Q: When we go over weekly digital reports, “UTM” codes come up. I’m not sure what a UTM code is, or how it applies to our digital ads. Can you explain?
A: Great question! A UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) code is a snippet of simple code added to the end of a URL to serve one purpose — track the performance of campaigns and content for your website or digital ads. “Your analytics team — at your agency partner or an in-house digital group — uses this code to track several different parameters: Source, Medium, Campaign, Content, and Term. These parameters are crucial for understanding how users are interacting with your content,” explained Jenn Smith, Digital Marketing Manager at DMW.
Source indicates where a user saw your ad (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.), the Medium is how the user arrived at the site (organic, referral, CPC, email, or TV). A manually assigned name used to differentiate between your marketing efforts is called the Campaign, it usually includes an abbreviation of your company name, a job number, and indicator of where it’s featured, i.e., “yourname_9991_FB1_email.” Content is used to define the message, as in creative or email content. Lastly, a Term is used to indicate which search term led a user to your website, if applicable, like “search term=clear.”
All of these UTM parameters that are coded into this specific URL help to tell a story about how users are interacting with your content.