Tracking Unsupported Objects: Placeholder Keywords

Placeholder Keywords, sometimes referred to as 'dummy' Keywords, offer a tracking method for objects that are currently unsupported in the Marin platform. These Keywords are created in a Paused status and used as placeholders to track conversion and revenue data for these objects.

Please note that, because we do not officially support these methods of attribution, we are unable to provide assistance in either setting up or troubleshooting them. For more information, please contact your platform representative.


Creating Placeholder Keywords

Follow these steps to create placeholder keywords and track unsupported objects:

  1. Check URL Builder: Confirm your URL Builder (Settings > Revenue & Tracking > URL Builder) is using a unique Tracking ID at the Keyword level, typically a Custom Parameter called {_mkwid} = [uniq_id].
  2. Create Placeholder Keywords: Generate a bulksheet to create new keywords. To populate the Landing Page column, use the Creative's Landing URL. The bulksheet will use the following columns: Account, Campaign, Group, Keyword, Match Type, Status, Landing Page, Custom Parameters.

    Note: Make sure that these Keywords are uploaded with a Paused status. This ensures that the Keyword isn't served, but will still create an associated mkwid/Unique ID.
  3. Generate a Report: Create a report of the Placeholder Keywords, including the Custom Parameter column to download the new mkwid/Unique ID.
  4. Update Final URL Builder Template: Copy your Final Template from the URL Builder and remove all instances of {creative} (for Google Tracking Templates) and {AdId} (for Microsoft Tracking Templates). Then, replace any instances of {_mkwid} with the newly created mkwid value from Step 2.
  5. Update Publisher: Upload your modified Tracking Template in the publisher at the object's level (typically Creative). This forces the object to serve the final URL and attribute back to the Placeholder Keyword.

Important Notes

With Placeholder Keywords, you will only see Conversion and Revenue data at the Keyword level in Marin; no front-end metrics such a Cost, Clicks, or Impressions will appear in the platform at the Keyword OR Creative level for these objects; bidding will not run on Placeholder Keywords as they are Paused and there is no associated cost data.

Once these objects are supported in Marin, you'll need to remove the associated Tracking Template from the Publisher and run a hard sync of your Campaigns to ensure that Conversion data attributes properly.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: December 8th, 2023