Generate and manage upgraded inventory campaigns

Create a Google Ads sitelink template

Inventory plans that target Google Ads accounts can generate sitelinks. You can use the generated sitelinks to complement your existing manual sitelinks or you can completely automate your sitelink strategy. 

To use the generated sitelinks, you can do any of the following:

  • Generate account-level sitelinks. The account-level sitelinks will be inherited by all campaigns in the account (both generated and manual campaigns), unless the campaigns override the inheritance.
  • Set up your campaign templates to generate campaigns that use only specific generated sitelinks.
  • Manually apply the generated sitelinks to campaigns as you would sitelinks that you create manually.

How it works

  1. You create sitelink templates in an inventory plan. These templates exist at the top level of the inventory plan, alongside the plan's campaign templates. You can use the same sitelink template in multiple inventory plans, as long as the inventory plans target Google Ads accounts.
     
  2. Each time the inventory plan evaluates the templates, the plan uses your inventory data to generate sitelinks or remove sitelinks for products that no longer appear in your inventory feed.
     
  3. You can manually apply these sitelinks or, if you want specific campaigns to use specific sitelinks, edit the settings in campaign templates to automatically apply sitelinks.

    For example, a hotel advertiser could generate sitelinks for the amenities offered by their Boston hotels, and then have these sitelinks appear only in generated campaigns that advertise Boston as a travel destination.

Choose the level of automation that works best for you

As with manual campaign management, creating sitelinks is a separate step from applying sitelinks. You can choose which steps of the sitelink creation process you want inventory management to automate. For example, you can choose any of the following scenarios:

  • Generate account-level sitelinks, and generate campaigns that use these account-level sitelinks.
    In this case, no manual management is needed.
  • Generate sitelinks, and generate campaigns that use only sitelinks matching criteria you specify.
    In this case, no manual management is needed.
  • Generate sitelinks, but manually update campaigns to use only specific sitelinks.
  • Manually create sitelinks, and either let all campaigns inherit these sitelinks or manually update campaigns to use only specific sitelinks.

No duplicate sitelinks

If your account already contains manual sitelinks that exactly match a sitelink an inventory template would create, the inventory plan does not generate a duplicate sitelink. You can continue using the manual sitelink, or remove the manual sitelink and let the inventory plan create and remove the sitelink as inventory data changes. 

Create a sitelink template

Here's an overview of creating a sitelink template (the details are below):

  1. Specify the sitelink multiplier and optional filters.
  2. Enter sitelink settings, such as text, URL, and start date.
  3. Preview some of the sitelinks that will be generated.

1. Specify the sitelink multiplier and optional filters

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.
    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. In the "Agency" list, click on the agency that contains the advertiser. You can search for an agency by name or scroll through the list.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. In the left navigation panel, click Templates.
  3. Click the Inventory management tab and click the name of an inventory plan that targets a Google Ads engine account.
  4. Click New ▼ and select Sitelink template.
  5. Enter a name for the template.
    The name appears in the reporting table for the inventory plan and in a list of sitelink templates you can choose from in campaign and templates.
  6. Under Use in inventory plans, click ▾ (triangle) to see all plans in your advertiser that target Google Ads engine accounts. Select the plans that you want to generate sitelinks from this template.
  7. Under Multiplier, click +Feed column and select a column from your feed that uniquely identifies the product or group of products you want to call out with this sitelink. The list contains all of the product attributes defined in the inventory feed you selected for the inventory plan.

    For example, to generate a sitelink for each brand in your inventory plan, select the Brand column.

    To generate sitelinks from a unique combination of values,  click +Feed column and select another column. For example, to generate a sitelink for each brand and type of item in your feed, select a category column such as Category level 5.
  8. Optionally enter a filter to generate sitelinks for specific types of items in your inventory feed. For example, use a filter to generate sitelinks only for "loafers" or other types of shoes in your feed.

    To enter a filter:
    1. Under Feed filters click + Attribute or metric and select an attribute from the inventory feed.
      The list contains all of the product attributes defined in the inventory feed you selected for the inventory plan.
    2. Select an operator, such as Equals or Starts with.
      If you need complex filters, you can use regular expressions in the filter.
    3. Enter a value to match. 

      For example, the filter Category level 5 Equals (case insensitive) loafers matches all products in your inventory feed for which the Google product category attribute specifies the word loafersLoafers, or LOAFERS at level 5.

    4. You can specify additional filters. The template will generate sitelinks only for those items that match all of the attributes.

      For example, if you add Price Greater than $50 to the filter in the previous step, the template will only generate sitelinks for loafers that cost more than $50.

    5. To remove a filter, click the X that appears at the end of the line.

  9. Click the Preview button to see the list of products that match the filter.
  10. Click Next.

2. Enter sitelink settings

  1. After you specify the sitelink multiplier and optional filters, Search Ads 360 displays sitelink settings.
  2. Enter sitelink settings as you would for a manual sitelink.

    Here's the syntax for sitelink settings:

    • Static text and numbers can be entered directly into a template.
    • Dates always need to be entered in a function, such as the date function.
    • All functions, inventory attributes, and formula columns need to be surrounded by[ ] (square brackets) 
      To include the [ ] characters in your ad copy, escape them as follows:
      \[ \]

    Here are some examples of basic settings:

    Setting Value Description
    Sitelink Text [Item_brand] [Item_category_level_5] Two inventory attributes separated by a space that generate text such as:
    SpeedyShoes loafers
    ComfyWalkers loafers
     
    Start date [add_days(today(), 7)] A function that starts campaigns start 7 days after being generated. For example, if the template generates CampaignA on November 1, then CampaignA's start date is November 8.

    If the template generates CampaignB on November 2, then CampaignB's start date is November 9.
    End date [date(2018,12,31)] A function that specifies the date December 31, 2018.
     
  3. Click Next

3. Preview sitelinks

  1. After entering your settings (as outlined earlier), in the last step before saving the template, Search Ads 360 shows a preview window containing up to the first 50 campaigns that will be generated with the current settings and inventory data.
  2. Look through the list of campaigns to make sure your formulas create the campaign names, budgets, and other output that you expect.
  3. You can click the Previous button, adjust your formulas as needed, and return to the preview. 
  4. When you're satisfied with the preview, click Save template.

Search Ads 360 saves the template and pauses it. The template won't be applied to the plan's inventory data until you change its status to Active.

Next steps

Set up campaigns to use the sitelinks generated by the template. You do so either manually or through inventory management.

 

Use inventory management to apply sitelinks

By default, generated campaigns inherit account-level sitelinks. To override account-level sitelinks, you can manually apply sitelinks after a campaign is generated or update templates to generate campaigns that do one of the following:

  • Use specific sitelinks
  • Inherit account-level sitelinks. For example, after applying specific sitelinks to generated campaigns a change to your marketing strategy may require you to start inheriting account-level sitelinks. In this case, you can use inventory management to update generated campaigns to inherit account-level sitelinks.
  • Disable sitelinks. For example, after applying sitelinks to generated campaigns a change to your marketing strategy may require you to remove the sitelinks. In this case, you can use inventory management to disable sitelinks for generated campaigns.

How to apply specific sitelinks to campaigns

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.
    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. In the "Agency" list, click on the agency that contains the advertiser. You can search for an agency by name or scroll through the list.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. In the left navigation panel, click Templates.
  3. Click the Inventory plans tab and click the name of an inventory plan.
  4. In the reporting table, click  (gear icon) next to a campaign template.
  5. In the left column of the template, click Ad extensions.
  6. Under Sitelinks, select the Use the inventory plan to manage sitelinks checkbox.
  7. Select one of the following options:
    • Inherit generated and manual account-level sitelinks: New and existing campaigns generated from this template will inherit all account-level sitelinks in the engine account. 
    • Disable generated and manual sitelinks: New and existing campaigns generated from this template will not display sitelinks.
    • Apply generated and manual campaign-level sitelinks: Displays the list of all sitelink templates in the inventory plan. Select one or more templates. New and existing campaigns generated from this template will display sitelinks that are generated from the selected templates and that have a common key.
  8. Click Save template.

The next time the inventory plan evaluates the templates, the sitelink option you selected will be applied to all existing campaigns generated from the template as well as any newly generated campaigns.

Common key needed to match sitelinks with campaigns

If you use inventory management to apply sitelinks, your sitelink templates and campaign templates need at least one multiplier in common. This enables the inventory plan to match generated sitelinks with the appropriate generated campaigns.

For example:

  1. A sitelink template named "Brand + Level 5" specifies Brand and Category level 5 as multipliers. The template does not specify Account level sitelink, so only specific campaigns can use the sitelinks generated by the template.
  2. A campaign template includes Brand as a multiplier. The template also specifies that campaigns generated from the template should apply "Brand + Level 5" sitelinks.
  3. When the inventory plan evaluates templates, the following items are generated:
    • A sitelink for "SpeedyShoes loafers"
    • A campaign for "SpeedyShoes"
  4. Because the sitelink's brand matches the campaign's brand, the  "SpeedyShoes loafers" sitelink is applied to the "SpeedyShoes" campaign.

Notes:

  • Account-level sitelinks don't need a common key. If you generate account-level sitelinks and you generate campaigns that inherit account-level sitelinks, then all of the account-level sitelinks will be inherited by all of the campaigns.
  • If your sitelink templates do not specify Account level sitelink and your campaign templates apply a specific sitelink template:
    • If your sitelink template and campaign template don't specify at least one common multiplier, the generated campaigns will not apply sitelinks
    • A sitelink template that does not specify a multiplier will generate one sitelink when inventory is available, and this sitelink will be used by all campaigns that apply the sitelink template
    • A campaign template that doesn't specify a multiplier will use all sitelinks generated by the sitelink templates that have been applied

Next steps

To see which items are under inventory control, view campaigns and other items generated by inventory templates
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?