Posted by & filed under Google, Google AdWords, PPC.

Paid Search Alert: the 1st July marked a deadline for all Adwords users to switch over to upgraded URLs.

The updated format allows us to:

  • Manage landing page and tracking information separately
  • Make tracking changes at ad group level, campaign level or account wide
  • Carry out these changes quickly and simply
Mon's Images/

Mon’s Images/Shutterstock

Most importantly though, when tracking does need to be updated, upgraded URLs signify an end to ads potentially pausing while they are sent back for re-review and the troublesome loss of ad history (among other performance statistics). So yes, the change was inevitable and although there may be some initial grafting to put the changes in place this update is promising and big news for advertisers and clients alike.

So what’s different? What’s new? And what does it mean for you and your business?

You’ll be familiar with destination URLs: this was the address you wanted customers to reach when they clicked on your ad, combined with your necessary tracking information. Beforehand, if you needed to update this tracking, you’d have been required to edit your destination URL which meant your ad was submitted for re-review; you’d lose potential conversions while the ad was offline and to add insult to injury, you’d lose performance statistics related to the original URL.

Now that the update is in place however, you can enter a final URL (the address you want customers to land on) and keep your tracking parameters separate, regardless of which tracking system you happen to use and wherever your tracking system needs to be placed (whether it’s a prefix, a suffix, at the campaign, adgroup or keyword level or a combination of all of these). If, for any reason, you need to edit these tracking parameters, there’s no need to say a painful and furious goodbye to valuable statistics, as this information will remain linked to your final URL. Did we mention that your ad will continue to run while changes are being made? Yes, this update is long overdue.

While some of this is similar to and based on existing ValueTrack parameters (which you may be familiar with as they aren’t entirely new to this upgrade), there are some new additions that have made them all the more valuable. This includes the introduction of location tracking parameters: these shed light on which ads generate the most traffic and where it comes from; an insight that could be worth its weight in CPCs. Find out more about ValueTrack parameters here from Google.

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So what now?

Since the update went into effect, destination URLs will have been replaced with final URLs. If you haven’t previously required tracking you might not have even noticed the update taking place so you’re already good to go! Otherwise, like us, you might have found that there is some work in splitting this information into the newly appropriate areas. Overall, losing data every time it is necessary to adjust tracking was a definite flaw in the Adwords system so the upgraded URLs can only indicate an improvement!

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We’d love to hear how the upgraded URLs update has impacted your paid search management – leave us a comment below!