7 Common UTM URL Builder Mistakes You Need to Know

A ton of work goes into marketing your business online, so you want to be sure that your efforts are worthwhile. Implementing UTM codes is a great way to learn about what’s working and not working for your business online! While applying UTM tracking codes can be intimidating at first, a UTM URL builder makes things a whole lot easier. 

What Are UTM URLs? 

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. But in the business world, you can simply think of UTM as a short section of URL code that helps you identify where your website traffic is coming from.

By using a UTM URL builder, you can assign a “tracker” to each and every place on the Internet where your business is advertised. Google Analytics (or your preferred metrics system) can then accumulate and represent valuable data about which marketing channels are boosting your business, and which are not.

There are five types of UTM tags:

  • Source tracking codes indicate where your traffic is coming from.
  • Medium tracking codes show the type of origin (social media or email, for example).
  • Name (or campaign) tracking codes are assigned individually to reflect specific campaigns.
  • Term codes provide more exactness, just in case multiple campaigns share the same name!
  • Content codes serve as extra differentiation to make your analytics data more specific.

The more information you include in your UTM URLs, the better they will serve you! And while it may take a little bit of time to set up, getting into the routine of assigning and studying your UTM codes will help your business grow.

If you’re leveraging content to grow your businesses, there’s one thing that is guaranteed to flush all of your hard work down the toilet: guessing. UTM parameters eliminate all of the guesswork from your marketing and analytics. Our Tag Your Traffic UTM Training and Tool will help you skip the learning curve and build foolproof UTM codes that work for your business. 

7 Common UTM URL Builder Mistakes

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea of UTMs, you’re not alone. Many business owners feel lost when just starting out with tracking codes. Luckily, you can avoid some of the most common beginner mistakes with this post—think of it as a UTM URL builder cheat sheet! Read on.

Linking Within Your Own Website

Understand that all of your website guests ultimately wind up at… your website! So assigning a UTM URL code to your own web address will make your data very confusing.

Avoid using a UTM URL builder on your internal pages in order to see how they got there in the first place. Instead, focus on applying UTM codes to outside websites, emails, or social media accounts.

 

Using the Source and Medium Parameters Incorrectly

It takes a while to fully digest the differences between types of parameters. Source and medium are particularly close in relationship, but failing to appreciate their separate roles can mess up your analytics.

Remember that source is more specific (like Facebook) while the medium is more general (like social media). Label them appropriately each time you develop a new UTM URL!

Using a UTM URL Builder But Skipping a URL Shortener

Even though your UTM codes do not affect navigation, they can mess things up visually in your search bar. A common rookie mistake is to leave your UTM URL codes long, revealing your entire analytics strategy to the world!

Google’s UTM URL builder has a shortening option built in! After you create your detailed tracking parameters, you can hide and neaten the URL display.

With our Tag Your Traffic tool, you’ll get access to an epic UTM URL builder spreadsheet tool to help you effortlessly create links that will track the EXACT sources of traffic to your site, without worrying about remembering what to do or fear of making a mistake. This tool is plug-and-play and seriously makes implementing a UTM strategy a breeze!

Not Using UTM Parameter Naming Conventions 

You might not fully understand the beauty or necessity of consistency when you’re first leveraging UTM tracking, but using a repeatable formula each time you assign a tag is key.

Make yourself a list of rules and reminders and keep it somewhere easily accessible at your workstation. For example, dates represented in your codes should be in the same format (MM-DD-YYYY or YYYY+[month]) and spaces between words should be uniformly shown as hyphens or underscores.

Subtle spelling or formatting changes can show up as different fields of data on Google Analytics! So be sure to abide by your own rules; once you pick a format, stick with it!

Misusing and Overusing the Campaign Parameter 

The purpose of the campaign UTM snippet is to identify a specific advertisement. So you need a specific naming strategy! For example, you may think it makes sense to label your campaigns by number (such as campaign_13) but it’s difficult to remember which campaign exactly matches that code over time.

A better system (bearing consistency in mind!) is to code your campaigns based on time of year or other uniform naming conventions you practice within your business. This way, you can dig into your marketing archives and remember which campaigns you’re dealing with on the fly. 

Not Differentiating Organic and Paid Social 

Many first-time UTM coders forget to differentiate between paid and free social media lead traffic. But don’t you want to know the difference?

Use a UTM URL builder to separate mediums for free and paid social media marketing campaigns (free_social and paid_social, for example). If you notice your free ads are drawing in more business than your paid ads, you’ll have the data to prove it!

Using Non-Keywords in Your Term Parameter 

The term parameter should reflect any specific keywords outlined in your marketing content. Keywords shed more light on the effectiveness of your campaigns! 

Don’t assume that you’ll remember (or want to research) the keywords you used later on when analyzing your UTM tracking data. It’s much simpler and more effective to highlight that information in your UTM URL builder.

Why Is It Important to Avoid UTM URL Builder Mistakes? 

By avoiding these UTM URL mistakes, you decrease the chances that your metrics will be compromised! You can make better business decisions based on more accurate data tracking.

It’s important to remember that even with the help of a UTM URL builder, Google Analytics translates parameter information very literally. You may think that spicing up your naming conventions now and then is all in good fun. But automation technology interprets your colorful words as directions. So be careful!

The last thing you want for your business is to waste time or money working with messy data. It’s best to get out in front of data snafus by learning from others and avoiding UTM URL builder errors.


Working with a UTM URL builder for the first time is a challenge, but well worth the effort to acquire accurate data insights. Reference this list to avoid common mistakes and get the most out of your UTM data.

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of UTM, start out by understanding the Basics of Google Analytics. Data doesn’t have to be complicated—we’re here to help!


Ready to track your data and take advantage of all these powerful insights? Here’s how: 

What Are UTM Parameters, and Why Are They So Powerful In Google Analytics?

Why Is Measuring Business Success So Important For Online Business Owners?

What is a Google Data Studio Dashboard and How Can You Best Use One?

Why Business Data Is So Important For Growing & Scaling Your Business

7 Common UTM URL Builder Mistakes You Need to Know | The Nimble Co.