How to set up a tracking template in Google Ads?

Google Ads Tracking Template Contextual advertising

The success of contextual advertising configured in the Google Ads service directly depends on effective optimization and constant monitoring of user activity.

Collecting, storing and analyzing data on client clicks allows you to receive timely generalized information about potential buyers, the time of the greatest activity on the site, aspects that encourage them to make an order, or repel them.

After clicking on an ad, you can track the actions of interested visitors using the tracking template in Google AdWords.

What is a Google Ads Tracking Template?

Tracking template is a field with data that is automatically entered at the very end of the URL string. With its help, information about clicks on contextual or media advertising is transmitted for further processing to analytics systems.

Important! Templates can be customized for both an ad group and an entire account. If there are several of them at the same time, then priorities are taken into account. The system processes ad templates first, then groups, and lastly, the entire account.

Thus, a tracking template in Google Ads is a set of parameters that are passed to the analytics system along with a link that leads a potential client to a website page from an ad. By analyzing these parameters, you can work on the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, which will eventually lead to an increase in sales.

The advantage of this approach compared to UTM tags is that you don’t have to edit the URL on every ad. It is enough to change one template, and this significantly saves the time that a specialist spends on working with the ad.

Why Google AdWords Tracking Templates?

Using this tool, you can analyze the effectiveness of the AC directly using Google Ads. Of course, there are also third-party services that allow you to do this, but the templates were introduced specifically so that the PPC specialist could do this directly in the system interface.

Their setting allows you to collect data about the circumstances of the ad display, information about users who went to the page. This gives reason to delete and correct those ads that did not lead to the desired result and create a product that brings the greatest profit, as well as break customers into groups for further work with them.

A tracking template can provide the following information:

  • User-specified geolocation;
  • Actual, actual location;
  • Type and model of the gadget from which the click was made (for example, Asus laptop, Apple smartphone, etc.);
  • The search query that led to the link;
  • Internet resource where the advertisement was placed, and the transition was made;
  • Source and type of traffic, etc.

Summarizing, the Google AdWords tracking template allows you to increase the effectiveness of the AC by analyzing and working with data about users and advertising sites.

Why did Google implement tracking patterns?

Tracking templates solve several problems that have been brewing with the emergence and development of large ad networks.

Additional moderation

Adjusting the tracking template does not affect the link in any way, so after introducing or changing it, the URL does not need to be moderated again. For example, if earlier, when integrating a UTM tag, the link had to be re-checked, then the use of templates eliminated this need. As a result, moderation is carried out faster, advertising campaigns are launched without unnecessary delays.

Save time

The setup is quite simple, it consists in filling in the main fields, which indicate the type of data that will be collected.

Simplify redirects

When information is collected by third-party programs and trackers, the link to the site of the seller of goods or services undergoes significant changes. As a result, the client gets to the site through numerous redirects, and a third-party link in an advertisement can scare the user away. Therefore, using tracking templates in text format at the end of the page address eliminates redirects and extraneous URLs.

What is the tracking template made of?

It is a sequence of three types of elements:

  1. The URL leading to the page with the advertising product has the macro. This is a mandatory part, it is marked in the “final URL” field;
  2. Question mark separating stem and ;
  3. Combinations “parameter=value” with a delimiter “&”. With the help of these pairs, all information about the user is transmitted.

All these elements are filled with real information at the time of the user’s clicking on the link and carry a message about the click, the Internet resource from which the visitor went to the landing page, information about the ad, etc.

All received characteristics are converted into link text, forming a unique URL leading to the seller’s page.

How do I set up a Google Ads tracking template?

Basic customization of a Google Ads tracking template starts with defining the parameters that need to be captured and collected. Let’s consider the setting using the example of a search campaign, for which it is necessary to monitor the source and type of traffic, the name of the advertising campaign, the device from which the click on the advertisement was made and the position of the advertisement through which the transition was made.

Then, when setting up the AC, you will need to write the following:


Copy this line into the field in the screenshot below. After that, you can click on the “Check” button so that the system determines if any errors were made during compilation:

Ad URL parameters

The resulting template consists of 5 modules, the left part of which (before the “=” sign) indicates the requested parameter and its value (after the “=” sign). In the example, we requested the following parameters:

  • utm_source=google. We request a traffic source. In the example, Google was requested;
  • utm_medium=CPC. In our example, we are interested in traffic from contextual advertising (that is, CPC), we can also specify “organic” to receive data on free transitions from search;
  • utm_campaign=camp_name. The name of the ad that you specified in the AdWords interface when you created it;
  • device={device}. The device from which the user followed the link to the site. If the received value is “m”, then the click was from a smartphone, “c” – a personal computer and “t” for tablets;
  • utm_content={adposition}. A dynamic value that conveys the position of the ad in the search results. For example, if the passed result is 1t3, then it can be decoded as follows: the ad was shown on the first page above the organic results (“t” – from the English word top) and occupied the third position from the top.
Advice! The received data can be analyzed in any web analytics system. Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica and any similar analytical services are suitable for this purpose.

The table below provides a breakdown of all available options. Using them, you can independently create a formula that meets your goals and objectives:

Value of dynamic parameters in tracking template


Tracking templates allow you to take the collection of information about traffic from Google Ads contextual advertising to a new level. Thanks to their use, it is possible to obtain information about potential buyers, their preferences, key queries that the advertising product answers in one service.

The analysis of this information leads to an increase in the effectiveness of the AC, increasing the conversion and earnings of the advertiser without significant additional investments.

Сергей Шевченко
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