Set up your tracking template

Note: Using a tracking template is an advanced feature that is applicable if you use a third-party click tracker or have developed sophisticated proprietary click tracking capabilities.

A tracking template lets you put additional information in the URL to identify the source of an individual ad click. For example, you can add URL parameters that will tell you which campaign and ad group contained the ad that the user clicked on, what type of device the user was on, and which keyword triggered the ad. 

Most advertisers won’t need to set up a tracking template because the aggregate performance statistics, like how many clicks did a campaign and ad group deliver, how many clicks did a keyword trigger, or how many clicks occurred from a mobile vs. desktop device, are sufficient.

Example tracking template setup:

Let’s say that you sell specialty skin care products. When the user clicks on your ad about moisturizers, you would like them to be directed to your landing page, https://www.myskincare.com/moisturizers.html

You set the final URL to:

https://www.myskincare.com/moisturizers.com

If you want to track -- for each individual click -- which campaign, ad group, and keyword triggered the ad that the user clicks on, you can set the tracking template to: 

{lpurl}?campaignid={campaignid}&adgroupid={adgroupid}&keyword={keyword}&device={device}

When the ad is served, our system will replace each {parameter} with the actual value. For example, {lpurl} is replaced with the landing page final URL, {campaignid} is replaced with the system-assigned ID for the campaign, etc. 

When you specify the information you want as a {parameter} in the URL, this is how information is relayed back to you for each individual click: 

  • For ValueTrack parameters, our system will instantiate the parameter with the actual system-assigned value. 
  • For custom parameters, our system will instantiate the parameter with the value you designate.

If a user searches for “lotion” and clicks on your ad from a mobile device, you will see that the user clicked on the URL:

https://www.greatskincare.com/moisturizers.com?campaignid=11111111111&adgroupid=2222222222&keyword=lotion&device=m 

Note: if you use a third-party click tracker, refer to your provider for instructions on their preferred format for the tracking template.

Tips for setting up your tracking template

  • A tracking template at the ad group, campaign, or account level applies to all of the ads in the corresponding ad group, campaign, or account.
  • If you define multiple tracking templates at different levels, the most specific template is used. The keyword tracking template is the most specific followed by the ad, ad group, campaign, then account.
  • Use https:// instead of http:// in the tracking template to make sure your click measurements and redirects aren’t interrupted.
  • You can view which tracking template is applied in the "Tracking template source" column. 
  • With parallel tracking, use of HTTP in this field can disrupt your click measurement/redirect systems: 
    • While we don't have control over the subsequent redirects, Google Ads will always use HTTPS for the first tracking call if it's not entered as such.
    • All subsequent redirect URLs need to be HTTPS. The redirects also need to be server-side
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