UTM code

A UTM code is a basic piece of code added to the ending of a URL to aid in tracking the performance of social media and content campaigns. There are 5 URL parameters you can choose from for tracking, which include: Content, term, campaign, medium and source.

The categories you measure through UTM codes are located in analytics and reports, giving you a more precise overview of your tracked dimensions and marketing performance. Google’s URL builder offers a fast and easy way to create UTM codes. The steps are as follows, first add your website address and choose your campaign parameters.

The parts of a UTM code

A UTM code will look like this:


UTM codes are split into two components:

  • The Tracking variable: A code which identifies the entity being tracked (such as the social media platform you’re getting traffic from)
  • UTM Parameter: The source, campaign, content, term, or medium you’re tracking.

Which elements can a UTM code track?

There are different tracking codes which measure different aspects of tracking.

  • Traffic Source: With a source parameter, you’ll figure out exactly where your traffic came from. UTM_Source will show which of your social accounts receives the most traction. Example: &utm_source=Instagram
  • Medium: The Medium parameter tracks what type of content your visitor came from. Example: &utm_medium=social
  • Campaign name: With the campaign name option, you’ll measure the performance of a strategy in your marketing plan. For instance, you might use this parameter to measure the difference in impact between two Facebook campaigns you ran. Example: &utm_campaign=facebook-campaign-1
  • Content: If you have different links that are all sending users to the same URL, the content parameter will measure and track which link garnered the most traffic. Example: &utm_content=linkoption
  • Keyword term: With the term parameter, you’ll track which of the keywords your website visitor found you with. Example &utm_term=what-is-a-utm-code

Benefits of using a UTM code

A UTM code is a useful way to track more information about your campaigns using Google Analytics.

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With unfettered access to URL tracking solutions, you’ll be able to:

  • Increase investments in areas of your site that bring in more traffic
  • Optimize call to action components in your campaigns by testing which CTAs draw more clicks
  • Examine the reach and impressions of each campaign and get further insights about which social channels your customers are present on.

Prior to UTM codes, it was difficult to track content variables in A/B testing. However, with a tool like Vista Social and a foundational knowledge of UTM parameters, your can take control of your web presence in a powerful way.

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