This morning I received an important email from Google letting me know that there is going to be an update in Google AdWords. This update will affect everyone who uses parameters on the landing pages URL’s in AdWords. As a part of RMS best practices we use UTM parameters to get the extra information we’d like from Google Analytics, but also to track exact ROI on the AdWords campaigns that we run for clients that use Marketo.
Google AdWords Upgraded URLs
In the message from Google:
We’ve improved URL management to make tracking easier for your AdWords ads. Beginning 1 July 2015, URLs will need to use the new Upgraded URLs structure, and Destination URLs will be replaced with the new fields. Depending on whether you use URL tracking or not, you may need to update your URLs to take advantage of Upgraded URL features:
- If you don’t use URL tracking: We’ll automatically upgrade your URLs in July by copying your current Destination URLs to the new final URL field for all ads and keywords. Your AdWords report columns will update to reflect these changes.
- If you use URL tracking: We recommend that you upgrade your URLs with help from our guide before 1 July. Otherwise, we’ll automatically upgrade your URLs starting in July. Your AdWords report columns will update to reflect these changes.
Why and how to use Upgraded URLs?
Previously to add parameters to your landing page URL’s you would do this at the ad level in the landing page URL. Depending on the level of tracking (Campaign, Ad group, Ads) you would use different parameters. With the new upgraded URL’s you can set the parameters at the different levels which will save time now you don’t have to add it per ad any more. An example: If you set your parameters at the campaign level, this will add those parameters to all your ads within that campaign. It is still possible to add the parameters at the ad level if you want to track the activity per ad or keyword.
As mentioned in the email from Google, you need to update your ads before the first of July, because on that date they will start automatically upgrading your URLs. You can do that following the following instructions Google provided here. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions or need assistance setting up this change in your AdWords account.
Changes in Marketo online advertising programs
If you currently use Marketo to identify who clicked on your ads and converted using parameters this update in Google AdWords is important to you. Marketo is listening to pick up on parameters in the landing page URL’s to identify who filled in a form after clicking an advertisement. This means that after the the ads are updated and the new Upgraded URL’s feature is in use the parameters need to stay exactly the same, or the new parameters need to be added in the online advertising programs.
For the RMS clients for whom we provide both Google advertising and Marketo services: your set-up will be reviewed and updated accordingly – and you have nothing to worry about, you’re in safe hands.
For those that don’t have us managing their SEA: we offer our good wishes [and an offer to let us help you].