What does GCLID mean in marketing terminology?


GCLID (Google Click Identifier) is a unique code that Google assigns to each visitor and their corresponding click on a digital advertisement. This unique code helps marketers to track where the visitor came from, what ad they clicked on, and investigates post-click behavior, such as what pages the visitor went to and how long they stayed on each page. Because the identifier is unique to each click, an advertiser can track how every single visitor is interacting and engaging with your website.

GCLID is implemented by using tracking templates. This is a special code that you need to include in your ad’s destination URL. Tracking templates look something like this: “?gclid=xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx”. Where the “xxxxx” is the specific GCLID code given to each click. The tracking template starts with a question mark and is then followed by the GCLID, separated by an equal sign. This string of numbers and letters is then added to the end of the ad’s destination URL. Once the tracking template is added and the ad is live, the advertiser can start to receive data associated with each click in their analytics dashboard.

The first step for setting up weekly or monthly GCLID reports is to add the “gclid” parameter to the campaign URLs. You can do this by adding a tracking template to the ad’s final URL. This should be done for all campaigns where you are interested in understanding post-click performance. Once the tracking template is in place, the next step is to set up reports. If you are using Google Ads, you can create “run of network” (RON) reports in your dashboard. The report will show you all the clicks that contain a GCLID code.

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The GCLID code can also be used to link your Google Ads data to other data sources. This can be done with Google Tag Manager or through third-party tools such as Google Analytics, DoubleClick Conversion Tracking, or Adobe Analytics. By using the GCLID parameter, you can track users that click an ad and the actions they take on your site. For example, you can use the GCLID parameter to attribute an online purchase to a specific visitor and the corresponding ad click.

GCLID codes can also be used to segment your data and to report on specific types of users. For example, you can use the GCLID parameter to see which users have clicked on a specific ad or set of ads. This can help you understand which ads are working and which are not. Additionally, you can also use GCLID codes to report on the quality of the clicks. This can be helpful in determining whether or not you are targeting the right audience and if you need to adjust your targeting settings.

Implementing GCLID codes can provide valuable data that can be used for optimization and for understanding which advertisements are working—and why. Although setting up GCLID tracking may seem complex and time-consuming, it is a great way to have a better understanding of your campaigns and the users that are interacting with them. Through this understanding, you can then adjust your targeting and creative to ensure you are providing the best experience to your customers.