Create and edit URLs and parameters

About URLs for text ads and keywords

When you create a text ad in a search engine, you specify the URL for a page on your site that describes the service or product in the ad. Different engines use different terms for this URL, such as destination URL or final URL. Search Ads 360 calls this the landing page URL. All search engines require you to specify a landing page URL for each text ad. 

Landing page URLs for keywords

In Baidu and Yahoo Gemini engine accounts, Search Ads 360 requires you to specify a landing page URL for each keyword in addition to each ad. When the engine serves an ad, the keyword's URL replaces the ad’s URL, and this enables Search Ads 360 to attribute conversions and other activity to the keyword.

The engine substitutes the keyword

In Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo! Japan engine accounts, you can optionally specify landing page URLs for individual keywords. Because you can change a keyword's landing page URL without causing the engine to create a new keyword, the additional flexibility may be worth the extra work of creating URLs for individual keywords.

How Search Ads 360 attributes metrics to keywords without landing page URLs

Search Ads 360 and the engines work together to ensure that metrics and conversions can be attributed to individual keywords:

  1. When you create a keyword, Search Ads 360 traffics a custom parameter that uniquely identifies the keyword.
    For example, if you sign into Google Ads, you'll see something like this in the keyword's Custom Parameter column:
    {_dssagcrid} = lid=39700000000000001&ds_s_kwgid=58700000000000001"
  2. When a customer search matches the keyword, the engine serves an ad with a tracking URL that looks similar to this one:
    https://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?
    dssagcrid=lid=39700000000000001&ds_s_kwgid=58700000000000001
    &ds_e_adid=44700001892079667
    &ds_e_matchtype=search&ds_url_v=2...
     

    Note that the value of the dssagcrid parameter in the tracking URL comes from the keyword's custom parameter.

  3. When the tracking URL reaches Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 sees the dssagcrid parameter and attributes the click and associated metrics to the keyword.

Requirements for landing page URLs in search engines

When you add keywords and ads to a search engine in Search Ads 360 (either by sync, upload, or the Search Ads 360 UI), Search Ads 360 checks the following:

  • Each ad has a landing page URL.
  • In Baidu and Yahoo Gemini engine accounts, each keyword has a landing page URL.

    If you create keywords directly in the engine without specifying landing page URLs, during sync Search Ads 360 does the following depending on the type of engine account:

    • Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo! Japan: Nothing. Landing page URLs for keywords are optional in these engine accounts.
    • Baidu: If you didn't specify a landing page URL for mobile devices, Search Ads 360 uses the keyword's non-mobile URL. If you didn't specify a non-mobile URL for the keyword,  Search Ads 360 copies a random landing page URL from an active ad in the ad group and adds it to the keyword.
    • Yahoo Gemini: Search Ads 360 copies a random landing page URL from an active ad in the ad group and adds it to the keywords.

    If you want specific landing pages for your keywords, specify the landing page URLs before running a sync.
     

  • The URL is in a valid format. A valid URL:
    • Starts with https:// or http://.
    • The domain name starts with a character from set [A-Za-z0-9{}]
    • Does not contain Search Ads 360-specific reserved parameters.
    • Does not contain spaces. (Replace any spaces with %20.)
    • Only contains US-ASCII characters.
    • If the URL contains curly braces, the braces form a matching pair: { }. Nested curly braces are acceptable as long as you specify matching pairs at each level: { { } }.
  • Google Ads ValueTrack parameters are not HTML encoded

Encoded characters in URLs

In accounts that don't use parallel tracking, Search Ads 360 usually unencodes any encoded characters in your URLs just before redirecting to your landing page. For example, if you set this landing page URL:
http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen

After a customer clicks your ad, Search Ads 360 unencodes the URL and redirects:
http://www.example.com/summer:sunscreen

If you need to pass encoded characters to your landing pages, do one of the following to prevent Search Ads 360 from unencoding:

  • Include an unencoded ? in the URL, either at the beginning of the query string or—if the landing page URL doesn't specify a query string—at the end of the URL. Make sure the landing page URL does not contain an encoded question mark (%3f).

    For example, if you set this landing page URL:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen?
    Search Ads 360 retains the encoded character and redirects to:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen

    Similarly, if you set this landing page URL:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen?a=b
    Search Ads 360 retains the encoded character and redirects to:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen?a=b

    If you set this landing page URL:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen%3Fa=b?
    Search Ads 360 unencodes the URL (because the URL contains an encoded ? character):
    http://www.example.com/summer:sunscreen?a=b

  • Double encode characters and make sure the URL does not contain an encoded 
    question mark (%3f).

    For example: 
    http://www.example.com/summer%3A%3Asunscreen%3Fa=b
    After a customer clicks your ad, Search Ads 360 will redirect to this URL:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3Asunscreen?a=b

    Note that the following URL preserves the double encoding because it contains an unencoded ?: 
    http://www.example.com/summer%3A%3Asunscreen?a=b
    After a customer clicks your ad, Search Ads 360 will redirect to this URL:
    http://www.example.com/summer%3A%3Asunscreen?a=b

Tracking parameters for measuring Floodlight conversions

When customers click your ads, two parameters are appended to your landing page URLs: gclid and gclsrc. To measure Floodlight conversions, Search Ads 360 requires these parameters to be passed to a page on your site that contains a global site tag or a conversion linker tag placed by Google Tag Manager. If your site removes these parameters or changes the values before your customer lands on a page that contains one of these tags, Search Ads 360 cannot attribute Floodlight conversions to your ads.

Learn more about using Floodlight to track conversions in Search Ads 360.

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