Thursday, May 31, 2018

Prune Your URLs: Snip the UTM Codes

Lots of websites put “UTM” codes in their URLs to help them figure out where their site traffic is coming from. (See UTM Parameters in Wikipedia. If you're a web developer, you can find many sites offering tips on using UTM codes.)

For example, I get email updates from the National Academies Press. If I click through on an interesting title (“The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States”), the URL that appears in my address bar is: 

From that, the web managers can tell that their email marketing is doing its job because I went to their website from the email alert.

But if I want to tell you about this publication, do you need to know all that? No! I can snip off everything before the ? and get to the same place: 

Let’s try it again. I also get email alerts from the Brookings Institution. I click on an interesting story title (“No, Dodd-Frank was neither repealed nor gutted. Here’s what really happened.”). The URL in the address bar is: 

The Brookings web managers can tell that I used their email. But if I want to cite this story, I just use the part before the ?: 
 Isn’t that better?

1 comment:

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