How to set up Google Adwords to track sales attribution across PPC campaigns

Here are the answers to a few important questions regarding sales tracking:

Why manual tagging for Google AdWords is necessary for managing campaign spend?

We need manual tagging to make recommendations on google campaign effectiveness. All other banner/ advertisers use manual tagging to communicate to your website’s source where the customers have entered from. This tagging information is read by our pixel and Google Analytics pixel to compile the information.

Auto-tagging hides this information behind a random key – readable only to Google servers, thus without the manual tag information all your website gets (and by extension – our pixel) is the fact that user came from Google paid network.

How to set up manual tagging in Google AdWords

Solution is to either:

a) disable auto-tagging and enable traditional manual tagging on Google AdWords URL landing pages (utm_source, utm_medium, etc…);
b) enable manual tagging in a way that does not disrupt existing processes in Google Analytics.

We recommend to use the second option: leave auto-tagging in place for Google Analytics, and use supplemental manual tagging by directly adding following parameters to the URL landing pages of the ad campaigns.


pt_source – should be set to “googleads”

pt_medium – should be set to “cpc”

pt_campaign – name of campaign

Optional (used for greater detail reports if needed in the future):

pt_keyword – keyword name

pt_adgroup – adgroup name

A sample URL landing page would look like this:

By avoiding traditional prefix – UTM_, Google Analytics will ignore these tags and use auto-tagging as before. Here our pixel can read the Google campaign information alongside other advertisers.

What’s next?

Of course Google Analytics or Adwords reports do not actually tell you what’s working, how well and what to do next. In the words of David Ogilvy, 99% of advertising does not sell much of anything. So tinkering with bids and staring at the click conversion rates is not going to  be a game changer.

Shoppers move through different stages in the purchase journey. To see how to track impact of marketing across all four shopping stages, check out the demo through the button below.

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