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utm naming conventions and parameters blueswitch
Ian Mayberry12/19/20223 min read

The Complete Guide to UTM Parameters for D2C eCommerce

If you're an eCommerce site owner or marketing professional, you've probably heard of UTM links. But do you know what UTMs are and how they can help your business?

In this guide, we'll show you how to use UTM—one of the most powerful tools in analytics—to track your site's traffic sources and gain valuable insights about your inbound traffic. Read on to find out more about why UTM are important to your business, and how they can help you get amazing results.

What Are UTMs and why are they important?

UTM (Urchin Tracking Modules) are snippets of code used by marketers to track the source of website visitors. This data is collected using the UTM parameters - which are five key parameters that make up the UTM code. These parameters include:

  • "source" which records where the visitor came from
  • "medium" which records what type of link was clicked
  • "campaign" which tracks the specific campaign that drove a visitor to your website.

UTM also include two optional parameters:

  • "term" for tracking keyword searches
  • "content" for A/B testing different pages or links

It is also worth noting that these are the general uses of the parameters, however they can be flexible based on your business needs. They key is consitency. For example say you want to track a partner name - you could use that in any undefined field, just be sure that once that field is defined that you follow it across every channel. This flexibility allows you to track more specific KPI sourcing for optimization, testing, and hindsighting your marketing effort.

How to build and implement UTMs the right way

If you are sticking the base model most platforms have easy implementation for UTM that allow for dynamic tracking. However, if you are steering off the path a little with your own definitions these platforms also allow you to edit the dynamic tracking options. If you are getting really nitty gritty and come across a situation where you need to pull out a UTM do not fret! There are many free online utm building tools.

Three important rules to remember about UTMs

1. UTMs are case sensitive - for this reason, I recommend an overall rule that all UTMS are always lowercase.

2. Double-check your UTM definitions - make sure you've followed your organization's proper definitions and that everything is spelled right.

3. Lastly, keep track of your UTMs - heaven forbid something gets created wrong, but when you do notice a break it's good to be able to find it so not only you can make sense of the data, but also so you can pull the link from its origin.

The benefits of UTMs for eCommerce brands

Using UTMs has several benefits for businesses. For starters, it allows businesses to accurately track the success of their digital campaigns - something that would otherwise be difficult to do without UTMs. By analyzing UTM data, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customer's behavior and make informed decisions based on their findings.

Additionally, because UTMs provide such detailed information about where customers come from, marketers can quickly identify which campaigns are most successful in driving traffic and conversions. Finally, they allow businesses to easily compare results across channels so they can understand how effective each campaign is in achieving their desired goals.

Understand your campaigns like a marketing pro

Often we do all the work to understand the user journey within our site to improve KPI and conversion, or we have just simple tracking for ads. With a robust omnichannel UTM strategy you can get a strong sense of all parts, locations, assets, and moments within your user funnel.

UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) are an incredibly useful tool for CMOs and marketing specialists alike. They allow businesses to gain valuable insights into customer behavior by tracking the sources of their website visitors with ease, allowing them to make informed decisions about their digital campaigns.

Finally, with detailed data capabilities, businesses can quickly identify which campaigns have been the most successful in driving traffic and conversions as well as compare results across channels so they understand how effective each campaign has been in achieving their desired goals.

UTMs can save you time, money, and headaches

Ultimately, using UTMs can save time and money while yielding accurate results that will help your business grow and succeed in today’s competitive digital landscape!

Need professional help with your UTMs? Contact BlueSwitch and schedule a discovery call with our eCommerce and Shopify marketing specialists today. 


Ian Mayberry

Ian Mayberry is a data analyst and paid media specialist for the BlueSwitch marketing team.