Ever wonder where your web traffic comes from? Or maybe if your email newsletter is actually earning any visitors for your website?

Well boy, do I have good news for you! Google’s Urchin Traffic Monitors (UTM) can do that and more.

If you’re using Google Analytics, then UTMs are available for you to use. What are they? They’re extra fields added onto the end of your web page’s URL that tell you information about how the reader got to your site. Whether it’s from a direct, organic, or outside source, if you have your UTMs set up, they’ll let you know.

UTMs have five fields that you can use to gain information from:

  • Campaign Source: This is used to identify the source of the link, such as social media or a newsletter
  • Campaign Medium: The method of delivery of your link.n (for example, email or Twitter)
  • Campaign Term: Any keywords that you want to associate with you link
  • Campaign Content: To separate links that share the same fields
  • Campaign Name (used as utm_campaign): The name of the campaign that goes along with this link, like “spring_sale” or “coding_for_bloggers”

Of these five fields, source, medium, and name are required by Google for all UTMs. Here’s an example of a full URL with those UTMs included:

http://www.ezanga.com/articles?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=springsale%20

Some of you may be wondering, “why would I need to know where my referrals and web visitors come from?”

There are two big reasons why all web marketers should care about where their visitors come from:

Measure Campaign Success


The first reason is that it gives you the ability to measure your campaign’s success. All marketers use a bunch of different methods to get their content or product to the customer. Those methods can range from an email campaign to guest blogging, to promoting your content on other sites.

How do you know if those campaigns are working and gaining you website visitors? UTMs, thats how.

UTMs give you the ability to track the campaign source, medium of delivery, and name that landed you a new visitor to you page. All the numbers are automatically recorded in Google Analytics and are available for you anytime.

Know Where Your Readers Come From


Say you're a using Twitter to market your content, and you know that your followers enjoy more tweets about, let's say UTMs. You would probably want to have more tweets about UTMs. This is the same thinking about UTMs and marketing campaigns. UTMs let you know more about what people like and what leads to more visitors. So if you know what works for your audience and what doesn’t, you can retool your marketing strategy to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

How to Use UTMs


Well, let’s to the part where I tell you how to create and use this great tool. Lucky for you, Google makes it very easy to set up. If you’re already using Google Analytics for your website, then it’s a very simple task (and if you aren’t, it’s very simple to start). All you do is go to Google Analytics Custom URL builder tool to create your UTM.

Then, the only thing left to do is use that new URL when you link to your site in your marketing, and Google Analytics will do the rest! To see the results of from using your new UTM, all you need to do is go onto your Google Analytics account and go to Acquisitions -> Campaigns on the navigation bar.