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Query Parameters – What Are Query Parameters?

What is a Query Parameter?

A query parameter is a set of parameters appended to the end of a URL.  They’re URL extensions that let you define customized content or actions based on the information you’re passing.

A query string, part of a URL, contains data provided to a web-based application and/or a back-end repository.  The HTTP protocol is stateless by nature; therefore, query strings are required. You must maintain a state for a website to be anything more than a brochure (store data).  There are several options: You can utilize something like session state server-side on most web servers. Cookies can be stored on the client.  You can also use it to store information in the URL.

All URLs on the Internet may be broken down into three parts: protocol, file (or application) location, and query string.  In a browser, the technology used is nearly always HTTP, the address is the standard form of the hostname and filename, and the query string is whatever comes after the question mark sign (“?”).

What Are Query Parameters?

The additional key-value pairs that occur after the question mark in the URL are referred to as API query parameters.  They’re essentially URL extensions that help decide certain content or actions based on the data being sent.  A “?” is used to attach query parameters to the end of the URL. To separate path and query parameters, use the question mark symbol.

A query string is formed by putting a “&” sign between numerous query parameters.  Arrays, strings, and numbers are just a few object types with different lengths.

It’s important to remember that query parameters can play an important role in attribution; however, it’s also key to make sure that your attribution strategy is cross-platform and functioning as well as it possibly can.

What Is a Query Parameter in a URL?

URL parameters (also known as “query strings” or “URL query parameters”) are elements added into URLs to help you to select and organize material on your website, as well as track information.

In a nutshell, URL parameters allow you to convey information about a click through the URL.

Refer to the URL following the question mark (?) to determine a URL parameter. A key and a value are distinguished by an equal sign (=) in URL parameters.  The ampersand (&) is used to indicate various variables.

Query string parameters are displayed after a question mark (?) in the endpoint.  The parameters and their values are immediately followed by the question mark (?), commonly referred to as the “query string.” 

This is the most straightforward approach to add basic screening to RESTful APIs when used correctly.

Why Do We Need Query Parameters?

Although the query string does not provide any data to the servers, it does provide useful information to other tools like Google Analytics.

Google Analytics has a UTM tracking feature that allows us to categorize traffic based on where it came from. 

To put it another way, UTM tracking shows you exactly where a person was before visiting your website.  This is quite important for measuring the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns and backlinks.

How to Use Query Parameters?

Always consult API documentation before utilizing query string parameters as not all APIs are created equal, and not all query string formats will work with the API.  However, you must follow some basic guidelines to make data filtering a pleasure.

After the base URL and path parameters, a question mark (?) is added to the endpoint to add query string arguments (if any). The query strings that follow the “?” define different parameters and variables.

The parameters can be linked, one after the other, or separated by an ampersand (&). It makes no difference what order the parameters are in.

Query strings differ between APIs. So, once again, it’s critical to consult the documentation to see what features are available.  For example, limit, offset, and page are frequent query string arguments in bigger API databases.  Limit specifies how many resources/instances you want to be retrieved, while offset specifies where the count should begin.

What About Enterprise Usage of Query Parameters?

Communication with a server is one of the purposes of query strings.  It accomplishes this by exchanging information.

In addition, query strings can be used in marketing tools.  We learned how to utilize query strings with UTM parameters to tell Google Analytics to sort traffic by source. 

We designed a UTM tracking tool to assist you in creating your query strings if you’re new to utilizing UTMs.  You can enter the campaign, channel, and source measured values into the spreadsheet, and the tool will instantly produce a URL for you.

The tracking of site searches is another application of query strings.  This is quite useful for tracking product sales on eCommerce sites.

Finally, we may use a query string to pass values interactively modify emails or website greetings.

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