Tracking templates in Google Ads | Blog | Web & Roll

Tracking templates in Google Ads

The tracking template

When setting up a new Google Ads campaign, we should always use a tracking template. Each part of the template pulls data into Google Analytics so we can monitor how everything is performing individually. From the ads, to the individual keywords, it’s important to collect this data so you can optimise your campaign more efficiently.

Here is an example template you can use if you wish, read through the following article to learn how to properly implement and edit to your requirement.

{lpurl}?utm_source=googleads?utm_medium=device-{device}_{ifsearch:search_network}{ifcontent:display_network}&utm_campaign={_campaign}&utm_source={_adgroup}&utm_content={_ad}&utm_sitelink={_sl}&utm_term={keyword}_{matchtype}

How to add it in Google Ads

Generally, an account wide tracking template is good enough to track most campaigns. We can set the custom parameters where we need. To set up an account wide tracking template do the following steps:

  1. Go to Google Ads
  2. Go to settings
  3. Go to account settings
  4. Go to tracking template
  5. Enter the above template like I have here:
  1. Click test and you should get ticks like I have here:

Add custom parameters so we can track

Custom parameters allow us to enter any information we wish to be shown in Analytics when we view our data. They allow us to easily distinguish between ads so we can monitor how each is performing, then cross-reference with keywords etc.

Modify columns
  1. Go to columns then modify columns like this:
  1. Then tick custom parameter and tracking template like this:
  1. Save columns
Campaign custom parameters
  1. Go to settings
  2. Go to campaign settings
  3. Modify columns if needed as above
  4. Edit custom parameter like this:
  1. Make sure to use campaign in the first box. This relates to where I mentioned &utm_campaign={_campaign} above
  2. In the second box, type whatever parameter you want to show. Can be the campaign name, or something else to help distinguish between campaigns when you are viewing Analytics.
Ad custom parameters
  1. Go to ads
  2. Edit ad
  3. See following image, you can add custom parameter in here:
  1. Make sure to use ad in the first box. This relates to where I mentioned &utm_content={_ad} above
  2. In the second box, type whatever parameter you want to show. Can be the ad name, or something else to help distinguish between ads when you are viewing Analytics.
Sitelink parameters
  • Go to extensions
  • Edit sitelink
  • See above where I showed you how to edit custom parameters in ads. Do the same for sitelinks.
  • Make sure to use sl in the first box. This relates to where I mentioned &utm_sitelink={_sl} above
  • In the second box, type whatever parameter you want to show. Can be the sitelink name, or something else to help distinguish between sitelinks when you are viewing Analytics.

Example URL & what is means

An example URL from one of the tests above looks like this:

https://www.webandroll.co.uk/?utm_source=googleads_webdesign&utm_medium=device-c_search_network&utm_campaign=general&utm_content=im_web_design_development_home&utm_sitelink=&utm_term=_

As you can see from the above URL, it has taken the following data:

  1. Source – googleads_webdesign which is where I wrote googleads followed by {_adgroup}
  2. Medium – device-c_search_network which is where I wrote device- followed by {device}c shows that I clicked from a computer. Also, within this data, you can also see search_network which is from {ifsearch:search_network}{ifcontent:display_network} is ignored because this is not a display campaign.
  3. Campaign – general – Taken from custom parameter on campaign
  4. Content – im_web_design_development_home – Taken from custom parameter on ads
  5. Sitelink – No value shown above because this example is not a click from a sitelink. Add custom parameters on sitelinks in extensions
  6. Term – No value shown above because this example is not an actual search. If a searcher types “web design Sheffield” into their search, then clicks on our ad, “web design Sheffield” will show here.
Written by Tom Barber
I'm a web developer & online marketing specialist who tends to spend most days experimenting & keeping up to date with HTML, CSS, JS, PHP & various other work-related jargon. I lead the development team & like to constantly push boundaries within the business. Unfortunately, I support LUFC.