share and manage, and they help maintain a professional appearance in your marketing materials. Additionally, URL shorteners often provide their own analytics, giving you an extra layer of data to analyze. By shortening your UTM links, you enhance the user experience while still benefiting from detailed tracking and insights into your campaign performance.


Creating UTM tracking links in Google Analytics is a straightforward process that provides valuable insights into your marketing efforts. By following this guide, you can effectively track your campaigns, optimize your strategies, and improve your overall marketing performance.

Start from scratch, or grow your team?
The choice is yours

Get Started
AED 0.00
From 200+ CRM Projects Delivered
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
2 hours of research
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Implementation steps
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Get free proposal and quote