How to monitor traffic on Google Analytics with UTM parameters

I've been asked this question lately: “Ue Alex, but how do I keep track of the traffic I receive from Facebook and Instagram?”. The method is there, just use i UTM parameters to be added at the end of the url of the page already monitored by Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is very, very powerful, even too much, because it provides so much data that it can honestly be a bit confusing. But the worst thing is that the data he lets you read is what he wants and doesn't always correspond to what interests you. Or rather, sometimes (often) it doesn't go into detail unless you configure it perfectly and only an expert hand can do it.

Let's go into practice. Basically let's pretend that I want to read at a glance the difference between the traffic I get from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Adwords.

In the url of the page that I want to connect, I have to insert the parameters that make Analytics understand the origin of this data and just do this:

essentially on the url I will have the key (utm_source) and its value (facebook).

I will do the exact same thing with Instagram, with Twitter and with all the social networks I intend to monitor.

In this case, however, we are only talking about the "source" of traffic but the UTM parameters are also divided into: utm_medium (therefore medium, for example we can divide paid traffic, therefore cpc rather than organic), utm_term (term, for example by inserting the keyword used, even if honestly in my opinion not very useful since using Adwords everything is already tracked natively), utm_campaign (campaign name, for example in the case of a sponsored campaign), utm_content (content, very useful for example when want to test two creatives or two copy of an ad, thus doing A/B tests).

So, let's assume we want to track the traffic of a sponsored campaign on Facebook we will have a url like this:

To avoid going crazy memorizing these parameters we can use a tool that solves all our problems where we just need to enter our personalized values ​​in the appropriate fields and the tool automatically creates the url as we wish

Tool to generate url with utm parameters

How to read data on Google Analytics

Now that we have created our urls we need to view them on Analytics which it does not do natively. Or rather, it does it but in a confusing and not particularly precise way, if not for the data received from Adwords. To do this, simply open your analytics account, follow the path to Audience > Overview. Select “Add Segment”

Add new segment in Google Analytics

click on “+New segment”

Create new segment in Google Analytics

select the "Traffic sources" tab and in the Source field select the item "Matches exactly" and in the field insert "facebook" (or the value you have decided to insert to the utm_source key. I STRONGLY advise you to always use the same values but above all to work in order. You will appreciate it a lot in the long run).

Traffic source on Google Analytics

Viewing a new custom traffic source in Google Analytics

The exact same work is mostly done with all other social networks, such as Instagram for example

Personalized overview on Google Analytics

And so on…

Remember to save the overview

Since you are creating this overview yourself, if you don't save it, you won't find it in the next access and you will be forced to redo the job again. It is solved very simply by saving the overview by clicking on Save

Save new overview to Google Analytics

we give it a name we prefer

Name custom report on Google Analytics

and go to CUSTOMIZATION > Saved Reports

Reports saved to Google Analytics

From now on, whenever we want to have the overview with the data we prefer we will go directly to this path, then to “Saved Reports”. Consider that we can modify the same overview, or the same in the case of multiple saved reports, as we please, thus, by saving it (don't forget 🙂 ) we will find it whenever we want.


The most important thing to know if any activity on the web works or not is to read the analytics data and if we can help Google Analytics to read them better, it certainly doesn't hurt, on the contrary. My advice is always to track everything, even if you think it won't help. Because the interesting thing is that if you use the utm parameters on every social web marketing activity, Adwords, newsletter, or other, you can quickly understand what's right and what's wrong, but above all because you can go to configure reading on Analytics and read RETROACTIVE information. But that's only if you use the utm parameters in the right way.

See you next time 😛