Use dynamic tracking URLs

July 2015, your dynamic tracking URLs will automatically be upgraded. However, any tracking URLs containing the {lpurlpath} ValueTrack parameter will stop tracking properly unless you manually transition them before July 1, 2015.

Dynamic tracking URLs for your Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) or Shopping campaigns use ValueTrack parameters, a feature that adds tags to your landing page URLs. ValueTrack parameters work with third-party tracking software and Google Analytics to help you fine-tune your campaigns for better performance.

Set up dynamic tracking URLs for Dynamic Search Ads

There are 3 steps to setting up third-party tracking for Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs).

Our system will check your URL templates and landing page links to confirm that they lead people who click on your ad to the expected page. AdWords will use the domain you have provided to generate and test your links. If your final landing pages don't load successfully, your ad may be disapproved.

1. Check if your third-party tracking URL works with DSAs

As a rule of thumb, DSAs work with third-party software if you can see the landing page within the software's tracking URL.

Example tracking URL Compatible?
http://www.3rdpartytracker.com/?pos=1&loc=us&url= https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd /Search%3Fkeywords%3Dandroid Compatible. You can see the landing page URL in the tracking URL.
http://pb.cpcmanager.com/213/?73406795& OVMTC=Broad&OVKEY=drapery+fabric+by+the+yard Not compatible. You can’t see the landing page URL in the tracking URL.

If you don’t see the landing page URL within your software’s tracking URL, your software doesn’t report on Dynamic Search Ads.

2. Choose the right ValueTrack parameter

You'll need a ValueTrack parameter to populate your landing page:

  • ValueTrack can return landing page addresses in a few different formats.
  • Check how your tracking software formats tracking URLs to choose one.
  • Replace the landing page URL in your third-party tracking URL with the recommended ValueTrack parameter to create a dynamic tracking URL.

Example landing page URL: https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/Search?keywords=android

Third-party tracking URL format Key features Recommended ValueTrack parameter Dynamic tracking URL
https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/ Search?keywords=android&tracking=xyz Doesn’t encode landing page URL, ends with “tracking” string {unescapedlpurl} {unescapedlpurl}?keywords =android&tracking=xyz
http://tracking.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2F www.googlestore.com%2Fshop.axd %2FSearch%3Fkeywords%3Dandroid Encodes :, /, and ?, and = of landing page URL, ends with search query {escapedlpurl} http://tracking.com/?url={escapedlpurl}
http://tracking.com/redir.php?tracking=xyz& url=https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/ Search%3Fkeywords%3Dandroid Encodes ?, =, ", #, \t, ', and [space] of landing page URL, ends with search query {lpurl} http://tracking.com/redir.php? tracking=xyz&url={lpurl}
http://tracking.com/213/?73406795 Landing page URL not included None, this format isn’t supported. n/a
3. Use your dynamic tracking URL as a landing page URL or dynamic ad target in AdWords

If you want to monitor the performance of an individual DSA, use your dynamic tracking URL as its landing page. If you want to monitor a DSA campaign, use your dynamic tracking URL as a dynamic ad target.

Set up a dynamic tracking URL as the landing page of your campaign
  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign that contains the DSAs you want to monitor.
  2. Click the Ads tab.
  3. Click on the ad you'd like to monitor.
    • If you're using a destination URL, click Edit to add tracking and paste your dynamic tracking URL in the "Destination URL" field.
    • If you're using a final URL, click Ad URL options and paste your dynamic tracking URL in the top field.
  4. Click Save.
Try it now Set up a dynamic tracking URL as the dynamic ad target of a DSA campaign
Add tracking template
  1. Click the Campaigns tab and choose the DSA campaign you want to monitor.
  2. Click the Auto targets tab.
  3. Click the Columns drop-down menu and select "Modify columns" to enable the destination URL column.
  4. Click the Attributes link and click Add next to "Dest. URL" or "Tracking template."
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Click the pencil icon in the "Dest. URL" or "Tracking template" column.
    • If you're in the "Dest. URL" column, click Edit to add tracking and paste your dynamic tracking URL template in the box.
    • If you're in the "Tracking template" column, paste your dynamic tracking URL into the box.
  7. Click Save.

Set up dynamic tracking URLs for Shopping campaigns

You can use dynamic tracking URLs to track the traffic coming to your website from Google Shopping. To do this, you'll need to use the 'adwords redirect' attribute in your product data to tell us where to send your traffic. Once you've set up this attribute, a user who clicks on your ad will be taken to the location in the 'adwords redirect' attribute instead of the ones you set in the 'link' or mobile link' attributes.

You can use AdWords tracking templates for your Shopping campaigns to specify additional tracking information. For example, you can add custom parameters or ValueTrack parameters to your tracking templates. We recommend that you use the {unescapedlpurl} ValueTrack parameter in your tracking template. This parameter will contain the URL that you inserted in your 'adwords redirect' attribute in your product data (if available) or the 'link' or 'mobile link' attribute if the 'adwords redirect' attribute is not provided.

How to add dynamic tracking templates to your product groups
  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the Shopping campaign for which you'd like to create a product group tracking template.
  2. Click the Product groups tab.
  3. Click the Columns drop-down menu and select Modify columns.
  4. Click the Attributes link. Then click the Add link next to "Tracking template" and "Custom parameters." Click the Apply button.
  5. Click the pencil iconpencil_icon in the "Tracking template" column.
  6. Click Edit and enter your tracking template in the box.
  7. Click Save.
How to add dynamic tracking templates to your Shopping campaign

Tracking templates can also be added to your Shopping campaign. Here's how to do it:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign for which you'd like to change the tracking template.
  2. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the "Campaign URL options (Advanced)" section. Click the link.
  3. Click Edit and change your tracking template in the box.
  4. Click Save.

Examples of product group and campaign tracking templates

Here are some examples of how to use the ValueTrack parameters. In all cases, we'll refer to the 'adwords redirect' attribute specified in your product data. However, if there is no 'adwords redirect' attribute specified in your product data, we'll refer to the URL from the 'link' attribute.

Using redirects with your tracking templates

If you'd like to work with redirects in your tracking templates, here are some examples of how your product group and campaign tracking templates could be set up.

Example

If your "adwords redirect" attribute indicates the following URL:

http://www.retailer-example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php

and you want your URLs to serve as the following:

http://www.semtracker-example.com/media/redir.php?prof=12&camp=345&affcode=kw67&cid=890&networkType=search&url[]=http://www.example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php

then you can set your tracking template as follows: 

http://www.semtracker-example.com/media/redir.php?prof=12&camp=345&affcode=kw67&cid=890&networkType=search&url[]={unescapedlpurl}

Tracking templates can be defined at the account, campaign, ad group, and product group level. Learn more about tracking templates

Using custom parameters with your tracking templates

If you'd like to use custom parameters with your tracking templates, learn more about managing tracking and redirects.

Keep in mind

If you add tracking templates on multiple levels, AdWords will use the most specific one. For example, if you have an ad group and product tracking template, the product group tracking template will be used. 

If your tracking URL templates include ValueTrack parameters that indicate keyword information, like the parameter {keyword}, then those parameters will be blank for Product Listing Ads. That's because Product Listing Ads use product groups and not keywords to show your ads.

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