Manage creatives

Track ads and creatives with third-party URLs

Third-party applications can track creatives with third-party tracking URLs, such as impression pixels, click tracker tags, and survey URLs. To make sure you use your tracking URL effectively, find the creative type you need to track below and follow the steps.

Track clicks with a third-party URL

For all creative types, use click event tags to track clicks.

  1. Create a click event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add the third-party click tracking URL to your click event tag.

  3. Then apply it to ads that have your creatives.

Do you need to differentiate exits for rich media or HTML5?

Event tags do not distinguish clicks on different exits for HTML5 and rich media creatives. If you need to distinguish clicks, add third-party tracking parameters to the exit click-through URLs (rich media) or the click tags (HTML5) in the creative properties.

If you add these parameters, make sure they are different from any tracking URLs in your event tags. Otherwise, you risk double-counting: Once for the parameter in the creative and once for the URL in the event tag. Or disable event tags for each creative in each ad by switching event tags to OFF under "Creative assignments."

Track impressions or launch surveys with a third-party URL

Images

Use impression event tags.

  1. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add your third-party impression pixel or survey URL.

  3. Then apply the impression event tag to ads that have your image creatives.

  4. Make sure you export your placement tags in iframe or iframe/JavaScript format. You cannot use event tags to track impressions on any creative that uses standard tags. If you must use standard tags, use the steps below.

Steps for standard tags:

  1. First set up a Campaign Manager redirect creative with a third-party tracking URL. Use these steps. The redirect creative will redirect to a third-party URL for content. This URL should call for a transparent impression pixel along with the third party's image tag.

  2. After you assign the redirect creative to your ad, make sure you also assign a click tracker ad. Then follow the rest of the steps to format your placement tag.

HTML5 or rich media creatives

Use impression event tags.

  1. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add your third-party impression pixel or survey URL.

  3. Then apply the impression event tag to ads that have your HTML5 or rich media creatives.

Track primary vs. backup assets

Event tags do not capture which exit event or primary/backup asset is involved in each impression or click. If this information is absolutely necessary, you can use the tracking URL fields in the rich media creative properties instead of event tags.

Steps to manually add URLs:

  1. Enter different impression URLs for the rich media and backup image impression URL fields under "Creative parameters." This way each asset is tracked with a different URL.

    This only works for impression-tracking URLs. It does not work for survey URLs.

  2. Make sure you do not use the same URLs in any event tags that are applied to ads with this creative. That can result in double counting: once for the URL in the event tag, once for the URL in the creative properties.

    Or simply disable event tags for the creative in every assigned ad (in the ad properties, under "Creative assignments," turn event tags OFF).

Learn more in the HTML5and rich media section of the event tags guide.

In-stream creatives

Use impression event tags.

  1. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add your third-party impression pixel or survey URL.

  3. Then apply the impression event tag to ads that have your in-stream creatives.

  4. There are extra considerations when you track event tags on video creatives, so check the video guidelines before you finish setting up your event tags. Also note that event tags are included in pre-fetch tags by Campaign Manager, but it is up to the publisher serving the ad to fire the URL at the relevant time.

Custom creatives

Use impression event tags.

  1. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add your third-party impression pixel or survey URL.

  3. Then apply the impression event tag to ads that have your custom creatives.

Can I manually add tracking URLs instead?

You can still manually edit the HTML of custom creatives to add tracking URLs. However, this is not recommended. Nor is it covered by Google Marketing Platform support. It's much quicker to apply event tags in bulk than to manually edit each of your creatives.

Steps to manually add URLs:

  1. Manually add tracking URLs to your customer creative.

  2. Make sure you do not use the same URLs in any event tags that are applied to ads with this creative. That can result in double counting: once for the URL in the event tag, once for the URL in the creative properties.

    Or simply disable event tags for the creative in every assigned ad (in the ad properties, under "Creative assignments," turn event tags OFF).

Tracking creatives on tracking ads

Use impression event tags.

  1. Create an impression event tag in Campaign Manager.

  2. Add your third-party impression pixel or survey URL to the impression event tag.

  3. Apply the impression event tag to your tracking ads.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?