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What is UTM and How to Parameterize Your URLs with a UTM Generator (URL Builder)

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Understand the importance of creating a URL with the right parameters to get detailed data of your actions using the UTM Generator worksheet + 4 practical examples!

Digital Marketing is recognized for its ability to measure what brings results or not for a company. However, Google Analytics and other analytics tools cannot always capture campaign data without the user defining the UTMs. Many use the URL Builder for this, but how about having an even more complete spreadsheet for the job?

To create a URL with the tracking parameters, it’s important to have a simple tool at hand. Google itself provides this type of service, but it no longer has the functionality to shorten the generated link. Therefore, we have prepared a complete solution that already delivers your bit.ly  to each address and still stores the created links.

In this post, Blue World City will make you see in detail what a URL really is, the walkthrough of the UTM Generator – which is the alternative to the URL Builder – and some examples of using the tool. If you are ready to prove the results of your digital actions, let’s get started!

What is URL?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator  (or Standard Resource Locator ), containing a virtual address. The URL of this post, for example, is https://resultadosdigitais.com.br/blog/o-que-e-url-builder/ .

The structure of a URL is usually as follows:

  • A protocol, which can be http, https, among others;
  • A domain, which in our case is www.resultadosdigitais.com.br ;
  • A path, which in this post would be /blog/;
  • And an identifier feature → hyphen-separated-without-accents.

And what is a friendly URL?

Which of these addresses looks the most friendly to you?

  1. resultsdigitais.com.br/marketing-digital
  2. resultsdigitais.com.br/x89f7h8l2k

Most people agree it’s the first option, right?

This cleaner and more organized address is called a friendly URL, and implementing it on your website pages can help a lot in your Digital Marketing strategy. 

A friendly URL is a URL that is easier to understand, both for search engines and for those who visit your site. For a URL to be user-friendly, we must understand what the page is about as soon as we look at it.

This would be an example of a good URL: resultsdigitais.com.br/trabalhe-conosco/

This next example doesn’t make it clear what the page is about, conveying an unprofessional idea. Most likely, it will end up repelling the user who thinks he finds an inappropriate page or with an error: resultsdigitais.com.br/j4378478fhx/.

Why is using UTMs so important for Digital Marketing actions?

It’s often asked why we should use a UTM-traceable URL. In practice, this is the acronym for Urchin Tracking Module, which represents a series of parameters used after the end of a common URL to understand the point of contact of users with a given link.

This is an example of a UTM link:

  • rdstation.com.br/marketing/?utm_source=rdstation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=home&utm_campaign=black_friday

In summary, UTM’s role is to establish the necessary tracking parameters for Google Analytics and other tools to capture campaign data.

With this, you can monitor the traffic of each link to carry out a complete analysis of the channels used in marketing campaigns. The specific results of each campaign are clearer from the source of traffic. Thus, you can identify which action of dissemination of your link is performing better.

See some examples of results we were able to measure using UTMs:

  • Know how many people clicked on each CTA of a  specific Email Marketing ;
  • Identify which social network is generating more hits after the dissemination of rich material;
  • Track the volume of traffic to one of your blog’s content.

For other ways to do this in practice, check out our full content on Digital Marketing Channel Analysis.

But how to keep the friendly link even with UTM?

You may have already noticed that the use of UTMs is very important for your operation, but that the links are much bigger when you have them. So how can we maintain a friendly URL like this?

It is at this moment that the importance of using the link shortener appears. This is a technique used to convert a particular link into a shortened one. Today, the most used tool on the market to perform this action is Bit.ly. With it it is possible to customize the identifier of each link.

Shortening the links is a fundamental step so that you are not limited in the use of UTMs. After all, we will see that the more information that is placed in the parameterized link, the better the identification of results will be.

This is the best alternative to be able to maintain a friendly link even with all the parameters you need to use. How about an example?

  • Link with UTM: rdstation.com.br/marketing/?utm_source=rdstation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=black_friday
  • Link shortened with Bit.ly: bit.ly/Link-Customizable

You can use UTM Generator as an alternative to URL Builder!

As we’ve seen, much of the data you need to analyze the performance of your digital strategy is captured automatically, as long as it’s tied to Google Analytics. Even so, some measurements that are more specific or that require precision are not identified by him.

In these cases, including the UTMs in each of the links you want to publicize is the solution. And the UTM Generator worksheet is nothing more than a creator of tracking parameters for disclosure, with additional features compared to the URL Builder.

A classic example of using this tool is Email Marketing when we include one or more links in the body of the email and we need to know how many people clicked on each CTA (Call-to-Action). 

9 parameters to build a crawlable URL in UTM Generator

Creating your URL is very easy, just access the UTM Generator spreadsheet, follow the steps and fill in the required fields. However, this topic will show you that, rather than creating your URL, it’s important to understand what each of these tracking parameters is.

1. Country

In the first field of the UTM Generator, you will find the area to select the initials of the country where you will advertise the campaign. This is an essential parameter for companies that work with international campaigns as well. From there, you can identify the result of each of these divisions.

2. Channel

Here, you choose the main source of disclosure where you will publish your parameterized link. Some examples are:

Email;

  • Blog;
  • Event;
  • Social (in Source you define the specific social network, as we’ll see shortly).

3. Product

Choose which specific product from your company is the focus of promotion by sharing this link.

From this, you will be able to understand which product you are working the most for in terms of dissemination and also which one is bringing the greatest return to your operation.

4. Campaign Source

With the same title found in the URL Builder, it is in this area that you will identify where your campaign will be displayed. It could be Google itself, an email, blog, pop-up,  or wherever you plan to track it – like each of the specific social networks. 

In UTM URLs, this is always the first parameter that appears to create the full link. See an example

  • rdstation.com.br/marketing/? utm_source=rdstation &utm_medium=email&utm_content=home&utm_campaign=black_friday.

5. Campaign Medium

Here it is identified what type of media you are using to promote the link. It can be a Banner, Email Marketing, CPC or whatever format is used.

This is always the second parameter that appears on each link, right after the Source, separated by the &. See the highlight in the example:

  • rdstation.com.br/marketing/?utm_source=rdstation& utm_medium=email &utm_content=home&utm_campaign=black_friday.

6. Macro Strategies

This is the name you will find in the Google Analytics campaign analysis to identify which macro strategy was chosen at the time of disclosure.

Each company works with some more comprehensive campaigns, which represent the main Digital Marketing actions. An example is the name of specific campaign periods, such as Black Friday. But they can also be remarketing actions, to generate new Leads or MQLs, among others.

7. Identifier

In every campaign that uses the parameters to create a UTM, it is necessary to use an identifier that clearly describes the title of the material or other type of content used in the dissemination.

8. Micro Strategy

For those who work with macro-level strategies, they usually have some breaks to deal with micro strategies, which form more specific campaigns. It is in this field that the description must be included.

9. URL without UTM

Finally, you must put your original link, still without UTM, and see the magic happen! From there, the spreadsheet itself fills in the necessary fields and delivers everything in the URL field with UTM.

Just a detail: compared to the URL Builder, this whole set of parameters that we saw is equivalent to UTM Campaign. But instead of filling it in manually, you already receive the final link complete with all parameters.

What are the differentials of the UTM Generator?

Although the URL Builder serves as a parameter for several companies to create links with UTM, the spreadsheet provides you with two great advantages and benefits:

1. Automatic shortener

In the spreadsheet itself, you can shorten your links to share them in a friendly way. To do this, just create your Access Token in Bit.ly and paste it in the indicated place. The complete walkthrough is:

  1. Login or create your free Bit.ly account;
  2. Click on the direct link to create the Access Token ;
  3. In the menu, access the Generic Access Token option;
  4. Confirm your password and create an Access Token;
  5. Copy the generated Access Token and paste it into the marked place in the spreadsheet.

2. Database of generated UTMs

What happens to many marketers is creating multiple links with UTM, but not saving any of them in a single database. The problem with this is that your campaigns lose the parameterization pattern.

Therefore, we included in the spreadsheet a generated UTMs database tab. When creating each URL, you only need to click on Register UTM  to save all of them in a specific tab to consult whenever you need, including when you need some example to create the next UTMs.

What is the main purpose when using the UTM Generator?

Measure your results specifically. This is the main objective of using the UTM Generator as the main tool for parameterization of links.

With that, right below the volume graph will be presented a list with all your campaigns, sorted by traffic volume and with the names of the campaigns you created.

After identifying your campaign, we can use the secondary dimension (in the image below) to find the result for each of the parameters we created. You can check the data for a specific campaign (by clicking on it) or for all existing campaigns.

The basic count for seeing the effectiveness of any comparison (parameter) is to divide the number of occurrences of the result over the total.

For example: if your campaign is divided into Google and Facebook origin, the conversion rate will be the volume of each origin over the total volume of the campaign. 

In numbers:

  • Campaign total: 100
  • Facebook origin: 70
  • Google Origin: 30
  • Effectiveness of Facebook origin = (70 / 100)*100 = 70%
  • Google Origin Effectiveness = (30 / 100)*100 = 30%