UTM Builder

Google URL Builder to Generate UTM Codes

This tool allows you to easily create a UTM tracking link so you can measure Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.

Enter the website URL and campaign information.

Fill out all required fields (*) and optional fields (term and content) to generate your campaign URL.

The full website URL (e.g. https://www.google.ca)

The referrer, aka the source driving the traffic (e.g. facebook, twitter, blog, newsletter, inhouse-social, qrcode)

The marketing medium, aka the type of channel driving the traffic (e.g. email, cpc, social)

Product, promo code, or slogan (e.g. spring_sale)

Depends on the source and medium. Use it to identify the specific entity with your promotion, i.e. search keyword

Use to differentiate similar content, e.g. links in the same ad, blog post, CTA buttons in an email or A/B test

Generated UTM Tracking URL

Use this URL in any promotional channels you want to be assoicated with this custom campaign.

Common Source / Medium Combinations, with recommended Term value
Source/Medium The recommended value for utm_term
google/cpc Search Keywords (as defined by Google)
facebook/cpc The headline of the Ad
twitter/social The body of the tweet
maropost/email The subject of the email
facebook/social The headline of the post
youtube/social Title of the vdieo
website.com/referral Title of the blog post
instagram/social The title of a story (to identify a specific Instagram story)
Medium Values
Value Description
organic Used for unpaid traffic from known search engines. You can't add UTMs to links in search engines, but Google Analytics automatically detects traffic from major search engines (you guessed right, by looking at HTTP Referrer).
cpc Means Cost Per Click and is used for paid traffic where the business pays for each click on the link. Google uses "cpc" as a medium for traffic from Google Ads by default.
ppc Stands for Pay Per Click and is used for paid traffic where the business pays for each click on the link.
cpm Stands for Cost Per Mille (Cost Per Thousand) and is used for display and banner ads.
display Used for display and banner ads.
social Used to identify traffic from known social media platforms.
referral Used to identify traffic from websites not known to be a search engine or social media platform.
affiliate Used to identify traffic from affiliate marketing activities.
email Used to identify traffic from email.
(none) In the absence of UTM parameters or when Google Analytics can’t find the referrer website (if there’s no HTTP Referrer).

What are UTM tags?

UTM codes serve a single purpose: to help your analytics tool track the source of your visitor.

The above form and codes may seem complicated, but think of them simply as a way of tagging traffic with words that you can lookup later in analytics.

Here’s an example of a link with UTM parameters for Instagram’s Link in Bio:


These UTM tags (Urchin Tracking Module) added to the end of a URL starting with “?”. When someone clicks on a link with these codes (also called tags or parameters), this data is sent to your Analytics account (we’ll assume Google Analytics for this article), allowing you to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and better understand where your website traffic is coming from.

Without UTM tags, Google Analytics would classify traffic from Instagram as “referral” as you can see in this screenshot.

Traffic is attributed to referral when someone clicks a link on another website that links to your site, which is technically true, but this doesn’t allow us to analyze all traffic from social. To do this, we override the default behaviour by setting the UTM medium to social.

Why are UTM tags important?

There are several benefits to using UTM tags:
  1. Accurate tracking: UTM tags allow you to track specific campaigns and sources of traffic, providing a more accurate picture of your marketing efforts. For instance, by default
  2. Customized reporting: You can use UTM tags to create customized reports in Google Analytics, allowing you to see how specific campaigns or sources of traffic are performing.
  3. Better ROI: By tracking the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, you can make more informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget and improve your return on investment (ROI).
  4. Easy to use: UTM tags are easy to add to your URLs and can be generated using a UTM code generator tool.
Overall, UTM tags are a useful tool for any business or individual looking to track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and understand the sources of their website traffic.

What are the 5 UTM parameters?

There are five standard UTM parameters:

  1. source: the site that sent the traffic
  2. medium: type of link that was used, i.e. email, social or cost per click
  3. campaign: identifies a specific product promotion or strategic campaign
  4. term: identifies search terms
  5. content: what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site, e.g. banner ad. Often used for A/B testing and content targeted ads.

These tags can be in any order. The first three are required.

How to use the UTM generator

First ask, what’s the goal of the campaign? Is it to drive traffic to a specific landing page, to promote a specific product or offer, or to increase brand awareness? Having a clear goal in mind will help you choose the appropriate parameters for your UTM code.

1. Enter the campaign source.

This is the platform or website where the campaign is being promoted. For example, if you are promoting your email newsletter, the campaign source would be newsletter.

2. Choose the appropriate campaign medium

The campaign medium refers to the marketing channel where you’re promoting your campaign: email, social, or paid search.

Choose the most appropriate medium for your campaign and include it in your UTM code.

3. Name the campaign name

The campaign name should be a clear and descriptive to help you easily identify the campaign in your analytics reports.

Some examples: free_trial, boxing_day_sale, summer_giveaway.

4. Create a unique campaign term

The campaign term is optional, but it can be useful for tracking specific keywords or phrases associated with your campaign.

For example, if you are running a paid search campaign, you might include the specific keywords you are targeting in the campaign term.

5. Copy the generated URL

Use this UTM code generator tool to create the code and new URL.

6. Test the UTM Code

Before promoting a campaign, test the UTM code to ensure it is working properly. Visit the generated link in your browser, then login to Google Analytics and see if it’s being tracked in your analytics reports.

7. Promote the campaign

Once you’ve tested and verified the UTM code, you can start promoting your campaign using the UTM-tagged links. Be consistent so all of your traffic is being properly tracked and attributed in analytics.

Use a naming convention for your UTM codes

Be consistent, and follow these rules:

  1. Use lowercase only. UTM codes are case-sensitive, which means Facebook, facebook, Facebook and FACEBOOK will all be tracked separately.
  2. Use hyphens instead of spaces. We prefer it over underscore as well to save a shift key.
  3. Keep it short but keep it simple. Think about other people reading reports in the future – will it make sense to them?

Final tips on UTM best practices

  1. Don’t use UTM parameters on internal links.
  2. Use UTM parameters for A/B split testing.
  3. Use them for influencer marketing. You can create custom UTM parameters like influencer= (see below)
  4. Create a spreadsheet to track them. Trust me, this will help down the road.
  5. Test, test, test! Check your reports regularly. Even with a set of written guidelines, it’s easy to make a typo. Correct them before it skews your data.
  6. Careful when copying web links! Remove any existing UTM tags. For example, using Instagram’s Copy link creates this URL – notice the utm_source=ig_web_copy_link at the end: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CHAIm2sHSQZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
(Did you guess the account right? Yup, it’s David Attenborough’s first IG post)

UTM parameters aren’t as complicated as they may first seem – it’s simply a way of tagging traffic for use later in analytics. There’s on one “right way” to do it, the most important thing is to stay consistent and document!

What are you waiting for, get tagging!

If you need help, Big Cedar can set you up with a naming convention and an easy-to-use spreadsheet to get you going fast. Reach out!


Frequently Asked Questions

What UTM parameters are required?

Of the five tags, source, medium and name are required.

Term and content are optional.

Like blog post tags in WordPress, they can be in any order.

Can UTM tags be used for all types of marketing campaigns?

Yes: email, social media, paid search are common ones, but you can even attach them to QR codes and links from paid partnerships.

Can I create custom UTM parameters?

We’re getting advanced here! Any parameters outside the main five are custom. We see influencer=, affiliate=, and geo= often. If you work with multiple agencies, you can use agency= to compare ROI on agencies. If you have a monthly print magazine, you can even use issue= to compare performance across issues. Otherwise, put it in the UTM campaign. When you’re using custom UTM parameters, it’s even more critical to use a naming convention and custom taxonomy (though you should be doing this anyways!).

I use a Linkin.bio service. Do I still need UTM codes?

Yes! This will be a future article, but for now, your main link to your website will be coming from the linkin.bio website instead of Instagram, but it will also be attributed to referral until you add the UTM source parameter and set it to social.

Linktree has a help article on how to add UTM parameters and so does Bit.ly.

Why should businesses use UTM tags?

UTM tags can help businesses more accurately track specific campaigns and sources of web traffic by adding data that gets stored in Google Analytics for later analysis. You can improve ROI by tracking the effectiveness of marketing certain campaigns.

How can I view UTM tracking data in Google Analytics 4?

In GA4 go to Reports > Acquisitions > Traffic Acquisition.

The screenshot shows the “Default channel grouping” which you can read about more from Google. Learn more about GA4 in our Guide to Google Analytics 4.

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