Line items

Click-tracking line items

Track how users click links in your content
We recommend that you use rich media activity events instead of click-tracking line items, which have low traffic.
Ad Manager click-tracking line items don't serve ads. Instead, they show you how many times a visitor to your website or app are clicking a link.  


Suppose you have a link on your homepage to encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or visit a partner website. A click-tracking line item generates a special click-through URL that can count the number of times people click it. You can then later report on click activity.

Topics covered:

Create a click-tracking line item

Click-tracking line items are set up like other line items but are simplified. You aren't required to specify inventory sizes as Ad Manager automatically configures a 1x1 inventory size. 

Also, no targeting is required. Targeting ad units or placements is optional but can be helpful for reporting.  

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Delivery and then Orders.
  3. Click New order to start a new order or click the name of an existing order to go to its details.
  4. Click Add line item for new orders or New line item for an existing order.
  5. Choose the appropriate Ad type (Display and then Standard).
  6. In Line item type, select Click-tracking only.
  7. Specify a start and end time in Delivery settings.
  8. Under "Goal type" select None, which means Ad Manager will track clicks for the duration of the campaign. If you select "Lifetime," this means subsequent clicks will not be counted or redirected to the click-through URL when Ad Manager reaches the limit.

  9. As an option, you can target an ad unit or placement. The targeting picker filters to only display inventory that has a 1x1 size specified.

    Create an ad unit dedicated to text links to simplify reporting

    Since click-tracking line items aren't served by Ad Manager, ad units you create for click-tracking links are only used for reporting purposes. Creating a separate ad unit for these special line items can help you distinguish clicks from click-tracking links and clicks from other line item types.

  10. Click Save.

Add a creative to your click-tracking line item

Click-tracking creatives are simply placeholders for a click-through URL. When you add a creative, you'll indicate where you want visitors to your content to end up. Later, you'll generate a different, special click-tracking link, which redirects to this click-through URL.

You'll need to add at least one active creative for your click-tracking line item to record clicks.

  1. Navigate to your click-tracking line item and click its name to open the settings.
  2. Click Add creatives then new creative.
  3. A default name is entered for the creative. You can optionally edit this name.
  4. Enter the click-through URL. This is where you want visitors to your content to end up when they click.

    This click-through URL stops working if you pause your click-tracking line item or a click falls outside the line item's or creative's start time and end time.

  5. Optionally add custom fields. Custom fields can be used for reporting. Learn more about custom fields.
  6. Click Save.

Generate a click-tracking link

When the status of the line item switches to "Ready" or "Active", you can generate the click-tracking link.

The click-tracking link is the one you'll use as the value for your HREF. This link records clicks but redirects users to the click-through URL you indicated in the creative.

  1. Navigate to your click-tracking line item and click its name to open the settings.
  2. Click the Click Tracking tab.
  3. Select an ad unit under "Targeted ad unit."
  4. Click Save for the line item.

The link displayed below this menu immediately updates to include the selected ad unit along with a unique ID:

Copy this link. This is the click-tracking link you'll add as the HREF value in <a href="...></a>. When users click this link, Ad Manager will record the click but redirect the user to the click-through URL you specified in the creative.

Add click-tracking in to content

The next step is to add the generated click-tracking link into your content. You can do this yourself or send the click-tracking link to the team that manages your content. If needed, be sure to replace http:// with https:// in the click-tracking URL to make it secure.

Use HTTP error codes to troubleshoot delivery

If the click tracker is inactive, you'll get a "204: No Content" error. An improperly formatted click tracker will produce a "500: Internal Server Error." When it's working correctly, the click tracker generates a "302: Found" response.

Report on click-tracking line items

Non-targeted values, such as the geographic location of the user who clicked the link, are still included in reports, even though targeting is limited to ad units for click-tracking line items.

Targeting ad units or placements is optional. Adding an ad unit or placement means you can later report against clicks associated with them. You can include either ad units or placements as a dimension in an Ad Manager report.

Only ad units (or placements with ad units) that have a 1x1 size specified will show in the picker. If you don't have any, create some or ask coordinate with the team responsible for managing inventory in order that they create some.

Key-values can be useful to add to your click-tracking link. Key-values also be added as dimensions in reporting or can be tracked in the Data Transfer "CustomTargeting" field.

If you want to append key-values that can be tracked in the Data Transfer "CustomTargeting" field, append custom criteria with the &t= parameter. For example, here's how you'd append page=sports to this click-tracking link. Note that the equals sign (=) is converted to the UTF-8 encoded characters (%3D):

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu