Linking Analytics to your Adwords Account and trouble shooting auto-tagging

I have had some problems in the past in linking Google AdWords and Analytics.

There are two steps to ensure that AdWords and Anayltics are linked :

(1) In your AdWords account, go to My Account > Account Preferrences.  Click the ‘edit’ link next to Tracking.  Select the box that says ‘Destination URL Auto-tracking” and click Save Changes.

(2) Still in your AdWords account, click the analytics tab and choose to ‘Apply Cost Data” and select Save Changes.

With Auto Taging enabled and wehn someone clicks on your AdWord advert, the browser is redirected to your landing page with an additional parameter (gclid) added on to the url of your

landing page as follows :

It is this additional parameter that identifies vistors as coming from AdWords “google(cpc)” as apposed to organic “google(organic)”.  The correct google cookie is then placed on to the

visitor machine.  When a customer clicks on your AdWord, and then lands on your conversion page, you should see that that within the google(cpc) displays. 

The key point is : Google Analytics cannot tell if the visitor came from an AdWords click if the gclid parameter is missing on the page that the user eventually lands on.

The key is to test whether your landing page retains the gclid parameter and this can be easily done as follows :

1. Take your destination URL (eg and paste it into your browser’s location bar (where you usually type in a web address)
2. Add a test parameter on to the end of the URL.  If your URL does not already have parameters in it, append ?gclid=test.  If there are already parameters, append &gclid=test on to the end.  (For example, becomes; and becomes)
3. Press enter
4. Your browser will take you to your landing page.  Be mindful of redirects, especially if you are tracking with Doubleclick, Atlas, etc tags.
5. Is the gclid=test parameter still visible in your browser’s location bar?
If yes, then auto-tgging should come through onto your landing page (providing that you have enabled auto-tagging on your account of course).

If no, there is most likely an intermediate redirect that is stripping out the gclid parameter.

   1. First – change your destination URL to the ultimate page that the visitor lands on, thus bypassing any redirects
   2. Configure your server so that the gclid parameter is passed along in the redirect

Other possible problems are that users are landing on a 404 error page, or that your landing page does not have the required google Anaytics Javascript code located on it.

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