How to use UTM parameters to track your marketing campaigns and understand your traffic

June 24, 2023

UTM parameters in MetricsWave

The UTM parameters are essential to know the origin of the traffic to our website.

Unfortunately, the referrer is often blocked by the browser and we cannot automatically know where a visit comes from. Depending on the browser and the user's settings it is often impossible.

That's when we need UTM tags. With these tags, regardless of the user's configuration, we will be able to understand the traffic of our website.

MetricsWave is compatible with all UTM tags so you just need to start tagging your links correctly to know how your campaigns, emails, etc. are performing.

What is a referrer?

When a user clicks on a link to visit a website, the browser typically sends a "referrer" header to the website, which tells the website where the user came from.

This information can be useful for website owners to understand how users are finding their site. However, some website owners may want to limit the amount of referrer information that is sent, for privacy or security reasons.

This is where the Chrome Referrer Policy comes into play.

Chrome Referrer Policy

The Chrome Referrer Policy is a feature in the Google Chrome browser that allows website owners to control how much referrer information is sent when a user clicks on a link to their site.

By default, Chrome sends the full URL of the page that the user was on before clicking the link. However, website owners can use the Referrer Policy to limit the amount of information that is sent, such as only sending the domain name instead of the full URL.

This can help protect user privacy and prevent sensitive information from being leaked.

However, it can also have an impact on website analytics, as website owners may not be able to track where all of their traffic is coming from if referrer information is limited or not sent at all.

What are the standard referrer policies in other web browsers?

  • Chrome is using strict-origin-when-cross-origin from version 85. Strict-origin-when-cross-origin is where the full path is sent if on the same domain but only sends the domain itself if going to another domain.
  • Firefox: same as Chrome.
  • Edge: same as Chrome.
  • Safari: same as Chrome.
  • Brave is using no-referrer where the referrer header is completely removed.

You can find more information about referrer policies here.

How to use UTM parameters to track your traffic

UTM parameters (Urchin Tracking Modules) are needed to reduce dark traffic and understand where is our traffic coming from.

Basically, when you tag your links with UTM tags you can see that information in your dashboards.

You can find more information about UTM parameters, how to add them, all the available tags and more in our documentation.

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