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PPC keywords in analytics – how to track in A1WebStats

How frustrating is it when you can’t see the PPC keyword that resulted in someone clicking through to your website?!

Here we focus on how you can do that within A1WebStats. But first of all, it’s worth focusing on why you would want to see the keywords that triggered your Google Adwords advert, followed by clicks through to your website …

Why you should track each PPC keyword used

One of the key strengths of the A1WebStats system is that it shows you the full visitor path of each visitor, page by page.  For example, the screenshot below shows that the website visitor had typed ‘a4 clear plastic boxes’ into Google and clicked through from the PPC result, before then going on to look at three other website pages:


For the website owner it’s useful to see:

  1. The PPC keyword that gained the click to the website.
  2. The path that person took through the website pages.

Unfortunately, due to ever-changing rules set by Google, much of the time it’s not possible to see the keyword phrase that triggered the PPC click.  Below is an example of that:


In cases where a website owner is trying to work out why so many PPC clicks land on one page and go no further, it’s frustrating being unable to see the keyword phrases used.

Also, for those website owners who want to get deeper insights into those visitors who do go further than the landing page (after a PPC click), it’s important to gain insights into the keyword phrases that worked.  For example, this screenshot shows someone who bought a product from a PPC click but the keyword phrase couldn’t be identified:



But there is a solution

This applies not just to A1WebStats but will also work with other similar systems.  The solution lies in making a relatively simple change to your Adwords campaigns, which then lets analytics systems see the PPC keyword phrase used.  Here’s an example of a previously unidentifiable PPC keyword phrase, after implementing this tweak to Adwords and then looking at the data within A1WebStats:


What you’ll notice in the example above is that the PPC keyword phrase (office fit out london) has been appended to the url of the landing page, as well as showing in the Keyword(s) part of the visit.


Setup step by step

Because all websites work differently, we advise testing this on one Adwords campaign first, checking it records data as you expect it to, and then roll it out to additional Adwords campaigns.

Note that we refer to doing this at the campaign level.  You could do it at a lower level but if it’s done at the campaign level then you’ll have minimal ongoing maintenance and it also avoids Google having to review what you’ve done.

Step 1

Within your Adwords, go to All Online Campaigns and then click on the Settings tab


Step 2

Tick one of your campaigns and then select Edit – URL options.


Step 3

In the tracking template put: {lpurl}?keyword={keyword}

Don’t put in any of the custom parameters unless you have them already in your Adwords campaign.



Step 4

Leave it for a day (you can do this faster if you want to watch for your new visitors) and then look at your A1WebStats data for the time after you made the change, focusing on PPC visitors.  You should see that it’s all tracking fine.   If it’s not, then contact us and we’ll be happy to help.   If it’s all fine then you can repeat the steps for each Adwords campaign you’ve got.

Summarising why this is important

You can use A1WebStats to dig into a lot of website visitor patterns.  If you’re analysing ROI from PPC (including significant bounce rates) then it’s important to be able to identify the keyword phrases of all those people who clicked through.





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