Upgrade URLs with third-party and internal tracking

At first, follow these steps to upgrade the URLs from the old destination URL format to the new final URL format. Afterwards, decide between three options about how to deal with internal tracking parameters.

Step 1: Upgrade URLs in the Campaign Suite

First, it is important to know whether the third-party tracking components for all keywords are equal in all templates. If they are not equal, you will need multiple tracking templates in step 2.

Begin with the first template. Navigate into the Keywords tab and remove the third-party tracking components from the new final URL field. Store the tracking component for later. Perform this update in every template.

Example: Removing third-party tracking

Before upgrading, the old destination URL resides inside the final URL field.

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After upgrading, the final URL field should look like this. The URL had to be URL-decoded:

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The third-party tracking URL should go into the tracking template (see step 2). In this example, it is: http://thirdpartytracking.com/?channel=SEA&url=

Step 2: Create tracking templates in the Campaign Suite

Tracking SettingsFirst, click the gear symbol to get to the “Tracking settings”. There, create a global tracking template. Only if your tracking components differ between different templates, it is necessary to create multiple template-specific tracking templates. It is required to use the parameter {lpurl}, which defines where Google will put the respective final URL or final mobile URL for the keyword. Furthermore, it’s possible to insert up to 3 custom parameters. Their value can later be specified in the Keywords tab of all templates. Take note that only 3 custom parameters are allowed and that they must start with an underscore, e.g. {_cust1}.

Hint: Please be aware that adding custom parameters may cause your keywords to be pending.

 

Create a tracking template with the remainder from step 1

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.02.17 Click the button “add global tracking template” (or alternatively create template-specific tracking templates) and fill in the tracking components, which were removed from the final URL fields in step 1. Put the parameter “{lpurl}” into the position, where the final URL was before. In this example, it belongs to the end of the statement.

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Learn more about tracking settings.

Step 3: Export and edit in the AdWords Editor

After upgrading URLs in the Campaign Suite, export all templates. The export file(s) will contain the new final URLs, tracking templates and – if you create them – also custom parameters. Import the Campaign Suite output files into the AdWords Editor and accept the changes. You will find the new final URLs in the according fields. However, the Editor will complain about duplicate URLs, because the old destination URLs are still present. Hence, select all keywords, mark the destination URL field and empty it. This way, you bulk-remove all old destination URLs.

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Post the changes to Google AdWords.

There are two options for the treatment of internal tracking. The decision for one of the options should be based on the question whether the tracking parameters are constant throughout the whole account (e.g. channel=”adwords”) or whether they differ between campaigns, ad groups or even keywords (e.g. adgroup=”umbrellas”). Furthermore, consider that the first option requires little work and the second requires a lot of manual work.

Google introduced the new parameter {ignore}, which can be put into final URLs. It tells Google that only the part of the URL, which is before the parameter, is responsible for the landing page content. Therefore, Google does not review a landing page again, if only the parameters behind {ignore} change. Navigate into one template after the other and include the parameter {ignore} before each of the internal tracking components.

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Note: In our tests we discovered that this option even works without the {ignore} parameter. However, it is unsure how long it will work without {ignore}, which is why it should definitely be used.

This option is only useful if your internal tracking is either equal across the whole Campaign Suite account or it varies across Campaign Suite templates. If your internal tracking also varies inside the Campaign Suite templates (e.g. it varies across ad groups or across keywords), it is necessary to introduce custom parameters. By this means it’s possible to customize the tracking template across keywords.

Step 1: Remove the internal tracking from the final URLs

Navigate into one template after the other and remove the internal tracking components from the URLs.

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Afterwards it should look like this:

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Store the removed tracking components somewhere for the next steps.

Step 2: Create tracking templates in the Campaign Suite

Tracking Settings

First, click the gear symbol to get to the “Tracking settings”. There, create a global tracking template. It is required to use the parameter {lpurl}, which defines where Google will put the respective final URL or final mobile URL for the keyword. Furthermore, it’s possible to insert up to 3 custom parameters. Their value can later be specified in the Keywords tab of all templates. Take note that only 3 custom parameters are allowed and that they must start with an underscore, e.g. {_cust1}.

Hint: Please be aware that adding custom parameters may cause your keywords to be pending.

 

Create a tracking template with the remainder from step 1 Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.02.17

Click the button “add global tracking template” and fill in the tracking components, which were removed from the final URL fields in step 1. If your tracking components differ between templates, campaigns, ad groups or keywords, don’t fill them into the tracking template. Instead write a custom parameter name (e.g. {_internal}) into the tracking template, where the internal tracking should be located.

Put the parameter “{lpurl}” into the position, where the final URL was before. In this example, it belongs to the beginning of the statement. Without a custom parameter name it will look like this. There will be no need to continue with step 3.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 12.03.18

With a custom parameter name, there will be no internal tracking parts visible. Only in this case, proceed to step 3.

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Learn more about tracking settings.

Step 3: Put the tracking components into the custom parameters

Navigate back into the templates from which the internal tracking components were removed. In each template there will be a field for the new custom parameter. Put the internal tracking components into that field.

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