Adwords Campaign, Matomo not detecting campaign tags


I am setting and adwords campaign. I have read all documentation and faq.

Piwik is recording around 5% of the conversions only.

I have reviewed the website logs and the hits are definitely there, will all correct campaign tags.

I have then reviewed the logs at piwik server, and I can see the mathing IPs requesting piwik.js and later piwik.php

I have:

  • used the URL generator to setup campaign parameters, pk_campaign, etc.
  • configured the google template
  • tested the template and recognised the hit at piwik
  • Reviewed logs where it can be seen that the leads were delivered to our website.
  • installed the referrer-campagin plugin mentioned in the faq

I have also read most threads around here,

but still, I cannot find what the problem is.

what could be going wrong?

1 Like

Hi there,

I am not 100% sure what your problem, but here is how I understood it.
The number of visits (ok, ok it is not visits but clicks) in AdWords sent to your website does correspond at all to what you have in your Piwik within your Campaign report that you marked as AdWords is pk_campaign=adwords. Am I right?

If that’s correct, please answer yes to this message and I will do my best to help you (I am currently managing one AdWords account with Matomo and it works fine)


Yes, exactly. That is the problem. only a small percentage of “cliks” from adwords are listed in campaing report.

ok so to me it is a problem of tracking in your URLs in AdWords.
There is a legend talking about some CMS which does not support AdWords tracking but let’s keep it for later.
The first thing would be to click one of your ad online to see if the parameters are present.
Most of the time I create a specific ad with a very low bid and a specific keyword because you will probably have to make several attempts.
Then once clicked, check within the visitor log report to see if it is identified as a campaign in Piwik.
If that’s not the case, it may be possible that it enters in conflict with auto-tagging in AdWords. So look carefully at the address, it should be ?pk_campaign=blabla&pk_keywords=blabla&gclid=4445455
and not &gclid=45454&pk_campaign=blabla

From what I experimented in the past, sometimes Google was adding the gclid at the wrong place within the destination url which broke the tracking.

hope it helps, do not hesitate to answer back, I really would like to help you fix this issue (so few marketing questions within the Matomo forum)

Yes, they are in the visitor log, but no parameter is identified.

I can see the incoming hits to the Web Server, and then I can see the request of piwik.js and subsequent piwik.php. I can see the parameters been passed on…

My best guess was also in line with a very complex URL/parameters that perhaps do not parse properly.

Thanks, I am going to investigate further.

here is how it should appear within your visitor log, if it is not the case, then it is a tracking url issue. My advice would be to start by unchecking auto-tagging, manually tag with pk parameters a specific adwords ad. Click on this tag, then look within the visitor log to see if it appears as the attachment.
If yes you are on the right track, if not… well we will need to investigate further.

yes, the rare times in which the click is listed I see it like that.

do you have autotracking enabled? If you use the tacking template is not required, right?

I have auto tagging enabled as it allows to make it work with the AOM plugin.
So regarding the tracking template, I guess you should check which level you are using, are you using it at the account level, campaign level, ad group or ad level?

I am using it at account level, I also have auto-tagging enabled, thou have not yet experimented with it.

my tacking template is{campaignid}&pk_kwd={keyword}&pk_source=google&pk_medium=cpc&url={lpurl}

in line with what the faq shows, I think.

ok, in the past, I got troubles with the account level, no idea why, but GG was adding the gclid parameter from auto-tagging before the ?pk which broke my URLs. So my first attempt would be to uncheck auto-tagging just in order to try if it is coming from here.
… hold on, I am not sure about “&url={lpurl}” to me right syntax should be{lpurl}&pk_campaign=AdWords&myotherpkparameters
this is how it is defined for me


I think {lpurl} is not url-encoded. which would mean that google expects us to use it in the following way:


I can think on this pattern being useful if you have something dinamic in your ads, such as landings on and or something alike.

I have searched around and found people using it in that way.

that would explain why the traking template editor forces you to use {lpurl} and why I see it not url-encoded in my web logs.