Google Ads Parallel Tracking and the Benefit of Short Page Load Times

    Last updated: February 24, 2023

    On October 30, Google Ads introduced parallel tracking, which speeds up the process of viewers reaching the advertised page they clicked on. Previously, the user would have to wait for the Google Ads click tracker to load as well as other tracking URLs before reaching the landing page for the advertised site. With parallel tracking, the user will immediately be sent to the ad’s landing page while simultaneously tracking is happening in the background.  This will diminish the amount of wait time visitors will have before landing on the advertised page. The way Google Ads Help described the new process is exemplified below:

    With Parallel Tracking Without Parallel Tracking
    1. Customer clicks your ad  1. Customer clicks your ad
    2. Customer sees your landing page  2. Google Ads click tracker loads

    At the same time

     3. Tracking URL loads
    1. Google Ads click tracker loads  4. Possible additional tracking URL loads
    2. Tracking URL loads 5. Customer sees your landing page
    3. If you use more than one tracker,       additional redirects may load.

    Why is Quicker Page Load Time Important?

    Shortening the time a viewer has to wait to reach the page is beneficial for a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons being that if the link is clicked but the landing page is running too slowly for the viewer, they will move on. In fact, according to Marin Software, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. This means money is being lost for every click on the ad that has a long load time. Google recognized this and that is why parallel tracking, which will increase landing page load times by up to five seconds, is now mandatory for all ads.  The goal is to help the Google Ads deliver more visitors and increase the campaign performance rates.

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    For your Google Ads to be compatible with the parallel tracking technology, a few requirements must be met. You can check out the detailed information on proper page set up from AdWords directly to ensure all click tracking is being captured.  Requirements include all redirect chains being supported by HTTPS and turning on auto-tagging within the account.

    Another reason to increase page loading speeds is because Google AdWords will distribute lower ranking scores for searches with long run times. As of July 2018, Google added in mobile page speed load as a factor for scoring sites, which is an addition to the already reported factor of desktop page speeds. Google Ads pointed out that this will only impact pages that provide the users with the slowest experience, but it is still important to be aware of.

    What can you do about it?

    Being aware of slow page loads is helpful, but correcting the problem is what’s important. There are many sites that can help to eliminate lengthy load time problems.

    PageSpeed Insights is a great tool that was developed by Google to help identify how to improve both mobile and desktop versions for a URL. All you must do is input the URL and it will provide feedback and suggestions for each platform individually. Further, it also provides insight on what the site is doing well. The site is helpful as it’s quick to analyze the URL and concise with the feedback given.

    GTMetrix is another tool that grades the speed of the page and provides feedback on how to improve the site speed. For this site as well, the only thing that is necessary is the URL input. The analysis takes a bit longer than PageSpeed but provides an extensive list of feedback and ways to improve your desktop pages.

    Other websites to check out are YSlow and WebPagetest.

    With the help of Google and parallel tracking, as well as internal updates to your pages, you can maximize page views, provide a better experience for users, and get even more out of your site’s Google searches.

    The original content from this piece was inspired by a publication by Target Marketing.

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