What is UTM in Google Analytics?

UTM is short  for Urchin Tracking Module.

Before Google Analytics there was Urchin, a web analytics tool.  Google bought Urchin in 2005 and renamed the tool to Google Analytics.

Urchin, used the term UTM to name the query parameters that it required to tracking marketing campaigns.

There are 5 campaign parameters (UTMs) that a marketer can pass to a URL so that it can be tracked as Campaign in Google Analytics.

There campaign parameters are

  • utm_campaign (required)
  • utm_medium (required)
  • utm_sourtce (required)
  • utm_term (optional)
  • utm_content (optional)

Source (utm_source): The source of the visitors e.g. search engine, newsletter

Medium (utm_medium):  Medium of traffic such as email, ppc, displayed etc.

Campaign (utm_campaign): The name of the campaign such as Summer Campaign, Buy One Get One Free etc.

The 2 other UTM parameters are optional and very rarely used.

Term (utm_term): The keyword used in the ad. Used for paid search though there is a direct integration of Google Ads and Google Analytics so that should be used in case of Google Ads, however you can use this parameter on other search engines.

Content (utm_content): Used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads. Use utm_content to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL. Examples, logolink, textlink, banner468X60 etc.

There are no predefined set of values you need to use for these parameters, you can use whatever makes sense for you business. Though keep in mind these values are case sensitive so using a word like email and Email will show up as two separate lines in your Google Analytics reports.


If you are running a launch campaign via an email newsletter then the link where you want to users to go when they click within the newsletter, should contain these parameters, Say your link is https://academy.optizent.com then it should be changed to



Check out the post on UTM Best Practices

Watch this Video on how to build a URL for campaign tracking with UTM parameters.

Want to learn more about Google Analytics or Digital Marketing And Analytics - Check out Optizent Academy.

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