We talk a lot here on the blog about finding the perfect way to bait your hook or potential customers. Well written ad copy, smart bidding, and following Google’s best practices can all be helpful in this regard. But there’s a whole world in marketing that goes beyond getting a user’s attention. You have to ensure that user doesn’t get frustrated or lost at any point from that first click, to making a purchase. Combine this need with a populace with ever shorter attention spans, and you have a recipe for disaster. Many users report that if a page takes longer than a few seconds to load, they cancel their visit and look elsewhere. How can you prevent this from happening to your site when a potential customer is trying to visit it? Google, as they are wont to do, believes they’ve found a solution: parallel tracking.
Sounds great. But what is this small system of page management, and why should advertisers care about it at all?
Let’s have a look.
What Exactly is Parallel Tracking?
Parallel tracking helps to reduce lost visits to your website by decreasing landing page load times. This naturally comes with several benefits. For one thing, less lost visits means more conversions. It also means improved ad performance. The system works by creating a direct link for customers from your ad to your final URL. Click measurement, an essential part of Google’s advertising process, occurs meanwhile in the background.
This means of click measurement removes the need for tracking URLs, and thereby reduces loading time for pages. Parallel Tracking is currently an optional feature in Google Ads, though it will become mandatory starting October 30th, 2018. A warning: you’ll want to contact your click measurement provider to make sure that they allow for parallel tracking. If there is an incompatibility, try playing around with the features you have enabled.
How Parallel Tracking Works
The system looks something like this:
- A customer clicks on your ad, per usual. Assuming everything is working properly, they will see your landing page.
- Meanwhile in the background, a Google Ads click tracker loads.
- A tracking URL loads.
- If you have activated more than one click tracker, additional redirects may load.
On the other hand, not implementing parallel tracking looks like this:
- A customer clicks on your ad.
- Google Ads click tracker loads.
- Tracking URL loads
- Possible additional tracking URL loads
- Customer (finally) sees your landing page as the site is fully loaded.
How to turn Parallel Tracking On For Your Campaigns
Begin by signing into your Google Ads account. From there, you’ll want to navigate to the tab labelled all campaigns. Go to the page menu on the left hand side of your screen, and click settings. Go into account settings, click on tracking, find the panel labelled parallel tracking and turn it on. In no time at all, you’ve navigated your way into this new system!
Whether you choose to opt into it now or wait until it becomes mandatory at the end of October, parallel tracking will change the way users experience your website. Altering something as fundamental as landing page load times is sure to have a major impact on how your campaigns perform, but evidence suggests that any alterations should at least be positive ones. Getting more conversions and better performing ads? Sounds good to me.