7 ways you’re using UTM Tags Wrong

7 ways you're using UTMs wrong - www.ruleranalytics.com

If you’re not Tracking your UTM tags in the Right Way, How do you Expect Accurate Results?


Modern marketers are blessed with an abundance of promotional practices to take advantage of, but all of which are fairly useless and pointless if you fail to track and monitor their success.

Regardless of whether its a specific social media update or a blog post on your website, UTM codes can help measure the impact your marketing efforts are having.

Also known as UTM parameters, these little snippets of text can be added to the end of a URL to let your analytics program that someone has arrived through a certain source, channel or campaign.

However, in order to be truly effective and influential, UTM codes must be tagged in the right way. If not, you won’t be able to draw accurate or reliable conclusions about your online content and activity.


Not Using Link Shorteners

Despite the benefits UTM tags can bring, they also have the drawback of being rather long and unsightly.

Therefore, if you use a UTM tag on social media, some users might be reluctant to click. Thankfully, you can use software such as Google URL Shortener to make UTM links much more appealing and less unattractive.


Tracking Only Clicks and Not Conversions

Measuring the number of clicks your UTM gets can be relatively helpful. However, it is much more advantageous to track the number of conversions as well because this will give you an accurate insight into the quality of your marketing materials or social media activity.


Confusing ‘Medium and Source’

Medium refers to the type of marketing channel you are using, such as social media, email, or CPC, whereas source is concerned with the specific platform, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

The example URL provided in point 4 shows these UTM tag differences in action; social is the medium, but Facebook is the source.


Using Characters Such As “;”, “/”, “?”, “:”, “@”, “=” and “&”

The reason why these characters should be avoided is because they are already reserved in a URL. For example, an ampersand (&) is used to separate each parameter (such as source or medium) in your UTM link.

Here is what we mean  www.example.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=exampleurl


Mixing Lowercase and CAPS

Again this is a coding issue, as UTM links are case sensitive. Therefore, the words “Email” or “email” would be recorded differently in your analytic software, even though they are meant to have the same purpose.


Giving Away TOO Much

There is no harm in giving away your social media source, but things are different when it comes to email marketing campaigns. This is because people can easily discover what software you are using to un-humanise the brand.

Therefore, don’t give this away when attaching UTM tags to email. Instead, replace the source with utm_source=signup or utm_source=newsletter depending on what your email is targeting.


Confusing Campaign Names

In order to avoid any mix-ups or misunderstandings, always try to use simple campaign names in your UTM tags, which each and every member of staff can understand.

There is no point in making things more difficult when they don’t need to be.


Ruler Analytics gives you the ability to track UTM tags individually using the visitor report, to learn more SIGN UP in less than 20 seconds and receive a FREE 30 day trial.

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Written by

Liverpool born marketer. 3-years experience in content, outreach and SEO. I love to help individuals measure the true ROI of their marketing spend. I may occasionally use GIFs to express my point. I have an addiction to goal setting.