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See Google Adwords keywords in your data

The nature of Google means that whenever they decide to change something, everyone has to adapt.   Having made it impossible to see organic Google search keywords in analytics, they also stop visibility of many PPC keyword phrases that gain clicks – both within Google Analytics and external systems such as ours.

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 ‘employer branding’ into Google and clicked through from the PPC result, before then going on to look at four other website pages:


See Google Adwords Keywords in Analytics

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, if an Adwords campaign has not been set up in a particular way (for example, only the default options are chosen), the keywords will only appear as junk in the A1WebStats system.  Below is an example of that:

Junk lAdwords Keywords


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.

But there is a solution within A1WebStats …

That 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:

See Google Adwords Keywords in Analytics


What you’ll notice in the example above is that the PPC keyword phrase (employer branding) 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, you may like to test 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 an ad group 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.

See Google Adwords Keywords Settings 1


Step 2

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

See Google Adwords Keywords Settings 2


Step 3

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

Then click on Make Changes.

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

See Google Adwords Keywords Settings 3


Step 4

Leave it for a day (you can do this faster if you have regular PPC traffic and want to watch for your new visitors) and then look at your A1WebStats data for the time after you made the change, focusing on Adwords 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 (if you started with just one as a test).

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.