Community Tip: Integrating Google AdWords with Mixpanel
Enable manual tagging for Mixpanel compatibility
There are two options for adding campaign tracking information to your AdWords campaigns: auto-tagging and manual tagging. Google typically encourages users to turn on auto-tagging, which automatically appends a gclid parameter to the end of your Final URL (generally the URL of your site). In general, AdWords URLs built with this method end up looking like this:
Though this parameter is extremely convenient when using AdWords and Google Analytics (as you don’t have to do any additional work other than turning auto-tagging on) Google prevents this UUID-style value from being resolved to it’s various sub-dimensions (e.g. campaign, source, medium, etc.) from outside of Google’s system.
As a result, you must use manual tagging (where you must pre-append the various campaign data to the AdWords Final URL) to get campaign-level data on your Mixpanel events. Auto-tagging and manual tagging can be used at the same time, though you will need to tweak a setting in Google Analytics to prioritize manual tags over the gclid parameter (we describe this in a later section).
Setting up AdWords to use manual tagging
Log in to your AdWords account and select Campaigns > Ads. Your active AdWords campaigns will appear – hover over the one you want to add manual tagging to and click the pencil icon to edit.
You’ll probably want to do this for all of your campaigns so the relevant UTMs will show up in Mixpanel, but for now we’re going to just customize this single Search Network campaign.
Once you have the correct values in the form click “Submit” – your new manually tagged URL will appear below the form. Copy and paste this new URL into the “Final URL” field of the campaign’s AdWords settings.
Save the campaign, and you’re good to go!
Caveats when using auto-tagging and manual tagging together
Now that you’re all set up to use UTMs, you’ll need to revisit the autotagging settings. If you’d like to have both gclid and UTM-style parameters on your URLs you should leave autotagging on – if you don’t use Google Analytics (and therefore have no use for the gclid) you can turn this setting off.
If you’ve previously set up your AdWords campaigns to use auto-tagging (and you don’t plan on using Google Analytics to track your campaigns) you’ll need to disable this in your account settings.
This final section is more advanced and optional if you only want to pass campaign information into Mixpanel. However, if you’d like to use gclid-style autotagging in parallel with utm-style manual tagging, then read on.
If you’re using Google Analytics and Mixpanel side by side it may be convenient to use both auto-tagging and manual tagging in tandem. This is absolutely possible, though you’ll need to tell Google Analytics to allow UTM values to override gclid values. This will avoid data discrepancies in your Google Analytics instance. This setting can be found in the Admin > Property Settings page of your Google Analytics dashboard.
Once you have this override enabled you can send campaigns with both gclid and UTM parameters.
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