Using dynamic tracking URLs

With dynamic tracking URLs, you can set up third-party tracking for your Dynamic Search Ad, Shopping, and regular Product Listing Ads campaigns. Dynamic tracking URLs use ValueTrack parameters, a URL-tagging feature that works with tracking software outside of AdWords (including Google Analytics).

Using dynamic tracking URLs with Dynamic Search Ads

There are three basic steps to setting up third-party tracking for Dynamic Search Ads. First, check if your third-party tracking URL works with DSAs. Next, find the right ValueTrack parameter. Finally, add the parameter to your tracking URL, and set it up in AdWords.

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

As a rule of thumb, Dynamic Search Ads are compatible with third-party tracking software if you can see the landing page URL 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 can create a dynamic tracking URL by replacing the destination URL in your third-party tracking URL with a ValueTrack parameter. When someone's search triggers your ad, ValueTrack parameters are populated with the URL of the dynamic landing page chosen by AdWords.

Choose the right ValueTrack parameter by looking at how your third-party software formats tracking URLs. Pay special attention to the position of the destination URL within the tracking URL, since the ValueTrack parameter goes in place of that destination URL.

The table below shows how an example landing page URL looks within common third-party tracking URL formats, and the correct ValueTrack parameter to use for each.

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 ? and = of landing page URL, ends with search query {lpurl} http://tracking.com/redir.php? tracking=xyz&url={lpurl}
https://www.googlestore.com/tracking /shop.axd/Search?keywords=android Doesn’t encode landing page URL, ends with search query {lpurlpath} https://www.googlestore.com /tracking/{lpurlpath}
http://tracking.com/213/?73406795 Landing page URL not included None, this format isn’t supported. n/a

Replace the landing page URL in your third-party tracking URL with the recommended ValueTrack parameter to create a dynamic tracking URL. That’s it!

3. Use your dynamic tracking URL in your DSA campaigns

Use your dynamic tracking URL to monitor the performance of an individual DSA, or of a DSA campaign. Click the links below for step-by-step instructions.

Use a dynamic tracking URL as a the destination URL of a DSA
  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign that contain the ads for which you'd like to create a dynamic tracking URL.
  2. Click the Ads tab.
  3. Click the ad you'd like to add a dynamic tracking URL to. Then, click the Edit link to add tracking link and enter your dynamic tracking URL template in the box.
  4. Click Save.
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Use a dynamic tracking URL as the dynamic ad target of a DSA campaign
  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign for which you'd like to add a dynamic tracking URL at the dynamic ad target level.
  2. Click the Auto targets tab.
  3. Click the Columns drop-down menu and select "Customize columns" to enable the destination URL column.
  4. Click the Attributes link. Click the Add link next to "Dest. URL" and the Apply button.
  5. Click the pencil icon in the destination URL column.
  6. Click the Edit to add tracking link and enter your dynamic tracking URL template in the box.
  7. Click Save.

Using dynamic tracking URLs with your Shopping campaigns

With Shopping campaigns, the default landing page for your Product Listing Ads is defined by the "adwords redirect" attribute you provide using product feeds in your Google Merchant Center account. You can use the "adwords redirect" attribute in your Merchant Center account to define new URLs to monitor useful data about each click on your ad, like sources of traffic, product group performance, and more.

With dynamic tracking URLs, if you'd like, you can manage your tracking URLs in your AdWords account instead of your Merchant Center account. This means, for example, that you don't have to update the "adwords redirect" attribute in your product feeds when you make changes to your tracking parameters.

With dynamic tracking URLs, you'll be able to add tracking parameters to your campaign destination URL or your product group destination URL. We recommend that you use the {lpurlpath} or {unescapedlpurl} ValueTrack parameters in your URL template. These parameters will bring in the URL that you inserted in your "adwords redirect" attribute in your product feeds for you to use in your dynamic tracking URL template.

Examples of product group and campaign destination URL templates

Here are some examples of how to use the ValueTrack parameters with your product group destination URLs and your campaign destination URLs. In all cases, we'll refer to the "adwords redirect" attribute specified in your product feed. However, if there is no "adwords redirect" attribute specified in your feed, we'll refer to the offer URL from the "link" attribute.

Using redirects with your URL templates

If you'd like to work with redirects with your URL templates, here are some examples of how your product group and campaign destination URLs should look.

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 choose to use either one of the following product group URL templates:

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

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

Using added URL parameters with your URL templates

If you'd like to work with added URL parameters with your URL templates, here are some examples of how your product group and campaign destination URLs should look.

Example

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

http://www.retailer-example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php?origin=plas

and you want your URLs to serve as the following:

http://www.retailer-example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php?origin=plas&id=pla_323_med

then you can choose to use either one of the following product group URL templates:

http://www.retailer-example.com/{lpurlpath}&id=pla_323_med

or

{unescapedlpurl}&id=pla_323_med

Keep in mind

If you add a dynamic tracking URL to both your product group destination URL and campaign destination URL, we'll use the product group URL in your ad.

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.

How to add dynamic tracking URLs to your product groups

Here's how to add dynamic tracking URLs to your product groups:

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

With dynamic tracking URLs, you can add tracking parameters to your campaign destination URL. You'll need to use the {lpurlpath} or {unescapedlpurl} ValueTrack parameters in your URL template. These parameters will reference the Merchant Center product URL as part of the URL template. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign for which you'd like to create a dynamic tracking URL.
  2. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the "Advanced settings" section.
  3. Click the Tracking URL for dynamic links link.
  4. Click Edit and add your dynamic tracking link in the box.
  5. Click Save.

 

Using dynamic tracking URLs with your regular Product Listing Ads campaigns

For Product Listing Ads, by default your landing page is defined by the "adwords redirect" attribute you provide using product feeds in your Google Merchant Center account. You can use the "adwords redirect" attribute in your Merchant Center account to define new URLs to monitor useful data about each click on your ad, like sources of traffic, product target performance, and more.

With dynamic tracking URLs, if you'd like, you can manage your tracking URLs in your AdWords account instead of your Merchant Center account. This means, for example, that you don't have to update the "adwords redirect" attribute in your product feeds when you make changes to your tracking parameters. With dynamic tracking URLs, you'll be able to add tracking parameters to your product target destination URL or your campaign destination URL. We recommend that you use the {lpurlpath} or {unescapedlpurl} ValueTrack parameters in your URL template. These parameters will bring in the URL that you inserted in your "adwords redirect" attribute in your product feeds for you to use in your dynamic tracking URL template.

Examples of product target and campaign destination URL templates

Here are some examples of how to use the ValueTrack parameters with your product target destination URLs and your campaign destination URLs. In all cases, we'll refer to the "adwords redirect" attribute specified in your product feed. However, if there is no "adwords redirect" attribute specified in your feed, we'll refer to the offer URL from the "link" attribute.

Using redirects with your URL templates

If you'd like to work with redirects with your URL templates, here are some examples of how your product target and campaign destination URLs should look.

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 choose to use either one of the following product group URL templates:

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

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

Using added URL parameters with your URL templates

If you'd like to work with added URL parameters with your URL templates, here are some examples of how your product target and campaign destination URLs should look.

Example

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

http://www.retailer-example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php?origin=plas

and you want your URLs to serve as the following:

http://www.retailer-example.com/electronics-televisions-3.php?origin=plas&id=pla_323_med

then you can choose to use either one of the following product target URL templates:

http://www.retailer-example.com/{lpurlpath}&id=pla_323_med

or

{unescapedlpurl}&id=pla_323_med

Keep in mind

  • If you add a dynamic tracking URL to both your product target destination URL and campaign destination URL, we'll use the product target URL in your ad.
  • 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 targets and not keywords to show your ads.
How to add dynamic tracking URLs to your product targets

Here's how to add dynamic tracking URLs to your product targets:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the Product Listing Ads campaign for which you'd like to create a product target dynamic tracking URL.
  2. Click the Auto targets tab. See Auto targets tab
  3. Click the Columns drop-down menu and select "Customize columns" to enable the destination URL column.
  4. Click the Attributes link. Click the Add link next to "Dest. URL" and the Apply button. Dest. URL column
  5. Click the pencil icon pencil_icon in the "destination URL" column.
  6. Click Edit and enter your dynamic tracking URL template in the box. Add tracking template
  7. Click Save.
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How to add dynamic tracking URLs to your regular Product Listing Ads campaign

To add dynamic tracking URLs to your regular Product Listing Ads campaign, make sure you choose one of the following campaign types:

  • "Search Network only - Product listing ads"
  • "Search Network only - All features"
If you have a different campaign type, you won't be able to add dynamic tracking URLs to your campaign.

To add dynamic tracking URLs to your regular Product Listing Ads campaign:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab and select the campaign for which you'd like to create a dynamic tracking URL.
  2. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the "Advanced settings" section. See Advanced settings
  3. Click the Tracking URL for dynamic links link.
  4. Click Edit and enter your dynamic tracking URL template in the box. Enter tracking URL template
  5. Click Save.
Try it out