Using Referrer Headers When UTM Tags Are Not Available

When you're trying to track where your web traffic is coming from, UTM tags are an excellent tool. However, there may be situations where you don't have UTM tags in your URLs. In those cases, you can use the "Referer" header to figure out where your traffic is coming from.

What is a Referer Header?

A "Referer" header is a piece of information that is sent from the user's web browser to the server hosting the website they're visiting. The header includes the URL of the page that the user clicked on to get to the current page. The header is spelled "referer" (without the second "r") due to a misspelling in the original HTTP specification.

Using Referer Headers to Track Traffic

When you don't have UTM tags in your URLs, you can use the Referer header to get an idea of where your traffic is coming from. For example, if you see a lot of traffic from Google, you can assume that it's coming from search results. However, without UTM tags, you won't know if it's organic or paid traffic.

While using Referer headers can give you some insight into where your traffic is coming from, it's not a perfect solution. It's better to have a good UTM tagging strategy in place to get more accurate data.


When UTM tags are not available, you can use Referer headers to track where your web traffic is coming from. While it's not as accurate as UTM tagging, it can give you a general idea of which channels are driving the most traffic. However, to get more accurate data, it's best to have a solid UTM tagging strategy in place.

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