Help Center For Advertisers Overview

How do I tag ad landing page URLs for Google Analytics?

Advertisers who use a web analytics software for their website can tag click URLs for their ads in order to get a better analysis on incoming traffic source. This separates paid clicks and organic clicks, even from the same referring site.

Link Tagging with Google Analytics

Please see the instructions to tag a link directly from Google. After a link is prepared with Google Analytics' specific variables, you can enter this link into the Destination/Click URL field for the ad within AdSpeed Ad Server.

Link Tagging vs. Referring Site

Referring information can be useful to determine the source of traffic. However, this field is not a reliable source of data since it is fully controlled by the visitor's browser. Some browsers pass it on to the destination website in its original format while a number of browsers with built-in settings and add-ons that can block, change, truncate or even remove this field for privacy and other purposes.

Depending on the serving code type, the referring site field might display the publisher's website or AdSpeed Ad Server. For JavaScript serving code, the ad is considered as part of the main page and the referring site is the publisher's website. For Iframe serving code, the ad is loaded within an independent frame and the referring site field will display AdSpeed.

Therefore, counting and filtering referrers from a specific source can contribute to data discrepancies between the clicks reported by AdSpeed and the numbers from web analytics solution, including Google Analytics. To avoid this situation, it is best to tag all ad landing page URLs with Google Analytics' specific variables. This method accurately tracks each traffic sources independently without the problems of referring information.

Clicks vs. Visits/Visitors

These are differences between a click and a visit/visitor. A visitor can click multiple times on an ad, or click on several ads, to reach the same landing page/site. Thus, there will be several clicks recorded for a single visit/visitor. This happens when the visitor is comparison-shopping between multiple sites, or is doing research that requires going back and forth. Another case is inflated clicks that drives up the number of clicks from the same visitor. This is more serious and can happen between competing businesses to unethically increase expenses for the other company. There are different strategies for click fraud preventions.

Discrepancy Examples with Google Analytics (GA)

  • If the visitor clicked multiple times on an ad, multiple clicks recorded but only one visit recorded by GA.
  • If the browser blocked/modified the referrer field, one click is recorded but would not be attributed to the correct referring site in GA unless the landing URL is tagged properly.
  • If the visitor clicked on the ad and then stopped, paused, or clicked on another site/link. A click recorded in our ad server but GA code might not be ready yet and therefore, would not record any visit/session.
  • If a user disabled JavaScript in the browser and the ad was served using the simplified tag (HREF/IMG, email newsletter) then a click would record properly but GA on the advertiser's page would not load since GA requires JavaScript.
  • Many web archiving software, web spiders/bots fetch and follow all links on a page, including ads. In this case, clicks are recorded but GA might not loaded on the advertiser's page. Non-human activities can be controlled with several settings in your account.

Other Articles in Overview

General FAQs for advertisers about click fraud, sending and paying invoices

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