Gclid, also known as Google Click Identifier, is a unique tracking parameter that is automatically added to a URL when a user clicks on a Google Ad. It is used to track the source of website traffic and conversions, as well as to measure the effectiveness of a paid search campaign.
Gclid is a string of letters and numbers that is appended to the end of a URL when a user clicks on an ad. It typically looks something like this:
gclid=ABC123. The purpose of Gclid is to identify the specific ad that was clicked on and to track the user’s journey from the ad to the website.
How Gclid Works
When a user clicks on a Google Ad, they are redirected to the advertiser’s website. As part of this process, Gclid is automatically added to the URL of the destination website. This allows Google to track the user’s journey and to attribute any subsequent actions (such as a purchase or sign-up) to the specific ad that was clicked on.
Gclid is stored in a cookie on the user’s device, which allows Google to track their actions across multiple sessions and devices. This is particularly useful for tracking conversions, as it allows Google to attribute a conversion to the specific ad that led to it, even if the conversion occurred on a different device or at a later date.
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Benefits of Using Gclid
There are several benefits to using Gclid to track the performance of a paid search campaign:
- Accurate tracking: Gclid provides a reliable and accurate way to track the source of website traffic and conversions. It allows advertisers to see which ads are driving the most traffic and conversions, and to optimise their campaigns accordingly.
- Detailed insights: Gclid provides detailed insights into the user’s journey from the ad to the website. This can help advertisers to understand how users are interacting with their ads and to identify any issues that may be impacting conversion rates.
- Improved ROI: By using Gclid to track the effectiveness of their campaigns, advertisers can optimise their ad spend and improve their return on investment (ROI).
Limitations of Gclid
While Gclid is a valuable tool for tracking the performance of a paid search campaign, it does have some limitations:
- Not always present: Gclid is only added to the URL when a user clicks on a Google Ad. If a user arrives at a website through other means (such as a direct visit or referral), Gclid will not be present in the URL.
- Not user-specific: Gclid does not identify individual users. It is a unique identifier for a specific ad click, but it does not provide any personal information about the user who clicked on the ad.
- Not foolproof: Gclid can be easily manipulated by users or by malicious actors. This can lead to inaccurate tracking and potentially inflated conversion rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find the Gclid for a particular ad?
To find the Gclid for a particular ad, you can use the Google Ads website. Simply login to your account, navigate to the “Campaigns” tab, and select the ad that you are interested in. The Gclid will be displayed in the URL of the ad’s landing page.
Can I use Gclid to track the performance of a non-Google ad campaign?
Gclid is only added to the URL when a user clicks on a Google Ad. It cannot be used to track the performance of a non-Google ad campaign.
Can I use Gclid to track the performance of a non-paid search campaign?
Gclid is specifically designed to track the performance of a paid search campaign. It cannot be used to track the performance of a non-paid search campaign.
How do I prevent Gclid from being manipulated?
There are several steps that you can take to prevent Gclid from being manipulated:
- Use a traffic prevention solution tool like Lunio to identify and prevent invalid traffic and fraudulent activity.
- Use a URL builder tool to create custom tracking URLs for your ads. This will allow you to better control the parameters that are included in the URL, and to ensure that Gclid is only added when a user clicks on a legitimate ad.
- Regularly monitor your account for any suspicious activity or unusual spikes in traffic or conversions. If you suspect that Gclid is being manipulated, you can contact Google for assistance.
Is Gclid the same as a UTM parameter?
Gclid is not the same as a UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameter. UTM parameters are used to track the performance of a marketing campaign, whereas Gclid is used to track the performance of a paid search campaign. UTM parameters can be added to any URL, whereas Gclid is only added to the URL when a user clicks on a Google Ad.