About parallel tracking

Parallel tracking sends customers directly from your ad to your final URL while tracking happens in the background. This helps reduce lost visits which can happen if a customer clicks on your ad but never sees your landing page because they navigate away.

In the future, parallel tracking will be the default tracking method for all accounts. Currently, parallel tracking is optional, and it works only for Search Network and Shopping campaigns. If someone views your ad on a browser that doesn’t support parallel tracking yet, AdWords will use standard tracking to track their clicks.

How it works

With parallel tracking, customers are delivered directly to your landing page while tracking happens in the background.

Here’s what parallel tracking looks like:

  1. Customer clicks your ad
  2. Customer sees your landing page

At the same time, in the background:

  1. AdWords click tracker loads
  2. Tracking URL loads
  3. Possible redirects load

With the previous tracking, customers would go through several invisible redirects after clicking your ad before they reached your landing page. This could cause your landing page to appear to take longer to load.

Here’s what the previous tracking looked like:

  1. Customer clicks your ad
  2. AdWords click tracker loads
  3. Tracking URL loads
  4. Possible additional tracking URL loads
  5. Customer sees your landing page
The ability to opt-in to parallel tracking will be available in the new AdWords experience in early 2018. This will become the default tracking method for all accounts later in the year. Follow these instructions to see if you can opt-in. 

Before you get started

  • Check with your tracking template provider to make sure your template is compatible with parallel tracking. For example, If you use custom third-party URL parameters or a dynamic landing page redirect and your provider is not compatible with parallel tracking, your tracking or landing page could stop working when you turn on this setting.
  • Include a final URL tag (like {lpurl}) in your tracking template to avoid counting visitors to your website more than once.
  • Make sure your tracking template is secure (https://).

Set up parallel tracking

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. In the navigation menu, click All campaigns.
  3. In the page menu, click Settings.
  4. Click Account Settings.
  5. Click Tracking.
  6. Click the switch next to “Parallel tracking” to turn it on.
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