What are Urchin Tracking Module parameters?

Urchin Tracking Module parameters, or UTM parameters, are a simple way to keep track of traffic incoming over multiple campaigns. 


UTM parameters are simply appended to a URL before it is then shared. Instead of sharing a link as:




You might instead share:




Then when the user clicks on a link, we can make a note that they’ve been acquired by your spring-sale campaign. 


Why use UTM parameters?


UTM parameters don’t need cookies, tracking pixels or browser headers, they are transparent, are an open standard and can be used on any platform. 


Because of these qualities, they are more reliable than third-party cookies & tracking pixels - which is especially important in the recent age of ‘Do Not Track’ browser preferences, cookie preferences popups, and pixel blocking extensions. Yes, they provide better data than Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics alone. 


They also provide valuable and insightful counter-data to advertising spend reports. 

Did you know:

Urchin Tracking Module parameters were first created by an old web traffic analysis product called ‘Urchin’ which was eventually purchased by & turned into Google Analytics (GA). So UTM parameters are naturally compatible with GA, too. They’ve been arounds since the mid-2000s and are still prevalent - now you’re aware of them, you’ll start to see them everywhere!

They can be used to keep track of:


  • Traffic sources, such as Google, Facebook or Twitter

  • Campaigns, your internal reference for any particular marketing campaign 

  • Medium, how the campaign was implemented for this link click 

  • Search terms, appended by a search engine

  • Content 


How do I use UTM parameters?


UTM parameters are simply appended to a URL before it is then shared. 


An example:


In the case of Citizen Ticket, they should be appended to an event URL. Here’s an example URL (of a made-up event):




A common UTM parameter choice would be ‘campaign’ 




If you’re sharing that campaign on Facebook, you might want to add ‘source’:




Or if you’re sharing the same campaign on Twitter, you might want to change that source to ‘twitter’




Later on, you can visit Citizen Ticket and filter your campaign to ‘spring sale’ and easily see which platform was more successful at sending you visitors and sales - Facebook, or Twitter?


The full list of UTM parameters available to you are as follows;






Identifies which site sent the traffic, and is a required parameter.



Identifies what type of link was used, such as cost per click or email.



Identifies a specific product promotion or strategic campaign.



Identifies search terms.



Identifies what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site, such as a banner ad or a text link. It is often used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads.

utm_content=logolink or utm_content=textlink

Credit - Wikipedia


Some tips


There are no hard rules about how you name or manage your parameters. It’s all about keeping it simple enough to digest when revisited, but complex enough so you can understand which links are performing well. 


You can use as little, or as many parameters as you like and in any order - however, you can only use each term once per URL.


You probably won’t want to use all the parameter types available to you - at least not at first. You can probably get useful data from using just one or two parameters. 


Keep a spreadsheet of which parameters you have utilised and where you have distributed the links.


There are numerous tools available to help you put together your URLs. Just search the web for “UTM builder”. Citizen Ticket also has a builder available that will not only build your URL, but turn it into a short link too. 


Where can I see the gathered data on Citizen Ticket?


Visit your event dashboard, click “Traffic & Tracking” and then click “Sources & Conversions”. You’ll be able to filter traffic & sales data by UTM parameters that Citizen Ticket has automatically picked up from your distributed links. 


First, consider what date range you are interested in - the default 2 week range may be too relaxed, or too restricting for your insights. 


Now, you’ll see a list of rows collating the traffic, grouped by the referrer domain.


Notice the five parameters at the top - Campaign, Source, Medium, Term, Content. These columns will be auto-populated whenever somebody clicks on a URL that you have appended UTM parameters to.


Click the ‘filter’ icon in any column to only show the rows and totals for that parameter.


For example, clicking  in the ‘source’ will filter away any non-tiktok referrals.  


You can quickly combine (and uncombine) multiple filters together to get a better picture of your traffic - take a note of the ‘totals’ found bottom-right, for any particularly interesting combinations.