Important Aspects of Custom Parameters for Advanced Tracking in Google AdWords

We probably don’t need to tell you how valuable it is to track all your marketing efforts, how it helps you optimize to attract new clients and to efficiently manage your investment on advertising and promotion. Each person that visits your website is completely different from the next. And you need to effectively track and measure their journey in order to make sure you are doing everything right for turning them into a loyal customer of your brand.

But understanding the customers’ psyche is not easy and most often needs a logical analysis to identify their movement on your website, their purchase patterns and preferences. Having knowledge about the actions they take while visiting your website will greatly help you to streamline your marketing game plan and you could easily exceed their expectations by offering what they actually want.

Running an ad campaign via Google AdWords for attracting visitors is the tried and trusted formula for most advertisers. The interesting thing is, a maximum number of advertisers take Google AdWords as only a promising platform for displaying their ads and capturing higher customer attention. But AdWords is way more than merely a promotional platform for enticing visitors. Google has made this tool in a way that it can do wonder for your business as you can get a complete data and comprehensively track the movements every single person makes while staying on your website. Utilizing custom parameters in Google AdWords is one of the finest ways that can be used for advanced customer tracking and making the most out of that gathered data.

In this blog, we are going to explain in a lucid and intelligible way of making a good use of custom parameters for advanced tracking in Google Adwords. As the discussions and information on this topic are limited, all the businesses that are running AdWords campaign or thinking about running one, will get immensely benefitted by reading out this article.

An introduction to Custom Parameters

In order to understand custom parameters properly, you need to have knowledge about URL parameter. Actually, URL parameters are used to shows how search engines should handle parts of your site based on your URLs, in order to crawl your site more efficiently. In a URL, any word that is placed after the question mark “?” is taken as a parameter that has the power to hold values. The value for the corresponding parameter is given after the symbol ” = “. By separating them with “commas”, a single URL can be executed for one or more parameters.

Custom parameters are an advanced type of URL parameter which advertisers can add to the landing page URLs of their ads. They are used to gather specific data about what website visitors are interested in.

Custom parameters record an advertiser-defined value for each click on their ads with the option where advertisers can select what values their custom parameters record once someone clicks on the ad. As they are directly related to business data feeds, advertisers can easily define custom parameters for multiple ad groups, ads, Sitelink Extension, campaigns and keywords and then synchronize them with the corresponding tracking template.

How can you set up custom parameters?

Stage 1-

The very first thing you need to do is to select a level. As an advertiser you can create three custom parameters at all the different levels of an AdWords account except the account level. In case your custom parameters possess the same name, AdWords will utilize the most specific custom parameter that is given by you.

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

Stage 2-

In the second stage, advertisers need to define their custom parameters. Corresponding value and a name are the two things that made a custom parameter.

  • Name: That can be consisting of up to sixteen alphanumeric characters
  • Value: That can be consisting of up to two-hundred characters. The value can also contain any characters like | ; _ / ^ ( !), as well as ValueTrack parameters

Stage 3-

In the last stage, you need to add your custom parameter in the “Custom parameter” field

Information that can be obtained through custom parameters

Custom parameters work exactly the same as URL parameters and greatly help to obtain the following information:

  • Track the source of the ad clicks
  • The device and browsers from which the ad is clicked
  • About the network or IP from where the ad is clicked
  • Which keyword is clicked
  • Whether the visitor made an online purchase or not
  • Which Online form visitors fill up e.g. contact us form, registration form etc.
  • For which service your visitors are signing up
  • The geographical location of the visitor

Take a look at how custom parameters could prove effective for advanced tracking in Google Adwords

  • Promoting your product through Google Adwords only reflects half of the equation. The second half, and probably the most vital aspect is monitoring your efforts. In the absence of effective tracking and analysis, you’ll always just be guessing the real significance of your paid search campaigns. Custom parameters enable you to track the source of the ad click so that you can alter, make additions or keep your campaigns untouched for gaining maximum results.
  • The second most vital thing about custom parameters is that you get the detail information about the device (smartphones, desktops, tablets or laptops) from which the ad is clicked. So you can better frame the user experience of your site and make it more compelling for them.
  • Custom parameters give a complete view of which keywords are performing well, which ad is getting more clicks and the position of the ad. You get to know accurately and specifically which keywords are getting most impressions and what your target audience is actually searching for. You can formulate a theory of your own to boost the valuable keywords and closing down the under-performing ads.
  • Knowing the geographical location of the visitors is the single most important factor behind framing a valuable AdWords campaign. Suppose you have a business in three different cities New York, Tokyo and London and your campaign is doing well only in Tokyo but not giving the desired result in other two cities. The combined power of custom parameters and Google Analytics will help you to find out the factors responsible for bringing the success of your ad in Tokyo but not in London and New York. By getting the data you could frame better marketing strategy for your campaign in other to cities.


Revenue comes through customers and customers are acquired by the sound marketing tactics. Tracking customers’ behavior is a vital element for measuring success. Custom parameters allow you to adjust campaigns and marketing to better serve your audience. All that we have discussed above, pointing out to the fact that the success of any online business depends on how efficiently it manages to monitor the movement of the buyers.

Author Bio:

Salil Panikkaveettil is the Co-founder & CEO of AdNabu Inc., a certified Google AdWords Premier Partner. He is an expert in AdWords and Digital Marketing. He likes to share his knowledge with his readers and provide them with the best information on various digital marketing topics.

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Featured image taken from

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