Upgraded URLs

upgraded_urls

Please read this article in order to learn how to upgrade your destination URLs to the new Upgraded URLs from Google AdWords. Google AdWords requires all landing page URLs to be upgraded from the old “destination URL” format to the new “final URL” format by July 1 2015. This guide only explains how to upgrade keyword destination URLs to final URLs. Campaign Suite users don’t have to worry about ad destination URLs. The Campaign Suite will automatically export them as final URLs. Sitelink URLs can be upgraded equally as keyword destination URLs. However, the Campaign Suite does not yet support custom parameters for sitelinks.

Opt. 1: URLs without tracking or with 1 tracking template for the whole account

Read this section, if you don’t use tracking at all or if you use the same tracking template throughout the whole Google AdWords account(s). In this case, the easiest solution is to set up a tracking template in the Google AdWords interface (shared library) for the whole Google account. Afterwards proceed with the guide to upgrade URLs without tracking.

Step-by-Step Guide: Upgrade URLs without tracking

Opt. 2: URLs with different tracking templates

Read this section to learn how to upgrade URLs and implement tracking templates and custom parameters in the Campaign Suite. This section is required if your tracking varies between different campaigns, ad groups or keywords. In that case, it’s not enough to use one tracking template for the whole Google account. Instead the Campaign Suite can be used to export specific tracking templates. In the following there are three guides. Read the appropriate guide depending on whether you use third-party tracking, internal tracking or both tracking versions.

Step-by-Step Guide: Upgrade URLs with only third-party tracking (redirect URL)

Step-by-Step Guide: Upgrade URLs with only internal tracking (no redirect URL)

Step-by-Step Guide: Upgrade URLs with third-party tracking and internal tracking

Note: All tracking templates and custom parameters are exported on keyword-level.

Hint: Upgrading URLs might lead to pending keyword statuses when adding custom parameters. This might be avoided by using {ignore}. This parameter 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.

Troubleshooting

If an old destination URL contains a space, a curly bracket or the characters “<” and “>”, it cannot be upgraded to a final URL. The AdWords Editor auto-replaces spaces, “<” and “>” with their URL-encoded counterparts when typing the characters into the final URL field. Curly brackets, in contrast, are forbidden in URLs, as long as they don’t represent ValueTrack parameters (e.g. {creative}). The URL upgrade works after encoding all of these four characters manually in case they are part of your URL. If such characters get encoded, however, they will finally arrive as encoded in the landing page URL and potentially on your internal tracking servers. This might require some changes to internal tracking systems so that they also work with the encoded version of these characters.

If you had to remove spaces from your URLs – as AdWords no longer allows them – it’s necessary to make sure that the Campaign Suite will no longer export the URLs with spaces either. Use the Campaign Suite function “REPLACE”, put a space into the first argument, select nothing as a second argument and either put the whole URL into the third argument or just the parts that contained the space (in the following example the campaign name was the only item, which contained spaces).

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 15.31.03

If you had to remove curly brackets from your URLs – as AdWords no longer allows them in URLs – it’s necessary to make sure that the Campaign Suite will no longer export the URLs with curly brackets either. Use the Campaign Suite function “REPLACEALL” and provide a list of the two replacements. In spoken words, the following syntax means: Replace the left curly bracket with “%7B” and replace the white curly bracket with “%7D”.

Perform this replacement in the “campaign_name” variable. Here, wrap those URL-components into the second argument of the function, which contain the curly brackets.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 15.36.42

It is very important to test the URLs before uploading them to Google AdWords. This way, you can ensure that they really work and avoid keyword disapproval.

  • Export the keywords from the Campaign Suite. The file will contain the final URLs, tracking templates and custom parameters (if you defined them).
  • In Excel use a concatenate function to create a new column for the complete URL. Thereby, put the URL components together (tracking templates, custom parameters and final URLs).
  • Copy and paste some of the URLs into your browser and see if the page loads correctly.

This is how you can ensure that the URLs work after they get uploaded to Google. After testing thoroughly, post your changes to Google AdWords.