What You Need to Know About Parallel Tracking in Microsoft Ads

Microsoft Ads recently added the parallel tracking capability in ad accounts. Parallel tracking is mandatory in Google Ads for all campaign types except for video (which will be mandatory this month).

Let’s take a look at the advantages of parallel tracking and what you need to do to enable it in Microsoft Ads.

What is Parallel Tracking?

Parallel tracking is the ability for a landing page and all of the tracking URLs simultaneously. When a user clicks on an ad, they immediately to the landing page while the tracking runs simultaneously in the background.

If this feature isn’t enabled, users follow sequential tracking. This means that after a user clicks on your ad, they go through several redirects for both the ad platform and your URL tracking before they get to the final landing page. This can really slow down user experience, especially on a mobile device.

Parallel Tracking Requirements in Microsoft Ads

There are a few requirements for this feature to work:

  1. Use {lpurl} in the URL’s tracking template. Use your regular tracking parameters.
  2. HTTPS pages must be used.
  3. Any redirects must be server based (and not Java-script or HTML-based redirects).
  4. Compatibility with your click measurement provider, if you are using one.

How To Enable Parallel Tracking in Microsoft Ads

In Microsoft Ads, navigate to the Shared Library section, then select Account Level Options.

From there, all you need to do is check off the parallel tracking box.

This screenshot was taken from an account that has been running for many years. This option has not defaulted and will not be automatically applied to your accounts. You must go in and select it, then hit Save. This is true even for newly imported campaigns from Google.

What You Should Keep in Mind About Enabling Parallel Tracking

With this setting enabled, remember that:

  • Click trackers cannot change landing page parameters during click redirection. You should use a final URL suffix instead.
  • Microsoft Ads will change your landing page and tracking template URLs. Here is how Microsoft demonstrates how the URLs might like differently:
  • Not all browsers are supported at this time, so not 100% of your clicks will be redirected.

If you are still unsure if you should enable this setting, you can read more about it directly from Microsoft Ads here. Overall, this is a great new feature that should help your performance by getting prospects to your landing page faster. If you need further help understanding parameters, check out our Introduction to UTM Parameters for PPC blog post.

What recommendations do you have for parallel tracking? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!