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Revenue and Conversion Tracking

Home > English > Revenue and Conversion Tracking > URLs & URL Builder > How To Articles: URLs & URL Builder > The Marin Search URL Builder

The Marin Search URL Builder

Introduction

The URL Builder is a tool which is unique to the Marin platform. It allows you to create templates that make adding revenue tracking parameters to your URLs easier than ever before. 

The URL Builder takes the work out of focusing on your tracking solutions, and instead allows you to focus on managing your ad campaigns and driving value. In this article, we'll explain exactly what the URL Builder is, and how you can use it to streamline your campaign management. 

Note: You can find information on how to set up the URL Builder for publishers other than Google here.

What Does The URL Builder Do?

Settings defined in URL Builder are used to populate two Google URL attributes: Tracking Templates and Custom Parameters. These attributes can be applied to all account objects like keywords and creatives as well as groups,campaigns, and even the publisher account objects themselves. The Google URL Builder will not make changes to your landing pages (final URLs).

How to Access the URL builder

To  navigate to the URL Builder, click on Admin in the top right corner of the Marin Platform. From there, click on the Revenue sub-tab and select URL Builder in the left-hand navigation.

How To Set Up The URL Builder

In general you will set up the URL Builder for all publishers, including Google, as follows:

  1. Click on the + button and Select the publisher for which you want to define tracking settings
  2. Define revenue integration parameters and any redirect settings
  3. Select specific objects to which you want URL Builder to add tracking information (e.g. build account-level tracking templates, as well as campaignkeyword, and creative-level custom parameters)
  4. Specify whether or not the URL Builder should add tracking parameters for existing objects that are updated via sync or not (autocorrect)

Once these steps are complete, new objects and objects that you edit will automatically have these URL Builder settings applied.

URL Templates


Think of your URL Templates as the "building blocks” of a tracking template. Typical integrations see one URL template for one set of query string parameters as well as additional URL Templates for each redirect level.

For more information from Google on Tracking Templates, take a look at this Google Help Article.

URL Parameters Are Combined To Create A Tracking Template

If you don't use redirects:

Let's say you want your tracking template to look like this: 


{lpurl}?mkwid={_mkwid}&pcrid={creative}

 

This can be accomplished by adding just a single URL parameter that contains all of the tracking parameters you need. Notice that, like the legacy URL builder, only include the tracking parameters themselves without including the landing page valuetrack {lpurl}:


[_lpparams] = ?mkwid={_mkwid}&pcrid={creative}.

 

If you do use redirects:

If instead, you wanted your tracking template to look like this:

 

https://www.tracker.marinsm.com?cid=x784dd1&lp={lpurl}%3Fmkwid%3D{_mkwid}%26pcrid%3D{creative}

 

then you might set up two URL parameters like this:
 

  • [_rd1params] = ?cid=[tracker_id]
  • [_lpparams] = ?mkwid={_mkwid}&pcrid={creative}
     

You would also set the “association” of [_lpparams] to be to your desired landing page while setting the “association” of [_rd1params] to RD1.

In both cases, more URL parameters can be used if desired, but in most cases one URL parameter per redirect-level is sufficient.

Add A New Tracking Template URL Parameter

Follow the instructions below for adding a tracking template URL parameter.
 

  1. Select the URL Parameters sub-tab

  2. Click the blue New URL Parameter button

  3. Enter a name and value

    • The best names are descriptive, like [_lpparams] or [_encrdparams]

    • Names have a 16 character maximum length and should use only lowercase letters and numbers

    • The tracking template reference to {lpurl} should not be added to the URL Parameter - add {lpurl}, {unescapedlpurl}, or other variations in the redirect settings

  4. Optional: select a Stop Character that will be added to the end of the parameter string
  5. Click Add

 

Edit A Tracking Template URL Parameter

  1. Click the Edit pencil at the right-hand side of the grid

  2. Make the required edits

  3. Click Update to save

Delete A Tracking Template URL Parameter

  1. Click the Edit pencil at the right-hand side of the grid

  2. Click the Trash Icon in the lower-left hand corner of the edit panel

Parameter Encoding

Marin will automatically encode the value of [_lpparams] appropriately, depending on the settings specified in theRedirect Panel.

Selecting The Object Level For Your Tracking Template

The default tracking template level is Account, but if you add a new level in the Actions Tab and switching between in-use tracking template levels via the Level-Selector, you can add or edit tracking templates at any object level.

The current object level you have selected will determine which level template you are working on. If you have already defined other object levels (e.g. Keyword) you can edit tracking templates for those other objects by switching the current object level.

If you want to add a new object for whom you want to define a tracking template, you can do so by using the Action Tab. For example, if you want to set up a campaign-level tracking template, you can click on the Action button, click New Template, and then click Campaign to begin working on your campaign-level tracking template.

If you have defined templates at different levels, the template from the lower hierarchy level will apply. For example, If a template is set both at the Account and Creative level, if a user clicks on the Creative, the keyword which triggered the Creative will inherit the creative-level template.

List Of Supported Google Object Levels

  1. Account Template: defines a PCA tracking template. Applies to all PCAs.
  2. Campaign Template: defines a Campaign tracking template. Applies to all Campaigns.
  3. Group Template: defines a Group tracking template. Applies to all Ad Groups.
  4. Keyword Template: defines a Keyword tracking template. Applies to all Keywords.
  5. Creative Template: defines a Creative tracking template. Applies to all Creatives.
  6. Placement Template: defines a Placement tracking template. Applies to all Placements.
  7. Product Target Template: defines a Product Target tracking template. Applies to all Product Targets.
  8. Sitelink Template: defines a Sitelink tracking template. Applies to all Sitelinks.

Google Custom Parameters


Google Custom Parameters allow a user to specify URL snippets (in the form of key/value pairs) that can be substituted by Google when the ad is served on Google properties. Custom parameters will not be substituted into a tracking template unless they are explicitly referenced.

 

For example, if your tracking template is defined as:

http://www.example.com?mkwid={_mkwid}

and your keyword custom parameter is defined as: {_mkwid}=abc123 , when AdWords serves an ad on that keyword, the URL will contain the resolved custom parameter:

http://www.example.com?mkwid=abc123
 

Custom Parameters can be set by Bulk Upload for any Google objects, but by defining them in the URL Builder, you can let Marin add them automatically. Because custom parameters are used to contain URL snippets that differ across objects, most custom parameters defined in the URL Builder will have values that are Marin Macros. Read more about these macros here: Platform URL Parameters

To set up the URL Builder so that all keywords are given a custom parameter containing Marin’s unique tracking parameter, you would define: {_mkwid}=[uniq_id] in the URL Builder and the appropriate value will then be substituted into each keyword when the URL Builder settings are applied. In the case above, the example keyword’s [uniq_id] resolved to “abc123”.

Custom Parameters are independent of the Tracking Template level shown in the dropdown above the parameter grid.

{copy} ValueTrack parameter

With the upgrade of our new URL Builder, you no longer have to worry about using the {copy} parameter. Simply add any parameter such as {_mkwid} mkwid} that you would like to track. For example, you can add a Google custom parameter into a tracking template at the Sitelink level or higher (e.g. campaign, account, etc.).

Add A New Custom Parameter

  1. Click on the Custom Parameters sub-tab

  2. Click on the blue New Custom Parameter button

  3. Set the name, value, and location for the custom parameter

    • The best names are descriptive, like {_mkwid} or {_regiondimensionmkwid} or {_regiondimension}

    • Names have a 16 character maximum length and can use only lowercase letters and numbers.

    • Custom params that are repeated across multiple locations (e.g. {_mkwid}=[uniq_id] across keywords, creatives, product groups and placements) must be created once for each location.

  4. Click Add to save the Custom Parameter.

Edit A Custom Parameter

  1. Click on the Edit pencil on the right of the custom parameter you wish to edit

  2. Make the required changes

  3. Click Update

Delete A Custom Parameter

  1. Click the Edit pencil at the right-hand side of the grid

  2. Click the Trash Icon in the lower-left hand corner of the edit panel

Note

Google allows only a maximum of 3 custom parameters per object. This may cause issues consequences for objects synched into Marin that already have Google Custom Parameters defined that differ from the URL Builder settings. In general, the URL Builder will overwrite existing Google Custom Parameters to ensure that it is able to apply its settings. However, if the the combined number of URL Builder defined Google custom parameters + parameters that already existed in AdWords, or were specified in a bulk upload, is less than or equal to 3, then there will be no conflict and no parameters will be overwritten.

Choose Redirect OptionsEdit section

The Redirect Panel allows you customize your URL setup in your tracking templates by specifying whether or not you have URL redirects enabled as well as what those URLs are. If you are using redirects, you can also specify the encoding level of your redirecting URLs and landing page here as well. The default value for redirects is Off.

Enabling Redirects

To enable redirects, follow the instructions below:

  1. If you are using Redirects, click Edit (the 'pencil' icon) to open up the Redirect dialog box
  2. Select whether you are using Single or Double redirects
  3. Select the protocol for your redirect URL (http:  or https: )
  4. Enter the Redirect URL you are using (i.e. tracker.marinsm.com/rd? )
  5. Enter the Connector Parameter that contains the value of the landing page URL or second redirect (i.e. lp= ). This will cause the Platform automatically connect URLs
  6. Select the encoding level of the Landing Page URL by clicking Edit  ('pencil' icon) in the Landing Page row

The Preview Template


Structure

The Structure field will show URL Builder specified building blocks in order without substituting them to create the Final Template. To add parameters to these sections, you will need to create URL Parameters and then set their Association to append your required parameters to the specified redirect level or the landing page. Whether or not you have specified a redirect and how you have specified the redirect encoding levels for URL components will determine the encoding level of associated URL parameters.

Final Template

The Final Template field will show you a preview of the Tracking Template that will be pushed to Google for specified objects. Use this field to double check your URL Builder setup and make any necessary changes are added before saving. Custom Parameters that are set up to be included in the template can be re-ordered in the Custom Parameters grid by clicking and dragging. This will change the order they display in the Structure and Preview Template. The preview URL will not show substituted marin macros [uniq_id], [tracker_id] or dimensions. These will only be substituted when the tracking template is actually created.

Applying The Account Level Tracking Template 

Saving the URL Builder does not apply the Account Tracking Template to your linked Google accounts. To apply the saved URL Builder settings to your Google publisher accounts, you will need to follow the instructions below.

Click on the Channels tab and select the check boxes next to any Google publisher accounts where you wish to apply your Account Level Tracking Template.  From there, click on the Edit button and select Account Tracking Template from the drop-down.

You can type anything you'd like into the blank text box, as URL Builder settings will always trump what is typed into this field. For example, you could write "Hello World" and the resulting job would utilize the URL Builder Tracking Template and not what was typed into the box. You can then go ahead and hit Save.

Once you Save, check the Activity Log, find and select the corresponding activity and post the Tracking Template to Google.

Note: You will need to repeat this step whenever new Google publisher accounts are added to your Marin Client Account.

Autocorrect


The URL Builder can additionally apply URL settings to objects every time they are synced into Marin. A detailed article on Autocorrect can be found by reading our Support Center Article on Upgraded Autocorrect.

Using Google's Final URL suffix with the URL Builder


If you'd like to start using Google's Final URL Suffix in your URL settings, you'll need to switch to using the MarinOne URL Builder. Please note that doing so will disable Google support in the existing Marin Search URL Builder, but don't worry -- all of the features you enjoy (and many more) are available in the MarinOne version.

To start using Final URL Suffix, please follow these steps:
 

  1. First, contact your platform representative and request that they disable Google support in the Marin Search URL Builder.
  2. Once that's done, you'll now find a link in Marin Search which will take you to the new and improved URL Builder for Google in MarinOne.

 

 

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