Parallel Tracking: What Is It and What Does It Mean for Your Online Advertising Efforts?

Tablet screen google analytics and parallel tracking

When investing time and money into your advertising efforts, it pays to know immediately if Google are changing the way things are done. Boosting your paid adverts and making them work harder for your money is your end goal and Googles introduction of parallel tracking should help you on your way. Even a one-second increase in page load time can decrease conversions by as much as twenty percent so anything that improves page load time will improve your ad conversions. Offering better and faster user experiences.

Goole AdWords is the most popular way to market on the internet today and as the biggest search engine tool you are more likely to use their services. It works by creating advertising within the listings of the search engine, found at the top or at the side of organic results that relate to the site you are advertising. Considering and implementing changes made by Google will ensure you don’t get left behind and are getting the best results you can from your marketing and advertising. Parallel tracking is one of those changes you should be considering.

What is parallel tracking?

Google uses many different ways to track advertising and is always changing to improve service for their customers. Parallel tracking is different to the original click tracking offered by Google. It speeds up page loading time by running third-party trackers in the background. Directing the user straight to the website of the advertiser to improve the user experience. The ultimate goal of parallel tracking is to help landing pages load quicker.

How is parallel tracking different?

Before parallel ad tracking, the process had more steps before users reaching your landing page. First the customer clicked on your ad, then Google Ads click tracker loads then the Tracking URL loads and potentially another tracking URL loads. Then after all the loading the customer sees your landing page.

With parallel ad tracking, the process is much more streamlined. First the customer clicks on your ad, then the customer sees your landing page. Simultaneously in the background, the Google Ads click tracker loads and the tracking URL loads. This improves the users landing page experience and can also be better for your business ad conversions.

How will parallel tracking help your business?

If you are currently using third party tracking for your advertising, then it can make improvements to your business adverts. Google want more people to use and pay for their advertising services, so it is in their interest to make their services work for you. Here are some of the ways this feature can help your business.  

·             Improved page load time

By using parallel tracking customers are directed straight to your landing page after clicking your ad and the URL tracking requests are quietly processed in the background.  This greatly improves the time it takes for users to reach your page and less likely to move on. This is the main reason this feature has been brought in.

·             More visitors reaching your website

With this improved service more visitors can reach and engage with your website quickly and easily. When automatically directed from the advertisement it will increase the visitor numbers as people won’t give up on slow loading links.

·             Increase in conversions

Again, when thinking of how productive your adverts are you will see an increase in conversions per ad which means potentially lower advertisement spends and more clicks for your money. This can be very impactive for your business and your marketing strategy.

·             Improved bounce rate

By improving load time, it is also likely to improve your bounce rate. Less bounces means more opportunities for conversion from searches and ad campaigns. This is something that is monitored for page rankings so improving your bounce rate will improve organic search results too.  

·             Better service for mobile users

Visitors using mobile site will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This is not a lot of time so just one second can make a massive difference for mobile users. So, increasing load time with parallel tracking will give a better service to those visiting your site from a mobile device.

Will parallel tracking work for you?

Not all click measurement tools are ready to work with Googles parallel tracking, so it is important to check with your click measurement provider to make sure they are. Also check with them to see whether certain click measurement features they have do not interfere with parallel tracking capabilities.

If there are any incompatibilities between your provider and parallel tracking your advertisements, it may cause you problems. It could lead to your tool to stop working, or perhaps your website to not function correctly. Before switching on this feature, it is really important to check compatibility before making any changes that might cause your business to lose time any money.

Where will you see the benefits?

Although the majority of desktop users will see little difference. The big impact is on mobile users. Mobile pages, especially on slower networks, will see the greatest benefit as long as they are using an updated browser version that’s compatible with parallel tracking. Anyone using a slow network will see a difference, so even if you have a relatively slow loading page the speed will still increase with parallel tracking.

How to enable parallel tracking?

Once you know that your tools are compatible then it is time to make the changes and enable parallel tracking for your Google Ads. There are a few simple steps to follow and then you are all done.

  • First sign in to your Google Ads account.
  • Go to the navigation menu and click All campaigns.
  • Then in the page menu on the left, click Settings.
  • Click on to Account Settings.
  • Then click Tracking.
  • Finally click the switch next to “Parallel tracking” to turn it on and enable.

It is as simple as that. If you are not using third party tracking, then you probably won’t need to do anything to prepare before using parallel tracking. However, as a test you can turn on parallel tracking in your account and run the test feature to make sure your all your URLs still work.

Other ways to improve page speed

As you know, page speed means how quickly your webpage loads when someone clicks on your link from a Google search result or ad. The faster the website loads the more likely your page will be visited as it will rank on Google search results. There are some other ways below that help to improve your page loading speed.

Reduce complex media

Websites with complex media and lots on the page can cause the it to take a lot longer to load. This can mean a decrease your website's page speed and can cause issues visitors who click on your link may become impatient and if your loading time is too long. So, to improve page loading speed you can reduce image files sizes. Compress your images before uploading them to your site. This way the images will have a shorter load time and increase your loading time. Other things to consider are different font types and videos which may take a long time to load.

Minimise redirects

Each time a page redirects to another page, customers face additional waiting times. By reducing the redirects on your site, the page speed will improve, and customers will stay on your site for longer. Once your customers land on your page you don’t want them to then have to wait for slow pages to load whilst clicking through your website.

Leverage browser caching

Increasing browser cache time means more of your site is stored for longer in the cache, reducing the need to search for the information your visitor is looking for. In turn improving the page speed. How long you wish cache to be stored will depend on how often your website changes. However, if your landing page is static a year is an acceptable amount of time.

Consider server response time

Your server response time is directly affected by how much traffic you receive, the resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting provider you use. In order to make improvements to your server response time you need to look for things that may be slowing it down. This could be things such as slow database queries, reduced memory or sluggish routing. Once you have identified the slow down try to fix the problems to improve server response.

 

Is Parallel tracking for you?

Google has only set this up as an opt-in tracking method and not all browsers support it. So, if you don’t want to or can’t use this method then there is no reason to be concerned. Google will default to traditional linear redirect tracking for browsers that aren’t compatible.

You should address your marketing methods and consider what you need to do if anything to implement this feature and make it work for you and your business. It is definitely something that should be considered in your marketing strategy. You can still monitor your ad performance as before. And it is worth looking at any changes in your conversions and clicks following the implementation of this new way of tracking. More questions about this feature? Visit Googles frequently asked questions about parallel tracking to find out more. Have you started to use parallel tracking or seen a difference in ad performance since it has been implemented? It is well worth seeing if this will work for you.