How to Name Your Google Ads Campaigns

  • What information does Google use on its own campaigns?
  • What information should you collect?
  • Be consistent!
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by Al Taylor
Updated May 15th 2021

You can use the Campaign Name to capture information about who the ad is targeting and what its purpose is.

You can then extract data from the campaign name to group your sessions and conversions by different segments.

What information does Google include in its own Campaign Names for their Merchandise Store?

Google provides a demo account that uses live data from their Google Merchandise Store.

One of their campaigns is called:

1009693 | Google Analytics Demo | DR | joelf | NA | US | en | Hybrid | SEM | SKWS – BMM | Txt ~ AW – Hoodies

Example Google Ad Campaign Name

Let’s unpick some of the information contained in the Campaign Name:

Google Analytics Demo ==> Name of the store

DR ==> Marketing Goal (Direct Response) -trying to get an immediate purchase

NA | US | en ==> Region | Country | Language (North America, United States, English)

Txt ==> Text Ad

Hoodies ==> Category of product promoted

BMM ==> Broad Match Modifier (how keywords are triggered)

With this campaign name structure, Google can, for example, filter for direct response campaigns and segment by category (Hoodies, Drinkware, T-shirts etc) and look at the cost per order versus LTV of those customers. This can then set a Target CAC against each category type.

What information should you collect in a Campaign Name?

Capture information about the audience you are targeting and objective of the campaign:

– Region / Country

– Language (if you are large enough to have multiple countries and languages)

– Audience (All |New Customers | Repeat Customers | Other targeted audiences)

Capture information about the objective and type of Ad used in the campaign:

-Objective / Goal Type:

  • Purchase (also called Direct Response [DR] and Direct Marketing [DM]
  • Lead Generation (acquire email addresses / phone numbers)
  • Brand Awareness
  • App sign-up

– Ad Type:

  • Search
  • Branded Search (separate out keywords for your company name or company owned brands)
  • Shopping
  • Display Remarketing
  • Display General

– Ad Type Detail

  • Smart
  • DSA (Dynamic Search Ads)

Also Capture information about the product the campaign is promoting:

– Category #1 [This is the most important split and the one that you will most likely optimise your spend against. Every campaign should fall into a category and no campaign can be in more than one category. If the campaign is generic (such as competitor terms) then the Category can be ‘not Specified’]
– Category #2
– Product Type
– Product Detail

The level of detail depends on how the breadth of products targeted within that campaign.

Example Campaign Name

Here’s an example campaign targeting Women’s Golf Shoes on Nike.com:

Shoes – Women – Golf – EUR – UK – New – en – DR – Shopping – Smart 

You may want to shorten some terms (such as DR for direct response).

It’s worth keeping at least two letters in the shortened version make filtering easier.

Once you have your campaigns consistently and methodically named it makes it easy to filter for campaigns that share the same variables (such as campaigns that promote Drinkware on the Google Merchandise store).

Screenshot showing campaigns in GA filtered for includes drink

Keep consistent and structured

Whatever convention you decide to use make sure that you apply it consistently across your campaigns and that it captures key data about the campaign, product and audience.