Naming Systems | Search Scientists

Day 21 of 100 Days of AdWords Help: Naming Systems

We’re going to take a break from ad copy and keywords for a moment to step back and talk about naming systems for your campaigns. While it may not be as exciting as selecting the right keywords to maximize your profitability, or writing ad copy that gets the highest CTR on the page, having the proper campaign naming systems is vitally important for account success.

Why Your Account Needs a Campaign Naming System

When you open up your AdWords Account, do you see campaigns named like this?

  1. October, Jim
  2. May 2011
  3. Pet Food

If so, you may have a serious problem. How do you instantly analyze your search campaign performance compared to your display campaign performance? What about easily segmenting out your Canada campaigns from your USA campaigns?

Fight against sloppy account structure and slow optimization. When you haven’t established a campaign naming system, you set yourself up for a labyrinth of confusion. This makes even the most simple tasks slow and frustrating. AdWords is difficult enough. Let’s talk about ways to structure and name your campaigns.

Separate Budgets, Locations, Languages, and Bid Strategies. Do you only want your dog collars to have a separate, low budget that doesn’t pull from your dog food? How about making sure your Asian Campaigns don’t share a pooled budget from your USA Campaigns. Want to only dedicate 10% of your spend to the midwest of the USA? Since budgets, locations, languages, and bid strategies have to be set at the campaign level, deciding how you want your budget distributed helps you avoid having one campaign steal budget, or overlap locations or language from another.

The Right Kind of Campaign Naming Convention

At Search Scientists, we have several procedures in place to ensure that our distributed team of PPC professionals always name campaigns the same way. The focus here is to make the mundane elements of PPC as smooth and efficient as possible, so we can focus on important things, like improving ROAS. We don’t want to spend even a second trying to decipher another team member’s naming system. Here is our simple, smooth naming system.

  • Product Group + Network + Additional Filter Details + Location

Let’s break each section down.

Product Group

When first starting an account, we ask ourselves: are the products going to go in a pooled “All Products” campaign, or broken out individually into groups? There are several reasons you may want to do both.

All Products in One Campaign. If you only have a few products, you will likely have all your products in the same campaign.

Segment Campaigns by Product Group. If your website has a menu bar with multiple product groups, then you’ll want to segment these in your campaigns.


Like any good Search Scientist, you should be segmenting your campaigns by network already. Putting Search & Display targeting in the same campaign is a recipe for disaster. Always segment by network when doing AdWords.

Additional Filter Details

Think about your targeting. Is there any reason to segment by an additional filter? Maybe you are a delivery store in Miami, so you create some campaigns in English and some campaigns in Spanish. In your situation, you’ll also use language to segment your campaigns. There are plenty of situations that may be unique to businesses that need additional segments to their campaigns. Here are a few more examples:

  • Are you a locksmith in New York City that has a special late night service for Brooklyn but not Manhattan? You’ll want to create a ‘late night only’ campaign.
  • Do you want to use CPA bidding in your dog collars campaign, ROAS bidding for your dog food campaign, and manual CPC in your branded campaign? If so, you’ll filter bid types


For this, you’ll create campaigns segmented by location.

Goals or Marketing Strategies by Location: Sometimes, we’ll have clients that have vastly different marketing goals by location. A doctor may sell a book nationally but only want to schedule appointments locally. A clothing store may offer free shipping within the USA, but not internationally.

Differing Performance by Location: Do customers in Germany convert exactly the same way as those in Australia? It’s not likely. Using a tool like AdWords Editor, you can quickly and easily copy your campaigns for different locations. Since performance can vary, segmenting by location makes optimization fast and effective.

Campaign Naming Examples

With the above in mind, let’s name some campaigns!

  • Shirt Store: Men’s Shirts + PLA + English + USA / Women’s Shirts + PLA + English + USA
  • Boots Store: Women’s Boots + Display Retargeting + CAN / Women’s Boots + Display Retargeting + USA
  • Delivery Service in Manhattan: Delivery Service + Search Text + CPA Bidding + Downtown / Delivery Service + Search Text + Branded Searches + Manhattan
  • PPC Services: Facebook Ads + Search Text + Summer Promotion + USA

When you have the right naming systems in place, you will save hours every month. You won’t have to waste time researching how your campaigns are doing in a certain location, or what product line is generating the most revenue. When you start with smart filtering and segmentation at the campaign level, you set your AdWords Account up for success.

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Michael Erickson

Emailing my clients and telling them I helped increase their return on ad spend by 300% never gets old. I love rising above the technical jargon and providing your business with online marketing momentum to reach new heights. Enthusiast for all things science, surfing, and Search Scientists.

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