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The URL Checker report is a time and money-saving way to check URLs for errors.

What does it do?

The URL Checker template report checks all Final URLs in the account for errors.  It should be utilized on all accounts, due to the fact that it is quite common for PPCers to mistakenly advertise on bad or broken URLs.  This results in wasted money spent, and the larger the client, the more often this happens. However, this is incredibly easy to avoid using this report.

What does the output look like?

Ideally your report output will be blank, which means that there are zero URL errors and all of your ads are landing on good web pages.

However, if URL Checker finds an error you will be notified immediately in the PPC Robot Notification Center and, depending on your Email Notification settings, in your email.  When errors exist the output will include an overview of the URL, Status Code (i.e. 404 Not Found), where the error was found (Expanded Text Ad, Image Ad, Display Ad, Keyword, Sitelink, etc.) and how many times the bad URL is being used.

In the second tab (Errors - Details) you will find more detailed information about the error(s) including the Campaign, AdGroup, Type, Status, Headline 1, Headline 2, and Description.

There are also 2 tabs for redirects (i.e. 301 redirect) just like the error tabs.  With the information from URL Checker you are able to quickly and easily fix or replace the broken URLs using Google Ads or Editor.

Step by step guide to setup URL Checker

Step 1: Select URL Checker template

From the Reports overview screen in PPC Robot, click on “+ Create A New Report” and then select the URL Checker template.

By default the Google Ads system tab is selected, so be sure to switch to Sklik if that is the system you are using.

Step 2: Report Settings

By default, URL Checker is built to be ready for use with minimal adjustments.  There are two options for the report settings, Include Paused Ads and Keywords and Include Redirects in the Report.  By default, URL Checker will only test URLs for active ads and keywords, but if you would like to check all URLs in the account then select this option.  Redirects are included because they can also cause problems or are a sign of a bigger issue. If you would rather not include redirects in the report then deselect this option.

Step 3: Crawler Settings

The crawler settings should be suitable for most websites, however if URL Checker is putting an unacceptably heavy load on the website then you can lower the number of Simultaneous Connections (the number of pages that PPC Robot will check at the same time).  If necessary, increase the Connection Timeout (the amount of time PPC Robot will wait for a web page to load before returning a connection timeout error) length for websites with longer loading times.

Step 4: Advanced Options

We recommend that you do not change the advanced options unless you are unable to get URL Checker to work correctly for a certain website.  There are two options here, the first is Hide PPC Robot in the User Agent, which is helpful when a website blocks anything with “robot” in its user-agent.  The second option is Use GET requests instead of HEAD, which is helpful when a website blocks HEAD requests (simulating a request without actually downloading the page).

PLEASE NOTE: do not use the second option, Use GET requests instead of HEAD, if your account has 100+ URLs.

Step 5: Download/upload parameters (optional)

If you would like to save and share your URL Checker setup, or if you would like to use someone else’s, you can easily download and upload the parameters using the options at the bottom of the report.

Step 8: Name report

Once you have your URL Checker setup how you like it, click "Next" in the bottom right-hand corner to go to the Output Settings and Account Selection screen.  Here you can add a report name that will help you to identify your URL Checker reports in the Reports Overview screen.  PPC Robot automatically adds the name of the account to the beginning of each report name, so you can simply name this report “URL Checker” and the final output name will be “Account: URL Checker”.  If you select multiple accounts for this report then you can rename each report individually in the reports overview screen.

Step 9: Select output type

There are two options for output, Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel (XLSX) stored in Google Drive.  

Both of these options will create a file in your Google Drive (in the folder called PPC Robot which is automatically created by PPC Robot).  

With Google Sheets you will be able to simply click on the report name in the Reports Overview screen and be taken to the online spreadsheet.  With the Excel file, once you click on the report name, the report will download to your default local downloads folder on your computer.  

The benefit of Google Sheets output is that it is saved online, it is easy to update, and it is easy to share with others.  Also, any filtering, formatting, or additional columns added after the last column in the report will be saved even after updating the report.

The benefit of Excel output is that there is no limit to how many cells the report may contain.  Google Sheets has a limit of 400,000 cells, a maximum of 256 columns, only 40,000 cells containing formulas, and other limitations.

Due to the fact that your report will not likely exceed the maximum allowable size, we recommend using the Google Sheets output for ease of viewing, sharing, and updating.

Step 10: Set update frequency

You can select from Monthly, Weekly, Daily, and Hourly for the automatic update frequency of your report.  We recommend that you select daily and an early hour so that your report is up-to-date when you arrive at the office in the morning.

And, if you utilize the email notifications, we recommend that you set those to arrive in the morning after your reports have run.

Step 11: Save and run report

The final step is to click “Save” which will take you back to the reports overview screen.  Then you can find the report using the search filter, and click on the play button to run the report for the first time.

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