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Understanding Upgraded URLs in Google AdWords

URLs in Google AdWords

Once you have a campaign running in AdWords, you should start to generate clicks. But what happens next? Will your web visitor complete a contact form or make a purchase? Keywords can be expensive, and your web marketing investment should be resulting in actual business. Conversion tracking allows you to determine how many clicks result in the defined action goals you set. With its offline conversion feature, you can even track conversions that began with a click on your ad and led to a purchase over the phone or at your store.

Perhaps a visitor clicked on your ad and submitted a request for more information about a service you provide. If that person actually signs a contract with you, it may be worthwhile to track that conversion, even though it didn’t occur online.

Once you are using conversion tracking, the ability to make campaign changes quickly can help you manage your AdWords investment successfully. With its new format, Google aims to make the process of URL management faster and easier. Destination URLs used to specify where on your website a user would land after clicking on your ad, while simultaneously including tracking information to help you monitor conversions. Now there are two separate fields for specifying these bits of information: final URL, also known as the landing page, and URL options, where you can specify tracking parameters. The final URL must match the domain of your display URL, which is the URL that appears in your ad, usually in green text.

While this may seem like a simple change, there are multiple benefits to upgraded URLs. Now that the final URL and the tracking parameters are separated, a change made to your tracking won’t automatically initiate a new editorial review process, which means your ad shouldn’t stop running. It also means that your ad history shouldn’t be reset. Previously, a change made to your parameters would cause you to lose this data as well as your statistics and quality scores.

In order to maximize the benefit of the new format, tracking can be managed at the levels of account, campaign, ad group, ad keyword, ad, auto target or sitelink. Changes at all levels other than the ad itself will not trigger editorial review, but a change made at the ad level will remove your existing ad. In this instance, a new ad will be reviewed, and your ad history will be reset. If you address tracking at a higher level whenever possible, you can avoid creating new ads when you make tracking changes.

An additional benefit of the upgraded URLs format is the inclusion of location tracking in ValueTrack, which is the feature that appends tracking values to ad landing pages. With the new parameter, you will be able to see how many ad clicks were triggered by location, and this information can inform your bidding.

While the new URL format is a mandatory upgrade, it should not be cause for concern. The advantages of easier tracking management promise an improved experience for advertisers. There are benefits for your web visitors, too. As the upgrade is intended to decrease load times, they should see your landing page content faster. If you would like to more about upgraded URLs in AdWords, talk to one of our experts at Premiere Creative or give us a call at (973) 346-8100!