UTM Parameters – 6 Best Practices to Effectively Track Performance

As the digital world evolves, so too do the outlets through which consumers interact with your web content. Brands are creating content across multiple channels, providing users with a number of methods to begin their consumer journeys before ultimately ending up as converters. With that in mind, the tracking process is becoming increasingly important.

Now, brands have implemented a number of ways to track consumer behavior. While Google Analytics provides a helpful resource to structure and understand consumer data, there remains an additional, more advanced tracking option as you optimize your digital marketing campaigns called urchin tracking module (UTM) parameters.

In essence, UTM parameters are implemented at the end of specific URL links. When a user clicks on a URL with established UTM parameters, that information is then sent back to Google Analytics to provide insights.

So how can you best leverage UTM parameters to ensure you’ve got the most accurate insights possible? Below, we’ve some additional information on best practices to ensure you’re getting the most accurate tracking insights possible.

  1. Be specific – The more specific you are with your UTM parameter tags, the easier it will be to measure and track performance. Clearly outline channels, pages, and any other details that make each page unique to clearly describe and differentiate your campaigns.
  2. Consistent naming conventions – The way you develop your UTM naming conventions can help you both stay organized and provide SEO benefits. Always use dashes instead of underscores in your URLs to avoid potential penalization from Google, use lower-case text through all campaigns, and write copy in a simple manner in the same way a sentence would be structured.
  3. Clearly state tested variables – Enter the information you want to measure clearly in your UTM copy. For example, if you want to track an ad with a red background, try adding “background=red” in your parameter. The key is “background” and the value is “red.” This creates a unique URL for this specific ad. In this example, that URL would be “www.example.com?background=red.”
  4. Shorten links – Once you’ve established your UTM parameters, that link will be long, jumbled, and not user-friendly. Leverage a link-shortening tool like Google Analytics’ URL builder to avoid sharing links that look spammy and messy.
  5. Test before using – UTM parameters can be tricky to implement consistently, especially if they’ve been built by multiple members of the same team over extended periods. Always double-check. Be sure they’re accurately and uniquely built out to avoid potential inaccuracies.
  6. Track campaigns in one place – To ensure everyone on your marketing team is cohesively developing UTM parameters, use a shared tracking sheet and create consistent implementation.

Better understanding the behavior of your consumers can give you a serious leg up on your competitors, and correctly building and leveraging UTM parameters is a powerful way to gain those insights.

If you’re currently using ATS tags rather than UTM parameters, which offers another highly effective tool for tracking leads, RocketPost can accommodate most embedded links. For any additional assistance or guidance, our Success Team will be happy to provide clarification. 

Note: RocketPost cannot accommodate traditional UTM parameters at this time. If you would like us to consider this feature or any other, please submit ideas via the ‘Feedback’ button located within you RocketPost account.

For any additional information on best practices, feel free to reach out to our RocketPost Success Team!