Why how you name campaigns is important

We spend money on advertising because we hope it will drive customers to our website/business which will in turn drive revenue.

We want to do more of the initiatives that have a great return on advertising spend (ROAS) and less or stop initiatives that are not.

We therefore want to be able to map marketing spend to revenue – and this becomes much easier if we include information about who a campaign is targeting and what the objective is within the campaign name so that we can then cut and segment the spend to match the revenue we are seeing.


How does Google Name its own campaigns?

Google runs its own merchandise store and makes the Google Analytics data associated with the store public in a demo account.

We can therefore see the information that Google includes in its own Campaign Names for their Merchandise Store:

One of their campaigns is called:

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

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 – this match type is no longer used)

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.


What information should you collect in a Campaign Name?

Capture information about the product you are selling, audience you are targeting and objective and ad type of the campaign:

Product Data

  • 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 etc
    • Product Type
    • Product Detail


  • Region / Country
  • Language (if you are large enough to have multiple countries and languages)
  • Audience (All |New Customers | Repeat Customers | Other audience demographics)

Objective & Ad Type:

  • Objective and type of Ad used in the campaign:
    • Purchase (also called Direct Response [DR] and Direct Marketing [DM]
    • Lead Generation (acquire email addresses / phone numbers)
    • Brand Awareness
    • App Install
  • Ad Type:
    • Search
    • Branded Search (separate out keywords for your company name or company owned brands)
    • Shopping/Performance Max
    • Display Remarketing
    • Display General
  • Ad Type Detail
    • Smart
    • DSA (Dynamic Search Ads)


The level of detail on the product information depends on 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 to filtering easier.

Once you have your campaigns consistently and methodically named it makes it easy to filter for campaigns that share the same variables.

The example below shows the performance of all campaigns that promote Drinkware on the Google Merchandise store:


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.

If you find that you are a lot of similarly named old campaigns then you can also add a start date to a campaign name so you can easily spot the most relevant/recent campaigns.


Use same logic for ad groups

We recommend using the same naming conventions for your ad groups too.


>>> Read first article: How Google Ads bids

>>> Back to main menu


The interactive video below highlights some of the analyses we cover:


Please be really careful making changes to your Google Ads account

  • Google doesn’t always respond how you (or we) think it will. The way we think about Google Ads may not be the best set-up for your account.
  • Only change one thing at a time.
  • If possible, always use an experiment to test a change – particularly for significant changes such as moving bidding strategy to Maximize conversion value (Target ROAS).
  • Protect your financial downside by testing with limited spend in the experiment/change. Note that moving to a smart bidding strategy requires a learning phase where Google may not be efficient.
  • Be careful if adding/removing primary conversion actions – changing what Google is converting to can radically change what and who Google targets and how much it’s willing to spend.
  • Remember, all changes to your account are at your own risk. Mapflo shall not be liable for any damages; losses; lost revenue or lost profit.


Glossary of Terms

AOV = Average Order Value

CM1 = Contribution Margin 1 = revenue minus COGS (cost of goods sold) in an order.

CM2 = Contribution Margin 2 = margin on an order after all costs directly attributable to that order such as COGS, shipping, payment fees, customer service etc. (except for marketing).

CM3 = Contribution Margin 3 = CM2 less marketing spend. An ‘Estimated CM3’ value uses an assumed CM2 %.

CPA = Cost Per Action. In this report taken to mean cost per conversion or cost per order.

Keywords = words or phrases (assigned to an ad group) that match a user’s search term and trigger Google to bid to show an ad.

Lifetime CM3 = CM3 from all orders (or subscription payments) for a customer.

Profit = CM3 less all fixed overheads (such as salaries and office rent). Hence Optimising CM3 also optimises profit at the same cost base

ROAS = ‘Return On Ad Spend’ = conversion value divided by cost. A ROAS of 400% means you get four pounds of revenue back for every pound of ad spend.

Search term = the word or phrase that a user searches for on Google.