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Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

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# 1
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Does anyone have any best practices to offer when it comes to using Dynamic Keyword Insertion in the Destination URL and Display URL?

 

In particular, what happens to the space between words with exact match keywords? I read somewhere that AdWords replaces it with %20 - but somewhere else it says it uses a plus sign - and in both cases, it causes problems with servers not recognising them as valid URLs. Can anyone shed any light on this (and also if there's a solution?) Many thanks.

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

I think either you or I may be confusing concepts here.

 

The Display URL will show your keyword in your ad - without any edits to the spaces as they are only for display purposes and are not rendered in a browser.

 

Buy Widgets Now

All the best colors and

sizes available.

widgetsnow.com/{keyword:widgets} - No space problems here at all.

 

In a Destination URL it will appear as part of your full page URL after the click - You still have to specify the full landing page for the ad to work, that doesn't change. The parameters you want to add are an addendum to your URL and show up after your actual page URL.  A good way to think about it is this: Your URL should load the same landing page, with or without any parameters.

 

http://www.widgetsnow.com/realdirectory/realpagename.html?keyword={keyword} - this is where the spaces will be interpreted and from what I understand, there is not much you can do about it.

 

The Keyword Destination URL field is for a more detailed and specific tracking purposes.  I've not used them very much but for some 3rd party tracking and also for some e-commerce solutions, you may want keyword level destination URLs.

 

Glad you're finding the community useful, I learn something every day here.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

You Got it.

 

Yes indeed you can use the Keyword Dest. URLs in that manner.  I have not used these very much myself but that is the idea.  When you have specific Dest. URLs this is how you would employ them.

 

-Tom

 

 

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

Great questions, and because of them, I have been able to brush up on these concepts myself...so thank you and please feel free to continue to ask, that is what this community is all about! Smiley Happy

 

I agree with what you mentioned 100%. 

 

No you do not need to make sure Display URLs work.  Display URLs are all for show.  IF someone were to type them in, I would guess that across Adwords, many would not work.  That is not to say that you couldn't set them up or only use legitimate Display URLs, it's just not required.  The domain has to match the destination domain, that is the only requirement.

 

Personally, I wouldn't focus too much effort on making sure Display URLs are resolveable in the real world.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom 

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

[ Edited ]
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# 14
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I would think that the need for DKI Destination urls is kind of redundant.... here's my thinking...

 

You would only really need to worry about this if there was a significant enough volume of traffic to merit the division - if visitors are searching for widgets - in many cases it's not going to make too big a difference if they actually want big ones, blue ones or big, blue ones - so a single widgets page with sub nav for the types would be sufficient.

 

If - however - your blue widget traffic merits consideration for it's own DKI url  - and let's face it - you only want people searching for blue widgets to go there - all the other widget traffic could go to the main widget page - then you'd be best setting up a separate ad group or camapign for blue widgets and putting a negative keyword of "blue" in the generic widgets campaign....

 

My 2 cents....

 

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Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

Based on my understanding, you're really looking at 2 different things.

 

DKI inside your ad is simply an effort to produce an enticing ad by inserting the keyword that was matched to the search query into your ad, be it in the Headline, ad text or display URL.  

 

My suggestions for this are to make sure you're ad group/keyword/ad combinations make sense if/when ANY of your keywords are inserted into your ads.  The last thing you want to happen is for your keyword to match and have your ad make no sense to the user.  It's quite important to make sure your campaign structure has a uniform message that will work well with DKI.  Also, the default text you use must fit into this as well. 

 

One thing to always remember are the limitations in ads in regards to length of characters in each line of your ad.  Google will shorten your ads if the DKI exceeds the allotted characters which can mix your messages up.   

 

Now on the destination URL, if your site currently uses parameters, you must be very careful to set this up properly.

 

I think there are a few ways to go about this (ValueTrack and DKI).  But you should have no worries about the %20 situation.  This is a browser's way of handling spaces and although it will show in the address bar of your destination URL page, it will not cause problems.  If your site is not using parameters to function, your main domain/landing page URL should load regardless of what is after the ? in your URL.  www.example.com/product.html will load the same as www.example.com/product.html?matchtype=b&keyword=the%20product%20name.

 

Beyond having the destination URL contain a keyword once the user has clicked on an ad, the usage for ValueTrack is to pass pertinent information to Analytics for tracking purposes.  There are a number of parameters that you can use to track keywords, match types, networks, custom tags and more.

 

If you have specific concerns or questions, please let us know.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
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Hi Tom, thanks for your helpful response. Yes, these will be dedicated ad groups for DKI, character limits will be checked for every keyword in each line, and every keyword/ad combo will make sense, along with the default text. And my site does not currently use parameters, though I wasn't familiar with them so thank you for bringing that to my attention. (This forum has proven extremely useful!)

 

Just so that I'm clear, let's say someone performs a search that triggers the keyword [red widgets]. And I have DKI used in the Destination URL like this: www.example.com/{keyword:widgets}. Here are the questions I have about this...

 

1) In terms of syntax, would the above query definitely generate www.example.com/red%20widgets rather than the other one I keep reading about, www.example.com/red+widgets

 

2) If it does indeed stick %20 between words, excuse the stupid question, but what exactly would I have to call my subdirectory name in order for it to actually bring up the right page, given that directories (and file names) can't/shouldn't contain spaces? Would I have to call it red%20widgets? Or would I add a 301 redirect from /red%20widgets to http://www.example.com/actual-location-of-red-widgets-page/

 

3) I see there is a Dest.URL column that can be added on the Keywords tab, where we can specify a Dest URL for each keyword. Is there any particular reason why it's better to set the Dest URL dynamically in the ad rather than manually alongside each keyword - other than simply the fact that it's quicker to do it dynamically in the ad?

 

Sorry for the follow-up questions but I just want to be clear before I embark on this!

 

As always, thanks in advance.

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

I think either you or I may be confusing concepts here.

 

The Display URL will show your keyword in your ad - without any edits to the spaces as they are only for display purposes and are not rendered in a browser.

 

Buy Widgets Now

All the best colors and

sizes available.

widgetsnow.com/{keyword:widgets} - No space problems here at all.

 

In a Destination URL it will appear as part of your full page URL after the click - You still have to specify the full landing page for the ad to work, that doesn't change. The parameters you want to add are an addendum to your URL and show up after your actual page URL.  A good way to think about it is this: Your URL should load the same landing page, with or without any parameters.

 

http://www.widgetsnow.com/realdirectory/realpagename.html?keyword={keyword} - this is where the spaces will be interpreted and from what I understand, there is not much you can do about it.

 

The Keyword Destination URL field is for a more detailed and specific tracking purposes.  I've not used them very much but for some 3rd party tracking and also for some e-commerce solutions, you may want keyword level destination URLs.

 

Glad you're finding the community useful, I learn something every day here.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

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# 5
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Ahh, I'm beginning to see I may have been missing something fundamental here.

 

Up until now, I was under the impression that if I used DKI in the Dest URL (in the ad), I would be able to take users to an individual landing page based on that keyword, because the file name or the folder name in the landing page URL would have been generated dynamically from the keyword, thus triggering a keyword-specific landing page, such as a product detail page. For example, if I had a Dest URL such as www.example.com/{keyword:widgets}.htm then....

 

Somebody who triggers my keyword "red widgets" gets taken to example.com/red-widgets.htm

Somebody who triggers my keyword "big widgets" gets taken to example.com/big-widgets.htm

 

(hence the question about the separation of words between "red" and "widgets" in the URL)

 

But now, if I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that using DKI in the Dest URL field is really just for passing parameters, ie. for information/tracking purposes, rather than taking users to a landing page specific to the keyword that was triggered by their search query?

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

Correct,  That is how I interpret the function as well.  If you needed a specific product landing page, that is a situation where you could attach a landing page to a keyword (keyword destination URL). 

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

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# 7
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Thanks Tom. When you say I could "attach a landing page to a keyword (keyword destination URL)"  - do you mean in the Keywords tab, I could indeed still just enter the full URL of individual landing pages (product detail pages) in the Dest URL column alongside the appropriate keyword? For example....

 

Keyword           Dest URL                                               

[red widgets]     http://www.example.com/red-widgets.htm

[big widgets]     http://www.example.com/big-widgets.htm

(etc)

 

(and presumably just have a generic non-DKI Dest URL set in the actual ad itself)

 

?

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

You Got it.

 

Yes indeed you can use the Keyword Dest. URLs in that manner.  I have not used these very much myself but that is the idea.  When you have specific Dest. URLs this is how you would employ them.

 

-Tom

 

 

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

[ Edited ]
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# 9
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That's good to know, thanks!

 

Just one last thing (promise!) related to this general topic, forgetting Dest URL now... if I use DKI in the Display URL - example.com/{keyword:widgets} - and it generates a URL like example.com/red widgets (in other words, with a space between the last two words), do I actually need to make sure that that generated Display URL will work on my website and take them to the correct landing page?

 

Or is it the norm not to cater to the possibility of people typing the Display URL, and just assume that people will click the link (thus being taken to the Dest URL)?

 

After all, if typing any generated Display URL needs to lead them to an actual page, then it would seem I still have the 'space-between-words' problem to resolve.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Dynamic Keyword Insertion in URLs

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

Great questions, and because of them, I have been able to brush up on these concepts myself...so thank you and please feel free to continue to ask, that is what this community is all about! Smiley Happy

 

I agree with what you mentioned 100%. 

 

No you do not need to make sure Display URLs work.  Display URLs are all for show.  IF someone were to type them in, I would guess that across Adwords, many would not work.  That is not to say that you couldn't set them up or only use legitimate Display URLs, it's just not required.  The domain has to match the destination domain, that is the only requirement.

 

Personally, I wouldn't focus too much effort on making sure Display URLs are resolveable in the real world.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Tom 

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’