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Revenue and Conversion Tracking

Home > English > Revenue and Conversion Tracking > Conversion Tracking > How To Articles: Conversion Tracking > Tracking Sitelink Conversions

Tracking Sitelink Conversions

Introduction

Sitelinks are handy ad extensions that you can use to include extra links below your text ads. Much like their natural search counterparts, they can drive clicks to deep content on your website. Sitelinks are typically only displayed below ads with higher-than-average CTR, position and quality score. For example, ads that feature branded terms or a domain name.

 

How to add sitelinks

To add new Google sitelinks within the Platform, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the main Campaigns tab.
  2. Click on one of your campaigns.
  3. Choose the Ad Extensions sub-tab.
  4. In the Viewing drop-down box, select Sitelinks Extensions.
  5. From here, you can type in your sitelink name, link text and destination URL. Be sure that there are no blank Link Text or URL fields before saving a new or edited sitelink, or you may encounter this error: Error: For input string: ""

 

Note:

  • The Platform currently does not support management of Baidu Sitelinks. Manually edited URLs as described below need to be pasted via Baidu UI.
  • The max number of characters accepted in the Link Text field is 25. If you put in longer text, you will encounter this error message: "Error message: An error has occurred, please try again later."
  • Sitelinks must target All devices in order for the Platform to sync them down. You can ensure the settings by going to the Ad extensions tab in Adwords, viewing Sitelinks Extensions and choosing the radio button which says Show this extension on All devices.

How to delete sitelinks

To delete individual site links from a set, follow these steps:
 

  • Navigate to the Ad Extensions sub-tab.
  • In the Viewing drop-down box, select Sitelinks Extensions.
  • Click the minus (-) button next to the individual sitelink you'd like to delete.
     
Note: If you'd like to delete the entire sitelink set, you must do so from the publisher's interface, since this capability is not supported in the Platform.

How to set up sitelink conversion tracking

Note: Below we'll explain how the Platform tracks sitelink conversions. For information on how to enable tracking, please read A Guide to Sitelinks URL Builder.

You can use the Platform's Sitelinks URL Builder feature to attribute sitelink conversions to the keyword that triggered the conversion. The Sitelinks URL Builder uses the {copy:xxx} parameter, which copies static tracking parameters (i.e. tracking values) from the destination URL of the sitelink's parent ad and inserts it dynamically into the sitelink URL.

Using the {copy:xxx} method, you can track exactly which keyword triggered the click, but you won't know which sitelink was clicked on. Please note that certain URL structures are not supported by Sitelinks URL Builder. Find out more by reading A Guide to Sitelinks URL Builder's Supported URL Structures.

The following example illustrates how Sitelinks URL Builder constructs a sitelink URL, and what it would look like on click:

Original (keyword) URL:

http://example.com/?mkwid=a123456&pcrid={creative}&pkw={keyword}&pmt={matchtype}
 
Modified sitelink URL:
http://example.com/sitelink.html?{copy:mkwid}&pcrid={creative}&pkw={keyword}&pmt={matchtype}

 

Resulting sitelink URL (on click):

http://example.com/sitelink.html?mkwid=a123456&pcrid=0987654321&pkw=levi&pmt=e
 
Please note that when using this method through Sitelinks URL Builder, you cannot run a keyword-level report for sitelink data. Since sitelink URLs copy the tracking from the keyword that triggered the sitelink, the Platform cannot detect whether a conversion came from the keyword itself or a sitelink.

A note if you're using publisher tracking

The publisher tracking method does not utilize any tracking parameters. That means it does not have a parameter in which you use the {copy:xxx} parameter. In this case, the publisher tracking will automatically attribute conversions to the sitelink and the keyword that is associated to the sitelink click with no {copy:xxx} parameter. If the publisher tracking is turned on, we bring down the keyword level conversions in the Platform.

Sitelink conversion tracking when using redirects

 

REDIRECTS.png

Screenshot: Example redirected sitelink URLs being created in the Platform.
 

Sitelinks URL Builder can also work when building redirect URLs, although, as mentioned above, some URL structures are not supported. The following example illustrates how Sitelinks URL Builder constructs a sitelink redirect URL, and what it would look like on click:

Original (keyword) URL:

http://tracker.marinsm.com/rd?cid=987654321&mkwid=a123456&pcrid={creative}&pkw={keyword}&pmt={matchtype}&lp=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mysite.com
 
Modified sitelink URL:
http://tracker.marinsm.com/rd?cid=987654321&{copy:mkwid}&pcrid={creative}&pkw={keyword}&pmt={matchtype}&lp=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mysite.com
 

Resulting sitelink URL (on click):

http://tracker.marinsm.com/rd?cid=987654321&mkwid=a123456&pcrid=0987654321&pkw=levi&pmt=e&lp=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mysite.com
 
  • Note that if you have parameters that require copy within an encoded Click Through URL, Sitelinks URL Builder will not append these parameters with {copy:xxx}, because Google does not support copying parameters from encoded URLs or into an encoded format URL.
  • Similar to keywords, when building redirects for sitelinks, the Platform requires that you input a Click Through URL for the sitelink. Sitelinks URL Builder will then wrap it in a fully built redirected Destination URL for the sitelink.

Tracking Microsoft sitelink conversions

Tracking Microsoft sitelink conversions is very similar to the process above, and you can use the {copy:xxx} parameter in much the same way. The Platform offers full support for Microsoft sitelinks and follows the same process as outlined above.

The following dynamic parameters are inserted into sitelink URLs by Microsoft automatically:

  • QueryString: The text string the user searched for.
  • MatchType: The type of match that triggered your ad (exact, phrase, or broad).
  • AdID: The ID number of the clicked ad.

However, using the {copy:xxx} parameter alone is recommended for more accuracy in tracking.

Tracking Baidu sitelink conversions (legacy placeholder method)

Tracking Baidu sitelink conversions requires a slightly different approach, as Baidu does not offer the same {copy:xxx} functionality as Google and Microsoft.  

Note: The following method is not recommended with publishers other than Baidu.

You can follow these steps to attribute sitelink conversions to the individual sitelink:

  1. Create a new campaign named ‘Ad Extensions’, and within that a new Ad Group named ‘Sitelinks’. Both of these need to be set to the Paused status.
  2. Upload one keyword to this Ad Group for each sitelink you’d like to track. We recommend using keywords that are unlike any others you use in the Platform: ‘sitelink1, sitelink2...’ for example. Again, these keywords need to be set to the Paused status.
  3. Post these paused changes to the publisher.
  4. Once these 'placeholder' keywords are posted to the publisher, drill down to the ad group level in the Platform and copy their new destination URLs. Then, just replace {creative} with the word SITELINK in these URLs, and remove the {mediatype} parameter from the URL also.
  5. Take the edited URL and copy this into the actual Baidu sitelink destination URL seen in the publisher. Do this for each of your placeholder keywords/sitelinks. Conversions being generated by your sitelinks will now be reported in your placeholder keywords.

Tracking Yahoo! Sitelinks / Yahoo! RAIS / Yahoo! Premium Placement conversions

Yahoo! sitelinks conversions can be tracked to the individual link, similar to the Baidu method outlined above. In addition to changing the creative parameter, all dynamic parameters (any parameter using { }) will also need to be removed.

Here is an example which explains the steps you need to take:
 

  1. A placeholder keyword has been created with the following destination URL uploaded to the engine: https://website.com/?mkwid={YSMMTC:std:adv:cnt}123456&pcrid={YSMADID}&kword={YSMKEY}&match={YSMMTC:std:adv:cnt}
  2. Replace the {YSMADID} creative parameter with the word SITELINK.
  3. Remove the {YSMMTC} match type parameter and other Yahoo! dynamic parameters. Once you have completed this step, the finished URL should look similar to: https://website.com/?mkwid=123456&pcrid=SITELINK
  4. Take the edited URL and copy into the Yahoo sitelink destination URL.
  5. Repeat the process for each unique link.

How to test that the {copy:xxx} parameter is populating correctly

While there is no official way to test whether or not sitelink tracking is working, you can check whether or not the {copy:xxx} parameter is populating correctly. To do so, just follow these steps:
 

  1. Go to Google or Microsoft and search for one of your keywords.
  2. When your ad and sitelink set appear, copy the URL of both the ad and the sitelink. You can usually do this by right-clicking each link and choosing Copy link address or similar.
  3. Compare the mkwid values in each URL. If they are the same, the {copy:xxx} parameter is working correctly.
     
Sitelinks4.png
Screenshot: Checking the {copy} parameter in a live sitelink.

Important notes

  • There is currently no way to automatically view and report on which campaigns have sitelinks within the Campaigns tab.

    If you have not named these campaigns with a recognizable name for a sitelinks campaign (ie. SiteLinkCampaign1), you can use Dimensions as a workaround to tag those campaigns. You can then filter on that dimension and pull a report on those selected campaigns. Please see our Help article for more information on how to use and report on Dimensions.
  • Please don't test the landing page with {copy:xxx} parameters, as it will be parsed in the real URL that visitors click from publisher ads. Otherwise you might be landing to a page that doesn't exist (or showing 404 error page).

  • You can use {copy:xxx} to track conversions for group level sitelinks and attribute them to the keyword. The Platform currently does not automatically build URLs for group level sitelinks, but they can be applied manually.
  • {copy:xxx} can also be used to track conversions for group-level sitelinks, and attribute them to the keyword. The Platform currently does not automatically build URLs for group-level sitelinks -- but they can be applied manually.
  • Please do not copy and paste the URL from place holder keyword to the sitelink, as the URL will then be encoded and some value track parameter will not work. This will cause sitelink tracking to fail.
  • You can measure the performance of sitelinks by reporting on the attributed keyword, group or campaign that served the sitelink. Since sitelinks copy the unique id from the keyword, the Platform is unable to report on the individual sitelink. The traffic generated by the sitelink will attribute directly to its parent keyword.
  • For any existing sitelinks that do not contain the {copy:xxx} parameter within the URL, a change will need to be made to the URL in order for the system to recognize a change and trigger URL Builder to append tracking. To do this, you can simply add a forward slash '/' to the end of your URL when uploading.
  • For more information about Google, click here to review the New URL Builder Advanced Guide (Google Only)
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