Everything you need to know about UTM tags

By AdHub Team on 24.05.2021

Good day, dear partners, advertisers, affiliate marketers, media buyers and colleagues. Today we will talk about a topic that still raises questions from advertisers from time to time - what are macros, tags, and how to work with them correctly.

When creating a campaign, advertisers often have typical questions about how to set everything up efficiently in order to get really targeted traffic, and most importantly, how to track and analyze the traffic received.

It is this question that we will analyze in detail. So let's go.

Tags - what exactly are they?

In simple words, macros, tags, or also so-called UTM tags, these are special parameters that are inserted at the end of the link and, when you click on it, transmit additional service information that will help you understand where, by whom and how the click was made.

It will be clearer with examples.

A link without labels looks like this:


As you can see, this is not informative at all and does not say anything at all. When clicking on such a link, we do not know at all where and how the transition was made. And the main problem is that in the future we will not be able to cut off sources from which traffic does not suit us, refuse from unnecessary audience and optimize the budget.

Now let's compare:


This option is much better, but not ideal, a little further we will look at why. This link with tags already carries much more useful information, and using a tracker, Yandex metrics or Google Analytics, we will be able to compile a report to understand how efficiently we buy traffic from certain sources. It is very important.
AdHub macros

Now let's move on from theory to combat examples. As a rule, each ad network has its own set of macros that provide detailed information about the transition, but in general, their purpose is the same.

Macros are special patterns that we substitute in the tail of the link. And when you switch over, the advertising platform will automatically substitute the value for which a specific macro is responsible. For example, we can perform data substitution with site id or ad id. You don't have to write this data by hand, for example, the campaign id, and not all data can be entered before clicking, for example, the site id can only be transmitted by the advertising network.

The following macros are currently available in AdHub:


[site_id] - site number in the system (site id).
[ad_id] - unique ad id.
[camp_id] - ad campaign id.


[country] is the two-letter country code.
[bid] - bid, click price.
[click_id] - unique click id.

* tags change periodically, so check the information from the article with the corresponding section in the FAQ.

Let's now compose our link:

https://site.org/?utm_source=adhub&utm_medium= [site_id ]&utm_campaign= [camp_id ]&utm_content= [ad_id]

As you can see from the example, everything is quite simple. If we need additional parameters, just by analogy we drop them with a train to the end of the link.
Most common mistakes

- Tags are not used at all. About half of advertisers insert links as is. When it comes to campaign optimization, support comes up with questions about what it is and how to use it. It is for this reason that this article was written.

- The opposite situation is the opposite of the first, when the advertiser specifies all possible and even impossible macros that he Google or took from another network. Labeled links are quite long. If you write them manually, you can miss the mark or miss the question mark or underscore. Due to such errors, labels can be incorrectly read by analytics systems and confusion in reports will arise.

- Incorrect or implicit URL configuration on the site. For example, an incorrect or implicit pattern in .htaccess or an erroneous rule in the SEO friendly URL (ModRewrite) module that cause errors, beat content on the site, and cause redirects. Because of this, tags do not work correctly and can even lead to even more problems, and even loss of traffic. Also remember that the link format should be as follows: https://site.org/?utm_label1=xxx&utm_label2=yyy. Can't you swap? and &. Parameters after a slash (/) begin with a question (?), And are appended with an ampersand (&).


Black and white lists

Now let's discuss how to compose black and white sheets. Let's note a rather important point - the blacklist is compiled only after certain statistics have been set, and not vice versa. A common mistake when an advertiser downloads such sheets from the Internet, trying to be proactive.

Often they write to us in support and ask for some kind of general spherical blacklist so that the traffic is good. Some networks sin with this, thus luring advertisers so that we can give you some secret black metal and now the conversion will go. Naturally, no leaf exists in nature. This is just a trick of the manager.

First, all campaigns are individual. One and the same site can give a plus for one campaign and a minus for another. Further, do not forget that completely different indicators can be obtained on a specific geo, or device. Thus, a lot of input data and combinations are obtained that affect the final result.

Secondly, there is an anti-fraud system, and sites that violate the rules of the system, and they are quite strict, are blocked.

Thirdly, in this way you significantly reduce the total amount of traffic, and deprive the campaign and ads in it of a set of quality CTR and CPM indicators.

So, after a little digression, let's move on to compiling a blacklist (BL). First action. We tested traffic, received a set of data, some statistics, and now we will analyze the obtained values in Yandex metrics:

Yandex metric

As you can see from the [site_id] macro, we got a storyboard of sites with the number of clicks and activity indicators. Now we collect the id of sites in a text file (each site on a new line), traffic from which we are not satisfied with by some indicators, for example, a short time on the site or a large bounce rate, and save it in the campaign settings in the blacklist field:


IMPORTANT! We recommend that you start compiling a black list only after certain impressions have been set. At the start, it is not needed, because ads on guaranteed impressions will not be able to fully enter the rotation and gain the required metrics.

Now let's talk about the whitelist (WL). It is the opposite of black. You make a list of the sites only on which you want to broadcast your ads. Thus, the amount of traffic will not be large, the algorithms will gradually underestimate such a campaign, and the cost per click will increase, gradually knocking such a campaign out of rotation. Use only in extreme cases when other methods of traffic segmentation are involved - unnecessary geo are disabled, & nbsp; ineffective ads, categories or devices are removed.


Use our tips to customize your ad campaigns and always use tags. Even if you don’t need them now and you’re completely satisfied with the traffic, there is no guarantee that you will not need post-analytics or campaign optimization in the future.

Be careful when using utm tags, as this tool is a very important item in the analytics of your advertising campaigns. If you have any questions, you can always contact us for help at supp@adhub.ru