Will using both Google Adwords Auto-Tagging AND Manual Tagging with UTM variables create any tracking problems in Google Analytics?

I want to use Auto-Tagging in Adwords because it passes a lot more data automatically to Analytics. The problem is that I need to also use utm_source, utm_campaign, etc. and some of them with ValueTrack so when a lead signs up I can $GET that data from the URL and append it to the lead/client record. So my URLs end up looking like this:[camp-name]&utm_content=[something]&utm_term=[keyword]&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CNfm29qkpb0CFewRMwodXEIAFg As you may notice, the URL has utm parameters AND gclid. Will this create any tracking problems in Analytics? I know I could use another variable names instead of utm_source, utm_content, etc. for adwords, but then when the traffic comes from let's say "facebook" or "bing"... I do want that tagged and passed to my lead and the form logic + having a double standard for URL becomes complex. Thanks so much for your help!


I've done a lot of complex analytics installations, usually cross-domain and including AdWords and manual tagging with conversion tracking of ecommerce transactions.

The gclid by default will override the manual UTM values in Analytics so that is what you are looking for. If you are just grabbing the manual tags from the URL for your own purpose, this should be OK. However, if you at some point want to import conversions (say) connected to your manual tag, then you would want to enable UTM overriding the gclid:

Do you have AdWords and Analytics accounts linked? Where and how are you tracking commerce conversions, if you are? Do you feel you are getting the insights you need from your current custom reporting? Let me know if I can help with a call about those or further optimization of your analytics capture.

Best - Michael

Answered 9 years ago

Manual tagging + auto-tagging (utm_term={keyword} along with autotagging) will create problems with the data in GAnalytics (duplication, etc) but if you use your AdWords parameters in the format of kw={keyword} then there won't be any problem. If you want help, set up a call.

Answered 8 years ago

As @Michael said, when you have your Adwords & Analytics linked, the initial data is set by the UTM parameters.

Then, a couple of minutes later, Google will import all of the data related to the GCLID stored in the session, and that will overwrite all of the data you originally had.

We've used this to our advantage with a client who the utm_campaign variable in their own custom tracking platform. We let them know they would be fine, as their platform would properly record the campaign variable, and then a couple of minutes later, the GCLID variable in analytics would overwrite it.

We haven't seen any data duplication, except for when (for some reason) the GCLID doesn't get stored properly, which has happened occasionally. Otherwise, it works out fairly well.

Hope this helps.

Answered 8 years ago

There's a high chance you'll get duplicate data and think you're doing much better than you actually are.
Using both manual and auto tagging will result in your links appearing in both Advertising/AdWords and Traffic Sources/Sources/Campaigns (or whatever they're called now).
I usually stick with auto tagging only.
Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago

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