BY ALEX TRAN
How to Track Google AdSense Ads
Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to make money with your website. All you need to do is set it up and place the code on your website.
Getting tracking data from AdSense is a little trickier. Its tracking mechanisms aren’t completely intuitive. For example, Google can’t tell you what URL you’re getting impressions or clicks from until you tell it to with a special setting.
These settings are called “Channels,” which is Google’s system for tracking different statistics with AdSense.
What Are Channels?
The easiest way to think of channels is as attributes. For example, “Red Border” might be one channel or attribute and “Blue text” might be another channel or attribute. Even the URL the ad is on is considered another channel or attribute.
To track an URL, you need to setup a specific channel for that URL for Google AdSense to track. If you want to test whether a blue or red color converts better, you need to create both a blue channel and a red channel and assign it to a blue and a red ad.
There are two different kinds of channels that AdSense uses: URL Channels and Custom Channels.
A URL Channel basically tells Google what sites you expect your ads to be on. Google will then know to automatically track all the ads on that site and tell you where your clicks and impressions came from.
A Custom Channel is basically anything you want to track. From color to placement to ad type and whatever else you can think of, you can track it all by creating and assigning custom channels.
Here’s how to setup a URL channel and a custom channel.
How to Setup a URL Channel
Step 1: Click AdSense Setup
Select “AdSense Setup” along the top row of options.
Step 2: Go to Channels
Click “Channels” to enter the channels setup screen.
Step 3: Select URL Channels
Click URL channels to access the URL channels menu.
Step 5: Add Your URLs
Click Add new URL channels to access the drop down box that allows you to add URL channels.
If you want to track all pages and subdomains on a domain, just type in the main domain. For example, example.com
If you want to just track a single subdomain, then type in the subdomain. For example, myblog.blogspot.com.
If you just want to track a page, type in the exact page name. For example, http://www.example.com/mypage.html
Now anytime an ad placed on one of these sites is viewed or clicked on, it’ll be tracked and visible as a channel.
How to Add a Custom Channel
You can use the above steps to add custom channels as well. Then you’ll have to assign the channels in the ad creation process.
Alternatively, you can just create the channel in the ad creation process to add the channel and assign the channel at the same time.
Step 1: Create a New Ad
Select “AdSense for Content” under the AdSense Setup menu.
Step 2: Select Your Ad Unit
Choose the ad unit you want to use, then press continue.
Step 3: Do Your Colors and Layout
Fill out your colors and layouts, then press continue.
Step 4: Add or Assign Channels
Now you’re on the channels page in AdSense. In the lower left, click “Add new channel” to add the channels of your choice.
Once you’ve added all your channels, save your ad and input the code on your website. Your ads are now tracking your channels!
Now when you view your front page, you’ll automatically be able to view the top performing channels. If you want more data, you can pull data on all your channels using the reports tab.
Here’s an example of what your front page might look like when your channels are installed.
The exact content is blurred because AdSense policy requires it, but you get the idea: You can view all your statistics broken down by what channels are assigned to that particular ad.
Although not entirely intuitive to get started with, once you get the hang of it channels offers you a lot of options when it comes to tracking your AdSense ads. You can really track just about anything in AdSense once you get used to using channels.