by Bal


Internet Marketing

AdWords Parallel Tracking – Simplified

User expectations as they browse the web are growing and the need for near-instant loading pages is fast becoming a necessity. This was shown in Akamai’s ‘State of Online Retail Performance’ report where a 100-millisecond delay in load time hurt conversion rates by up to 7% (with smartphones and tablets being impacted more than desktop). Following other key efforts to improve mobile site speed such as AMPs, Google is now rolling out parallel tracking to help improve loading page times.

What is parallel tracking?

In short, users will be directed straight to your landing page after clicking your ad while in the background the browser processes the tracking. This differs from the legacy method where users go through a number of redirects after clicking an ad which could slow down the landing page opening time. This will mean a better user experience for users clicking on paid ads.

When is this rolling out?

This functionality will be rolling out gradually in the new AdWords experience in early 2018 – no fixed timeline was available at the time of writing.

What action needs to be completed?

Currently, parallel tracking is optional but, in the future, will move to be the default method of tracking for all accounts. To enable parallel tracking, in the new AdWords interface follow the simple steps below:

  1. Under ‘All campaigns’, click Settings
  2. Click the Account Settings tab at the top of the page
  3. Click Tracking and switch ‘Parallel tracking’ on

If you are utilising third-party tracking providers, it is important to speak to them about this change in case any changes are required to the way tracking is currently implemented.

Key Takeaway

As an advertiser, you may feel you have a perfected AdWords strategy alongside a thoroughly optimised landing page but if users are leaving before getting onto your website all this effort could be wasted (even if this is happening for a small percentage of users only!).

This change in tracking will lead to faster landing page load times. It will be interesting to analyse conversion rates across each device type before and after making this change and we will be sure to report back once enough data is collected.

If you have any questions about this topic or need any help opting-in, please feel free to get in touch.


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