Free UTM Builder

Use this free UTM builder to easily and quickly add UTM parameters to your campaign URL.  

  1. Enter your destination URL (web page, blog post, etc)
  2. Fill in the required UTM fields (fill out the optional fields for stronger tracking)
  3. Fill out the advanced UTM fields (optional)
  4. Add a custom parameters (optional)
  5. Shorten your campaign URL (optional)
  6. Copy and paste your automatically generated campaign URL
*Not currently supported in GA4
*Not currently supported in GA4

utm builder google sheets graphic square

Download Your Free UTM Builder Google Sheet

Create and manage your own UTM links in Google Sheets!

Ready To Master UTMs?

Demystifying UTM Parameters: A Comprehensive Guide for Business Owners & Marketers

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on crafting and understanding UTM links – a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing your online marketing campaigns. 

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just venturing into the realm of digital analytics, this guide aims to demystify the process of creating UTM tracking links. 

From unraveling the anatomy of UTM parameters to finding UTM data in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), we’ll walk you through each step in clear and simple terms. 


How To Create Your Own UTM Links

Creating UTM tracking links may seem complex, but it can be approached in various ways based on your needs. Whether you’re part of a team handling numerous links or a solo operator with a handful of campaigns, there’s a method for you.

Here are a few common approaches to UTM link creation (along with the pros and cons of each):

  • Manual Entry:
    • Pros: No tools required, free, can be done offline.
    • Cons: Prone to errors, no historical log, time-consuming.
  • Free UTM Builder:
    • Pros: Free, quick, easy to use, advanced options available.
    • Cons: May be too advanced for some, requires an internet connection.
  • Spreadsheet Method:
    • Pros: Free, customizable, allows for historical logs, can be done offline.
    • Cons: Prone to errors, organizational challenges, and may lack consistency.
  • Paid Tools:
    • Pros: Fast, efficient, collaborative, often includes historical logs.
    • Cons: Costly, may have limitations, could be overkill for simpler needs.
Here’s how to quickly and easily create UTM tracking links with our Free UTM Builder:
  1. Enter your destination URL (web page, blog post, etc)
  2. Fill in the required UTM fields (fill out the optional fields for stronger tracking)
  3. Fill out the advanced UTM fields (optional)
  4. Add a custom parameters (optional)
  5. Shorten your campaign URL (optional)
  6. Copy and paste your automatically generated campaign URL

How To Use Our Free UTM Builder

utm builder video gif
Play Video about utm builder video gif

UTM Anatomy Explained: Parts & Pieces

UTM parameters (also called UTM tags, UTM codes, and UTM links) are labels appended to the end of URLs to track specific details about your website traffic. 

When creating UTM tracking links, marketers modify the URL by adding these parameters, allowing analytics tools to capture and analyze data related to user interactions.

For instance, a UTM link might include information about whether the traffic is coming from a social media post, email campaign, or a specific advertisement.

Understanding URLs is crucial for marketers in this process, as it ensures the correct integration of UTM parameters without disrupting the fundamental structure of the URL.

Incorrectly formatted URLs can lead to tracking errors, making it challenging to accurately measure and attribute the success of marketing campaigns.

Therefore, comprehension of URLs is vital for the accurate implementation and effective utilization of UTM tracking links.

Understanding URLs

URLs, or Uniform Resource Locators are digital addresses that play a fundamental role in directing users to specific online resources such as websites, documents, or images.

Operating as a standardized format, URLs establish a seamless connection between web browsers and servers, allowing users to access information.

Despite their seemingly string-like structure, URLs are vital for the smooth functioning of the World Wide Web, providing an organized and systematic way to locate and retrieve diverse online content.

Here’s the basic structure of a URL: 

URL structure example

Let’s take a look at each element of a URL:

  • Protocol:
    • The starting point indicating how information is transferred, with HTTP being the standard and HTTPS providing secure data transfer.
  • Domain:
    • Comprising subdomain, second-level domain, and top-level domain, these elements collectively define the unique address of a website.
  • Path:
    • Specifies the exact location of a resource within a website’s structure, akin to navigating through files on a computer.
  • Query String:
    • An optional part containing key/value pairs that provide additional information to the web server.
  • Fragment:
    • An optional part directing the browser to a specific section of a page, starting with a hashtag symbol (#).

Now equipped with an understanding of how URLs operate and their anatomy, we can delve into the significance of key/value pairs in the context of UTM links.

These pairs play a key (no pun intended) role in enhancing the tracking and analytics capabilities of URLs.

Key/Value Pairs

Forming the backbone of additional information within a URL, key/value pairs facilitate a detailed analysis of user interactions and campaign performance.

Here’s how key/value pairs work in UTM parameters:

  • Key:
    • Identifies the specific information to track, serving as a label for the data.
  • Value:
    • Provides the actual data associated with the key, offering context and details.
key/value pair URL example

UTM Parameters 101

UTM parameters, short for Urchin Tracking Module, play a pivotal role in tracking campaign performance, enabling you to gather detailed insights into your website traffic.

In the previous sections, we’ve discussed URLs and key/value pairs; now, let’s examine the specifics of UTM parameters.

Default UTM Parameters

Five standard UTM parameters—source, medium, campaign, term, and content—offer ample data for thorough campaign tracking.

Campaign ID is a unique alphanumeric identifier assigned to individual campaigns, facilitating granular tracking and detailed analysis within the broader context of UTM parameters. This isn’t to be confused with the campaign parameter.

Below you’ll find a quick overview of all five default UTM parameters (and campaign ID):

  • Campaign ID:
    • Parameter Key: utm_id
    • Campaign ID serves as a distinct identifier for each campaign and is required for importing data into Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
    • Example Values: (your campaign ID, 123, etc)
  • Source:
    • Parameter Key: utm_source
    • Source helps you pinpoint the origin of your website traffic. 
    • Examples: linkedin, bing, mailchimp
  • Medium:
    • Parameter Key: utm_medium
    • Medium categorizes the type of traffic.
    • Examples: social, email, affiliate
  • Campaign:
    • Parameter Key: utm_campaign
    • Campaign specifies the purpose of the traffic.
    • Examples: product, promotion, initiative name
  • Term:
    • Parameter Key: utm_term
    • Term assists in associating specific keywords, headlines, or subject lines with the traffic generated.
    • Examples: (your keyword/headline, etc)
  • Content:
    • Parameter Key: utm_content
    • Content helps in distinguishing between various elements within a campaign.
    • Examples: v-1, cta-b, story

New UTM Parameters

With the introduction of GA4, Goole introduced three new UTM parameters (source platform, creative format, and marketing tactic). 

Technically, only the source platform is supported in GA4 currently, but you can set up customizations to pull data in for the other two. 

Here’s a quick look at these new UTM parameters and what you can use them for:

  • Source Platform:
    • Parameter Key: utm_source_platform
    • Source Platform provides granularity by pinpointing the exact platform or tool that contributed to the traffic.
    • Examples: facebook-ads, social media tools, affiliate networks
  • Creative Format:
    • Parameter Key: utm_creative_format
    • Creative Format allows you to categorize the type of creative used in your campaigns.
    • Examples: video, image, gif
  • Marketing Tactic:
    • Parameter Key: utm_marketing_tactic
    • Marketing Tactic specifies the nature of the marketing.
    • Examples: free-trial, retargeting

The following table gives a detailed overview, use case, and example of all eight UTM parameters. 

Parameter Name Key Use Case Example Values
Traffic Origin
google, facebook
Traffic Type
cpc, social, email
Product/Promotion Name
product-a, spring-sale
Keyword/Headline/Subject Line
verion-1, cta-b, button-2
Source Platform
Tool/Platform Sending Traffic
youtube-ads, bing-ads
Creative Format
Creative Type
video, image, carousel
Marketing Tactic
Tactic Type
free-trial, retargeting

Benefits Of Using UTMs

UTM parameters offer a wealth of advantages for anyone interested in understanding their marketing performance and improving decision-making.

Let’s break down the perks, touching on both practical and technical aspects.

  • Clearer Campaign Attribution:
    • Benefits: Understand where your website traffic is coming from, helping you identify the most effective channels for your business.
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters provide attribution data, allowing you to tie website visits directly to specific marketing efforts.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making:
    • Benefits: Make informed decisions by analyzing detailed reports on campaign performance. Focus your efforts on what works best for your audience.
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters facilitate data-driven marketing, helping you optimize campaigns based on real performance metrics.
  • Optimized Budget Allocation:
    • Benefits: Allocate your marketing budget wisely by identifying which channels and campaigns deliver the best return on investment (ROI).
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters enable budget optimization by revealing the most cost-effective sources of traffic and conversions.
  • Tailored Content and Messaging:
    • Benefits: Create content that resonates with your audience by understanding which messages and creatives perform best.
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters, especially ‘utm_content’ and ‘utm_campaign,’ help tailor your content strategy based on user engagement.
  • Detailed Audience Segmentation:
    • Benefits: Understand your audience better by segmenting traffic based on sources, mediums, and campaigns.
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters enable granular segmentation, allowing for targeted analysis of audience behavior.
  • Improved ROI Measurement:
    • Benefits: Demonstrate the tangible impact of your marketing investments by measuring the return on investment accurately.
    • Technical Insight: UTM parameters play a key role in ROI measurement, providing the necessary data for evaluating the success of your campaigns.

UTM Code Best Practices

The effectiveness of UTM codes hinges on adopting clear and consistent practices.

To ensure accurate tracking and insightful analysis, it’s paramount to adhere to well-defined guidelines.

Here are some general recommendations:

  • Create consistent naming conventions
  • Avoid special characters (e.g., $!%#@)
  • Replace spaces with dashes (-)
  • Use lowercase lettering
  • Be clear

The table below showcases the best practices that should be followed and avoided, represented as “do” and “don’t”. 

UTM Recommendation Do Don't
Create Consistent Naming Conventions
IG, ig, insta
Avoid Special Characters
Replace Spaces With Dashes (-)
begin free trial
Use Lowercase Lettering
Google, GOOGLE
Be Clear

A Campaign First Mindset

Planning UTM parameters with utm_campaign first is crucial.

The campaign tag serves as the primary identifier, encapsulating the overarching theme of your marketing effort. This strategic approach ensures a clear and organized structure, making it easier to analyze data later.

Prioritizing utm_campaign establishes a hierarchy, allowing marketers to categorize and compare different mediums and sources within a specific campaign seamlessly.

utm campaign, mediums, and sources

Starting with utm_campaign not only simplifies data interpretation but also streamlines the optimization process for future campaigns, fostering a more efficient and informed marketing strategy.

Following these practices lays the foundation for comprehensive and reliable campaign performance insights. 

Shortening UTM Links 

Link shorteners offer concise and visually appealing URLs, making them a popular choice for sharing content across various platforms.

When combined with UTM parameters, they can enhance tracking capabilities, providing valuable insights into your campaign performance. The benefits include improved user experience, especially in character-limited spaces like social media posts, and a cleaner appearance.

utm short link generator

However, it’s crucial to consider potential drawbacks. Some link shorteners may not preserve UTM parameters, leading to inaccurate tracking.

Additionally, reliance on third-party services introduces an element of dependency, as link shortening services may experience downtime or cease to exist.

To mitigate these concerns, follow these best practices:

Striking the right balance between aesthetics and accuracy ensures that your tracking efforts remain robust and reliable.

How To Find UTM Data In Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Unravel the intricacies of UTM data in GA4 reports as we explore the distinction between sessions and users.

Understanding these differences lays the foundation for the exploration of User acquisition and Traffic acquisition reports, shedding light on user engagement and traffic patterns.

GA4 home screen

Before delving into these reports, let’s clarify the difference between users and sessions in GA4.

Users vs. Sessions

The key difference between a user and a session in GA4 boils down to what they represent.


website user


A session

A user is an individual who interacts with your website or app. 

A session is a series of user interactions within a specific timeframe.

Here’s a closer look at the differences between users and sessions:

  • Users:
    • Measured by: “Users,” “New Users,” and “Total Users.”
    • Tracks: Individuals across multiple sessions over time.
    • Useful for:
      • Understanding your overall audience size and growth.
      • Studying user engagement and lifetime value.
  • Sessions:
    • Measured by: “Sessions” and “Session Duration.”
    • Tracks: User activity within a specific timeframe (a single visit).
    • Useful for:
      • Evaluating page performance and engagement within visits.
      • Identifying drop-off points and optimizing user flow.

In short, users are individuals and sessions are their journeys. 

User Acquisition vs. Traffic Acquisition

In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), various reports allow you to extract UTM data. These reports unveil the performance of specific UTM parameters.

In this section, our focus shifts to extracting UTM insights from the User and Traffic Acquisition reports.

User Acquisition emphasizes the journey of acquiring new users, while Traffic Acquisition explores detailed website visit data.

The choice between the two depends on strategic goals:

  • User Acquisition for broader growth strategies.
  • Traffic Acquisition for in-depth traffic analysis.

User acquisition tells you who you’re bringing in; Traffic acquisition tells you how they’re arriving. 

However, challenges may arise due to differences in UTM terminology, necessitating a clear understanding of Google Analytics 4’s terminology.

How To Find Your User Data In GA4

Deciphering UTM information within GA4’s User Acquisition reports demands overcoming terminology disparities.

This also holds true for sessions, a topic we’ll explore shortly.

Recognizing and reconciling these linguistic nuances is crucial for navigating from UTM parameters to GA4 dimensions and extracting meaningful insights.

The table below elucidates the correlation between UTM parameters and GA4 dimensions in user acquisition reports.

Parameter Name Key What Its Called In GA4 (For Users)
First user source
First user medium
First user campaign
First user manual term
First user manual ad content
Source Platform
First user source platform
Creative Format
First user creative format
Marketing Tactic
Not Supported (but can be configured)

Creating A Source/Medium & Campaign User Acquisition Report

Follow the steps outlined in the carousel below to generate a User Source/Medium and Campaign report in GA4.

  1. Navigate to analytics.google.com
  2. From the home screen, select the reports icon
  3. Under “Life cycle”, locate “Acquisition” -> “User acquisition”
  4. Select a dimension (start with “First user source / medium” if you’re unsure)
  5. Select the “+” symbol to add a secondary dimension
  6. Select “Traffic source” from the pop up
  7. Under “User-scoped” select “Cross-channel” (note: select “Manual” to access values for utm_term and utm_content)
  8. Select “Frist user campaign” (or any secondary dimension you want)  

How To Find Your UTM Session Data In GA4

Unraveling UTM information in GA4’s Traffic acquisition reports demands an awareness of terminology distinctions, mirroring the challenges faced in User acquisition reports.

Explore the table below, which offers a concise breakdown of UTM terminology within Traffic acquisition reports in GA4.

Parameter Name Key What It's Called In GA4 (For Sessions)
Session source
Session medium
Session campaign
Session manual term
Session manual ad content
Source Platform
Session source platform
Creative Format
Session creative format
Marketing Tactic
Not Supported (but can be configured)

Creating A Source/Medium & Campaign Traffic Acquisition Report

Generate a Session Source/Medium and Campaign report in GA4 by following the steps outlined in the carousel below.

  1. Navigate to analytics.google.com
  2. From the home screen, select the reports icon
  3. Under “Life cycle”, locate “Acquisition” -> “Traffic acquisition”
  4. Select a dimension (start with “Session source / medium” if you’re unsure)
  5. Select the “+’ symbol to add a secondary dimension
  6. Select “Traffic source” from the pop up
  7. Under “Session-scored” select “Session campaign” (or any other secondary dimension you want)

UTM Resources

These curated materials will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to harness the full potential of UTM parameters.


Most frequent questions and answers

1. What Are UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters are tags added to URLs for tracking campaign performance.

Components like source, medium, campaign, term, and content help identify the origin and effectiveness of your marketing activity.

2. Should I Use A UTM Builder?

Yes, utilizing a UTM builder is advisable.

These tools simplify the process of creating UTM parameters by generating correctly formatted URLs, reducing errors, ensuring consistency, and facilitating accurate tracking of campaigns.

3. How Do I Build My Own UTM Links?

You can create your own UTM codes in a variety of ways. 

Here are a few options:

  1. Use the free UTM builder on this page. 
  2. Manually type in your UTM parameters.
  3. Use a spreadsheet to create and manage UTM tags. 
  4. Invest in a paid tool.

4. Which UTM Parameters Are Required?

While only one UTM parameter is required (and you can choose which one), including at least the source, medium, and campaign parameters is recommended for GA4.

Incorporating term, content, and other parameters can provide more detailed insights.

5. Should I Use UTMs For Internal Site Linking?

No. UTM tags are intended for external referral traffic.

However, you could consider using a custom parameters for internal tracking (but you'll need to have this manually configured in GA4). 

6. Do I Need To Shorten My UTM Links?

No. URL shorteners help you conceal long and messy UTM campaign URLs. 

Many people prefer to use URL shorteners when distributing links that are publicly posted. 

There are certain circumstances where you may not want to shorten your links.

Some of these included:

  • UTM links concealed by hyperlinks
  • UTMs links concealed by buttons
  • UTMs links concealed by creatives (like videos or images)

It may be easier to reference and recall the values associated with these links when they're concealed to the public but not you. 

Please note, your UTM parameters will usually still be visible in the browser after your short link redirects. 

7. What UTMs Are Supported In GA4?

Currently GA4 supports the following UTM parameters:

  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_term
  • utm_content
  • utm_source_platform

In addition, the following UTM parameters can still be used in GA4 with custom configuration:

  • utm_creative_format
  • utm_marketing_tactic

8. What Does The Acronym "UTM" Represent?

UTM stands for "Urchin Tracking Module". 

Urchin was a software brand acquired by Google in 2005. 

9. Can I Edit UTM Parameters After A Link Is Live?

Yes, you can edit UTM parameters even after a campaign is live.

However, it's essential to maintain consistency to ensure accurate tracking.

Changes may affect historical data, so it's recommended to use caution when modifying parameters.

10. How Do UTMs Affect Conversions In GA4?

UTM parameters play a key role in conversion tracking by attributing specific sources and campaigns to user actions leading to conversions.

This information helps marketers identify high-performing channels and optimize campaigns for better outcomes.

11. Can I Use UTMs For Offline Tracking?

While primarily designed for online campaigns, UTM parameters can be adapted for some offline efforts.

For instance, QR codes with embedded UTM parameters can help track interactions from printed materials.

12. What Happens If I Don't Use UTMs?

Without UTMs, tracking becomes limited, making it challenging to attribute traffic.

Utilizing UTM parameters provides detailed insights into the performance of various marketing channels.

13. Can I Use UTMs To Track Social Media Traffic?

Yes, UTM parameters are effective for tracking social media campaigns.

By appending specific UTM tags to your social media URLs, you can distinguish and analyze traffic from different platforms and campaigns within the social realm.


14. Are There Privacy Concerns With UTMs?

UTM parameters themselves pose minimal privacy concerns as they don't collect personal information.

However, it's crucial to comply with privacy regulations and ensure your data collection practices align with applicable laws and user consent.

15. How Do UTM Parameters Help In A/B Testing?

UTM parameters aid in A/B testing by distinguishing traffic from different variations of a campaign.

Using UTM tags for each variant allows for precise tracking, helping assess the performance and effectiveness of each test.

16. Do UTMs Affect Search Rankings Or SEO?

No, UTM parameters don't directly impact SEO or search engine rankings.

Search engines typically ignore UTM tags, so using them won't influence your website's position in search results.

17. What Are The Limitations Of UTM Parameters?

UTM parameters provide valuable insights, but they have limitations.

Over-reliance on manual tagging may lead to errors, and they might not capture all user interactions.

18. Is There A Character Limit For UTM Tags?

Yes, URL length limitations exist, so it's crucial to keep UTM parameters concise.

While specific limits vary across platforms, maintaining a reasonable character count ensures compatibility and prevents truncation issues.

19. In What Order Should I Arrange UTMs In My URL?

UTM parameter order does not affect tracking in GA4; the system identifies parameters based on their names.

However, maintaining a consistent order enhances readability and organization in your URLs.

20. Can I Use UTMs For Tracking Affiliates?

Yes, UTM parameters are effective for tracking affiliate marketing campaigns.

By incorporating specific tags, you can differentiate traffic and monitor the performance of various affiliate sources in GA4.

Want Your Own UTM Builder?

Track and manage your campaigns with your own UTM  Builder Google Sheet.

©Copyright 2024 | Mike Allen | All Rights Reserved