What are UTM tags/parameters?
Utm tags are url parameters which help Google Analytics understand origin of the session. There are five UTM tags which communicate with Google Analytics to provide information about origin of session. Campaign managers and marketers use these use these parameters in clickthrough URLs of marketing campaigns to pass this information. For example a properly UTM tagged URL will look like this.
So what does this URL communicate to Google Analytics?
In layman terms these parameters answer 4 questions which are utmost important to any marketer, these questions are Where? How? What? Why?
What is meaning of UTM tags?
This parameter should ideally represent is source website / ad network where user clicked link and landed your website, this answers question of from where user visited your website. For above example utm_source is google which means the user clicked on link google.com.
This parameter answers how the session was generated, for example in the example above the session was generated from cpc (cost per click)
UTM_campaign answers what campaign generated the session which in the example above is campaign name called googleAnalytics.
UTM_campaign answers what creative generated this session which in the example above is creative about Google Analytics Training.
UTM_term answers why this session was generated , what was intent of the this session usually represented by keyword on paid search networks. In example above keyword in question is “Google Analytics Tutorial” where space is replaced by %20 as automatically as encoded character for space.
Also you can find an interesting fact about origin of utm tags in this article.
Where do you find UTM parameters in google analytics reporting?
Inputs gathered from UTM parameters are reported under “Acquisition>All Traffic> Source/Medium” section of Google Analytics reporting as screenshot below.
As shown in the screeenshot above utm_source is represented as source in reporting interface, utm_medium as medium, utm_term as keyword utm_campaign as campaign and utm_content as ad content
building UTM URLs can be quite a daunting task especially if you are running several marketing campaigns and even for relatively small marketing organisation keeping track of all UTM urls and maintaining database for the same is practically impossible and to overcome this challenge, I use Google Analytics UTM builder a google spreadsheet addon.
You can also find official google analytics utm builder here, but it can only generate one URL at a time and does not keep record of your URLs.