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Create custom parameters for advanced tracking

Custom parameters are an advanced type of URL parameter that you can add to your ad’s landing page URLs. Unlike ValueTrack parameters, you can choose what values your custom parameters record once someone clicks on your ad.

This article explains the steps you’ll need to take to set up custom parameters at different levels of your account.

Before you begin

If you’re not familiar with tracking in AdWords or ValueTrack parameters, consider reviewing About tracking in AdWords and Using ValueTrack parameters in your tracking template before getting started. Custom parameters are an advanced type of tracking, so we suggest becoming familiar with tracking using ValueTrack parameters before getting started with custom parameters.

Instructions for setting up custom parameters

Step 1: Choose a level

You can create up to three custom parameters at any level of your account except for the account level. If your custom parameters use the same name, AdWords will use the most specific custom parameter that you create. This means that if you create a custom parameter for an ad group (e.g. {_color}=red) and a custom parameter for one of the ads within that ad group (e.g. {_color}=blue), AdWords will use the ad-level custom parameter ({_color}=blue).

Step 2: Define your custom parameters

Custom parameters consist of two parts: Name: Up to 16 alphanumeric characters Value: Up to 200 characters; can contain any characters (including & | ; _ / ^ ( !), as well as ValueTrack parameters Both the name and the value can be anything you want. For example, if you have special IDs for each of your keywords, you can create a custom parameter that looks like this: {_mykwid}=1234.

Step 3: Add your custom parameter in the “Custom parameter” field

Create or edit custom parameters at the campaign level
  1. Sign into your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the campaign you want to test.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. Scroll down and click Campaign URL options (advanced).
  6. Next to "Custom parameter," enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  7. Click Save.

To edit your custom parameters, follow steps 1-4 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Create or edit custom parameters at the ad level
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Ads tab.
  3. Go to the ad you want to add custom parameters to.
  4. Click Ad URL options (advanced).
  5. Next to "Custom parameter," enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  6. Click Save.

To edit your custom parameters, follow steps 1-4 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Create or edit custom parameters at the ad group or keyword level

First, add the “Custom parameters” column to your ad group or keyword table:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab or the Ad groups tab.
  3. Click Columns, then select Modify columns….
  4. In the menu on the left, click Attributes, then click Add next to “Custom parameter.”
  5. Click Apply.

Then, add your custom parameter:

  1. Hover over any entry in the "Custom parameter" column.
  2. Click the pencil icon when it appears.
  3. Enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  4. Click Save.

To edit your custom parameters, follow steps 1-2 in the second section, make your changes, and click Save.

Create or edit custom parameters at the sitelink level
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  3. Click the View menu, then select Sitelink extensions.
  4. Hover over any of the extensions in the table and click the pencil icon when it appears.
  5. Click Sitelink URL options (advanced).
  6. Next to "Custom parameter," enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  7. Click Save.

To edit your custom parameters, follow steps 1-5 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Step 4: Add your custom parameter to the “Tracking template” field

Lastly, put your custom parameter’s name in the tracking template, along with the necessary ValueTrack parameters (e.g. {lpurl}?color={_color}). Once your ad is clicked, AdWords will replace the name with the value you defined in your custom parameter.

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