Once upon a time, I didn’t believe in AdWords labels. I had heard of people updating and using these things, but I never really saw a practical use – especially when AdWords Editor makes bulk adjustments to bids, budgets, etc. so easily. I mean with labels, really we’re just bucketing these ad groups/keywords so it’s a little easier to understand, right?


Labelling can serve a greater purpose and, if used correctly, will prove to be a valuable tool in your arsenal.


First off, labels can be a great way to test anything from PLAs to new ads to top-performing keywords in an account – you can apply labelling to any of these to keep up to date on their progress. This can be a great way to quickly check daily or weekly performance on your topic of interest. So say you start testing a new ad and label these ads: “Cool Ad 2.0.” You can easily flip into the labels portion of the UI, change the view dropdown to Ad, find the label “Cool Ad 2.0,”and the metrics are all laid out in front of you. Filters are easily applicable as well; you can download these findings just as you would in any other tab in the UI.

Now, in addition to this, you can use labels to make large-scale changes to the aforementioned items. You can use labels to change bids, activate and pause, and automate rules on a large scale among other things. And one helpful trick I’ve learned recently is that you can actually use scripts to automatically apply labels. As the UI and Ad Words Editor do not have the functionality to bulk-apply labels, this was an extremely useful finding.

In one instance that happened to my team and me a few weeks back, a large, multi-national client dramatically decreased budget for Q1. They pulled budget towards the end of January so we had already burned through a large portion of the new budget, which basically meant we had to pause every campaign with the exception of head terms (top-performing keywords).

So we paused everything but the head terms. Then our client’s budgeting changed, and they started giving us some more budget for Q1 week by week. We realized that we couldn’t just pour the incoming budget into one campaign, so we put our heads together and decided we should pause all the non-converting keywords and only activate keywords that have historically performed well.

Unfortunately, this is a very old account, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of non-converters. This is where AdWords scripts became invaluable. Our resident IT wizard created a script that automatically applies a label to set criteria – in this case, keywords that have not converted in the lifetime of the account.

After this was completed, we labelled our top performing keywords (Tier 1), our Tier 2 performing keywords, and our Tier 3 performing keywords. So now that we have these segmented out by labels, we can quickly turn on/off what we need to meet monthly budget goals.

Going through this endeavor and using labels to solve this problem really opened my eyes to their usefulness. And after gleaning what can be done in just one isolated experience, it’s not hard to imagine them being useful in other ways.

If you have any stories about labels making your life easier in some unique way, please share below!

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Ryan Larkin
joined 3Q Digital in June 2013. He graduated from Sonoma State University in 2010 with a degree in Sociology. Ryan was also a member of the men’s lacrosse team at SSU, captaining the team his senior year. Additionally, Ryan graduated from the Search Marketing Master’s Certification program at the University of San Francisco in March 2013. His interests include coaching lacrosse, surfing, and meeting new people.