Using a naming convention in AdWords

A naming convention at campaign level can help represent the structure of your account and avoid mistakes

  • Campaigns help to organize your account thematically
  • Create an easy to understand account structure to ensure consistency of targeting options and match types
  • Separate Brand terms

Naming conventions can be a great time saver when navigating an account and for helping new team members easily understand how the account is laid out. As you are continuously expanding your account a good naming convention makes if simpler to find where to add new keywords and ads.

AdWords has allowed us a lot of complexity when it comes to targeting options and the best way of ensuring you’re running all your keywords with all the correct targeting is to use naming conventions which take account of these options. Although naming conventions have no effect on the performance or Quality Score of your account, they allow you to be able to filter and view your keywords and ads in the correct theme and targeting context.

How should I name my campaigns?

Here’s what we suggest you put in your campaign name:

  • Structure/Theme: This decides the keywords which go into the campaigns. Use the structure of your site if your website has a rigid structure or choose themes if that suits you better
  • Geo/language/demographic targeting: If you use multiple sets of targeting, include that in the name. If all your campaigns have the same targeting then don’t bother.
  • RLSA: One of the most common mistakes when setting up an RLSA campaign is selecting “bid only”, rather than “target and bid”. If you have a naming convention you can periodically check that the naming convention matches the campaign targeting
  • Match Type: If you split your campaigns by match type then include the match type in the campaign name to inform everyone that this campaign should only have a particular match type added to it
  • Brand/Non-Brand: Keeping your brand terms separate is best practice.

For example if you have a campaign targeting the UK which contains exact match brand terms might look like this:


Top tip: Use a separator like an underscore or dash to partition the different components of the name and that means you can use functions in Excel or in AdWords Scripts to parse the different elements of you account allowing for easy automation of reporting, etc.


Naming conventions make it clear how your account is structured to help you and your team understand where to add new ad groups, keywords and ads.