how to identify traffic channels

It is useful to know whether your website traffic is high or low, but this information alone does not provide a full picture of your success at online promotion. To stimulate a larger influx of visitors to your site, you need to determine which channels bring the best results and focus your efforts there. It is also important to identify channels that are not working, and either improve them or eliminate them from your campaign.

Google Analytics provides several easy-to-use tools for advanced traffic control. Leverage these tools to learn how new users find their way your website, and which of your promotional efforts impact them most.

Of course, standard traffic analysis provides statistics on individual sources, for example, Facebook or Instagram. But a simple analysis does not give you any idea of how attractive your photos or posts are to viewers. You may learn whether a certain platform performs efficiently, yet remain unaware of which specific actions contribute to its efficiency.

Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters help businesses track the effectiveness of their online marketing campaigns. You can use UTMs to customize your promotional campaign and collect advanced analytics about its effectiveness. This Guide by the Clever team provides valuable information on the functions, types, and applications of UTMs.

UTMs in a Nutshell

UTMs can be added to the URLs of your promotional pages in GA, giving you more accurate data on traffic movement. There are five basic options:

  1. utm_source
  2. utm_medium
  3. utm_campaign
  4. utm_term
  5. utm_content

1, 2, and 3 options are obligatory, while the remaining two are optional. None of them will change the content of your pages.

With these helpful parameters at hand, you can easily determine which content types attract the largest number of prospective clients, and see how people interact (click, view, like, etc.) with the elements of your promotional campaign.

After conducting a comprehensive analysis, you will know which advertising efforts are worth pursuing and which are holding you back. By strengthening the most efficient channels and eliminating loss-makers, you will be able to build an ideal advertising solution to stimulate a greater flow of traffic to your website.

UTM parameters and their functions

5 Key UTM Parameters

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above-mentioned parameters, define their functions, and look at some examples.


This option is used to evaluate traffic coming from different sources.

To determine which channel, say Twitter or YouTube, deserves more financing, you should know which one attracts more traffic.

You just need to insert “utm_source=twitter” and “utm_source=youtube” in GA and compare traffic values.


This option is very helpful for evaluating the results of promotional campaigns implemented through social media, email, and cost per click tools.

Let’s you want to find out how many visitors migrated to your online platform through your mailing efforts. Simply insert “utm_medium=email” in GA.


This option can be used to evaluate the efficiency of marketing events, such as the release of a new product, a link building campaign, promotions, sales, contests, etc.

For example, if you want to find out how many people visited your site due to interest in your latest sale, insert “utm_campaign=sale” in GA.


This option is mainly used for assessing keyword efficiency. It is extremely helpful to digital marketers using PPC tools.

Let’s say you have the keyword “physical therapy”. Insert the combination “utm_term=physical-therapy” in GA to find out whether this keyword generates the desired traffic.

If you use the built-in auto-tagging feature, you can omit this parameter, since its analytical platform automatically collects per-keyword data.


This option will give you an idea of how powerful your calls to action are. They can be translated to web users through text, images, and buttons (“call us”, “let’s talk”, “click here for more information”, etc.)

To define the amount of traffic generated by a certain button, you can use the following combination: “utm_content=button-cta”.

Guide to Building Customized URLs

Let’s consider in detail how you can build a customized URL with multiple UTM parameters.

An address of this sort can be created by adhering to the following rules:

  • The question mark should be placed after a standard URL to let GA know where the UTM part begins.
  • Each parameter should have the following structure: name (utm_source / medium / campaign) = argument (autumn-mailer /email / autumn-sale).
  • When setting multiple parameters, use an ampersand sign (&) to separate them.
  • There should be no spaces between parameters and the original URL.

As you can see, the rules for building customized URLs are rather simple. But you can simplify the process even more by using

Google’s URL builder. There, you can set the UTMs automatically in a special form, so you won’t have to and keep them all in mind.

How Can You Access UTMs in Google Analytics?

When using UTM parameters for the first time, it may be challenging to find them in Google Analytics. To spare you the headache of searching, we will show you the direct pathways to Google’s UTM toolkit:

  • Traffic can be viewed here: Acquisition -> Overview -> All Traffic -> Source/Medium.

Traffic control through Source/Medium

  • To access the efficiency of individual promotional campaigns, take the following steps: Acquisition -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns.

Traffic control through all campaigns

Wrapping It Up

UTMs can be extremely helpful, regardless of your niche, the scale of your promotional campaigns, or which advertising channels you use. Considering that the feature is completely free, there is no excuse for not leveraging it.

Setting a reliable promotional mechanism one time is not enough. The web environment is constantly changing, along with user preferences, meaning methods that worked efficient yesterday can be totally useless today.

To always stay a step ahead of your competition, you should closely monitor changes in customer behavior and quickly adapt to them. UTM parameters are perfect for this, since they provide accurate and up-to-date statistics. A thorough analysis of all your marketing events will ensure that each dollar from your marketing budget is spent wisely.

Take advantage of the opportunity to collect advanced analytics, select cost-efficient promotional tactics, and watch your traffic skyrocket.