May 252012

Thoughts on Google AdWords Labels

Google announced Google Labels last month giving advertisers a new way to organize AdWords keywords, ad copy, ad groups and campaigns into custom groupings for easier filtering, reporting, and analysis.

Google labels seem extremely helpful for smaller advertisers, adding a layer of organization beyond campaigns and ad groups. But, they offer just a hint of what is available through more sophisticated reporting, bidding and automation systems, like we have at RKG.


We have actually been ‘labeling’ internally since our beginning days in 2003. When building out keywords, we categorize them with multiple attributes: categories, subcategories, manufacturer brands, etc, etc.  This allows for some pretty savvy reporting, showing client trends  by a specific dimension, by week/month/etc. In addition, we use multiple ‘labels’ to guide our bidding strategy.

RKG also speaks the brand/non-brand homily often (focus on non-brand performance metrics, instead of allowing brand keywords to cover up account problems). And so, as Google mentions in their label post, assigning keywords a brand/non-brand label can be helpful. At RKG, we use internal regular expressions to define brand keywords -- regardless of where these keywords live in the account -- for easy reporting and analysis. So, labeling for brand/non-brand isn’t necessary for our reporting purposes either.  (Yes, we usually have brand keywords grouped together in the same campaign(s), for quick Google UI account analysis anyway.)

Cool Labeling Possibilities?

In addition to the categorization abilities shown in the image above, labels may be useful for adding important ‘notes’ in the account.  Sometimes, even if a business has great systems on the back end, it's preferable or even necessary -- if API functionality doesn't exist -- to do certain tasks through the UI or AdWords Editor.  (Even with API access, some folks like to go the interface or Editor route anyway!)

In these cases, using labels as notes can help speed up the process. So, if pausing keywords for merchandising issues or flipping copy often, it may be nice to make those notes in the labels column. For example, maybe it is smart to label keywords that may need checking again next month. Or, maybe label copy promos (10% off category or 10% off site-wide or…) and generic copy, for easy flipping.

Just a thought on a neat way to use labels. It’ll be nice to see a 'labels' column in AdWords Editor, so advertisers wishing to take advantage of this added functionality can do so in bulk.  And while AdWords labels aren't a game changer for us here at RKG, kudos to Google for recognizing that their rigid hierarchical account structure isn't sufficient for conveying the complicated relationships within a paid search program. We hope they continue to iterate in this direction.


8 Responses to "Thoughts on Google AdWords Labels"
Terry Whalen says:
I was asked for (and gave) input on labeling from the Google product folks a while back, so I was pleased to see label functionality go live. But I have yet to use this functionality because of the way it was implemented. I think the biggest hole is that there does not appear to be any cross-dimension label filter functionality. For example, while in the 'ads' tab, you cannot filter on ad-group level labels. For me, this is another example of the product guys having their hearts in the right place, but they miss on implementation.
Agreed! Once in AdWords Editor, I am hoping implementation and filtering will become easier.
Jeff Bronson says:
This also gives high level decision makers a simple way to view results of a particular product/service area. It's a step in the right direction.
Terry Whalen says:
True that labels are a good idea, but implementation is so key. Jeff, it is actually better functionality to just use a naming convention with campaigns and add groups, and then the filtering functionality actually works much better that way. Labels in my view bring absolutely nothing new to the table here, when it comes to your use case of high-level decision-makers wanting to look at a particular product or service. You can currently do this with naming conventions much much better than you can do this with labels.
Yeah, good points. I see labels more as a 'notes' column, an added layer to the campaign/adgroup organization. (Though RKG is already doing this in the back-end.) Also, with labels, advertisers can now define ad copy.
Jeff Bronson says:
Thanks for your reply Terry. I understand your point and agree. However, some top level DM's are very visual, and like color coded indicators, silly as it sounds! :)
Terry Whalen says:
I do like the colors, so that includes me! : )
Scott says:
I've found it useful to separate branded, non-branded, competitor, (ect.) terms to help identify trends. I've gained insights on things like, how a partners outside marketing (a mailer for example) influences branded terms. Looking at competitor movements against particular categories has been insightful as well when separated in clever ways.

Leave A Comment