Analytics & Reporting

How to Track Adwords Video Remarketing in Google Analytics

Hopefully you're trying and testing out Adwords Video Remarketing.  Adwords for video is right in the main campaign area but Adwords Video Remarketing is separated out a bit.  

About Adwords Video Remarketing:  One of the nice differences with Video Remarketing is you can remarket to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or page and serve them ads.  For full information, see Google's info and start testing:

This post is about tracking traffic and engagement from your Adwords Video Remarketing to your site.  Did your Video Remarketing campaigns result in more traffic to your site, more conversions.  


After running a number of Video Remarketing campaigns I noticed that I was getting alot of views of the clients videos and even clicks to the site, which is great.  

However, when I went into Google Analytics (GA), I didn't see any stats from these video remarketing campaigns, traffic numbers, or other data.  I contacted Google and they said that, unlike regular Google Adwords where everything is tracked automatically in GA if you have GA and Adwords linked,  at this time the tracking is not really up and running for video remarketing as a source of traffic you can measure in Google Analytics.  

Since its so important to track all your advertising to see if its brings good ROI, there had to be a workaround, and there is.  And in looking around in finding a solution to this workaround I found a couple of other cool things and tips that can benefit your tracking efforts.


Use Google's URL Builder: GA has a feature that allows you to track anything on the web you set up and see the data in your GA account.  You use utm tracking parameters to tell GA where the traffic came from.  For example, if you have an ad on a site, you can add info to the link in that add that goes to your page.  So in the ad it goes to perhaps your sites URL: when they click on that ad.  If you want to add important information to the ad so you can track it in GA you'd use the utm parameters and add the campaign, ad, and more like this: 1&utm_content=new video

It looks confusing but its not.  You use Google's URL builder to set it up, its very easy.  Link here:

Use this to track your Video Remarketing Campaigns:  You can then use the URL builder to add the correct tracking tags to your Video Remarketing list campaigns so you can then see them in GA.  

But I thought Google already automatically tags Adwords, won't this mess up the numbers in GA?  Yes, BUT only if you simply dropped in the tagged URL you created, such as the one you see above.  There is a cool workaround that allows you to tag a URL and not have it mess up Google Adwords auto-tagging.  How?  Use a url shortener.  

Use a URL Shortener to Shorten Tagged URLs:   You're probably familiar with URL shortners like or  They take a long, ugly URL and make it real short.  Did you know you can take a long URL that is tagged like the above URL, drop it into and shorten it?  The coolest part about this is that the tags you set up still work in the shortened URL!  Super cool!  Even better, now you can track your Adwords Video Remarketing campaigns in GA and not have Adwords Auto Tagging mess up.  

So Let's Recap:

To track Adwords Video Remarketing campaign in GA: 

  1. Use Google's URL builder to correctly set up a tracking URL. 
  2. Drop that tagged URL into URL shortener. 
  3. Use that shortened URL as your destination URL in your Adwords Video Remarketing ad. 


1.  Great I set this up, Now where do I look for my data in GA? 

Good Question!  In GA go to Traffic Sources>Overview>Search>Campaigns:

Then you'll see your Video Remarketing data there.   

Question 2:  Is there an easier way to create the utm parameters and then shorten them?

Well, its really not that hard going to Google's URL Builder then dropping them into to shorten them.  But since you asked- yes!

There's a cool tool from that not only creates the tagged URL but can shorten it on the fly, download it to Excel, make a QR code from it and more.  Check it out here.

Here's a screenshot of the tool with an example URL:   


Of course, you can use this technique to track anything you'd like, Facebook ads and posts, Tweets, anything else you'd like to track.  See this great article to learn all about utm parameters and all the things you can track:  

How To Use UTM Parameters In Google Analytics 5

So, what do you think, will this help you track your Video Remarketing ads in Google Analytics? 

 Update:  I noticed that in Google Analytics (GA), there were a number of keywords showing up as (not set).  I figured out that it was the URLs from the above Adwords Video Remarketing campaigns.  The only way I know to have it not show up as (not set) is to add a utm term or utm keyword parameter.  

You could put it like this (see bold are in URL below):

Its not a perfect workaround but at least you won't have many visits showing up as (not set) and clients wondering why this is the case. & Other Refferal Sites- What You Need to Know.

You may have noticed in your Google Analytics reports of sites like the infamous sending all sorts of traffic to your site. 

What's the deal with this and why is this happening?  Here's what you need to know:

Basically, when you see a site like in your Google Analytics referrers its called referrer spam.  Here's how it work via a post by Martha Seroog:

  1. A website wants to increase its traffic artificially
  2. They visit your website, view your source code and grab your analytics code (yes, it's visible to anyone)
  3. They post your code onto their website (along with thousands of other site's codes)
  4. They visit their own site and ta-da...they appear in YOUR analytics report as a referring site.

What does this mean to you and what can you do about it?

You could perhaps make a filter for traffic from such sites.  But so many people have noticed this that you have to believe Google is on top of this and will be putting an end to's sneakiness.

The down part of this is that all your clients will be asking you who is and that it may artifically inflate your reports and/or make your bounce rates look strange. 

Any thoughts on how you are handling referrer spam?

p.s.:  Hat tip to these excellent posts.  Check them out:

Google Engage Program: A Win- Win for All?

Google has started up a new program called Google Engage. 

What is it?

It's designed for webmasters, internet marketing agencies and others to get their clients to try Adwords for free.

Here's how it works:  Google provides you with free online training on Adwords, Analytics, Places, etc.  You get the free training and coupons you can give to your clients so they can be encouraged to try out Adwords.

Who it benefits:

1.  Your agency:  You get free training, and can get your clients to try Adwords risk free by giving them free coupons.  Hopefully they will quickly realize that they need your expertise to really benefit from Adwords and become long term clients.

2.  Your clients:  They get to try out Adwords for free and it can lead to them getting more sales, leads, etc.

3.  Google:  They get more people started into Adwords, they get you to help spread the word with your free coupons and they make more $$$.

We have signed up for this new program in an effort to provide a risk free trial of Adwords to future clients with these coupons and our start using our professional services.  After all, the coupons will only be for so much money but at least a client can dip their toe in the water with little risk.

In most cases it will probably be enough for a client to say "This could work for me but I have no clue how to do PPC", I need help.

Check out the video below for full info:

How to Use Call Tracking for your Clients and Save your Sanity

Picture this scene: 

Is this the ultimate call tracking. Or the first mobile phone?

Your client's business is one where people go to Google, find their site, go to the site and learn about their products and services and then calls them to buy something, learn more or set up an appointment.  Perhaps your client is a doctor, local restaurant, etc. 

Quietly in the background you have been working hard to market their site online via SEO, PPC, social media and more.  Your client's website traffic has jumped way up.  People are filling in their Contact Us form, emailing and calling them due to your efforts.  

Contrast that with a client with an ecommerce site.  Every purchase you can track right down to each individual sale- even to the exact amount of revenue that is generated via ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics.  You can show these accurate numbers to your client and they're happy about it.

But if you have a client who is not ecommerce or who get the majority of their initial contact with clients via phone call you may have this conversation:

Frustrating Exchange:

Client:  "Its great what you've been doing from the reports you've sent me, but... I think this yellow page ad I've had for years is working way better than what you've been doing, we've been getting a ton of calls from it".

You:  "How do you know that's what generating the calls?"   

Client:  "I just know.  Plus, we have our receptionist ask people where they heard about us and people always say the yellow pages (or some other non-online advertising)."

You:  "That's great, all the work I've done that has in reality actually driven you way more customers than you ever had now (vs. the yellow pages ad you spend $$$ a month on and no one looks at anymore)  is getting all the credit.  I'll think I'll jump off a cliff now."

Of course, you wouldn't say the last part (only think it ; ) ).  And you only deal with clients who truly appreciate your hard work.  But when it comes to knowing if a person has called your clients business after finding it on the internet first you simply never want to have the above conversation in any form. 

A Slippery Slope...

If you are an internet marketer, don't go down this route.  Trying to answer the question of how many calls the business owner is getting from your efforts to market their website without real, accurate data is simply a losing battle.  If your client is a business that people go to their website, learn about their products and services and then call far more than they email you need to set them up with call tracking-now

Think again about the above situation:   You know for a fact that your work on their site has been driving a ton of new business their way.  People visit the site, they learn about the business, they call to make an appointment or learn more.  That's the way it goes today.  But your client is going by what they think works.

Try not to get frustrated with your clients.  For years they've likely spent thousands of dollars on traditional advertising yet they really don't know if its working or not, as there's no way to track if each person that called is coming from yellow pages, or some other form of advertising.  That's fine for the past, but if you don't have data, real concrete numbers showing that what you're doing for their site is working you're going down a slippery slope. 

Call tracking- Problem (Mostly) Solved

There are a number of third party call tracking options that will let you know for a fact that a person has visited the site, got a phone number and actually called the phone number.  There are many different call tracking options, some can use your businesses number, some use a custom number and some integrate with Google Analytics so that you can show a report with the number of calls.  Here are a few:

Google Analytics List of Call Tracking Companies

It's good to remember that while call tracking software is going to track the majority of business from your internet marketing efforts its not likely going to show a person who visited your clients site and then drove to their business without calling.  Someday maybe we'll have car tracking conversions like the photo above.

In Conclusion: 

If you are working for a client/business that people primarily call, you need to set up call tracking now.  You need to know and need to show that what you are doing to market your client's site is working.  In addition you need to show this with data that is just a clear as the data you get from an ecommerce site that shows every conversion. 

Only in this way can you change the conversation from the above to a new, happy one:

Client:  "I was a little skeptical about hiring an internet marketer but I can't believe the amount of new customers we are getting.  The reports showing how many people emailed, filled out a form or called are unbelievable!"

You:  "Thanks!  I'm glad to help.  And I'm so happy what we're doing is getting you so much new business."

Client:  "Definitely!  And to show my thankfulness, I'd like to buy you a yacht."

You:  "Ok, yachts are great."

What are your thoughts on call tracking?  Leave a comment below!

Need to Track Calls? New Phone Call Tracking Feature in Adwords!

For many business owners a significant number of people who visit their site to learn about them call or visit their store to get more info their products or services instead of emailing or buying something straight from their site.  Tracking whether a person came to your store or called your business because they saw a traditional print ad or they came to your site has been a thorn in the side of a lot of business owners. 

For a while now there have been a number third party call tracking solutions.  But there is definitely a monthly fee for using these, not to mention implementing call tracking reporting so you can see if the visits from PPC are generating new customers and sales. 

Just the other day Google has come out with a form of call tracking for Adwords.  It generates a unique  number that a user can click on from either their desktop or smartphone and Adwords will track this.   It also uses the technology behind Google Voice to track this info.  Currently this is in beta. 

How this new feature could be useful:

Think about a call you get to your business.  How do you know where it came from?  Did it come from your Adwords accounts, someone viewing your ad and then coming to your site?  Or somewhere else?    You could ask but this is rarely accurate (even with people who swear they have their receptionists ask each caller where they "heard about our business").  Why?  Someone from your business could forget to ask where the caller heard about the business OR the person doesn't really care and either gives the wrong answer or forgets.  After all they just want to get what they have to get done by calling you. 

With Adwords call metrics now at least you'll know where people who call you after viewing one of your Adwords ads came from.  That is, as long as they use the number they see on your ad.  Which brings us to the potential downside.

Why this feature may not be a complete solution:

If the person clicks on your ad, goes to your site and uses the number on your site instead of the number in the ad, as far as we can tell right now it won't track this.  So you still don't know if those calls are coming from Adwords.

If a person comes from organic search to your site and calls you this feature won't track this.  You would still need some kind of call tracking solution for this. 


So all in all, Google Adwords call metrics is an interesting first step to something many of us have wanted Google to do for a long time but not the definitive solution to call tracking.  Ideally it would track all calls from Adwords, organic search and anywhere else and report that data in Adwords and Google Analytics.

Google has put out a kind of strange video about this.  It is on the short side and you can view it below.  For full information on Adwords call metrics and to see if it is available in your account to use, follow the links below:

Adwords call metrics help page.

Inside Adwords Blog Post on Adwords call metrics.

How to set up Adwords call metrics:  Google Ad Innovations

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