What is a UTM, A.K.A. a Campaign URL? UTM parameters are tracking markers that you can add to a URL pointed at your website to track where visitors come from in granular detail in Google Analytics. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. Urchin was the original name of the analytics software acquired by Google that once acquired was then integrated into Google Analytics. UTMs are particularly helpful for tracking visitors from social media posts, emails, PDFs, etc. For more information on what UTMs are and how they’re used in social media check out Buffer’s excellent UTM Guide. For more information and examples for each UTM parameter check out Google’s Campaign URL Builder.
As long as the website you are linking to with UTM parameters has Google Analytics tracking code installed on it, it will record the UTM parameters when a visitor visits the website using the URL with UTM parameters included in the link they use to access the website. The only required parameter is the campaign source (utm_source), the rest of the UTM parameters are optional, although in almost all cases I would recommend using all of them except the campaign term (utm_term) parameter.