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About auto-tagging

Auto-tagging is an advanced feature that you need to turn on before you can do the following:

  • Import conversion data into AdWords from Google Analytics, as well as other external sources, such as your Customer Relation Management (CRM) system
  • Import AdWords campaign and cost data into Google Analytics reports
  • Import Google Analytics site engagement metrics, such as bounce rate and average session duration, into AdWords reporting

Why use it

Auto-tagging is a required feature that can help you better understand how people interact with your ads, your website, and your offline sales channel. It's also required for businesses that want to track offline conversions, such as sales that happened at your physical shop because of your online advertising.

How it works

After someone clicks your ad, auto-tagging adds a bit of additional information — a parameter called GCLID, short for "Google Click Identifier" — to the URLs people click through. For example, if someone clicks on your ad for www.example.com, the final URL will look like www.example.com/?gclid=123xyz.

Sometimes the GCLID is created at the time of an impression, rather than a click. In those cases, if a user clicks the same ad again, the same GCLID will be used. In the click performance report, multiple clicks on the same ad by the same user are counted as multiple clicks in the same GCLID row.

Set up or disable auto-tagging

Follow the steps below to set up or disable auto-tagging

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the gear menu, and select Account settings.My account and preferences tab
  3. In the "Tracking" section, next to "Auto-tagging," click Edit.
  4. To enable auto-tagging, check the box next to Destination URL Auto-tagging.
  5. Click Save changes.

Special case

A small percentage of websites don't allow arbitrary URL parameters and serve an error page when auto-tagging is turned on. Check with your webmaster to see if this applies to you, or turn on auto-tagging and do a test by clicking on your ad. If the link to your site works, then you can use auto-tagging. If you get an error, you'll need to turn auto-tagging off from your AdWords account. Then, ask your webmaster to allow arbitrary URL parameters before turning it back on.

Keep in mind

  • By default, auto-tagging is turned off. You can check whether auto-tagging is on, as well as turn it on or off, by going to your account settings, as described in the instructions above.
  • If you're unable to use auto-tagging, you can use manual tagging to import AdWords data in Google Analytics.

 

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