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UTM, or Urchin Tracking Module, is a format used in the digital marketing industry to track the effectiveness of online campaigns and media. These are parameters that are added to the final URL of a page to track the source, medium and campaign through which the visitor has arrived.

UTMs originated with Urchin Software Corporation, which was later acquired by Google and whose software became the basis for Google Analytics. Currently, UTMs are a fundamental tool in data analysis in digital marketing.

How UTMs work

UTMs work by adding specific "parameters" to the URL you want to crawl. These parameters can be five: source, medium, campaign, term and content.

  • Source: Identifies the source that sends traffic, such as a search engine or newsletter.
  • Medium: Identifies the type of media that brings traffic, such as email or social media.
  • Campaign: Identifies the specific campaign.
  • Term: Used to track the keywords in a pay-per-click campaign.
  • Content: Used to differentiate ads or similar links within the same campaign.

UTMs do not affect URL behavior and are only visible to the person tracking the campaign.

Advantages of UTMs

UTMs provide several advantages in digital marketing strategy:

  • They allow the traceability and monitoring of digital campaigns on different platforms.
  • They help understand which platforms or channels are generating the most traffic or conversion.
  • They provide a more detailed and in-depth analysis of digital marketing actions.
  • They allow you to customize URLs for more accurate tracking.

Disadvantages of UTMs

Despite its benefits, the use of UTM also has some possible disadvantages:

  • URLs with UTM can be longer and less aesthetic.
  • It may require additional management and organizational effort to ensure that UTM parameters are consistent and are being used correctly.
  • There is a possibility of crawl errors if the UTM parameters are not set correctly.

UTM Examples

Here are some examples of how UTM parameters can be structured in a URL:

  1. URL with UTM parameters to track an email marketing campaign:


In this example:

  • utm_source=email indicates that the traffic source is email.
  • utm_medium=email_marketing indicates that the medium used is email marketing.
  • utm_campaign=summer2023 indicates that the associated campaign is the Summer 2023 campaign.
  1. URL with UTM parameters to track a social media advertising campaign:


In this example:

  • utm_source=facebook indicates that the traffic source is Facebook.
  • utm_medium=cpc indicates that the medium used is cost-per-click advertising.
  • utm_campaign=special_offer indicates that the associated campaign is the special offer.
  1. URL with UTM parameters to track an SEO campaign:


In this example:

  • utm_source=google indicates that the traffic source is Google.
  • utm_medium=organic indicates that the medium used is organic traffic.
  • utm_campaign=keywords_optimization indicates that the associated campaign is keyword optimization.

In addition to the utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign parameters, you can also use utm_term to track keywords and utm_content to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL.

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