How to Use ValueTrack Parameters with Your Tracking Template

June 13, 2017
cerebro

You can use ValueTrack parameters, a type of URL parameter  that you can add to your ads’ landing page URLs, in order to track information about your ads. For example, you can find out where your ads get the most traffic, or which ads and keywords get the most clicks.

This article illustrates how ValueTrack parameters work with your tracking template. ValueTrack parameters can best help when you want to learn more about the clicks on your ad or if you’re just starting out with tracking.

Tips Before You Begin

For those of you who are not familiar with how tracking works, you can review “About tracking in AdWords” to ensure that you start it right.

Know How ValueTrack works

ValueTrack parameters are a type of URL parameter where each  URL parameter is a piece of text that starts and ends with braces ({}), like {matchtype}. These parameters can be part of your ad’s final URL, tracking template, or custom parameter, they work well with third-party platforms to provide you additional information on your PPC clicks.

To illustrate,  the parameter {matchtype} indicates the match type of the keyword that triggered your ad. Instead of seeing {matchtype}, you’ll see what the ValueTrack records which is the value “b” for broad match, “p” for phrase match, or “e” for exact match.

Where this becomes useful is when working with third-party platforms like unbounce.com. We utilize unbounce.com to create landing pages. We use ValueTrack Parameters to pass information from the AdWords ad into Unbounce to be analyzed with other information including conversion rate, dynamic text insertion, and more.

When analyzing our form fills, a field appears in our data called Matchtype or keyword. We can now see exactly what form fill goes along with the keyword, matchtype, device, etc.

In AdWords, you can see conversions but you aren’t able to tie that conversion to a specific user, with ValueTrack Parameters, you can see exactly what keyword they used and develop strategies around this.

Building Strategies from ValueTrack Parameters

Every month at Cerebro, we review form fills and identify trends in the data. Some of it seems like common sense, but having data to support a hypothesis is always a positive for us.

For example,

We had several form fills for an auto body shop, which were from BMW owners, we were surprised that very few referred to their car as a BMW. Many used their vehicles model such as:

  • 3 series
  • X5
  • i8
  • z4
  • 328

and so on.

From ValueTrack Parameters we were able to extrapolate that the top keyword used from this audience segment was BMW “insert model”.

These were great clients for the business so we used this data to develop single keyword ad groups around BMW models, not just the brand but specific models as well.

We can get this information from AdWords but what was important was how these people spoke, the words they used, etc.

We customized our ads to use the same phrases and terms they all used, we used 3 series instead of i328.

This improved our conversion rate and it was because we were able to match our AdWords conversion data to real users.

How Do You Set It Up?

All you have to do is, set your final URL to www.example.com. Then, you can add the {lpurl} and {device} ValueTrack parameters to your tracking template in URL options ( It is recommended that you set this up at the account level). You’ll then have a  tracking template like this:

{lpurl}?device={device}

When people do their search on their desktop or laptop computer and click on your ad, the URL they click through will look like this:

www.example.com/?device=c

This ValueTrack parameter is really helpful as it enables your tracking software to successfully track the kind of devices people use to reach your website.

ValueTrack Parameters Having”IF” Functions

There are Some URL parameters that have “IF” functions. This means that you can specify a particular value that you would like to insert depending on the nature of the ad. You can do this by  replacing  [value] with any text that you want, and this text displays on your data.

Here Is an  Example

You can find out whether your ad was clicked on the Search Network through the {ifsearch:[value]} parameter. Try checking this out by changing  [value] to search then, you’ll see the text “search” in your data; that is if someone clicks your ad on the Search Network (for example, from a Google search results page).

Compatible with AdWords campaign types

These ValueTrack parameters are ideal because they are compatible with both Search Network and Display Network campaigns. However, you have to remember that there are some campaign-specific requirements that you also need to consider.

Indeed, using ValueTrack parameters can give you the right information as to where your ads are best viewed by your target market, making it easy for you to make a well-informed decision.

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