Scalable Naming Conventions for Google Ads

Scalable Naming Conventions for Google Ads

When creating a Google Ads account, you’ll typically start with one or two campaigns. This might be a search campaign to generate leads and then maybe a display re-marketing campaign to nurture those leads.

Small Accounts Are Easy

In the beginning, it would be okay to name these campaigns whatever you want.

For example, if you were promoting a raffle for concert tickets to incentivize fans to sign up for your email list, you might name your search campaign “Early Bird Swag Giveaway”. You might target broad match modifier keywords like:

+hip +hop +concert +near +me
+local +music +concert
+outdoor +concert

In your re-marketing campaign, you could re-target these visitors with display ads that showcase some of the top concert performers. You might name this “Top Performers Remarketing”

Again, this would be easy enough to manage because you have a fairly simple advertising funnel and know a few important pieces of data up front:

  1. What your product is
  2. What your objectives are
  3. What your targeting is

Naming Conventions at Scale

When your account has been active for a while and you begin to add more campaigns, it’s important to consider how you will name and label these campaigns. Naming is important because it does a few things:

  1. Allows you to quickly understand what your campaign is at a glance
  2. Allows you to filter specific campaigns to see aggregate performance
  3. Allows you to collaborate with your team in a clear and comprehensive way

When naming campaigns, you should think about why you are building this campaign.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of campaign will I be running? Search? Display? Video?
  • What geography are my customers located in?
  • Am I trying to generate brand awarenessleads, or sales?
  • Will this be targeted to a new audience which hasn’t engaged with my brand before, or an existing audience which has?
  • What will I be promoting? A new product? A free guide? A discount or special offer?

Once you’ve answered all these questions, you can name your campaigns based on this by adding them one after the other in a sequence. In between each label, you can separate them by using a pipe character or a dash.

Here’s the important data that you’ll include:

  • Campaign Type (S for Search, D for Display, or V for Video — for remarking campaigns, simply add an R next to the first letter. For example, DR for Display Remarketing)
  • Geo Target (US-SF. You can list the region code following ISO 3166–1 alpha-2 format. For example, US would be United States, CA would be Canada, and DE would be Germany)
  • Promotion Type (Awareness, Leads, Sales)
  • Promotion (The name of your promotion. For example, Summer Discount, Free Course, Golden Watch, or Leather Shoes)

Once you’ve combine all your labels together, you might get something like this:

  • S | US-NY | Leads | Free Resource Guide

This would represent a search campaign which targets New York City in the United States to generate leads by promoting a free resource guide.

At scale, you might get something like this:

  • D | US-NY | Awareness | Concert Influencers Promo
  • D | US-LA | Awareness | Concert Influencers Promo
  • D | US-SF | Awareness | Concert Influencers Promo
  • S | US-NY | Leads | Free Swag Giveaway
  • S | US-LA | Leads | Free Swag Giveaway
  • S | US-SF | Leads | Free Swag Giveaway
  • DR | US-NY | Sales | Early Bird Concert Tickets
  • DR | US-LA | Sales | Early Bird Concert Tickets
  • DR | US-SF | Sales | Early Bird Concert Tickets

Furthermore, if you are using the Audience Mix Method you can add a MIX-[Audience Type]-”[Name of Audience]” to your experiments. So you might have the following experiments running as you grow sales.

  • DR | US-LA | Sales | MIX-A-”LA Indie Fans” | Early Bird Concert Tickets
  • DR | US-SF | Sales | MIX-A-”SF Techies” | Early Bird Concert Tickets

Advantages of Naming

When you name your campaigns with detail and precision, you get the benefits of having detail and precision in your advertising spend. It’s hard to get things wrong when it’s right there in the title.

Overall, you’ll feel more confidence behind increasing your spend on your winning campaigns knowing that they are reaching the right people, with the right message, at the right time.

You can also set up scripts to quickly update all your campaign names at scale. Ideally, if you want to grow an account really big, you need to be automating and scripting it.