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Can I set up an ad with auto and manual tagging?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So here's our problem: like everyone, we want to know how well our keywords/ppc campaigns convert to actual signups. In addition, however, we have a viral system where a primary conversion may lead to a secondary conversion (user A invites user B), and we're interested in knowing how well certain keywords/ppc campaigns create *secondary* conversions.


In other words, if the "cheap money" keyphrase resulted in UserA, and UserA invited UserB, then we'd like to know that UserB originated with keyphrase "cheap money".


We're already tracking the fact that UserB was created via UserA in our database. What we don't know is specifically what keyword/ppc campaign resulted in UserA.


We're storing the tags that UserA arrived with on our site (in both our database and our server logs), so theoretically we could turn on manual tagging and capture the utm_* data that delivers, and associate it with UserA. But if we do that we lose the valuable Adwords/Analytics reporting that auto-tagging generates. Ideally we'd capture BOTH gclid and utm_* values, use Adwords/Analytics for primary conversion analysis and our own reports for secondaries.


Is there a way we can turn on both auto and manual? Or is there another approach to this problem I'm not seeing?


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Can I set up an ad with auto and manual tagging?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Another possible solution: since I'm tracking the connection between UserA and UserB, what I really need to know is what keyword resulted in a given UserA. Auto-tagging in Google uses gclid as a standin for campaign/keyphrase/etc - so somewhere in Google's database they know that gclid=123456 was associated with keyword="x" and campaign="Y".


If I could dump the campaign/keyphrase Google associated with a given gclid into a file, then I could turn on auto-tagging, capture the gclid when UserA signs up, and do internal reporting to look up the campaign/keyphrase that gclid represented.


Can I dump gclid data from Google somehow?

Re: Can I set up an ad with auto and manual tagging?

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆


  • You cant crack or track gclid
  • If you have autotagging and mannual tagging both on then it might screw up your campaign data
  • you have 2 solutions for this
  • you can use valuetrack
  • or you can fire custom variable with unique id for each User A registration where in you can download related data like keyword campaign etc in your database using google apis and then match them with user B
    . This blog might be for your help

Hope this helps


Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: Can I set up an ad with auto and manual tagging?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi splitzee,


Yes, you can use both manual and auto-tagging at the same time. I do. There is a limit to the lenght of the query string that Google will provide, and I'm not sure what that limit is.


I would caution you against using the utm_ variable names. That will cause double-reporting of your paid traffic in Analytics, once under traffic sources and once under AdWords. Just remove utm_ from the variable names to stop that from happening. Then, you can capture that data with the incoming AdWords click just as you do the gclid value.


Best of Luck,



petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords