1. UTM Meaning (in marketing)
A UTM string is a set of characters added to the end of any URL which allows GA4 to read and correctly register where traffic came from. GA4 can usually figure where traffic comes from to a certain extent, but some sources, particularly email, it cannot tell you where the user found the link, so it just files it under “Direct” traffic.
If you add a UTM string to your URL, then the info you put in this code will file the traffic under the relevant campaign.
History: Originally UTM stood for Urchin Traffic Module, which was a company that pioneered a simple but effective way to analyse where your traffic came from. Google purchased the company, and it became part of Google Analytics, the initials have stood.
UTM Strings and UTM Parameters
A UTM string can contain up to five parameters: Campaign, source, medium, content, and term. These UTM parameters combine to create a UTM string, also sometimes known as a UTM code.
2. How to Generate a UTM Tracking URLs
You start by pasting in the URL of the page you want to link over to, and then add other details, as desired.
Aim to complete at least the campaign source (e.g. eshot or facebook) campaign medium (e.g. ppc, email, social) and campaign name (e.g. october newsletter).
Note that it is best to always use lower-case, as these parameters are case-sensitive, and if your next UTM uses a capital letter, GA4 will treat it as a different campaign.
The generated UTM string is shown at the bottom of the page and this can be copied as your new URL to add to your promotion.
3. How to View the Data on GA4
In GA4, go to Reports/Acquisition/Traffic Acquisition, then click on the drop down and choose “session campaign”.
You should now see a list of all/any campaigns that have been created – some automatically by GA4, others from the UTM parameters you have produced.