Click-tracking line items

Track how users click links in your content

 New trafficking experience
Ad Manager might look a little different if you're using the new trafficking user interface

This article reflects the new trafficking experience. If you're still on the previous experience, look for this note box that captures instructions or behavior that reflects the previous trafficking experience:

Previous trafficking experience

Instructions or behavior that reflects the previous trafficking experience.

Learn more about the improvements and changes to Ad Manager in Changes to Google Ad Manager and Improvements to Google Ad Manager.

 

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.  

For example, suppose you have a link on your homepage to encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or visit an 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 we'll cover:

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 or New line item.

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    Click New line item.

  5. Select Click-tracking only as the line item type.
  6. Specify a start and end time.
  7. Under "Limit" select either None or Lifetime.

    A limit of "None" means Ad Manager tracks clicks for the duration of the campaign. If you select "Lifetime", enter the maximum number of clicks that Ad Manager should track. When Ad Manager reaches the limit, subsequent clicks redirect to the click-through URL (specified later when you add a creative) but are not counted.

  8. Optionally target 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.
  9. 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
  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."

    Previous trafficking experience

    Instead of steps 2 and 3, click Targeted ad unit under "Generate click tracking link".

  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:

http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=123456789&iu=/1234/adunit

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.

Example implementation:

Let's say you have an email newsletter and you want to track how many times a user clicks the "Start shopping" link. Your email's HTML code might look like this, after implementing the click-tracking link in your content.

<div>
Thank you for coming to our store.<br />
<a href="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=1234567&iu=/1234/my_adunit">Start shopping</a>
</div>

Since the anchor <a> tags around "Start shopping" include the click-tracking link you generated in Ad Manager, a click will be recorded in Ad Manager when a user clicks the link and the user will be taken to the click-through URL defined in the line item's Ad Manager creative.

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):

http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=123456789&iu=/1234/adunit&t=page%3Dsports

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