What are URL Parameters in AdWords?


url parametersURL Parameters are extensions to a website’s URLs. They carry information about the click that led a user to the website or a page on that site.

URL parameters consist of a key and its corresponding value. The key and the value are separated by an equals sign (=). Multiple key-value sets are joined by an ampersand (&). And the first parameter should always come following a question mark (?) in any given URL.

E.g.: http://example.com?product=1234&utm_source=google

Types of URL Parameters

There are two different types of URL parameters advertisers can use, i.e., content-modifying parameters and tracking parameters. You can insert these parameters in the tracking template or with custom parameters.

Content-modifying Parameters

Content-modifying parameters are exclusive to the final URL. They carry information to the landing page. For instance, a URL http://example.com?productid=1234 would send a visitor directly to the product page of product 1234.

Tracking Parameters

Tracking parameters carry information about a click. They are a part of the tracking template. Two types of tracking parameters are available, Custom parameters and ValueTrack parameters.

Custom parameters are values defined by the advertisers. Advertisers set them in the tracking templates.

For instance, you could define a campaign in campaign’s custom parameters. The format is {_campaign}=branding or {_campaign}=leads. And you can set your account tracking template to track campaign that generated clicks. The format will be {lpurl}?source_campaign={_campaign}.

You use ValueTrack parameters to designate a value in a URL parameter.

For instance, you can define the “{network}” in a URL parameter as “network={network}”. This {network} parameter will now record the network which generated the click. The network could Search Network or Display Network based on your campaign type. ValueTrack parameters save data in an ad’s landing page URL for further use.

Anchor links and AJAX fragments in URL Parameters

An anchor link is an internal link on a webpage that moves a visitor to a particular section of that webpage. Anchor links are identified by a hash sign (#).

E.g.: www.example.com/ajax.html#key=value

AJAX is a method of communicating with the server to exchange data. Using AJAX, instead of reloading the whole webpage, you can update parts of the webpage. AJAX fragments are identified by a hash-exclamation sign (#!).

E.g.: www.example.com/ajax.html#!key=value

Anchors and AJAX fragments have an impact on your URLs. Be it the final URL, a tracking template, or different URL parameters that you use for tracking, the statement stands true.

When using an anchor or AJAX fragment in the final URL and your tracking template format is such that it annexes extra parameters at the end of your final URL, you must put all your tracking parameters in the final URL. These tracking parameters would be behind an {ignore} tag in the final URL.

Thus, every time you use this {ignore} parameter in a final URL that contains a # or #!, AdWords considers everything between the {ignore} tag and the # or #! as tracking information.

E.g.: Final URL: http://site.com?{ignore}param=1&tracking=1&device={device}#anchor. AdWords will consider “param=1&tracking=1&device={device}” as tracking information.

Basics of AdWords tracking, parallel tracking and different other topics related to AdWords are share in our AdWords and PPC blog.

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Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.

By Mantha Sai Praveen

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