Why are you not using custom labels? They can turn an average campaign around, and help manage and scale your Google Shopping campaigns. We are going to get into what some of our favourite custom labels are that go beyond the basics.

Today we’re talking an important and underused feature in Google Shopping, Custom Labels! A vast majority ( close to 90%) of the clients we on board are not using custom labels, let alone managing their feeds on a regular basis.

Before we jump into it, if youre looking to learn more about Google Shopping, we’ve written a few other articles about a couple different topics. I am goingn to link them below in case any of them spark your interest.

Bundles
Product Title
Product Images

You can also look a using a Supplemental Feed to help optimize your shopping feed if you are not using a shopping feed management platform.

Now, let’s get back to the action.

We often hear that 80% of the work involved with shopping campaigns is in the shopping feed but we often spend 80% of the time on campaigns setup and strategy. Let’s take things back a HUGE step and talk about your shopping feed and custom labels today.

If your ROAS is low and you cannot get your shopping campaigns to be profitable, there is a good chance that your shopping feed is the major hurdle. Simply doing the basics with your shopping feed is not good enough anymore.

You need to think about how you want to optimize your campaigns and how you plan to break them out. That all starts with your shopping feed being set up for success from day one.

Custom labels are attributes and columns Custom Label 0 – 4 in your shopping feed. Custom Labels let you break up and get more granular with your feed. In short, you can subdivide the products in your campaign using values of your choosing.

For example, you can use custom labels to mark SKUs as seasonal or on sale. Then you can select these values to use for monitoring, reporting, and bidding in your Shopping campaign.

This is important because if you are working with an ecommerce platform or feed that is a bit rigid, then custom labels are going to let you add more flexibility to your shopping feed.

Let’s look at some of the different ways you can use custom labels. 

Unique Google Shopping Custom Labels

Custom Label CategoryExample 1Example 2Example 3
GenderKidsWomenMen
In-House BrandsBrand 1 Brand 2 Brand 3
ColourPurpleBlue Yellow
MaterialBambooOrganic CottonNon-Bamboo
Clearance/SaleSale
Price PointUnder $20$20 – $40$40 – $60
SeasonsWinterSummerSpring
Product Category 1ToysClothesStuffed Animals
Product Category 2TopsJeans Bottoms
Top ProductsBest SellerLow Seller
MarginHighLow
Margin Percent20%25%30%
Release Year198019902000
ExclusiveExclusive
Size (shoe or top)Size 9Small
New ProductPush
Shipping DealsNo TaxFree Shipping
HolidaysV DayHalloweenChristmas
Weight25 LB50 LB100 LB

How To Use Custom Labels

Let’s walk through a few of the use cases for some of the different custom labels above. A lot of this will depend on what you sell and where you are in the world but here is how we use them. 80% of our clients are on Shopify and the rest are on Magento, which matters as well. We will even share some the ways we might combine custom labels to break out products. There is no right or wrong way to do this but some ways will make it easier to hit your ROAS target.

Gender

If you sell apparel or products that appeal to both adults and kids, then you want to use the gender custom label. Just using the Gender attribute in your shopping feed means you are only tagging items with male, female or unisex. Using the Age attribute means your products may be too granular with kids break downs like infant, toddler and newborn.

Both the Gender and Age attributes don’t let you group all your kids products together. By grouping all your kids products together, you can create a kids shopping campaign and make sure your search terms and bids fit that price point.

Also, separating your men and women’s products means you can easily see how both gender categories are selling. A lot of fashion brands we work with sell more women’s clothes than men. Having this breakout lets us build a shopping campaign for men, women and kids and put the right budget for each category.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneGenderGender
Level TwoPrice PointMaterial
Level ThreeSKU IDPrice Point
Level Four
SKU ID

In-House Brands

This is not one we have used but I got to thinking about this option while writing this article. If your Amazon or a grocery chain that owns a few private label brands, using a custom label to help you tell which sub-brand product is which and make sure you group them together could be helpful.

Consider, hypothetically, that Amazon is selling two different types of pajamas. One is titled Amazon’s Sleep Timely Bamboo Pajamas, the other is just cotton pajamas through another private label brand. Grouping each of the sub brands together as your first product group would make a lot of sense for reporting on what sub-brands are selling. Then you could use the price custom label below to break down your next product group level to make sure your bids make sense for each price point.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneIn-House BrandsIn-House Brands
Level TwoGenderSeasons
Level ThreePrice PointPrice Point
Level FourSKU IDSKU ID

Colour

Say you sell clothing. Between your jeans and tops you have 24 different iterations of blue, 6 shades of green, and 40 shades of black/grey. The Colour custom label lets you group all your similar colours together. This is great if you have 100,000 SKUs or you want to be able to push certain colours at different times of year – St Paddy’s day being one of those times.

Data from such organization can also help dictate business decisions. If you know you sell more black jeans over red or blue jeans, being more aggressive with your black jeans SKUs makes a lot of sense for the business. To achieve this, you would use the product category 2 label (in the chart above) as your first product group level and then use the colour custom label.

If you don’t sell your own brand and you sell for different 3rd party brands, your first level product group might be each brand, product category 2 and then colours. Being able to group similar products together, report on performance and get as granular as you need is how you build a shopping powerhouse.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneIn-House BrandsProduct Category
Level TwoProduct CategoryColour
Level ThreeColourPrice Point
Level FourSKU IDSKU ID

Clearance/Sale

Labeling any SKUs that are on sale means you can bid the right amount to get your sales items into auction. Your product title and price still determine if you make it into a shopping auction, so it makes sense to bid high or low, depending on your goals.

If your goal is to get move stock and clear the warehouse of low-selling items. Then you should raise your max CPC to increase the chance of making it into the auction. If you are worried about profit margins, lower your bids for this campaign and focus on selling your full price items.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneClearance/SaleClearance/Sale
Level TwoProduct CategoryProduct Category
Level ThreeSKU IDMaterial
Level Four
SKU ID

Price Point

Our client, Rose & Rex, sells really cool kids toys ranging in price from $25 to $500+. The challenge with this is we can not bid the same amount for a $25 toy as we can for a $300 toy (that may have a higher profit margin).

That’s where the custom label based on price point comes in. When we use price point as our custom label, we break it down as the following:

Under $20
$20 – $40
$40 – $60
$60 – $100
$100 – $250
$250 – $500
$500 – $1,000
$1,000+

The one thing we double check is that we don’t have too many SKUs in one price break over another. If we do, then we tweak the price break points to make sure they make sense for the brand. By breaking down our shopping campaigns by price point, we have a better idea of what we should bid for that SKU. That way we can make sure we have a chance of hitting a profitable sale.

For this client we break it down by Brand > Product Category > Price Point > SKU ID, which helps us make managing campaigns easier. Plus, it’s a lot easier for us to hit ROAS knowing what a product is worth.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneIn-House BrandGender
Level TwoProduct CategoryMaterial
Level ThreePrice PointPrice Point
Level FourSKU IDSKU ID

Seasons

Sell a lot of seasonal products? Then use the Season custom label to help break out your product groups within shopping.

As you enter a new season and leave another one, say going from Fall/Autumn to Winter, you can bid up Winter product groups and lower your bids for your Fall/Autumn products. This will let you sell product during shoulder seasons and also not worry about turning off and on the right products.

Product GroupsExample OneExample Two
Level OneIn-House BrandsSeasons
Level TwoSeasonsProduct Category
Level ThreeProduct CategoryPrice Point
Level FourSKU IDSKU ID

Conclusion

I love custom labels and wish more brands would use them to help with bidding and reporting on their shopping campaigns. It’s the most underused Google Shopping feature out there in the open. We typically use 3 custom labels on every client, the first one ALWAYS being sales items. After that, it’s all about control, breakout and being able to manage your shopping campaigns successfully.

That is it for this week. See you next time.

Where to find more information:

Ever wondered how to elevate your Google shopping feed, or how Google ranks their shopping offerings? Take Some Risk has started a digital learning space for all things paid search: Introducing the TSR Academy. Follow along with Duane Brown as he runs you through what it means to push success and clarify some of the mystery behind paid search.