How to Tag Bing Ads Properly for Google Analytics

bing google analytics tracking

URL tagging is a fundamental part of web analytics because it allows us to better understand how visitors are interacting with our content. Whether you’re sending out an email blast, or you’re running an ad on Google AdWords/Facebook or Bing, if you’re not tagging your links, you’re likely losing out on a lot of information about your visitors.

Recently, I encountered an issue after doing a Google Analytics audit for a client. They were interested in tracking their Bing ads, and therefore wanted to pull as much data out of Bing’s ad platform as possible. They were already using tagged URLs in their ads, but unfortunately one of their variables weren’t configured properly, the utm_term variable. It was apparent that the issue was in how the client proceeded with tagging his URLs – using the Google URL Building tool.

To properly associate advertising traffic from Bing to Google Analytics, we need to configure at least 4 variables:

utm_source = bing
utm_medium = cpc
utm_campaign = name-of-campaign
utm_term = {keyword} or {QueryString}

{keyword} will give you which keyword you bidded on that resulted in a seassion, while {QueryString} will tell you exactly the keyword the user searched for and clicked on to get your website.

URL generated from URL builder:

Why is this wrong?

If all these variables are configured properly, the traffic data will flow into the Search > Paid section of your Google Analytics reports. If they are not, then you’ll need to give your tags another look…

bing paid search google analytics

Perhaps this is something to be fixed on Google Analytic’s end (substituting { with %7B)…

If you generate tagged URLs for your campaigns regularly, you’ll want a system that would prevent inconsistencies in your tagging approach. The best way to do that is to use a spreadsheet to track all your tagged links. One of my old colleagues, Eduardo, was the brains behind this one. If you want a spreadsheet in the cloud, check out his Google Analytics URL Tagging Spreadsheet.

But, if you want to keep your URL Tagging work local on your own machine, check out my Google Analytics URL Tagging Spreadsheet in MS Excel. I’ve added some nifty functionality in there to prevent inconsistent tagging and to speed up the process (copy and paste or simply drag down). I will write a follow up post detailing how to use the spreadsheet..