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Set up tracking for Dynamic Search Ads

Tracking your Dynamic Search Ads work similarly to tracking with ValueTrack parameters, but with one key difference – the Dynamic Search Ad's landing page URL is dynamically generated. When you set up tracking, you can send potential customers to a specific landing page that has extra information in the URL, like the auto target that triggered your ad or the type of device that the person who clicked your ad was using.

For example, if your Final URL is example.com and you wish to send people to example.com?tracking=123 the tracking template for your Dynamic Search Ad should include the ValueTrack parameters {lpurl}?tracking=123. The {lpurl} will be replaced by the dynamic landing page URL.

This article explains how to set up tracking for your Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs). 

Create your tracking template

You can add a tracking template for your DSAs on the account, campaign, ad group, ad or auto target level. Keep in mind that AdWords will use the most specific one. For example, if you have a tracking template on the ad level and on the Dynamic ad target (auto target) level, the Dynamic ad target (auto target) tracking template will be used.

In order to use tracking in your Dynamic Search Ads campaigns, you will need to create a tracking template. You'll also need a ValueTrack parameter to populate your landing page. The ValueTrack parameter can return landing page addresses in a few different formats so check how your tracking software formats tracking URLs.

Once you have the correct format, replace the landing page URL in your third-party tracking URL with the recommended ValueTrack parameter to create a tracking template.

Your example landing page URL: https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/search?category=phones

Your landing page URL with its tracking details Key features Recommended ValueTrack parameter Tracking template
https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/search?category=phones&device=m&tracking=xyz Doesn’t encode Landing page URL, ends with “tracking” string {lpurl} {lpurl}?device={device}&tracking=xyz

 

Third-party tracking URL Key features Recommended ValueTrack parameter Tracking template
http://tracking.com/redir.php? url=https://www.googlestore.com/shop.axd/ search%3Fcategory%3Dphones Encodes ?, =, ", #, \t, ', and [space] of Landing page URL, ends with search query {lpurl} http://tracking.com/redir.php?url={lpurl}
http://tracking.com/redir.php? url=https%3A%2F%2F www.googlestore.com%2Fshop.axd %2Fsearch%3Fcategory%3Dphones Encodes :, /, ? and = of Landing page URL, ends with search query {escapedlpurl} http://tracking.com/redir.php?url={escapedlpurl}
http://tracking.com/213/73406795 Landing page URL not included None, this format isn't supported. N/A


If you are using a third-party tracking software, you will need to test if it is compatible with your DSAs in AdWords. 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/?url=https://www.googlestore.com

Compatible. You can see the Landing page URL in the tracking URL.

Your AdWords tracking template would be http://www.3rdpartytracker.com/?url={lpurl}

http://www.3rdpartytracker.com/73406795

Not compatible. You can’t see the Landing page URL in the tracking URL.

You cannot create a tracking template containing {lpurl}

 

If you don’t see the landing page URL within your software’s tracking URL, your software is not compatible with Dynamic Search Ads.

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

Instructions

Select the AdWords experience that you're using. Learn more

Before you begin, you may have to add the "Tracking template" column to your table:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click on the Auto targets tab.
  3. Click Columns then select Modify columns… 
  4. Expand the Attributes option and click Tracking template.
  5. Click Apply.

Set up tracking for your auto target:

  1. Click the Auto target tab.
  2. Hover over any entry in the new “Tracking template” column, and click when the pencil appears.
  3. Enter {lpurl}, a question mark, and then any ValueTrack parameters you want to use, separated by ampersands (&). For example, if you want to use the {targetid} parameter, your tracking template would be: {lpurl}?targetid={targetid}
  4. Click Save.

Bear in mind

If your tracking templates include ValueTrack parameters that indicate keyword information, like the parameter {keyword}, then those parameters will be blank for Dynamic Search Ads, since DSA targets web page groups not specific keywords. To help identify which target triggered the ad, we recommend using the parameter {targetID}.
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