About ads labels

With labels, you can organize the elements in your account into meaningful groups so you can quickly and easily filter and report on the data that is of most interest to you. You can apply labels to keywords, campaigns, ad groups, and ads, which enables you to see how the custom categories you create are performing relative to each other and to the unlabeled elements in your account.

This article explains how labels work and illustrates the differences between using labels with campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.

Why use labels

The following example scenario shows how you might use labels to compare how well keywords perform across multiple campaigns.

Bob is an online retailer that sells apparel and accessories for men and women. He has campaigns for shoes, clothes, and bags for each of his three major markets (New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) and within the campaigns has separate ad groups for generic and brand keywords. This structure (example: New York - Shoes - Generic and Massachusetts - Shoes - Generic) means that he has the same ads and keywords in different parts of his account.

Without labels, Bob can't easily sort his account or run a report to see how well sneakers are selling in New York compared to Massachusetts. With labels, however, Bob can create the label "sneakers" and apply it to all sneaker-related keywords across his account. He can then filter his keywords by this label to only see sneaker keywords.

In the previous AdWords experience, Bob can use the Dimensions tab labels reports to aggregate performance by label. These reports allow him to compare, for example, how sneakers perform against all other shoes, or how the label "sneakers" compares with other individual labels.

How labels work

Labels allow you to organize your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords into groups. Labels are customizable, and you can change them around at any time.

Note: As a manager account (MCC) user, you can manage campaigns more efficiently by creating, editing, and applying labels to specific child accounts or across all campaigns. You can also create and manage labels anywhere along the path of a manager account to a child account level.

The diagram below illustrates how you can use labels to gauge the performance of custom categories across your account. In this example, you've applied two labels, "Favorite" and "Brand" to different elements in your account. It's important to know that labels aren't inherited down throughout the campaign. This means that if you apply a label to a campaign, the label only applies to that campaign, not the ad groups and keywords that are within that campaign. If you want a label to apply to an ad group or individual keyword as well, you'll need to specifically apply the label to each.

Labels applied at different account levels

There are four kinds of labels reports you can run, one for each element-type: campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords. Learn how to create, use, and manage your labels and labels report

Blue circle corresponding to Label illustration Campaign-level Reporting

When you run a labels report for your campaigns, you see the label "Favorite" is associated with 18 clicks. That's because the total clicks for all the keywords under the Campaign #1, which has the "Favorite" label applied to it, was 18. The label "Brand" is associated with 15 clicks because the keywords in Campaign #2, which has the "Brand" label applied to it, received 15 clicks.

Label Clicks
Favorite 18
Brand 15
Everything Else 0
Blue circle corresponding to Label illustration Ad Group-level Reporting

But, because labels are not inherited, things look different when you run a report at the ad group level. In this account, there is only one ad group with a label applied to it: Ad group #2 in Campaign #1. The keywords under this ad group received a total of four clicks. So, when you run a labels report for your ad groups, the label "Favorite" is credited with four clicks. The label "Brand" received zero clicks at the ad group level because there are no ad groups in this account with the label "Brand." All other keywords in unlabeled ad groups received 29 clicks total.

Label Clicks
Favorite 4
Brand 0
Everything Else 29
Blue circle corresponding to Label illustration Keyword-level Reporting

Reporting at the keyword level provides a different view. Here, "Favorite" received 17 clicks (keywords A and E), and "Brand" received 12 clicks (keywords A and F) because those are the total clicks on keywords with those labels. Note that the 7 clicks for keyword A are counted in both rows because keyword A has both labels applied to it. Because it's likely that many of your keywords will have more than one label, it's unlikely that the number of clicks in each row will add up to the total number of clicks. All other unlabeled keywords received 11 clicks total.

Label Clicks
Favorite 17
Brand 12
Everything Else 11

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