If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that it’s no fun waiting for a website to load. If you use click tracking on your website, however, users’ browsers will need to load additional scripts, which can increase waiting times. In turn, that may lead to a higher bounce rate.

Fortunately, Google Ads offers a feature called ‘parallel tracking’, which enables you to keep tabs on user clicks without increasing loading times significantly. That way, you can still use ads on your website, yet avoid slowing its pages down to a crawl.

In this guide, we’re going to explain what Google parallel tracking is. Then we’ll teach you how to turn it on in a few short steps. Let’s get to it!

What Is Google Parallel Tracking?

If you’re running ads on your site, then every click you get matters. What most advertising networks do is run some type of click-tracking script, so they know whenever someone interacts with one of your ads.

However, those types of scripts may also slow down your loading times. Here’s a quick breakdown of how that process usually looks:

  1. Someone clicks on your ad.
  2. Your advertising network loads its tracker.
  3. Your tracking URL begins to load.
  4. The user finally arrives at your landing page.

The problem is that there are too many steps and redirects in that process. Ideally, when someone clicks on your ad, your landing page should load right away.

To solve this issue, you can enable parallel tracking in Google Ads. What this feature does is take steps 2 and 3 from the process we described earlier and runs them while your site loads, rather than before.

To keep things simple, parallel tracking doesn’t affect your experience as a marketer in any way. However, its improvements to loading times mean you’re less likely to lose out on users due to poor speeds. As of October 30, 2018, Google parallel tracking became mandatory for all Google Ads accounts, so it’s important that you understand how it works.

How to Set Up Parallel Tracking

Learning how to turn on parallel tracking in Google Ads is remarkably simple. In fact, the process shouldn’t take you longer than a few minutes, especially if you already have an account set up.

Step 1: Sign In to Your Google Ads Account

To get started, go to the Google Ads home page and click on the Sign In button in the top-right corner of the page:

How to Set Up Parallel Tracking

Then you’ll need to enter your Google credentials. When that’s done, you’ll get access to your Google Ads dashboard.

Step 2: In the Navigation Menu, Click on All Campaigns

By default, when you access your Google Ads dashboard, you should see an overview of all your campaigns. If you don’t, then you can access that section by clicking on the menu in the top left:

google parallel tracking

Select the All campaigns option. If you scroll down afterwards, you’ll see how many clicks your campaigns are getting, as well as details about each one’s budget, status, and more.

Step 3: In the Page Menu on the Left, Click on Settings

To turn on parallel tracking, you’ll need to go into your Google Ads settings page. To the left of your campaign overview, you’ll see a navigation menu. There should be a Settings option right above Locations:

parallel tracking

You’ll see two tabs when the Settings page loads. One will be called Campaign Settings, and the other will be labeled Account Settings:

parallel tracking google analytics

Click on the latter option, and move on to the next step.

Step 4: Select the Tracking Option

At this stage, you’ll see several options to modify your account settings. For example, you can turn on Auto-tagging, which can help you integrate parallel tracking with Google Analytics. You can also choose if you want to exclude your ads from displaying on specific types of content, including sexually suggestive pages or those that include profanity. The option that you’re looking to click on is called Tracking:

parallel tracking in adwords

There’s just one step left after that.

Step 5: Click on the Switch Next to Parallel Tracking to Turn It On

Once you open the Tracking tab, you’ll see three options. The first two enable you to choose which tracking template you want to use, and any URL suffixes you’d like to add. At the bottom of the tab, you’ll see a switch you can flick to enable parallel tracking:

how to turn on parallel tracking

That’s it! You’ve just learned how to turn on parallel tracking in Google Ads. This should have a positive impact on your loading times moving forward.

Parallel Tracking Enhances the Digital Experience

Any website can benefit from shorter loading times. If you include ads on your site, however, optimization becomes even more important. After all, you don’t want to scare away potential clicks or views.

With WP Engine, you get access to a wealth of information on how to speed up your site. We even offer a speed testing tool to let you know if your pages are taking too long to load. Plus, all of our plans are optimized for speed out of the box, so feel free to check them out!

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