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URL Segments

URL segmentation organizes your website traffic based on pages or products that they’ve browsed (e.g., shopping cart, homepage, pants, shirts). You can then apply these segments to your campaign to serve precisely targeted ads to boost sales.

The benefit to URL segments, over event or fixed segments, is that they're the easiest to set up. Aside from placing your AdRoll Pixel, no further changes need to be made to your website to set URL segments up.

URL segments are best used for:

  • Capturing groups of pages linked by a similar URL pattern (e.g., pages within a product, service, or content category)
  • Subdomains (e.g., to keep audience data clean
  • Capturing search terms for a specific product or category on your website

Capturing visitors to pages by URL

  1. Log in to your AdRoll dashboard and click into your Audience tab.

  2. In the right sidebar, click Segment Visitors.

  3. Name your segment. For example, if you are creating a segment for visitors who have been to your cart page, you could call this segment Cart.

  4. The type of segment you want to create is URL.

  5. Next, enter the URL pattern you want to serve as this segment’s rule.

Using special characters

There are two special characters used in URL segmentation: * and ?. These special characters are wildcards that can stand in for a single character or a string of characters.

Why use special characters?

The larger your segment, the more we are able to optimize within that segment. Unless you have thousands of visitors coming to your website every day, we recommend against creating segments for individual pages of your website. The below special characters allow you to define more general rules (URL patterns) for each segment that we’ll follow when sorting your website traffic.

Click here to see how wildcards work in practice.

What is a URL pattern?

A page’s URL identifies the page your visitor is looking at. A URL pattern is a unique phrase (series of letters and characters) that appears in the URLs of multiple pages of your website. Identifying URL patterns is the key to URL segmentation. This is how you establish a rule for your URL segment to follow.

Demonstrating with an example URL

When you set a URL pattern in your segment, you're telling your AdRoll Pixel to take note when a unique visitor lands on any page that matches the rule (URL pattern), and route that data to the appropriate segment.


If you create a segment with the URL pattern: */category/section/page/

  • Your segment will capture any traffic to that specific page.

If you create a segment with the URL pattern: */category/*

  • Your segment will capture any traffic to a page that contains the phrase “/category/”.

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