Benefits of Google Ads auto-tagging

Why you should use Google Ads auto-tagging whenever possible.

Using Google Ads auto-tagging exclusively provides several benefits over manual tagging. It:

If you need to use manual tagging but still want to take advantage of the benefits of auto-tagging, you can select the auto-tagging override option.
In this article:

Auto-tagging vs. manual tagging reporting

Manual tagging can provide data for only the following dimensions: Campaign, Source, Medium, Content, Keyword. When you use auto-tagging, however, you can see data for several additional dimensions, including:

  • Query Match Type (How your keyword was actually matched to the search query)
  • Ad Group (The ad group associated with the keyword/creative and click)
  • Final URL (Google Ads Final URL)
  • Ad Format (text, display, video)
  • Ad Distribution Network (Google Search)
  • Placement Domain (the domain on the content network where your ads were displayed)
  • Google Ads Customer ID (the unique three-part number that's assigned to your Google Ads account)

When you use auto-tagging, you get richer data than with manual tagging in the following reports:

  • Hour of Day
  • Placements (Where your ads on the content network were placed)
  • Keyword Positions (What position your ad appeared in on Google Search)
  • Display Targeting
  • Video Campaigns
  • Shopping Campaigns

In addition, any reporting features and ad-units that become available in future will only be available if you use auto-tagging.

How to tell if you're using manual tagging

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click Ads & extensions.
  3. Click the Columns icon at the top of the table, and then click Modify columns.
  4. Click Attributes, and select the checkbox next to Final URL.
  5. Click Apply.

If any of the URLs in the Final URL column contains one or more of the following query parameters, you are using manual tagging:

  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_content
  • utm_term

For example, if your final URL is www.example.com, then the manually tagged version would look something like:

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=camp1&utm_term=keyword&utm_content=creative

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