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AdWords Management

Google Rolls out Parallel Tracking

Google are at it again… another new Google AdWords feature. However, on this occasion (unlike the new AdWords interface) we LIKE it!

So what is Parallel Tracking?

In simple terms, when Parallel tracking is turned on and a customer clicks an ad, they are sent directly to the websites landing page (final URL) whilst the tracking happens in the background. According to Google this will help in reducing lost visitors which can often happen if they never see the landing page because they have navigated away.

Parallel Tracking is currently defaulted to off and is an optional feature for only Search Network and Shopping campaigns. However, it is expected that Google will roll this out as the default tracking method sometime in the near future. If a potential customer clicks on an ad and the browser does not support parallel tracking, Google will use the standard tracking to track their clicks.

How Does Parallel Tracking work?

PPC AdWords Parallel Tracking



Courtesy Google

Here’s what parallel tracking looks like:

  1. The customer clicks on your ad
  2. The customer sees your landing page
  3. At the same time (In the background)
  4. The AdWords click tracker loads
  5. The Tracking URL loads
  6. Any Possible redirects loads

With the previous tracking, customers would go through several invisible redirects after clicking your ad before they reached your landing page. This could cause your landing page to appear to take longer to load.

Here’s what the previous tracking looked like:

  1. The customer would click on your ad
  2. The AdWords click tracker would load
  3. The tracking URL would load
  4. Any possible additional tracking the URL would load
  5. The customer would finally see your landing page

In early 2018, the ability to opt-in to parallel tracking will become available and later in the year it will become the default tracking method for all AdWords accounts.

Before you get started

  • You should check with your tracking template provider to make sure your template is compatible with parallel tracking.
  • Include a final URL tag (like {lpurl}) in your tracking template to avoid counting visitors to your website more than once.
  • Make sure your tracking template is secure (https://).

How to set up parallel tracking

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. In the navigation menu, click All campaigns.
  3. In the page menu, click Settings.
  4. Click Account Settings.
  5. Click Tracking.
  6. Click the switch next to “Parallel tracking” to turn it on.