How to Effectively Track Google Adwords Sitelinks In Marin

Marin Analytics Software

Marin Analytics Software

Google Sitelinks Overview:

Google Sitelinks offer search marketers the unique opportunity to drive users deep into a website by leveraging other relevant click streams. One of the issues with sitelinks, however, is discovering whether the ad itself or a sitelink is responsible for a conversion. Marin users can now make that distinction.

While not intuitive, during Marin’s construction of the API functionality to Google, a way to measure the incremental effects of sitelinks was created. It should be noted that the tracking of sitelinks through the instructions below are for Marin users only.

How to Use:

To track sitelinks in Marin, you will need to create paused keyword objects and tag these objects with unique keyword IDs. Finally, you’ll then need to place the newly tagged URLs directly into Google.

  1. Create a dummy adgroup called “Sitelinks” in the sitelink-enabled campaign, followed by creating four new keywords corresponding to each sitelink in Google.
  2. Push the creation of these dummy keywords to the publisher in a paused status.
  3. Navigate to the newly created keyword and copy the Marin Tracker destination URL and remove the creative parameter. For tracker clients the creative parameter will be “&pcrid={creative}”. This needs to be removed so that conversions are attributed to the dummy keywords, not the adgroup of the keyword which triggered the ad.
  4. Finally, copy the URLs and place them in the corresponding sitelink Ad Extension URL in Google.

Clicks will be attributed to the keyword which triggered the ad, while conversions and revenue will be attributed to the dummy sitelink keyword. Simply aggregate conversion data from your dummy group to discover the impact each sitelink has on your campaign’s conversion rate.

Strategic Insight:

Sitelinks do an excellent job of increasing your creative’s real estate on page 1 of Google, and this additional attention can increase a creative’s CTR drastically, and fast (Google claims 30%). However, increasing CTR significantly without generating extra conversions may not be a smart business goal, especially if you already own the top positions in natural search. The key to an effective sitelink strategy is generating an incremental lift in conversion rate in addition to the increase in CTR, especially if the increase in conversion rate causes your paid search creatives to become more effective than natural search results. Once conversions and revenue can be tracked back to the respective sitelink, you can make better decisions on which sitelinks are providing value and which sitelinks are simply dead weight.

Have any other tips for tracking sitelinks? Add them in the comments and I’ll update the post with your feedback!


6 Responses to “How to Effectively Track Google Adwords Sitelinks In Marin”
  1. Jeff says:

    Hey Jon, really great tutorial on setting up individual Sitelink tracking in Marin! Just wanted to add some clarification around a couple of key points:

    1. Users are not limited to tracking 4 Sitelinks via dummy keywords — any number of Sitelinks can be tracked using this method. And, as you know, sometimes Google displays more than 4 Sitelinks.

    2. The most important factor in attributing Sitelink conversions to dummy keywords is making sure that the tracking value in the link URL matches the tracking value assigned to the associated dummy keyword.

    – Jeff (Product Manager at Marin Software)

  2. jonclark says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the feedback and clarification on those two key points. Glad you liked the review – its definitely a key ability within Marin to provide that much deeper insight into campaign performance.

  3. Brooke says:

    Hi Jon,

    Just wondering – is it the ad group/ keywords/ both which need to be paused for this to work?


  4. Simon Reynolds says:

    Do you mean remove “crid” and not “pcrid”

    Is there a difference ?

  5. Rayan says:


    I’m really confused here! Can someone walk me through a step by step example, PLEASE =(




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