Custom Parameters for Advanced Tracking in AdWords

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custom parametersCustom parameters are a variety of URL parameter which advertisers can add to the landing page URLs of their ads. Custom parameters record an advertiser-defined value for each click on their ads.

In this article, I will explain the steps that you need to follow to enable these parameters at different levels of your account.

Determine the level

Advertisers can create three custom parameters at all the different levels of an AdWords account except the account level.

If these parameters have the same name, AdWords uses the most specific custom parameter that an advertiser create.

What it means is that if an advertiser creates a custom parameter at an ad group level (e.g. {_color}=blue) and a custom parameter for an ad within that ad group (e.g. {_color}=red), AdWords will apply the ad-level custom parameter ({_color}=red) instead of the parameter at the ad group level.

Define the Custom parameters

Custom parameters are made up of two parts: A name, and its corresponding value.

The name can be up to 16 alphanumeric characters, and the value can be up to 200 characters containing different symbols including &, |, _, /, ^,  !. The values can also include ValueTrack parameters.

The name and its corresponding value can be anything that advertisers want.

For instance, if each of your keywords has unique IDs, you can create a custom parameter with the name {_mykwid} and value 1234. The definition would look like this: {_mykwid}=1234.

Add the parameters

Account Level

Advertisers can add or edit custom parameters at the account level by following these simple steps:

  1. Sign into your AdWords account and click on the campaigns tab.
  2. Select the campaign you want to test.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Scroll down and click Campaign URL options under advanced.
  5. Next to “Custom parameter,” enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  6. Click Save.

To edit your parameters, follow steps 1-3 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Ad Level

Advertisers can add or edit custom parameters at the ad level by following these simple steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account and click on the Ads tab.
  2. Select the ad that you want to add custom parameters to.
  3. Click on the Ad URL options under advanced options.
  4. Next to “Custom parameter,” enter the name and value of your custom parameters.
  5. Click Save.

To edit your parameters, follow steps 1-3 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Ad Group/ Keyword Level

Advertisers can add or edit custom parameters at the ad group or keyword level by following these simple steps:

First, add the “Custom parameters” column to your ad group or keyword table:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account and click on the Keywords or the Ad groups tab.
  2. Click on the Columns, then Modify columns.
  3. From the left side menu, click on Attributes and then click Add next to “Custom parameter.”
  4. Click Apply.

Then, add your custom parameter:

  1. Hover over an entry in the “Custom parameter” column.
  2. Click on the pencil icon when it appears.
  3. Enter the name and the value of your custom parameters.
  4. Click Save.

To edit your parameters, follow steps 1-2 in the second section, make your changes, and click Save.

Sitelink Level

Advertisers can add or edit custom parameters at the sitelink level by following these simple steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account and click on the Ad extensions tab.
  2. Click View menu and then select Sitelink extensions.
  3. Hover above any of the extensions in the table and click on the pencil icon as it appears.
  4. Select sitelink URL options under advanced.
  5. Next to “Custom parameter,” enter the name and the value of your custom parameters.
  6. Click Save.

To edit your parameters, follow steps 1-4 above, make your changes, and click Save.

Add custom parameter to the “Tracking template” field

Finally, put your custom parameter’s name in the tracking template, along with the required ValueTrack parameters (e.g. {lpurl}?color={_color}). When your ad gets a click, AdWords will replace the parameter’s name with the value that you defined in your custom parameter.

About the author

Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.

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