How to fix ‘Destination URLs Not Tagged’ Google Analytics notification

Last Updated: January 11, 2022

What is the ‘Destination URLs Not Tagged’ notification?

Google Analytics Notifications’ is a functionality provided by Google which periodically checks your analytics implementation and configuration

If it finds any error or ambiguity, it sends you a notification alert so that you can fix the issue. One such notification is ‘Destination URLs Not Tagged’:

image 1

You get the ‘Destination URLs Not Tagged’ notification whenever there is a significant clicks and sessions discrepancy i.e. your Google Ads account has recorded a significant number of ad clicks but a lower than expected number of GA sessions

The clicks and sessions discrepancy usually happens because of the following reasons:

#1 The destination URLs (i.e. the landing pages of Google Ads) have Google Analytics tracking code that does not match with the Google Analytics tracking code installed on the rest of your website (i.e. the tracking code mismatch).

image 12

#2 The destination URLs (i.e. the landing pages of Google Ads) do not have Google Analytics tracking code or the tracking code is not valid or the tracking code is valid but is not firing for some reason (i.e. missing tracking code):

image 13

#3 Your Google Analytics account is not linked to your Google Ads account. 

#4 You have not tagged the destination URLs of your Google Ads.

How to fix ‘Destination URLs Not Tagged’ Google Analytics notification

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Make sure all the destination URLs (i.e. the landing pages of your Google Ads) have Google Analytics tracking code installed and this code fires on page load. You can use Google Analytics debugger for this purpose.

Sometimes when you have new functionality to deploy on the website, the dev team forgets about adding the GA tracking code and publishes the website to production.

So then whenever the user lands on your website after clicking one of your Google Ads, an ad click is recorded but not the corresponding GA session. Over time this issue creates a significant clicks and session discrepancy.

Step-2: Make sure all the destination URLs of your Google Ads have Google Analytics tracking code that matches with the Google Analytics tracking code installed on the rest of your website.

Step-3: Avoid Non-Standard GA/GTM tracking code implementation.

When you deploy the Google Analytics tracking code or Google Tag Manager Container code in any way other than the one recommended by Google, your GA/GTM implementation no longer remains a standard implementation.

Following are examples of non-standard implementation of Google Analytics:

  1. Tracking code placed outside the head section (<head> …</head>) of a web page.
  2. Analytics code is being executed via an external JavaScript file.
  3. Tracking code contains invalid formatting (extra comma, extra whitespaces, bracket, or semicolon)
  4. Tracking code contains invalid casing (GA function names are case sensitive)
  5. Tracking code deployed via a third-party plugin.

Make sure you use the only standard methods to implement Google Analytics on the website. There are only two recommended ways to install Google Analytics on a website:

  1. By directly placing the Google Analytics Tracking Code in the head section of all the web pages of a website.
  2. By using a tag management solution like Google Tag Manager.

If your Google Analytics tracking code is not working as expected on your website then it is most likely due to the non-standard GA/GTM implementation.

Step-4: Make sure that your Google Analytics property and Google Ads account are linked together.

If it’s not linked then follow the steps mentioned in this article: Google Ads Linking – How to link Google Ads to Google Analytics

Step-5: Make sure that you have tagged the destination URLs of your Google Ads. Otherwise, this could result in clicks and session discrepancies. 

You can tag the URLs either via manual tagging or auto-tagging. 

Manual Tagging

If you use manual tagging for the destination URL then you need to make sure that you are adding all the required campaign tracking parameters (“utm_source”, “utm_medium”, “utm_campaign”, “utm_term” and “utm_content”) correctly. 

Use the following best practices to avoid incorrectly tagging URLs via the campaign tracking parameters:

  1. Avoid misspelled parameters
  2. Avoid syntax errors while creating campaign URLs
  3. Be careful if you are using redirections, use 301 redirect
  4. In the case of single page apps, make sure to have all the UTM parameters before the “#” key.
  5. Use the Campaign URL builder tool to tag your URLs.
image 14

Auto-Tagging

Google recommends that you use auto-tagging instead of manual tagging to tag the URLs of the landing pages of your Google Ads. 

If the manual tagging of destination URLs is not correct then Google Analytics may choose to ignore the campaign tracking variables and treat Google Ads traffic as Google organic traffic. This could result in a lot of discrepancies between Google Ads clicks and GA sessions. 

The solution to this problem is to avoid using manual tagging and instead enable the auto-tagging feature of Google Ads.

Follow the steps below to enable the auto-tagging feature in Google Ads:

Step-1: Sign in to your Google Ads Account.

Step-2: Click on ‘Settings’ from the menu on the left-hand side.

image 15

Step-3: Click on ‘Account Settings’:

image 16

You should now see a screen like the one below:

image 17

Step-4: Click on ‘Auto-tagging’:

image 18

Step-5: Click on the checkbox next to ‘Tag the URL that people click through from my ad’ 

image 19

This will allow the automatic addition of a GCLID parameter to your URL.

Step-6: Click on ‘Save’.

image 20

Once you saved the configuration you will see the auto-tagging status as ‘Yes’:

image 21

That’s how you can enable auto-tagging in Google Ads.

When the auto-tagging is enabled, a parameter called ‘GCLID’ (Google Click Identifier) is automatically added to the URLs of the landing pages of your Google Ads. This ‘GCLID’ parameter then gets stored in a new Google Analytics cookie for tracking website conversion.

GCLID tracks the following parameters by default.

  1. Query match type.
  2. Ad group.
  3. Final URL
  4. Ad Format 
  5. Ad Distribution Network
  6. Placement domain
  7. Google Ads customer ID
  8. Hour of the day the URL was clicked.
  9. Placements
  10. Keyword Positions
  11. Display targeting
  12. Video campaigns
  13. Shopping campaigns

Note(1): The auto-tagging is not enabled by default in Google Ads settings.

Note(2): Avoid using both manual and auto-tagging at the same time. If you are using auto-tagging, make sure that no URL is manually tagged. Otherwise, this could create serious data discrepancy issues between Google Ads and Google Analytics.

  1. Google Analytics Notifications and Alerts Guide
  2. How to Fix Clicks and Sessions Discrepancy in Google Analytics.
  3. How to fix Goal Conversion Irregularities in Google Analytics
  4. How to fix ‘Missing Tracking Code’ in Google Analytics
  5. How to Fix Missing Ecommerce Data in Google Analytics
  6. How to Fix Missing Campaign Parameters in Google Analytics
  7. How to configure a goal flow in Google Analytics
  8. How to fix No Hits in Google Analytics
  9. How to fix self-referrals in Google Analytics
  10. How to Fix Tracking Code Mismatch in Google Analytics
  11. How to fix ‘Incomplete Google AdWords Linking’ in Google Analytics
  12. How to fix ‘Untagged Email Campaigns’ in Google Analytics

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
error: Alert: Content is protected !!