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Is auto-tagging feature required to link Adwords and Google Analytics?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I would like to link the AdWords account and Google Analytics account for one of our clients.  However, the client cannot enable the auto-tagging feature because it creates 404 errors when people visit their site through one of the search ads.

 

Question, is the auto-tagging feature a requirement to link an AdWords account with a Google Analytics account? Or, can the accounts be linked without enabling the auto-tagging feature?

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Gideon O
September 2015

Re: Is auto-tagging feature required to link Adwords and Google Analyt

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Gideon,

The link between Adwords and Analytics can be done without the auto-tagging system. If I recall, when you link the accounts the auto-tagging is turned on by default, so you should switch back off once the link is done.

Important Notice
If you switch auto-tagging off and you want GA to receive campaign information such as campaign name, keyword and everything else, you should use Analytics URL Builder to tag your campaigns manually, WHICH IS VERY SO NOT RECOMMENDED.

Builder here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

404 error pages
When you create the link, Adwords appends a parameters called "gclid" to your URL. That parameter is where Adwords give all the information to Analytics, but it's encoded, so you should see something like this:

mysite.com.br?gclid=CIPrkpGG68YCFQwYHwod1GYNFw

What's probably happening, is that the "gclid" parameter is breaking your client page exhibition, so if you fix this, you should be able to use auto-tagging again, which in my opinion, it's the far best thing you can and should do.

More about auto-tagging here:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1752125?hl=en

Hope it helps.


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Gideon O
September 2015

Re: Is auto-tagging feature required to link Adwords and Google Analyt

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Gideon,

As leandrofm said, you can link the accounts without autotagging. **However**, and this is important, in order to accurately track traffic you do need to have UTM parameters appended. Auto-tagging does this for you but you can also do it manually. So, although auto-tagging is not a requirement, having the tags present is a requirement for pulling data into Google Analytics.

You can add them using the URL builder that leandrofm shared and once you get the hang of it, it is actually pretty easy.

That said, I would check to make sure that the manually appended utm tags work with your URL. If neither the manually appended nor auto-tagged parameters work with your URL then you may have some trouble pulling data into Google Analytics and you may want to consider reworking your URL structure (easier said than done) or building some new pages dedicated to PPC.

For campaigns that require complex URL tags that must be manually appended, I typically build out a URL builder in Excel that will automatically add the parameters for a list of URLs once the necessary information has been provided (Campaign, Ad Group, etc). If you wind up having to manually tag your URLs, that would probably be the easiest thing for you to do. It is way more efficient than building URLs one-by-one and, if built correctly, lessens the likelihood of user error.

I don't think I can attach a file, here, but I did find a free URL builder with a few quick Google searches Smiley Happy This may not be exactly what you need but at least you can take a glance at it and customize it to suit your needs: http://linchpinseo.com/url-builder-google-analytics-customize-urls-excel?doing_wp_cron=1437429213.78...

Hope this helps!

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Gideon O
September 2015

Re: Is auto-tagging feature required to link Adwords and Google Analyt

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Gideon,

The link between Adwords and Analytics can be done without the auto-tagging system. If I recall, when you link the accounts the auto-tagging is turned on by default, so you should switch back off once the link is done.

Important Notice
If you switch auto-tagging off and you want GA to receive campaign information such as campaign name, keyword and everything else, you should use Analytics URL Builder to tag your campaigns manually, WHICH IS VERY SO NOT RECOMMENDED.

Builder here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

404 error pages
When you create the link, Adwords appends a parameters called "gclid" to your URL. That parameter is where Adwords give all the information to Analytics, but it's encoded, so you should see something like this:

mysite.com.br?gclid=CIPrkpGG68YCFQwYHwod1GYNFw

What's probably happening, is that the "gclid" parameter is breaking your client page exhibition, so if you fix this, you should be able to use auto-tagging again, which in my opinion, it's the far best thing you can and should do.

More about auto-tagging here:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1752125?hl=en

Hope it helps.


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Gideon O
September 2015

Re: Is auto-tagging feature required to link Adwords and Google Analyt

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Gideon,

As leandrofm said, you can link the accounts without autotagging. **However**, and this is important, in order to accurately track traffic you do need to have UTM parameters appended. Auto-tagging does this for you but you can also do it manually. So, although auto-tagging is not a requirement, having the tags present is a requirement for pulling data into Google Analytics.

You can add them using the URL builder that leandrofm shared and once you get the hang of it, it is actually pretty easy.

That said, I would check to make sure that the manually appended utm tags work with your URL. If neither the manually appended nor auto-tagged parameters work with your URL then you may have some trouble pulling data into Google Analytics and you may want to consider reworking your URL structure (easier said than done) or building some new pages dedicated to PPC.

For campaigns that require complex URL tags that must be manually appended, I typically build out a URL builder in Excel that will automatically add the parameters for a list of URLs once the necessary information has been provided (Campaign, Ad Group, etc). If you wind up having to manually tag your URLs, that would probably be the easiest thing for you to do. It is way more efficient than building URLs one-by-one and, if built correctly, lessens the likelihood of user error.

I don't think I can attach a file, here, but I did find a free URL builder with a few quick Google searches Smiley Happy This may not be exactly what you need but at least you can take a glance at it and customize it to suit your needs: http://linchpinseo.com/url-builder-google-analytics-customize-urls-excel?doing_wp_cron=1437429213.78...

Hope this helps!