The Missing GCLID - Fixing AdWords Tracking In Google Analytics

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I ran into an interesting problem the other day where AdWords data wasn’t showing up in a Analytics profile despite having the proper linking and the correct auto tagging setting turned on. After a little bit of head scratching the solution turned out to be fairly straight forward.

The issue revolved around the choice of landing page URL in the advert and how that URL changed once it was visited:

For example:

Washing Machines at Company
www.example.com
Save up to £999 on Selected
Washing Machines At Example

The destination URL in our fictitious advert is pointed at:

www.example.com/

However, when that URL is visited, users are being 301 redirected to

www.example.com/homepage/index.php

Thus once the redirect is in place and the page has actually loaded, the GCLID parameter that gets included in the URL has been stripped away meaning Analytics never sees it and ties back the session to the AdWords click.

Once the landing page URLs had been updated to the correct destination URL, everything started tracking again.

A simple problem with a simple solution; ensure that the page the person lands on still retains the GCLID so that Google Analytics can track it!