Using AdWords Labels for Effective PPC Account Management

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become increasingly interested in efficient PPC account management. I’ve come to see the value in being able to go into an account, quickly assess what’s going on, and make effective changes in as little steps as possible. After trying a few different styles, I must admit I’m becoming a nerd for the labels feature in Google AdWords. The more I use them, the more helpful I find them to be.

For the most part, my labels end up falling into three main categories:

  • Regularly referenced areas of accounts
  • Tracking changes
  • Preventing redundancy

Regular References

In most accounts, there are a group of campaigns, ad groups, keywords, etc. that give the temperature of the account. As that segment goes, so goes the account. But let’s say you have a fairly robust account and those top keywords are scattered throughout. It can be fairly painstaking to find each one and gauge its performance. Custom filters can sometimes work if your keywords are similar, but other times they’re impossible to get to work correctly. Solution? Put a label on it!

By tagging all of these keyword with the same label, let’s say “Top 25 Keywords,” you’ve created a common factor they all carry. Google thought ahead when they created labels, because they gave us the ability to filter using our labels. Each time you want to find your top keywords, they’re right there waiting for you. Just go to Filters, select Filter by Label, and choose which one you want.

Now you can see all of your important keywords in one place and get a visual of their group performance history with the graph. Voila! You now have your account barometer.

Tracking Changes and Performance

Google’s Change History feature is a great idea that’s just not executed well. I find its analog style of tracking changes to be clunky, sometimes confusing, and hard to derive actions from. Though having a list of changes is great, wouldn’t it be better to have a list of changes, an easy way to see the outcome of those changes, and the ability to make appropriate alterations all on the same page? This is where labels come in.

Each time I make a change that I want to track later, I add a label. This goes for bid changes, pausing and enabling keywords, changing rotation settings on ads, anything really. Say you increase bids by 10% on a set of keywords. Create a label and name it something that’s descriptive enough that you know exactly what happened. My labels usually read accordingly: Date – Change – Degree of Change. An example of this would be 8.31.12 – Bid Raised – 10%. In a few days when I want to know if my changes worked, I can simply filter for the label and see their performance before and after 8.31.12.

Preventing Redundancy

This is probably the biggest time saver I’ve found with labels. Consistently making small changes in an account can really help improve performance, but they can also be really hard to keep track of. Let’s use bid changes as an example. If you’re anything like me, you like to look at a week or so worth of data, make your desired changes, then let that change sit for a few days. One day does not a trend make, am I right?

Let’s say on Monday (8/27) you raise the bid by 5% on 10 keywords. Then on Thursday, you want to make more bid changes based on some overlapping criteria. The bid changes you made on Monday haven’t had enough time to recycle a full week’s worth of data, so they might still qualify for this new filter. If you make changes based on the past 7 days, you’re basing your decision off of 3 days of new data and 4 days of old data. But if you labeled your Monday bid changes well, you can easily filter out the keywords changed on Monday so as not to make redundant or contradictory changes on Thursday. All you would have to do when creating your filter is exclude the label 8.27.12 – Bids Raised – 5%.

Easy peasy!

These are certainly not all of the interesting ways you can use labels to manage your accounts, just some of my personal favorites. What are some ways you use labels? Share in the comments below!