About tracking in AdWords

If you’re running ads, you’re already receiving valuable information like the number of times your ads have served and the number of clicks on your ads. But what if you use an analytics system outside Google and want to track things such as which clicks are coming from mobile, or how much of your ad traffic is coming from the Google Search Network versus the Google Display Network? You can access this type of information by setting up tracking in URL options.

This article explains how tracking works in AdWords and what you can set up in URL options. Setting up tracking is a good idea if you’ve been successfully running campaigns and want to know more about your clicks.

How tracking works

Tracking works very closely with your ads’ final URLs. If you don’t use tracking, someone who clicks on your ad will go directly to the landing page URL that you entered in the “Final URL” field when you set up your ad. If you set up tracking, you can send potential customers to specific landing page URLs that have extra information, like the keyword that triggered your ad or the type of device that the person who clicked your ad was using.

About URL options

You can create or edit the URL options at the account, campaign, ad group, keyword or sitelink level. URL options consists of two main sections:

  • “Tracking template”: The field where you'll put tracking information. When an ad is clicked, this information will be added to your final URL to create your landing page URL. A tracking template created at the ad group, campaign or account level applies to all of the ads in the corresponding ad group, campaign or account. If you define multiple tracking templates at different levels, the most specific template will be used. The keyword tracking template is the most specific followed by the ad, ad group, campaign then account. Find out more
  • “Custom parameter:” A type of URL parameter that you can create yourself and add to your tracking templates and final URLs. Find out more

Good to know

  • Setting up URL options at the ad group, campaign or account level means that you can update your tracking information without resubmitting your ads for approval. However, if you set up or edit an ad, keyword or sitelink level, they will still need to go through review.
  • You can use the “Test” button to check that your tracking is set up correctly. Once you click “Test”, AdWords will combine your final URL with any tracking you set up to make sure that your ad will lead to a landing page URL. Find out more
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