Google Ads Auto Tagging

Get More Accurate Data With Google Ads Auto-Tagging

Google Ads are the search results that always appear at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). While many companies see their value and employ them, few know how to harness their full potential. Chief among these methods is Google Ads Auto-Tagging

Given their prominent display spot, Google Ads have become a staple in today’s digital marketing world, and for good reason. 

  1. They allow businesses to tap into the massive traffic generated by Google searches (most of which consists of users looking to buy something, so the market is already primed for advertising).
  2. They are faster and more direct than SEO. Using the latter you have to be patient and build quality and optimized content over a period of time before seeing substantial results. With Google Ads you can set up a landing page, bid on the highest-converting keywords for the subject matter, and start driving traffic to it.
  3. State of the art tracking. The in-depth system can track conversions as well as many other data points to facilitate campaign/ad refining and optimization. 

It is this last benefit, tracking, that we believe tips the scales in favor of Google Ads. It allows marketers to pivot on a moment’s notice and modify a campaign to:

a) Stem its cash flow and prevent it from further draining your budget. 

b) Capitalize on an unforeseen positive response and replicate it across other campaigns.  

And by setting up Google Ads Auto-Tagging you can do so with more precision and a broader array of parameters at your disposal to guide your choices. Not to mention, it can do it at scale! That’s just another example of how technology automation can be of service to you and your business! Let’s see together how Google Ads Auto-Tagging stacks up against other tagging methods and how easy it is to implement in your existing systems!

Google Ads UTM Parameters vs. GCLID Parameter

You may have come across the predecessor of Google Ads Auto-Tagging, UTM tags. UTM stands for “Urchin Tracking Model” (named after the company that first invented the technology).

UTM tags (also known as parameters) are bits of code that are added to the ends of URLs to relay information back to your marketing platform. They are most commonly found in links from social media. UTM tags are only capable of tracking five types of data. These are the five Google Ads UTM dynamic parameters used to gather traffic information: 

  • Traffic source: utm_source This can include any third-party site that runs your ads, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Medium: utm_medium indicates what type of marketing channel brought a user in front of your content; paid search, social media, banner ads, email, etc.
  • Campaign: utm_campaign Use this to evaluate your campaigns and develop parameters to see how effective a specific campaign is in getting people to your site. 
  • Content: utm_content An extension of the medium tag, enabling greater differentiation between a variety of ad content someone can click on to get to your site such as headline link, image, etc. 
  • Term: utm_term This tag shows the search keywords in a pay-per-click ad. 

Now, if you use Google Ads Auto-Tagging, the system will automatically append a single parameter to your URLs, called GCLID. It stands for Google Click Identifier. This encapsulates all five of the previous UTM parameters and adds a few new data points. This parameter is used by Google Analytics to show you keywords that successfully generated traffic, what ads were clicked and how much the click cost you. 

How To Find Auto-Tagging In Google Ads?

Simply go to your Google Ads account > “Settings” > “Account Settings” > “Auto-Tagging”

How To Enable Auto-Tagging In Google Ads?

If you wish to enable auto-tagging in Google Ads, the process couldn’t be simpler! 

  1. Select “All Campaigns” from the top left side of your Google Ads account.
  2. Go to the bottom left side of the screen and click on “Settings”.
  3. Click on “Account Settings”.
  4. Select “Auto-Tagging” and check the box next to “Tag the URL that people click through from my ad” and then click “Save”.

Does Google Ads Auto-Tagging Work On Display Ads?

It most definitely does! We have mentioned before that Google Ads Auto-Tagging offers a wider variety of parameters through the GCLID. These are:

  • Query Match Type (How your search keyword was matched up to the user query)
  • Ad Group (The ad group associated with the search keyword/creative and click)
  • Final URL (Google Ads Final URL)
  • Ad Format (video/text/display)
  • Ad Distribution Network (Google Search)
  • Placement Domain (Your ad’s content network’s domain)
  • Google Ads Customer ID (Your Google Ads account’s unique three-part number)

As you can see, the GCLID parameter can return a display ad as a value, so they are compatible. 

All of these parameters offer a wider spectrum of data points than UTM tags. Thus, the system is able to provide you with a much more refined and accurate model of the way users interact with your advertising. This information is crucial in the decision-making process regarding marketing campaigns. 

Troubleshooting Google Ads Auto-Tagging 

Alright, we have gone over the amazing potential benefits of Google Ads Auto-Tagging. The road to reaping the rewards won’t be without its unique hurdles, however.  You might get error messages along the lines of “invalid AdWords GCLID”. In that case, check that your URL is properly written. In some cases, a server may rewrite it and not preserve the GCLID parameter.

Luckily, Google offers its own troubleshooting page for the most common problemsYou may feel that you require more assistance or have unique problems that necessitate custom solutions. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to contact us right hereWe pride ourselves on our ability to deliver on our customers’ expectations and help them leverage marketing technology to gain an edge in an ever-shifting and ever-competitive online market.  We will gladly schedule a call right away to discuss your goals and how we could use Google Ads Auto-Tagging or other digital tools to help you achieve them! 

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Camilla | Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

Camilla B. <br><span>Digital Marketing Specialist </span>

Camilla B.
Digital Marketing Specialist

Camilla works hard to ensure that the Marketing strategies and executions are on point and data-driven, not only for our clients but internally at Profitable Media as well. She’s been coming up with innovative ways to reach and engage audiences for over 8 years.

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Vlad P. Marketing Specialist at Profitable Media, LLC

Vlad Popirda


If you’ve been swayed, convinced, or otherwise persuaded by the writing on our page or in some of our emails, chances are Vlad was the man behind it.

Be it Social Media Management, Marketing Strategy, PPC Ads, or Copywriting, you can rely on him to get the job done.

With a Bachelor’s in Marketing and a Master’s in Advertising, his life’s work is to leave this world better than he found it, and he aims to achieve that by putting his talents in the service of the right people and helping businesses make a difference in the world.

Outside of working hours, you may find him singing Britney Spears songs at karaoke nights, or exercising his creativity in varied ways, such as playing chess, designing board games, playing guitar, or playing Dungeons & Dragons with his mates.

Alisa Villanueva Account Manager at Profitable Media, LLC

Alisa Villanueva


Alisa is the glue that brings all the parts of our operation together. The one always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. The person that makes sure that it all works smoothly and on schedule, giving everything an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

While juggling her different tasks (Project Management, Web Design, Quality Control, Customer Service), one thing never changes: she will use her artistic sense to make a project unique and she will hear out the person she is working with, understanding their needs and wishes while integrating and tying them all together to create an outstanding final product.

When she’s not tuned in to her work, you’ll find Alisa taking ordinary things and making them beautiful. In her artistic endeavors she explores many different mediums of expression, like painting, ceramics, dance, and cooking. Among these, her dancing stands out, as she is part of a salsa dance performance team, doing gigs both locally and nationally.

Her dream is to travel and explore different cultures, which she is always doing from home by cooking and trying out various cuisines from around the world.
Short Excerpt:
Alisa is the one that makes things work smoothly and on schedule, giving everything she does an artistic spin and flourish with her keen eye for design.

With her background in sales, customer service and art, it’s no wonder her strength is in communicating with people, be they our customers or us, her team.

Zach Warshawsky Chief Operations Officer at Profitable Media, LLC

Zach Warshawsky


Zach manages the operational side of our business and coordinates all the work done by our team. He designs technical architecture and always keeps an eye towards the future, making sure his solutions are scalable. He applies his skills in all sorts of fields, such as Project and Team Management, Sales Funnels, Web Technology, Split Testing, Automation and CRM.

If there’s one trait he shares with Henry, it’s passionate problem-solving. Although he has been working for over 25 years in Sales, Marketing, Management, Team Building and Customer Service, perhaps his relevant business credentials start even earlier. At 15, he started a business selling and installing car stereo systems before he even had a driver’s license. Armed with a reseller’s permit and a passion for business, he started down the path of entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back since.

With four amazing children and a wonderful wife in his life, his goal is set: provide the best possible life for them that he can. To that end, he works hard on helping clients scale their businesses through the use of cutting edge digital marketing tools.

His weapon of choice on this quest is not a coincidence, for his knowledge of technology is certainly top-notch. This can sometimes be a blessing and a curse however, when the Apple Genius Bar can’t solve a friend’s problem, it’s Zach’s phone that gets lit up.

To unwind, he spends time with his children, goes on weekly dates with his wife and is passionate about crafting culinary art… he unwinds and loves creating amazing home-cooked meals for his friends and family!

Henry Hamamjy Chief Executive Officer at Profitable Media, LLC

Henry Hamamjy


One of the two men that started it all, Henry has a knack for judging character and managing the internal structure of our team. The go-to guy for when business owners hit a roadblock, he is well known for offering unique, scalable solutions to any issue that presents itself. 

With a background in Sales, Marketing, Management, People Development and Leadership, he puts it all to good use in the service of his clients and fellow team members, helping them better themselves. 

He’s a born problem-solver, breaking any seemingly impossible task into achievable actionable items.  He has successfully helped dozens of businesses expand to the 7-8 figure level, by designing and implementing extensible, supportive and responsive infrastructure that his clients could then leverage to their fullest advantage. 

At work, he loves helping our customers make their dreams a reality, taking businesses to the next step of success, guiding them all the while. Outside of work, he enjoys a good meal with friends and a nice Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. He also likes travelling with his family and exploring different cultures and finding out more about our world. Having dreamt of becoming a soccer player when he grew up, he has since traded that sport for another, namely golf, which he partakes in whenever he gets the chance.

Little known fact, he won the Atomic Spicy Food Competition when most of the people quit after just a couple of bites. Scientists have yet to come up with an explanation.