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Google AdWords Forum

AdWords tracking
Sarah Atkinson

 7:46 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

How can I track users once they click from thw adwords to our site. I want to make sure they are staying and not just clicking the back button. tried doing the?refferel=google thing but that doesn't seem to work. IF it does i'm not useing it right.

I use a program called SmarterStats to view my statistical data(#visits, entrypages, paths, exit pages,ect.)



 7:48 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)


are you just wanting to see if they stay, or do you also want to know whether they end up buying/signing up for a service/product.

surely as an advertiser you should be looking at achieving some ROI analysis, and be able to work out your CPA from Google adwords.

and apologies if I have answered your question with another question.



 9:19 am on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

the syntax you are using for your google tracking is correct.
Problem is that not all web statistics programs recognize them.

If you have access to your log files then you could use a logging tool (such as analog and others discussed in the Tracking & Logging forum) and easily find the number of referrals from your adwords.

Also it is possible to put a little php scripting into your landing page and log the referrer with data like keyword, ip-address, etc into a DB or textfile so you later can analyze how these visits from adwords go through your site. OK, this only works if you have little traffic from adwords and can do the analysis by hand.

Anyway, I recommend to get your logfiles and do a decent logfile analysis.

Eric in Tennessee

 4:26 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey Leben,

If you do not, I repeat DO NOT, have access to the raw logfiles, can you add PHP to your site and have it report to your work station PC, assuming that you have a constant contection?

I am pretty new to this stuff, so sorry if I sound lost (that's because I am lost <technically speaking>).

Thanks for the help,



 4:32 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

We can track each visitor from Google ads, can see which pages the visitors went to, right through to the checkout, we can categorise it all into ad groups, and track it per keyword.

However, this is not achieved without significant work, and won't work with basic analysis tools.

So, if we can do it, others can too.


 1:22 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Eric, took me some time to answer, but here is my solution:
call an include file from within your landing page. lets call it tracker.inc
tracker.inc writes to a text file with date/time, ip-address, and referer into a logfile (testlog.txt).
don't forget to set write permissions for the log file.

Code for tracker.inc is here:

$timestamp=date("Y/m/j H:i:s");


// if(is_writeable($myfile)):

$success=fwrite($fd, $timestamp."".$addr."".$ref ."\n");

Not the best code, but it works for my application.
Hope this helps a little.


 4:20 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have added a string like this to the domain for each phrase used: [abc.com...]

WebTrends picks it up rather well.


 4:41 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have 50 adword groups in 1 campaign. Each ad targets 10 KWs on average.

How do we track the ROI (for Adwords) from each KW as distinct from each Ad Group?

We'd like to use a URL like:

but would this not just give us CTR for the ad group as opposed to just for the individual phrase?

(We're using WebTrends)

WebDiversity, any clues on how you achieve exactly what you said above - Its what I need....!


 6:14 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's kind of a pain, but having one keyword phrase per ad group is how I did it. That way, I know exactly how may people clicked on any given keyword phrase. It shows up in WebTrends log analyzer really well.


 7:51 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Sarah,

Using a?referrer=XXXX won't be able to tell you how long a visitor stayed on your site.

The best I think you can do is to:

1) Take steps to prevent browsers caching the landing page for your campaign. Use this search:


and then...

2) Force the visitor to click through to a second page on your site if they are really interested in your products.

Then, as they leave the site, 9 out of 10 visitors will "back" up the way they came, and since you have asked the client not to cache the landing page you will see a second request for it in your logs, normally including the original Google query string.

Your logs can then tell you two things:

i) If they just visit the landing page and that's it then the visitor is either not that interested in your product, or your landing page isn't selling hard enough


ii) If they do click through, you can tell from the period between requests for the landing page how long they spent further into your site.

Hope this makes sense! Because there is no interaction between a client and your server when they leave your site this is really all you can do i'm afraid.


 10:46 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hanewich, thats what I was thinking but we've 500 KWs. Times 2. We have to create 1,000 ad groups in order to track each kw phrase used?

Surely theres an easier way?


 2:17 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Rather than start a new thread, let me ask: I have the capacity to put a completely different cloaking url for each group. Will Google permit the use of such? If yes, would one use an abbreviation of cloaking url in the descriptive? Thanks, S


 2:36 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

power posting is the answer to your question johnser.

We only use Excel now to manage adwords campaigns.

You supply the keywords and we can knock up the campaign in a short space of time, can even track, broad, phrase and exact match variations of the same keyword.

Eric in Tennessee

 6:13 pm on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey WD-J,

Isn't there a minumum of 6000 to use the power posting at Google?



 10:24 pm on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nope it's available to anyone with a spreadsheet tool like Excel.

Eric in Tennessee

 2:20 am on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was misinformed thanks J.


Mikkel Svendsen

 9:31 am on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been using Indextools on a couple of sites lately where we run AdWords. This is a very easy tool to implement on any kind of site and it show you exactly what you are looking for.

As it is based on a tracker-script (a small piece of JavaScript code on each of your pages) you don't have to worrie about caching and all that.


 12:19 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)


Can you *post the URL or sticky me please with details of how to do this?

Have just spent 15 mins logged into Adwords looking for this to no avail?



 12:25 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ignore Prev - Just found it on a different site


 12:25 pm on May 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Consider it ignored!

Blue Gravity

 7:20 am on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Perhaps Webtrends or Urchin?


 6:42 pm on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've read that folks here track Adwords using Analog but a search reveals nothing or maybe I'm not searching for the right thing. I'd really appreciate a clue as to how I can track my Adwords campaigns using Analog.


 1:29 pm on Jun 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

you don'T have to split them into adgroups at all to track them individually, simply user PowerPosting. Neither do you need excel to do it.

click: "Modify Price or Keywords" > "Modify Keywords or Prices"
Then add behind your keywords:

keyword1 ** x.xx[your bid] ** [yourURL?adword=keyword1...]
keyword2 ** x.xx[your bid] ** [yourURL?adword=keyword2...]

and so on... easy.



 2:53 pm on Jun 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebTrends posted a press release last week announcing a PPC tracking solution.

[webmasterworld.com ]


 7:11 pm on Jun 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am not familiar with the webtrends product. ( I will look at their release next) but we have been using hitbox (websde story) with some success.

We use a unique url for each keyword, such as www.mysite.com?mkt=abcd
where abcd represents the keyword and use hitbox to report on the activity from that url. This is a useful solution for those without access to logs but does require taggng of the pages you want to track.

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