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Managing Campaigns

Home > English > Managing Campaigns > Dimensions > How To Articles: Dimensions > Dimensions in Destination URLs Advanced Guide

Dimensions in Destination URLs Advanced Guide


Dimension tags can be used to insert specific dimension values into your URLs. By tagging dimensions at the campaign or group-level, you can insert the dimension name as part of the URL Builder parameters. Now these dimension values can be populated in loaded URLs.

Dimension tags can therefore be used as a tracking parameter for building URLs in much the same way that keyword IDs can. The Platform will insert the tag for the specified dimension when the URLs are loaded into the Platform, so that the revenue tracking system will detect the dimension within the URL, and attribute conversions appropriately.

How to insert dimensions into destination URLs

Setting up your destination URLs so they include the relevant dimension is easy.

  1. First create a new Dimension (or Category). For more information on creating dimensions please see this help article.
  2. Tag your objects with a value for this new dimension at the campaign, group, keyword, or ad-level. For example, tag your category dimension with the value 'Skiing' for campaigns.
  3. Update the URL Builder to include this new dimension. To do so, you will need to create a new Custom Parameter, assign it to the appropriate level, and add the name of the dimension in brackets, for example [Category]. 

    Consult the New URL Builder Advanced Guide for additional details on how to set up Custom Parameters in the URL Builder. 
  4. Upload a file with your objects and the URLs. URL Builder will then add on the tracking as well as the dimension value.

For example, you could create a keyword using the following bulk upload fields:

Keyword Category Destination URL
Wide Skis Skiing http://www.example.com/[Category]?mkwid=ABC123

The keyword would be created with the following destination URL:


This can greatly simplify the creation of bulk sheets and eliminate creating complex concatenations in Excel before importing into the application. For more details on managing and building URLs, see the article How to Set Up the URL Builder.

How to update dimensions within destination URLs (without redirects)

If you change the dimension value that is tagged and want this value to update for existing URLs, this will not update automatically. To update the URLs to contain the new dimension value, you have two options:

  1. Run a report of those objects (make sure to include the Destination URL column), strip off all tracking parameters, and reload this file back into the Platform. URL Builder will then add back the tracking with the new dimension value.
  2. Run a report of these objects (make sure to include the Destination URL column), update the dimension value in the URL to the dimension name with brackets. For example, replace 'Skiing' with [Category]. Then reload this file back into the Platform. URL Builder will then update the dimension name with the new dimension value.

How to update dimensions within destination URLs (Using Redirects)

If you are using redirects, and using a dimension within those redirected URLs, it is possible for the Platform to update the dimension value in the URLs. Marin will update dimension values in URLs when a dimension is edited at the keyword level using a single edit or a bulk upload is done.

For example, a typical setup using URL redirects might have the URL Builder set up as follows:


This redirect is for DFA, where the DFA Click Command is being populated by a dimension named [ClickCommand]. Imagine that this dimension is at the account level, but that new Click Commands have to become campaign-specific. The application can update dimensions through the process below:

  1. Tag the campaigns with the new [ClickCommand] or other necessary dimension value. We recommend that you do this via a multi-edit or through a bulk upload.
  2. Download all of your keywords with the following columns selected in the View Builder: Account, Campaign, Group, Keyword, Match Type, Click Through URL. Also apply a filter on all but deleted.
  3. Download the file containing your keywords, then upload to the Platform Held status.
  4. Review your URLs to ensure that the relevant change has been made.
Important note: If you update a dimension value which is not part of a redirected URL, it will not be updated within the relevant destination URLs.

How to insert a dimension unencoded

When using dimension values in the URL builder, the default behavior is to encode characters in the URL. This replaces 'unsafe' ASCII characters with a % followed by two hexadecimal digits. There may be occasions when there is a character in your dimension that you don't want URL encoded. For example: { } ; :

In order to properly insert the dimension value into the URL without having it URL encoded, you must reference the dimension with the phrase unencoded_ before it. For example:


In this case, if the campaign name is test;example, the resulting URL would appear as follows:


Without an unencoded dimension as above, the end of this URL would like this: utm_campaign=test%3Bexample which may not be preferable.

information about dimensions in URLs

Remember that dimensions at a higher level will 'trickle down' to the keyword level or creative level when building URLs. It is important to remember whether or not a keyword is tagged with a dimension value.

Dimensions have a parent-child relationship, whereby the child will inherit the parent's value if the child object is not tagged. For example, if a keyword does not have a dimension value, but a dimension is set at the group level, the keyword will inherit the group's value. This can be overwritten by tagging a dimension at either the group or keyword level.

If a keyword does not have a dimension value, and the dimension is set at the campaign level, the group and keyword will inherit the dimension at the campaign level when URLs are built. The hierarchy of dimensions is: Client Account - Campaign - Group - Keyword /Creatives with Client Accounts at the top.

Frequently Asked Questions about dimensions in URLs

Here are some common questions and issues you may encounter.

My destination URLs are not being updated with my dimensions. What is wrong?

The most common reason for URLs not having a dimension value included is that no objects in the hierarchy have been tagged in the dimension. This can be solved by tagging those objects.

Another possible reason for why dimensions may not be updating is because new keywords/creatives were created before being tagged with a dimension. If a dimension is tagged after the URLs are created, then the URLs will not be updated with the dimension value. To fix this, please refer to the How to Update Dimensions Within Destination URLs section.

A final reason why dimensions may not be updating is that the dimensions might be assigned at a lower level, such as at the keyword level.  When the application is building URLs with dimensions via URL Builder, it will look at the lowest level. For example, if a dimension is assigned at the group level and at the keyword level, the keyword will take on the keyword-level dimension.

If you click into a keyword within the main Keyword tab and navigating to the section named Dimensions, you'll be able to see a chart of dimensions set at the Account, Campaign, Group, and Keyword level.

To use a dimension in a URL at a higher level, you can either:

1. Clear out the dimension at the group and keyword level and then upload your Click Through URLs again.


2. Upload a new dimension at the keyword URL level with the Click Through URL column.

If this does not help please get in touch with our Support team via the Resolution Center.



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