Target URLs are intended for rank tracking of service or location-based businesses that have multiple locations (e.g., real estate, hotels, restaurant chains, etc.), as well as YouTube videos and Apps in Apple iTunes or Google Play Store.
Multiple Target URLs can be added to each keyword by placing a comma between each URL.
Target URLs can also contain * wildcards for sub-folders of the primary domain, for example:
Important! Every character entered in a target URL is checked for exact match. When adding URLs, if the URL presented in the web browser has a trailing slash then that is how it should be entered in the Target URL field. For example, the URL for the page you are reading is:
If it is entered in any of the following formats it would not be a valid URL for tracking:
https://rankranger.com/documentation/target-urls (without the www.)
rankranger.com/documentation/target-urls (without the https://www.)
This feature is for URLs in the primary domain being tracked in the Campaign General Settings screen. Rank tracking for specific competitor domains or for purposes of reputation management, can be accomplished by adding URLs to the Campaign Settings > Websites screen.
Indication of whether or not the keyword ranked for the Target URLs, can be set to Show via Report Options in the Rank Tracker Dashboard report. When the target URL matches the ranked landing page exactly, a green check mark displays in that column, if a different landing page ranks, then a red X displays (as shown in the example below).
Rank Tracker Dashboard with Target URL match indicator
This video is intended to be a quick start guide, please refer to the settings descriptions, and step-by-step instructions on this page for complete details regarding rank tracking campaign optimization.
Click the link icon corresponding to a specific Keyword.
Click the Add Target URL button.
Enter the Target URL based on the URL structure for the type of site being tracked.
Click the Save button.
Click the pencil icon to Edit the Target URL, if needed.
IMPORTANT! Check the Track Target URL(s) Only box for iTunes, Google Play Store, Amazon (and other shopping site tracking), YouTube Channels and if you only want to collect and view rank data for the target URL(s) for the selected Keyword (and no other URLs) on sites being tracked for specific locations, properties, service types, product categories, etc.
Click the Save button
Change Target URLs
If after importing or manually adding Target URLs you need to change them or their settings, you can:
Target URLs make it possible to accurately track Apps in the iTunes store. iTunes adds a country code and sometimes additional folders to the URL structure depending upon the device viewing the page. For example, this is the link to Hotels.com iPhone/iPad App:
Manually add keywords and Target URLs or import from the sample spreadsheet. In this example we have added Target URLs for 3 related TED apps in the Google Play Store. When using the import file, this is an example of the correct format for the Target URL field (i.e., full URLs with a comma between each):
This is an example of a successfully uploaded set of Rarget URLs to 1 keyword.
eCommerce Product Tracking
Online stores like Amazon often serve a variety of URLs for your product, so instead of researching all the possible URLs they're using for your product, you can set a Target URL using a * wildcard that will capture all instances of your product or product category displaying in the SERPs:
http://www.amazon.com/*/your_product_id* (in search results there are sometimes additional parameters found in the URL, adding a wildcard following the product ID instructs RangerBot to include URLs that have characters following the product ID).
Using our Target URL feature, the challenge of tracking keywords only for location1 is easily resolved by adding the following 4 URLs to each location 1 keyword (and in this exact format):
IMPORTANT! Check the Track Target URL(s) Only box
For sites like this real estate firm example, in the Campaign General Settings screen:
the Primary Domain should be set to real-estate-sample.com
Ranking System Count: SERP (count as is)
YouTube Channel Tracking
The Target URL feature can be used for tracking YouTube video rank or a YouTube Channel. For this type of rank tracking, in the Campaign General Settings screen:
YouTube Geo Location Setting
If you want country-specific YouTube search results, then click the Custom Location & Options button, select a Geo Location, and click the Save button.
Add Keywords and Target URLs
In the Campaign Settings > Keywords screen, manually add or import keywords from the sample spreadsheet.
In this example we've added the following Target URLs to a keyword and checked the Track Target URL(s) Only box:
Tracking YouTube Videos
The same or different Target URLs can be added to the other keywords in the campaign.
Export Target URLs and Keywords
Manage Target URLs
If you need to change the Target URLs that are assigned to keywords, you can export the Keyword List.
1. Select all or specific keywords
2. Click the Export Keywords button
Save and View Keyword List
Save the Keyword List CSV file to your computer and open in Excel or similar software.
You can make changes to the URLs, save the file, and update the campaign by following the instructions for bulk importing keywords with target URLs.
Discover other Ranked Landing Pages
Understanding Landing Page Rank Fluctuation
When you enter a Target URL and do not select the "Track Target URL(s) Only" option, a landing page feature is enabled in the Rank Dashboard report that can help you discover fluctuations in the domain's pages that Google has provided for the keyword.
In the Rank Dashboard > Report Options enable Targeted URL column display and click the Apply button at the bottom of the screen.
If the keyword ranks in the top 20 search results for a different page on the tracked domain, you'll see a red X with a launch icon.
Click the launch icon and the Landing Page Monitor opens displaying all the landing pages that have ranked in the top 20 search results during the report period, and the dates of any changes in the landing page that Google provided for a specific keyword.
Special Handling of URLs Containing Commas
Because the import file format is Comma Separated Values (CSV), URLs cannot contain a commas (refer to this Google document for more information regarding the encoding issue).
In order to import Target URLs that contain commas, you must convert the commas to %2C. This can be accomplished using Excel's Find & Replace feature.
1. Select the target_url column and click Find & Select
2. Click Replace
3. In the Find what field enter: ,
4, In the Replace with field enter: %2C
5. When the replacement is complete, click the OK button and Save the file.
If you will be adding more than 1 target URL per keyword and they contain commas, then you will need to convert the URLs first and then add a comma between the URLs in the field. For example, adding these three URLs that contain commas, to 1 keyword:
Would be done like this (the comma character is the separator between the URLs):
More Campaign Settings & Integration Options
Customize Rank Tracking and connect Website Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Social Analytics and more: