Definition of Query String

A query string is a portion of a URL that contains specific data in the form of key-value pairs, typically used to send information to web applications or servers. It starts with a question mark (?) and follows the main part of the URL. Query strings are often used to track user behavior, customize web experiences, and manage session information.


“Query String” in phonetics would be represented as: /ˈkwɪri strɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. A query string is a part of a URL that holds data to be passed to a web application. It starts with a ‘?’ character and consists of key-value pairs separated by ‘&’.
  2. Query strings are commonly used to pass data to web applications via HTTP GET requests, allowing users to easily bookmark and share URLs with specific parameters.
  3. Although query strings are useful for passing simple data, they are not suited for large amounts of data or sensitive information, as they are clearly visible in the URL and can be modified by users.

Importance of Query String

The digital marketing term “Query String” is important because it plays a crucial role in enhancing the functionality, tracking, and analysis of online marketing campaigns.

Query strings are appended to the end of a webpage URL and consist of key-value pairs that provide additional information about various elements such as user behavior, campaign performance, and parameters used for segmentation.

These strings help businesses to track the performance of their campaigns via analytics tools, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing strategies.

Moreover, query strings can improve user experience by enabling customization and personalization of website content based on individual preferences or search queries.

Overall, query strings contribute significantly to the success of digital marketing efforts through their ability to streamline tracking, facilitate personalization, and guide data-driven decision-making.


Query strings play a significant role in enhancing the efficiency of digital marketing efforts by allowing marketers to track and analyze user behavior on their websites. A query string is the portion of a URL that contains specific data, typically in a key-value structure, appended to the main URL after a question mark (?). The primary purpose of query strings is to pass additional information between web pages and servers.

These pieces of data can range from user preferences to variables required for proper functionality of web applications. In the context of digital marketing, query strings are particularly useful for tracking the source and parameters of online campaigns, enabling marketers to better understand the performance of different channels and optimize their efforts accordingly.

For instance, when a user clicks on an ad, the query string may include data such as the campaign name, medium, and keyword, ultimately allowing marketers to gauge the effectiveness of their ads and keywords. Similarly, query strings can serve as unique identifiers for individual users, which can then be used to help with content personalization, improving user experience, and boosting conversion rates.

In essence, query strings not only facilitate seamless website navigation but also provide crucial insights that drive data-driven decision-making and strategic optimization in digital marketing.

Examples of Query String

A query string is a part of a URL that contains data in the form of key-value pairs and is used in digital marketing for tracking and analyzing user behavior, campaign performance, or customizing a user’s website experience. The query string usually starts with a “?” followed by the parameters separated by “&”. Here are three real-world examples related to digital marketing:

UTM Parameters for Campaign Tracking:Digital marketers often use UTM parameters in the query string of a URL to track the source, medium, and campaign information for any given website visit. For example, a marketing e-mail containing a link to a landing page might look like this:http“`://“`In this case, the query string contains three UTM parameters: utm_source (email), utm_medium (newsletter), and utm_campaign (summer_sale). These parameters help track the effectiveness of the marketing e-mail and gather analytics data.

Site Search Tracking:Some websites have a search function that allows visitors to search for specific information using keywords. When a user conducts a search, the keyword they use is often included in the query string of the resulting URL. For example:http“`://“`In this case, the query string contains the search term “blue shoes” with a “+” sign replacing spaces. This information can be tracked and analyzed to understand user behavior and the most popular searches on the site.

Personalization and A/B Testing:Digital marketers use query strings to personalize content or conduct A/B testing on different website elements. For example, two variations of a webpage could be shown to visitors based on a parameter in the query string:- Variant A: http“`://“`- Variant B: http“`://“`Visitors might be randomly assigned to one of these variations, allowing marketers to analyze which variation performs better in terms of user engagement and conversion rates.

FAQ: Query String

What is a query string?

A query string is a part of a URL that contains data in the form of key-value pairs. It is usually used for passing additional information between web pages or sending data to a server-side script. The query string starts with a question mark (?) and is followed by the key-value pairs separated by an ampersand (&).

How can you create a query string?

You can create a query string by appending the key-value pairs to the end of your base URL, using a question mark (?) to start the query string, and separating each key-value pair with an ampersand (&). For example:

How do you retrieve query string values in JavaScript?

You can retrieve query string values in JavaScript by using the URLSearchParams API. Simply create a new URLSearchParams object using the property, and then use the ‘get’ method to retrieve the value of specific parameters. For example:

const params = new URLSearchParams(;
const keyword = params.get('keyword');
const results = params.get('results');

What is the difference between a query string and a post request?

A query string is used for passing data in the URL, making it visible to users and stored in browser history. It is typically used in GET requests to send data to the server. A POST request, on the other hand, sends data in the body of the HTTP request, making it less suitable for sensitive data. Query strings are generally used for simple data transfer, while POST requests are more secure and suited for larger amounts of data.

Are query strings secure for transmitting sensitive data?

No, query strings are not recommended for transmitting sensitive data, as they are visible in the URL and can be easily intercepted or recorded by malicious users. They are also stored in browser history and server logs. For transmitting sensitive data, it is advisable to use POST requests or secure login solutions with proper encryption techniques.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • URL Parameters
  • Tracking Parameters
  • GET Method
  • HTTP Request
  • Concatenation

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