If I were to purchase some advertising space on a website- what should I add to the end of the URL to track the results of that campaign in a tool like Google Analytics?

  • Is capitalization important?

  • What does each part of those URL additions mean?

  • Once entered, how do I make use of them in Google analytics?

  • Is the utm_* method a standard, or specific to Google analytics?

  • Do you mean 'utm_' rather than 'stm_'?
    – pelms
    Commented Jul 12, 2010 at 15:52
  • Yes, sorry- I meant utm. Corrected! :)
    – Soleil
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 12:44

2 Answers 2

  1. Capitalization is important (they are cap-sensitive), unless you set your GA filter to be case insensitive

  2. utm_ is specific to Google Analytics. It dates from when GA was called Urchin (it stands for Urchin Traffic Monitor.

    • utm_source: This is the site or advertising service you're using (beetsandtreats.com, admob, etsy.com, etc)
    • utm_campaign: This is the name of the campaign you're running. (save20now, christmasdiscount1205)
    • utm_medium: This is the medium your campaign is running on (email, cpc, organic)
    • utm_content: This is for differentiating ads or links within content.
    • utm_term: This is for the term you're targetting.

For consistency of data, the top 3 are required; the bottom 2 are optional.

You can view the data, as pelms said, in Traffic sources > Campaigns, but you'll get much more interesting usage out of them if you use them as a source for pivoting or secondary data analysis in all 3 sections of the site. You can segment performance by whether or not it was a paid click or an organic click, and figure out how paid traffic behaves differently than free traffic.

You can use it in analyzing your goals, to figure out if paid clicks are converting into customers successfully (if ecommerce is your goal).

In short, for good analysis, utm tagging on non-Adwords advertising platforms is a must. (Adwords provides 'autotagging' as a service, as long as your Adwords and Analytics accounts are linked.)


Try the GA URL Builder which also gives a (slightly vague) description of the URL components.

You get to the reports via 'Traffic sources > Campaigns' in GA.

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