About URL templates in Search Ads 360

Use URL templates to do the following:

  • Apply third-party tracking URLs to campaigns in search engine accounts. For example, if you need to redirect clicks to a conversion tracking service in addition to Search Ads 360, add the third-party's tracking URL to a URL template.
     
  • In accounts that don't use parallel tracking, you can also use URL templates to apply a common set of URL parameters that your landing pages require. For example, instead of manually adding the same parameters to each landing page URL, you can create a URL template and apply the parameters automatically. (In accounts that do use parallel tracking, use a Final URL Suffix for these common URL parameters. Learn more.)

If you change a template, Search Ads 360 automatically applies the update to the ads, keywords, and sitelinks that use the template. 

Supported search engine accounts

URL templates are available for all search engine accounts except Baidu.

Shared templates

In Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo! Japan accounts, Search Ads 360 traffics URL templates to the corresponding tracking templates in the engine. If you create or edit tracking templates in the engine, syncing with Search Ads 360 copies the changes into the corresponding Search Ads 360 URL template.

For example, if you create a Search Ads 360 URL template at the campaign level in a Google Ads account, Search Ads 360 will traffic that template to the campaign's tracking template in Google Ads. Google Ads will apply the template when it serves any ad, keyword, sitelink, or other trackable item in the campaign.

URL templates are hierarchical

All engine accounts in Search Ads 360 define a URL template at the account level. By default, the URL template simply passes through the landing page URL exactly as you've defined it. You can add other parameters to the account-level template as you can to any other URL template.

If you need to specify different parameters for a campaign, ad group, ad, keyword, or other trackable item, you can create a URL template for that specific item. The templates at lower levels override templates from higher up.

Search Ads 360 and Google Ads have the same template hierarchy.

For example:

  • The engine account URL template applies to all campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords that don't define their own template.

  • A campaign URL template overrides an engine account URL template. It applies to all ad groups and other items in the campaign that don't define their own template.

  • An ad group URL template overrides an engine-account URL template and a campaign URL template. It applies to all ads, keywords, and other items in the ad group that don't define their own template.

  • In engine accounts that support shared templates, ads inherit the URL template specified for an ad group or higher item.

  • Keywords inherit the URL template specified for a higher item.

  • Sitelinks inherit the URL template specified for a keyword, ad, or higher item. A template for a specific sitelink applies just to that sitelink.

  • In engine accounts that don't support shared templates, a template for a specific ad applies just to that ad.

Why create a URL template for an individual sitelink or keyword?

One reason would be to support tracking URLs with static parameters that are unique to each item. For example, if you use a third-party tracking system that requires you to pass a specific, static ID for each keyword, you'll need a unique tracking URL for each keyword. Engine accounts that support shared templates require any third-party tracking URLs to be specified in a URL template, so the only way to specify a unique tracking URL for each keyword in these accounts is to specify the tracking URL in each keyword's URL template.

Why create a URL template for an ad in accounts that don't support shared templates?

In engine accounts that don't support shared templates, nothing inherits from ad URL templates. So why specify an ad template in these accounts? If you're using a third-party tracking system that requires a tracking URL, you may want to put the tracking URL in the ad's URL template instead of the ad's landing page URL just in case the engine starts to support shared templates.

Duplicate parameter strings

If the entire parameter string you add to a landing page URL exactly matches the entire parameter string in a URL template, Search Ads 360 removes the parameter string from the landing page URL when you save the URL.

For example:

  • URL template: {unescapedlpurl}?a=b&c=d
  • Landing page URL: https://example.com/shoes/?a=b&c=d

The parameter strings match exactly, so Search Ads 360 will remove the parameter string from the landing page URL when you save or edit the URL.

In the following example, the parameters are in a different order, so Search Ads 360 does not remove the parameter string from your landing page URL:

  • URL template: {unescapedlpurl}?a=b&c=d
  • Landing page URL: https://example.com/shoes/?c=d&a=b

In accounts that don't use parallel tracking, the URL template and URL above will end up sending duplicate parameters to the landing page:
https://example.com/shoes/?c=d&a=b&a=b&c=d

In accounts that do use parallel tracking, the example might send duplicate parameters to the landing page, depending on how you encoded the parameters in your URL template. Learn more

Restrictions for using a URL template

If you use a URL template, note the following restrictions:

  • In accounts that use parallel tracking, URL templates should only contain third-party tracking URLs and parameters used by the third-party tracking service. URL parameters that your landing pages require should be placed in a Final URL Suffix or directly in the landing page URL. Parameters in a URL template might not be sent to the landing page, depending on how you encoded the parameters in your URL template. Learn more
  • In accounts that don't use parallel tracking, you can include Search Ads 360 macros or the engine's dynamic parameters in the template, but Search Ads 360 will convert any spaces in the substituted value to the + character.

    For example, if a customer searches for winter coat, a URL template that specifies the kw=[*searchterm*] query string will pass kw=winter+coat to the landing page.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?