The Setup of Google Ads in TrackingDesk is similar to other predefined Traffic Sources but there are some extra steps required to fully benefit from the combination of TrackingDesk and Google Ads.

The Google Ads integration in TrackingDesk has been built around the affiliate marketer's needs, while taking into consideration the Google Ads core features:

  • Parallel Tracking
  • URL tracking options & parameters
  • Conversion Tracking

By following these guidelines, you will be able to fully take advantage of what Google Ads has to offer, including their CPA Optimization engine.

To create a campaign in Google Ads you will need the following:

  • A Google Ads account
  • A TrackingDesk account
  • A landing page or website
  • An offer to promote from your landing page

Watch the replay of the TrackingDesk & Google Ads webinar. (November 2018)

Google Ads Settings


A feature that automatically appends URL parameters to your final URLs. Those parameters help you track offline conversions and report on your ad performance using website tracking programs like TrackingDesk.

  • Auto-tagging will attach the “Google Click Identifier” (GCLID) parameter to the URL your customers click, and that will help you tell which ad was clicked for each visit to your site.
  • TrackingDesk will use the information from auto-tagged URLs to tell you which Google Ads keywords brought a visitor to your site, which campaign that keyword was from, and how much that click cost. You can also use this information to import complex conversions into Google Ads, whether online or offline.

Auto-tagging is turned off by default. You can check whether auto-tagging is on, as well as turn it on or off, by going to your account settings.

  1. Click Settings on the left page menu.
  2. Click "Account settings" along the top of the page.
  3. Click the Auto-tagging section. If the box next to “Tag the URL that people click through from my ad” is checked, auto-tagging is on. To turn if off, uncheck the box and click Save.

The Tracking template

The tracking template is where you put tracking information. You can use URL parameters to customize your final URL. When an ad is clicked, the information is used to create your landing page URL.

  • A tracking template at the ad group, campaign, or account level applies to all of the ads in the corresponding ad group, campaign, or account.
  • If you define multiple tracking templates at different levels, the most specific template is used.
  • The keyword tracking template is the most specific followed by the ad, ad group, campaign, then account.
  • You can view which tracking template is applied in the Tracking template source column.

The default tracking template that is preconfigured to match the Google Ads requirements:


Open your Google Ads campaign or adgroup settings and add the tracking template in the URL Options.

URLs in AdWords

There are three types of URLs used to setup a campaign in Google Ads.

Final URL: The URL where visitors land after clicking on your ad

Display path: The URL that will be displayed on your ad (only used for visual purpose)

Ad URL options: The tracking template
In this illustration, the tracking template has been set at the ad level and if you prefer to set your tracking template at the campaign or adgroup level, you will not need to set it in the ad.
As a general rule, the tracking template setting applies to assets that are set underneath. For example, if you set a tracking template at the Campaign Level, all adgroups and ads will inherit the template. 


Google Ads traffic source setup in TrackingDesk

1. Add a Traffic source

2. Select AdWords (autotag) UTM from the drop down menu
3. Save

Assuming you already have a landing page and your offers setup in TrackingDesk, you can create a campaign 

Create a campaign for AdWords

1. Create a new campaign

2. Select AdWords from the drop down menu

3. Set the campaign GEO targeting to Global

4. Search for the landing page to add to your campaign

5. Select and Add the landing page to your campaign

6. Associate an offer to the landing page Call To Action

7. Select the offer to associate to the call to action

8. Save

Upon saving, the campaign will be created.

9. Copy and Paste the Google Ads Tracking Template in your Google Ads Account

10. Open the Organic Traffic  snippet and copy/paste it in the head of your landing page.

NB: The script will work on secure and non secure environement

. Add your landing page URL into the final URL field in AdWords

You can now turn on your campaigns in Google Ads and see your perfomances in TrackingDesk' analytics.

In this guide we covered several core features of the platform, which we recommend you to read so you can better understand their functions

Other articles related to Google Ads that we recommend:

Do you  have signup and /or newsletter forms on your site page?

The trackingdesk script can inject the event id into your form so that you can track back the optins / registration originating from your site.

To enable this feature, you should do the following:
Edit your form and Add a hidden field called td_eid

More about form tracking

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