How can I use Wildcards to create URL-based audiences?

There are two special characters used when building URL audiences to define a wider range of URLs:

  • * (asterisk) 
  • ? (question mark)

These characters are called "wildcards" and are placeholder variables that represent either a single character or a string of characters.

The larger your audience, the more we can optimize within it. Unless you have thousands of visitors coming to your website every day, we don't recommend using an individual URL to define your audience.

Instead, you should use these special characters to help you define more general URL-based rules.

These wildcards are standard and used across a number of platforms, so it's worthwhile to take the time to understand how they work.

 

Asterisk Wildcard: *

The * is a wildcard symbol that stands for any amount of letters or characters in your URL.

  • Phrase: d*g
    • Rule: This word starts with “d” and ends with “g”, but what comes in the middle could be any number of letters or characters.
    • Examples: dog, doing, determining, d123@g
  • Phrase: *og
    • Rule: The word could start with any number of letters or characters as long as it ends with “og”.
    • Examples: dog, fog, blog, bullfrog, 123@og
  • Phrase: do*
    • Rule: This word begins with "do", but can be followed by any number of letters or characters.
    • Examples: dog,donut, doing, don't, do123@

Question mark Wildcard (?)

The ? is a wildcard symbol that stands in for a single variable character. This is particularly helpful if you are not sure if a certain phrase or word appears in lowercase or uppercase, as URL audiences are case-sensitive.

  • Phrase: d?g
    • Rule: This word starts with “d” and ends with “g”, and there is a single wildcard letter or character in the middle.
    • Examples: dog, dig, dug
  • Phrase: ?og
    • Rule: This word ends with "og", but can start with any single letter or character.
    • Examples: dog, Dog, hog, Hog, @og
  • Phrase: do?
    • Rule: This word begins with "do", but can end with any single letter or character.
    • Examples: dog, dot, doT, do7
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