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I set up an AdWords campaign for website following the instructions for Google AdWords ValueTrack. One of the things that it is supposed to be able to do is pass the keyword as a URL parameter using the code {keyword} in the URL.

I created a landing URL using the Google Analytics URL builder. I put {keyword} into the "Campaign Term" field and it came out like this:

http://example.com/landing.html?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%7Bkeyword%7D&utm_content=my_content&utm_campaign=my_page

When I actually run the campaign, the keyword substitution isn't happening. I'm getting the literal string {keyword} passed to my website. I see it in my log files. Why isn't the substitution working the way I would expect it to?

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The problem was the brackets in {keyword} cannot be URL escaped with %7B and %7D. When I put it though the Google Analytics URL builder it came out as utm_term=%7Bkeyword%7D. It really needs to be utm_term={keyword}.

I updated my campaign with a better URL:

http://example.com/landing.html?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term={keyword}&utm_content=my_content&utm_campaign=my_page

Now Google is substituting the keyword into the utm_term parameter when I get a click from this Adwords campaign.

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