Learn how to create a validation rule by choosing a validation rule type and configuring it.

After adding a source, you’ll be ready to start defining what you want to check in your ad platform. To do so, you need to create a validation rule and configure it. 

A validation rule is an automatic check that verifies that your campaign data complies with the requirements you set.



How to create a validation rule

From the project `Overview´, scroll down > Find a source > Click on the meatball menu (...) > ´Validation rules’


From the source `Dashboard´, scroll down and click on the ‘Add a validation rule’ button 


  1. Choose a validation rule type

There are three types of validation rules available: name, landing page, and URL suffix validation rule. 


  1. Configure the validation rule

The configuration consists of setting the interval of the validations and defining the requirements the data should comply with. This part differs depending on the validation rule type you choose.


  1. Add conditions (optional)

A condition is a logical comparison that must be fulfilled for the validation rule to run. 


This lets you apply validation rules to specific cases and hence, exclude others that do not meet your conditions.


  1. Set reporting preferences (optional)

Reports let you set automated emails with an overview of each validation run.


  1. Save and close


1. Types of validation rules

The type of validation rule defines what should be checked in your marketing platform: 

  • * name

It checks that the names in your marketing platforms comply with a given name structure. This is configured by defining a string comparison.


* Stands for anything like Campaign, Ad group name, Advertiser, Placement, etc. 


Use case: If you use different platforms or there are numerous people in charge of naming, name conventions are a must to ensure that the data is consistent.

Take, for example, a Black Friday campaign. The campaign could be named in so many different ways: black_friday, black-friday, blackfriday, black friday, etc. This would result in messy data management.

  • Landing page

It checks that landing pages work correctly, in terms of domain, number of redirects, query parameters, and configuration of third-party analytics tools. This is configured by defining domain settings. 


This validation works by simulating a user navigating to the landing page from your ads. A headless browser is used for this purpose. 


Use case: When a user clicks on a tracking URL to a landing page, several things could not work as intended.

Take a few examples: 
- The landing page does not exist. Maybe someone took it down or you forgot to update the URL
- Because the URL has many redirects, a few parameters in the tracking link may be lost along the way
- There are no tracking requests from the page to your analytics tool, even after consenting to the cookie
- etc.

Note: If you use a click tracker, this validation rule may send false requests to third-party ad servers/verification tools. Consider using the Destination URL validation rule to validate query parameters instead.

  • Destination URL

It checks that the destination URL is valid and/or that it contains the correct click tracking, domain, and parameters. This is configured by defining URL settings. 


This validation works by verifying its syntax.

Use case: URLs contain several pieces of information that are passed from one domain to another using parameters and/or click trackers. They can be more or less complex.

The more complex they are, the more susceptible to errors, which could distort the data you are passing.

  • URL suffix

It checks that the final suffix of your URLs is not empty, or that specific query parameters are present. This is configured by choosing the level at which the validation should be performed and defining URL suffix requirements.

This validation is a string comparison and validates the Final URL suffix field in Google Ads specifically.


Use case: In Google Ads, a URL suffix is a field that can be used to pass detailed information about a campaign from an ad to the landing page. This can be applied to different levels of the account. 

The URL suffix is added to the end of your final URL and it is always sent to the landing page, while parameters placed within the final URL may not. 

Best practice:  use a URL suffix for any parameter that your landing page absolutely requires. 

  • Default impressions

It checks that your CM360 campaigns do not serve too many default impressions. This is configured by settings a percentage threshold and a reporting range.

Use case: When no ads are eligible to be served in a placement, CM360 would serve default ads. This ensures that an ad is always shown.

However, you may want to check on them if the default ads are served too often.

List of all validation rules and their availability by source here.


2. Configuration


The configuration of the validation rules consists of defining (1) when the validations should run and (2) what requirements/standards your data should comply with. 

The first part, ´Interval´ lets you set when a validation rule should run and at what frequency. 


The second part differs depending on the type of validation rule. This can consist of setting a simple string comparison (name and URL suffix validation rules) or advanced domain settings (landing page validation rule)



How often should your rule run? You can decide whether it should be automatic at specific intervals, or if it should only run manually. 

  • Manual
    The validation runs only when you trigger it from the platform.
  • Hourly
    The validation runs automatically at an interval of every n hours from a specific start time. 
  • Daily
    The validation runs automatically every day, at a specific time. 
  • Weekly
    The validation runs automatically every week, on a specific day of the week at a specific time. 


When specifying a time for the interval, you can choose the time zone it is referred to. However, please note that the time zone you choose for that validation rule applies to all users. 


Use project time zone

Checking this box links the time zone of the validation rule to the one that is set at a project level. 


In other words, if you change the general time zone settings of the project, the settings of all your validation rules based on project time will change as well. 



Naming convention

A name validation rule checks that the names in your ad account(s) comply with the right name format. 


You can define your naming requirements by specifying the operator that should be used for the evaluation and which value to compare to. 

Tip: For some sources, it is possible to use an Output from an Accutics Standardize project as a naming convention for a naming validation rule. 

Learn more about configuring the naming validation rule here

Landing page settings

By default, a landing page validation rule checks that the domains of all the landing page exits - that the URL is valid. 

Note: Accutics Validate may be blocked because of continuously requesting your URL to run validations. To prevent this, you need to whitelist our IP addresses or provide us with a user agent to use when visiting your landing page.

You can find the list of IP addresses to whitelist here

If you have further requirements, you have several settings you can use to configure the validation rule. 

  • Limit to specific domains
  • Set a maximum number of redirects
  • Set required query parameters
  • Validate analytics tool

If the requirements differ between different domains, you can also add multiple settings and limit them to specific domains.

Learn more about configuring the landing page validation rule here


Requirements for URL suffix

You can define your URL suffix requirements by (1) choosing the level where the final URL suffix should be set and (2) defining a comparison expression. 


Learn more about configuring the URL suffix validation rule here.

Destination URL settings

A destination URL validation rule checks that the syntax is valid by default. 


If you also override a click tracker, you can define requirements for the redirect URL by specifying the domain, and the query parameters that should be contained in it.


Learn more about configuring the Destination URL validation rule here

Default impressions

A default impression validation rule checks the placements in CM360 are serving default ads below a certain threshold. 


This requires you to configure the threshold and a specific reporting range. 



Learn more about configuring the Default impressions validation rule here

3. Conditions (optional)

After completing the basic configuration, you can switch to the ´Conditions´ tab to define which conditions have to be met for the validation rule to run.

Learn more about validation rule conditions here


4. Reporting (optional)

As a last step, before saving and closing, you may also want to set up reports. Switch to the ´Reports´ tab to do so. The report settings let you choose who should be receiving an email as soon as the validation rule is completed.


Learn more about validation rule reports here


Up next: 

Run a validation rule