Important Update: Google Ads is changing the way you track ad clicks in Pardot

by Linda Forsstrom Torres - October 18, 2018
Important Update: Google Ads is changing the way you track ad clicks in Pardot

“Important: Google Ads parallel tracking will be automatically turned on.”

If you are a marketer then you have probably received this subject line in your inbox more than once this year. If not? Then don’t worry, we will explain everything you need to know before this gets enabled on the 30th of October. If you’re using the Google Ads connector in Pardot, action is required so please read on!

Another thing worth mentioning before getting to know Parallel tracking is that since July 2018 Google AdWords have changed their name to Google Ads, but you have probably already noticed this.

What is Parallel tracking?

Google’s main mission is to continually optimise and create a better user experience for web visitors. This is why they are introducing Parallel tracking for all Google Ads accounts as it helps users to reach the landing page quicker after clicking on an ad by loading all the tracking in the background of the redirect:

Google Parallel tracking

Source: Google Ads Help

Visitors will end up on the landing page straight away after clicking on your ad instead of being directed via a tracked link which can also lead to increased conversions and improved ad performance according to Google.

Who does Parallel tracking affect?

Parallel tracking will affect everyone who has a Google Ads account and are using the Google Ads (old AdWords) connector in Pardot. The change requires you to use a Final URL Suffix rather than a tracking template in Google Ads. A tracking template is what you are currently using to track your Google Ads performance in Pardot, which consists of similar parameters as your Final URL Suffix. These parameters are essential for Google ads to have in order to help Pardot track and monitor the Google ads performances.

What is a Final URL Suffix?

Google Ads defines this very well themselves: “The final URL suffix field allows you to enter parameters that will be attached to the end of your landing page URL in order to track information.

The Final URL Suffix is the tracking code or snippet that you will need to add to your Google Ads account instead of the previous used tracking template. It’s up to you what level you want to add the tracking code on but note that it needs to be the same code throughout your account.

Google Parallel tracking

The example below shows how to add the tracking code at a campaign level because we want to track all the ads in that specific campaign. Please visit Google Ads Help to find out how to add a Final URL Suffix on one of the other levels. Adding your tracking code at the account, campaign or ad group level also means that you do not have to resubmit your ads for approval when changing the tracking information.

Without making any changes, Pardot will not be able to track your ad clicks and know which prospects engaged with your Google Ads campaigns.

Note that you will also need to have implemented your Pardot tracking code on the landing page that the users will end up on and enable SSL tracking domains in order for this to work.

How to turn on parallel tracking step-by-step:

In the steps below, you will find where your Final URL Suffix is in Pardot and where you should add it in your Google Ads account.

1) Copy this Pardot tracking code below:

creative={creative}&keyword={keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}&network={network}&device={device}

google parallel tracking

You will also find the tracking code in your Pardot account when navigating to Admin > Connectors > Google Ads Gear Icon > Tracking

2) Log into your Google Ads account.

3) Choose and go to the level you want to add your Final URL Suffix on.

4) If you have a code under the tracking template option, remove the code. Paste the Pardot tracking code in the Final URL Suffix field below. We want to track all the ads in our Pardot campaign, so our example will show you how to add the code on a Campaign level. Find out how to add a Final URL Suffix on another level here. You will find the field after logging into your Google Ads account by:

4a) Choosing your campaign:

google parallel tracking

4b) Navigate to Settings:

google parallel tracking

4c) Then to Additional Settings:

google parallel tracking

4d) Navigate to Campaign URL Options:

google parallel tracking

4e) Remove the Tracking Template and paste you Final URL Suffix:

google parallel tracking

4d) Test to make sure your ad has the right landing page URL.

google parallel tracking

4e) Finally press SAVE

google parallel tracking

 

I hope that this article helped you and that I’ve answered all your questions regarding parallel tracking. In case you have more question regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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