How many of you use AdWords labels? Anyone? Bueller?
I think that AdWords labels are criminally underutilized. You can use them in so many ways and, at least for me, they are the key to an organized, successful campaign.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use labels.
One of the hallmarks of an effective PPC campaign is continuous testing. Testing keywords, testing bids, and, perhaps most importantly, testing ad copy.
AdWords labels are extraordinarily helpful here because they help keep your tests organized. When it comes to testing ad copy, my preference is to use a champion/challenger setup. I have an ad designated as a champion (the best performer) and each additional active ad is a challenger.
Depending on the number of impressions a particular ad group is getting I like to keep 2-3 ads running at a time.
The champion ad will keep the “Ad – Champion” label until I’ve identified a better performer. Once an ad is no longer the champion I apply a “Ad – Former Champion” label and pause it. The new champion ad gets the “Ad – Champion” label and you create new challenger ads. Rinse and repeat.
Landing Page Testing
Taking ad testing one step further allows you to test landing page performance in an organized fashion.
Take a look at this example setup. I’m testing 2 ad copies and 2 landing pages simultaneously, hence 4 ads. In this case we already had a landing page in place and were testing a new variation, so I labeled the ads going to the original page with “LP – Control” and the new landing page ads with “LP – some relevant identifier”.
A nice and tidy way to see how the various ads and landing pages are performing. If you weren’t using labels to track the landing page changes then it would be difficult to identify which ad points to which page without having to change the ad copy in some way.
Account Level Notes
I may be alone in this, but I like to use AdWords labels at all levels to make notes, reminders, explanations, etc. For example, if I want to pause a campaign for a couple of weeks I would apply a “Campaign – Pause until 7/4” or “Temp Pause” label.
Admittedly this is one that I used to use a lot more than I do now, but it may be of benefit to you. In ad groups that have dozens of keywords I used to put labels on the best performing or most important keywords. Things like “KW – Important”, “KW – High Value”, or “KW – Needs Work”. The labels here are primarily for quickly finding the important keywords in a large list.
Over the last year I’ve started really focusing on much tighter ad groups, negating this need quite a bit. You could apply the same process at the ad group level if it makes sense.
Labels are also available to you through the AdWords API. You can use labels however you see fit, whether you’re using them to turn off/on campaigns with a certain label programmatically or you’re doing advanced reporting using label as a dimension. Going back to the landing page example from before, if you used the API you could automatically roll up landing page performance by label.
Other Common Use Cases
AdWords has a lot of recommendations for how to use labels. Some of the most common ones that I’ve seen in practice are labels that divide accounts between multiple PPC managers, manage seasonal campaigns and groups, and linking various ad groups or keywords together across multiple campaigns for reporting purposes.
Organize Your Labels
Labels are themselves used for organization, but I like to keep the labels organized as well. Did you notice how I tend to put the account level in the label name? “Ad – Champion”, “KW – High Value”, etc. That helps keep labels in some sort of order in the label dropdown, which is important as the number of labels really starts to grow.
Using Labels as a Dimension in Reporting
Using labels for organization is great, but it’s pointless if you can’t report on them. You can report on labels at each level (campaign, ad group, keyword, and ad) through the Dimensions tab.
How are you using labels? What awesome practices have you come up with?