Where You Should and Should Not Use UTM Links

Where You Should and Should Not Use UTM Links

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
November 9, 2021

UTM links can be used just about anywhere, but there are some places where implementing them can wreak havoc on your marketing data.

Marketing relies upon data analytics to guide the entire process. But no amount of analysis can overcome the issue of bad data.

UTM links help you keep tabs on where your traffic originates, enabling you to analyze and adjust your marketing efforts based on real-world data. But that data is only as valuable as it is accurate. And improper or inconsistent use of UTM links quickly erodes the reliability of your marketing data, breaking down the effectiveness of the entire machine.

So here are some quick tips to help you avoid bad data and make the most of your UTM campaigns.

Place UTM Links With Care

UTM links can and should be used in all kinds of marketing materials, including emails, banner ads, and social media posts. But UTM parameters tacked onto the end of URLs can make for unwieldy and even suspicious-looking links that users may not trust. Furthermore, long URLs can be a problem on platforms like Twitter with strict character limits.

This is why URL shorteners are highly recommended for pretty much any link that isn’t embedded in text or an image. (By the way, our UTM Codes tool is capable of creating custom short domains and links.)

UTM links can be used just about anywhere, but there are some places where implementing them can wreak havoc on your marketing data.

Where You Should Not Use UTM Links

Essentially, there are two places where you should never use UTM links: internal links and redirected links.

Don’t Use UTM Parameters in Internal Website Links

Internal links on your site should be free of UTM parameters for a variety of excellent reasons. For one thing, Google Analytics already tracks your internal site performance metrics. But the big issue is that internal UTM links will harm data reliability.

When an internal UTM link is clicked, it starts a new session which artificially inflates your website bounce rate and session times. It also creates incorrect conversion attributions because the initial source of the traffic is lost due to the way these sources are reported.

Don’t Use UTM Links on Redirected Pages

If a visitor clicks on a link with UTM parameters that leads to a redirect, the redirected visitor will come through with the UTM parameters stripped. This will make the visit appear as though it originated directly from the redirect, defeating the purpose of using the UTM link in the first place.

Invite collaborators to double-check your UTM links.

UTM Codes is Here to Help

UTM links provide incredible insights into your marketing performance, but the value they offer hinges upon the consistency and accuracy of your data collection. All of the ways data collection can go wrong underpin the importance of establishing clear rules and conventions for handling UTM links from the get-go.

And when designing a UTM Codes tool, we keep your marketing campaigns in mind.

Managing your UTM campaigns and ensuring consistent application of UTM parameters across your organization is no easy feat on your own. But UTM Codes makes creating and managing consistent UTM links across thousands of URLs a breeze.

Kick the spreadsheets to the curb. Try our 14-day free trial to see for yourself how accurate and stress-free marketing data collection can be.

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