Enhancing Data and Conversion Accuracy: 4 Ways Marketers Harness UTM Parameters


Are you one of those who click on emails or linkedIn posts just to see how different companies use UTMs? If so, welcome to UTM Tracking conundrum, you are one of us now – please have a seat! It’s time for a confession, I don’t like UTMs, I find the process of building and implementing them in content/emails/posts/campaigns etc. quite time consuming and boring, but the satisfaction I get when there is not a single “(not set)” in GA 4 Reports, it makes it worthful .

UTM: The Basics

What is a UTM Parameter?

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are tags that are added to the end of URLs to provide additional information about the source, medium, and campaign associated with a specific link. These parameters help marketers track and analyze their marketing efforts more accurately.

Which are the 5 Types of UTM Parameters?

Let’s explore the different UTM parameters with some examples:

  1. utm_source: identifies the specific source of traffic or where the link is placed. It helps you determine which platforms or websites are driving visitors to your site. Here are some examples:
  • utm_source=facebook: Indicates that the traffic is coming from Facebook.
  • utm_source=newsletter: Shows that the traffic originated from a newsletter campaign.
  1. utm_medium: indicates the marketing medium or channel through which the link was shared. It helps you identify the different types of marketing efforts that are generating traffic. Examples include:
  • utm_medium=cpc: Denotes that the link was shared through a cost-per-click advertising campaign.
  • utm_medium=email: Indicates that the link was shared via an email campaign.
  1. utm_campaign: identifies a specific marketing campaign or promotion associated with the link. It helps you track the performance of different campaigns and compare their effectiveness. Here are a few examples:
  • utm_campaign=summer_sale: Represents a campaign running during the summer season.
  • utm_campaign=product_launch: Indicates a campaign launched to promote a new product.
  1. utm_term: The term parameter is typically used in paid search campaigns to track specific keywords or terms. It provides insights into which keywords are driving traffic and conversions. Examples include:
  • utm_term=running_shoes: Specifies the keyword associated with the link in a search engine marketing campaign.
  • utm_term=red_dress: Indicates the specific search term used in a paid search campaign.
  1. utm_content: The content parameter helps differentiate different versions or variations of the same link within a campaign. It allows you to test and compare different elements to see which performs better. Examples include:

  • utm_content=cta_button: Represents a link with a specific call-to-action button.
  • utm_content=hero_image: Denotes a link associated with a particular hero image.

When combined, these parameters create a unique URL that provides detailed information about the source, medium, campaign, keywords, and content associated with each link. By using these parameters effectively, marketers can gain insights into the performance of their marketing efforts, optimize campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to drive better results.

Where to see utm data in GA 4

From your GA4 property, go to Reports. You can see your utm data under “User Acquisition” and “Traffic Acquisition”.

The difference between User and Traffic Acquisition is that User Acquisition Reports provide information on the number of new users acquired from each channel and their subsequent behavior, and how users are acquired, their characteristics, and their interactions with your website or app. Whereas, Traffic Acquisition Reports focus on aggregated data at the traffic source level, rather than user-level data, helping you understand the effectiveness of your marketing channels, campaigns, and external referrers while focusing on the most recent traffic source.

For seeing utm data in User Acquisition Level: Click on User Acquisition as below.

Click on User Acquisition

Select “First User source/medium” as your primary dimension.

Select "First User source/medium" as your primary dimension.

In case you want to dive deeper you can add a secondary dimension by clicking the “+” symbol.

add a secondary dimension by clicking the "+" symbol.

You can work with the same way for Traffic Acquisition Report.

From the side menu, click on Traffic Acquisition.

Traffic acquisition report in GA4
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4 ways Marketers can use UTMs

1. Campaign Tracking

UTM parameters, are used by marketers to track and analyze the performance of various campaigns. These campaigns can include email campaigns, social media campaigns, paid advertising campaigns, and more. By adding UTM parameters to the URLs of these campaigns, marketers can track which campaigns are driving the most traffic and conversions. This information can help marketers make data-driven decisions and optimize future campaigns.

For example, if a marketer is running an email campaign and a social media campaign, they can add separate UTM parameters to the URLs of each campaign. This will allow them to track how much traffic and conversions each campaign is generating. By analyzing this data, the marketer can determine which campaign is performing better and allocate their budget accordingly.

In addition, UTM parameters can help marketers identify which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions. For example, if a marketer is running a paid advertising campaign on multiple platforms, they can use UTM parameters to track which platform is generating the most traffic and conversions. This information can help the marketer allocate their budget more effectively and improve their return on investment (ROI).

2. Channel Attribution

UTM parameters can play a crucial role in tracking the performance of various marketing channels such as email, social media, and search. With the help of UTM parameters, marketers can easily identify which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions. By analyzing this data, they can make informed decisions about how to allocate their budgets effectively.

For instance, let’s say a marketer has added UTM parameters to URLs for email, social media, and search channels. By analyzing the data, the marketer finds that social media is driving more traffic and conversions than email. This indicates that social media campaigns are more effective at engaging the target audience. Based on this insight, the marketer can focus more on social media campaigns and allocate more budget to it.

Moreover, UTM parameters help marketers gain a better understanding of their target audience. By analyzing the UTM parameters, they can identify the demographics and interests of the audience engaged with their campaigns. This information can be used to further optimize marketing campaigns and improve their targeting strategies.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use UTMs for social media , we recommend:

3. Content Analysis

UTM parameters can be a valuable tool for marketers who want to analyze the performance of their content. By using UTM parameters, marketers can track the performance of different types of content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos. This information can be used to optimize future content and improve engagement rates.

For instance, if a marketer finds that blog posts are driving more traffic and conversions than videos, they can use this information to focus more on creating blog posts. Additionally, they can optimize their blog posts to improve engagement rates. This can be achieved by using eye-catching headlines, adding multimedia content such as images and videos, and including a clear call-to-action.

Another way UTMs can be useful is by tracking the performance of content across different channels. For example, a marketer can use them to track the performance of their content on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By analyzing this data, they can determine which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions. This can be used to optimize their content for these channels and improve engagement rates and drive more traffic and conversions to their website.

4. Audience Segmentation

UTM parameters can also be used to segment website traffic based on different audience types. By adding UTM parameters to URLs for different audience segments, such as new visitors, returning visitors, and customers, marketers can track the behavior of each segment. This data can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer retention.

In addition, UTM parameters can also be used to track the effectiveness of different marketing channels. By using different UTM parameters for each marketing channel, such as email, social media, and paid advertising, marketers can see which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions. This information can be used to optimize marketing spend and allocate budget more effectively. This information can be used to refine and improve future campaigns, ensuring maximum ROI.

For example, if new visitors are not converting as much as returning visitors, marketers can create targeted campaigns for new visitors to improve conversion rates. These campaigns can be tested and refined using UTM parameters to track their effectiveness, ensuring that marketing efforts are focused on the most effective strategies.

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In conclusion, UTM parameters are essential for marketers to improve data accuracy and make data-driven decisions. By using UTM parameters for campaign tracking, channel attribution, content analysis, and audience segmentation, marketers can optimize their marketing campaigns and improve ROI. By implementing UTM parameters in their marketing campaigns, marketers can get a better understanding of their audience, their preferences, and their behavior, and make data-driven decisions based on this information.

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