Google Shopping custom labels are hands down one of the most underrated and overlooked features of Google Ads management. In fact, in around 2 out of 3 accounts we’ve audited over the last years had never even used one.
Yet, these are also one of the most powerful tools that can turn around a low performing account, into a sales driving engine that will move your business forward.
So what are custom labels, exactly? And why are they so important?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and share some of our favorite Google Shopping custom labels that will boost your sales in no time.
If you’re new to custom labels, we recommend you read the entire article. Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead to the list.
What Are Google Shopping Custom Labels?
Custom labels are additional attributes you can add to your product feeds that allow you to subdivide products in your campaigns, based on very specific and customizable criteria.
For example, you can add custom labels to categorize products according to their seasonality, price margins, promotions, and other attributes, which allow for much more granular control over which products should get more budget behind them.
You can add up to 5 custom labels to your product feed, starting with “custom_label_0” up to “custom_label_4”.
We’ll walk you through how to create and add these labels in a minute.
Why Should You Use Custom Labels?
In fact, the question should be “why wouldn’t you use custom labels?”.
Custom labels are one of the best methods to segment and structure your campaigns in order to collect data in the most efficient way and optimize accordingly. In other words, with custom labels, you can subdivide products into smaller (but more refined) groups, and adjust your bids according to which products perform best.
For example, if you have products that sell particularly well over the summer, you can add a seasonality custom label to your products, and bump up the bids on those particular products when summer comes.
On the other hand, you could also massively decrease the bids for products that sell well over the winter, and ensure you’re not spending money on products that aren’t particularly relevant at that time.
How to Create Custom Labels
There are a few different methods to create custom labels, but it will mostly depend on how your product feed was initially set up.
In this article we’ll cover two of the most common methods: feed management tools, and supplemental feeds.
If you haven’t yet created a product feed, we recommend you read our Google Shopping Ads Guide for Beginners.
1. Feed Management Tools
In fact, one of the biggest advantages of using feed management tools is that you can use these automated rules to apply labels based on product performance, without having to manually edit your product feed, or supplemental feed.
Now, in most cases, these tools allow you add custom labels with simple “if > then” rules. For example, if the products’ title or description contains the value “shirt”, then add the custom label “shirt”.
The downside of these feed management tools is that they come with a monthly cost.
However, if you’re managing multiple clients, or product feeds with thousands of product variants, these tools are well worth the cost and will save you a lot of time and headaches.
2. Supplemental Feeds
If you’re not using a feed management tool, you can use a supplemental feed to add custom labels to your product feed.
Now, this is the most common method used by advertisers who have set up their product feeds via Google Sheets, and our most recommended method for new advertisers.
To add custom labels to a supplemental feed, you will first need to create a supplemental feed and link it to your Google Merchant Center account.
How to Create a Supplemental Feed
To do so, access your Google Merchant Center account and, in the left menu, click on “Products” and then “Feeds“.
Scroll down to “Supplemental Feeds” and click on “Add Supplemental Feed“. Then, name your feed and choose the “Google Sheets” option in the menu below.
Finally, choose the “Generate a new Google Spreadsheet from a template” and hit the “Continue” button.
How to Add Custom Labels to a Supplemental Feed
Now, once you’ve created the supplemental feed, you should have access to a blank Google Spreadsheet in your drive.
You can also access the spreadsheet under the “Supplemental Feed” menu in your Google Merchant Center account.
From here, it will be very easy to add custom labels into your feed. To do so, simply add the product IDs you wish to add custom labels to in the left column, and add the custom labels to the columns to the right.
When adding attributes to a Google Spreadsheet, make sure you always follow Google’s product specifications to avoid rejected products and other feed errors.
10 Google Shopping Custom Labels That Will Generate More Sales
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of our favorite custom labels to add to your product feeds.
1. Selling Rate
One of our most used custom labels, the “Selling Rates” label allows you to segment your products into groups based on well (or not) each product sells. In other words, products that are known to sell the most should get higher bids, and higher budgets.
You can easily find your top selling products on Google Analytics, under “Ecommerce” and then “Product Performance“.
Once you’ve identified your best sellers, add their product IDs into the spreadsheet and add the “BestSellers” custom label.
Oftentimes, we work with clients who have weekly promotions for different product categories. One good example for these types of products are online grocers, who often have sales based on product seasonality, and available stock.
In such cases, you could easily add the “on-sale” custom label to ensure that these products have higher bids and, consequently, higher visibility and delivery.
Back in 2019, we worked with a client in the Jewelry niche that had very different product margins for each of the different product categories.
For instance, stone bracelets would have a 70% profit margin, while steel pendants would have a much lower 30% profit margin. As such, we added the “HighMargin” and “LowMargin” labels to our products, in order to adjust our bids.
4. Price Points
If you have products that sell for widely different prices, then adding custom labels based on price ranges may be a good idea.
For instance, if you’re selling bed mattresses and accessories, you might find that products on the lower end can sell for under $50. However, bed mattresses may cost upwards of $600.
With that said, in these cases, we would break out “Bed Mattresses” into their own campaign. Yet, we could also add different price points, such as “$200-$400“, and “$400-$600“, so we could bid accordingly.
Another great idea is to add custom labels to products based on their seasonality.
If you’re advertising swimwear in the middle of winter, you will likely see a low return on ad spend. As such, this custom label can enable you to exclude these products from your campaigns, or lower the bids enough so that you can keep your ad delivery to a minimum.
If you have a minimum threshold for free shipping, adding custom labels to products whose prices are above that threshold will allow you to adjust bids accordingly, and increase ad delivery for those same products.
This isn’t one of our most used custom labels, but we’ve seen some accounts with good results with it.
7. Sub-Product Types
Sub-product types are smaller categories within each product category.
Let’s say you’re advertising products for an online clothing store across different product categories such as t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, etc.
One good case to use these custom labels is to further break down each one of these product categories. For example, we could add different subdivisions to our “Jeans” category:
- Skinny Jeans
- Loose Fit
You get the idea. We’ve seen massive performance differences between different sub-product types, so it’s critical we can bid accordingly.
Holiday seasons can be some of the most competitive times of the year to advertise your products, as a lot of advertisers try to get in front of their customers.
Nonetheless, these are also the times where some of your products might see sudden spikes of interest from your customers. As such, it is very important that we’re able to allocate most of our budgets towards those products, and are able to look at results in a more granular way.
Remember, there will be more advertisers than normal in these periods in which sometimes prices may become too high for your campaigns to remain sustainable.
You may want to use custom labels to separate products by color.
In some cases, the color of the product can result in very different conversion rates. As such, we’ll want to increase our bids on the best-selling colors, and lower the bids on the other products.
If you have a product that’s not selling well in a particular size, it might make sense to either exclude or lower the bids on those products.
This custom label is more interesting than it seems since the products’ price displayed on the ad can have a huge impact on your clickthrough rates. For example, notice how in the image below the last product to the right seems to be more expensive than the others.
However, since the title is truncated, what we can’t see is that the cost per gallon for that product is in fact lower than the other products in the list.
Product feed optimization is, in our opinion, the most important element in getting good results in Google Shopping campaigns. Without a proper feed, you won’t be able to collect data about your campaign performance, and optimize accordingly.
Now, Google Shopping custom labels play a central role in product feed optimization and, while there are dozens of other custom labels you could add to your product feed, you’re only able to select 5 of them at a time.
However, these 5 should be more than enough to optimize our product feeds and improve our campaign performance with a few simple tweaks.
What are some of the custom labels you’ve used from the list above?
Let us know in the comments below and let’s talk!