How Ad Customizers Make Paid Search Easier

Connor Chan Blog, Digital Marketing, Paid Search Leave a Comment

What are you more likely to click on: an ad presenting an offer that expires on the 20th, or an ad presenting an offer that expires in 2 days?

We’re about to find out with Google AdWords Ad Customizers.

The Problem:

Writing ad copy for Google AdWords was completely manual and static. As a result, ad copy could not speak to specific locations, specific times, or specific offers dynamically.

The Solution:

Google Adwords Ad Customizers. Customizers are made possible by inserting braces {} into ad copy and inserting a placeholder that references words and phrases from a .csv file in order to deliver messaging dynamically. Customizers can be included anywhere in a text ad, except for URL fields (final URL, display URL, etc.)

Once a customizer is triggered, it will begin to serve dynamic messaging as specified in a user’s uploaded .csv file.

Customizers work on a similar principle as keyword insertion. The content within the braces will be replaced by dynamic text when an ad is triggered by a user’s search. The process of serving dynamic text includes uploading a “customizer data template” to AdWords that contains targeting attributes and other information (such as device preference, scheduling, product price, event timing, etc.)

Once that template is uploaded, the customizers will have text to serve when triggered.

What Are Ad Customizers Capable of?

Ad customizers are designed to relieve the unnecessary task of manually writing many tailored variations of different text ads. With customization, a single ad can serve ad copy for hundreds of different products or target users in dozens of unique locations.

The benefits of using ad customizers in text ad campaigns are that you now have the ability to compose tailored messaging and time-sensitive CTAs with scalability. Additionally, the potential ad variations produced through customization will not tamper with reporting data.

What Can Ad Customizers Do?


Location If a user is located in a city specified in the template, Google can serve a custom ad relevant to that keyword or location.

For example, if the owner of a chain restaurant has an upcoming special that’s specific to a city like Salt Lake City, specific messaging for that Salt Lake City special can be included in the customizable data template.

Retail Products All of a brand’s product names could be included as target keywords with each product triggering an ad with unique messaging. Targeting can also be achieved at the ad group and campaign levels.

Countdowns The countdown customizer can be used a number of different ways. For example, if there is a sale ending in the next week or two, a countdown with a parameter for the number of remaining days can let searchers know that an offer is time sensitive.

Recurring Events If a data template has rows for five different events, each with dates a month apart from each other, a countdown can be implemented to promote the next-closest event as its date approaches. Countdowns will only be triggered within the five days leading up to a specified date, so there is no concern about Google showing a countdown too far in advance.

More Example Applications:

  • To estimate shipping to a searcher’s specific location, an ad could use customizers to target that location and serve a custom “Ships in X Days” in the message (via target location customizer)
  • Serve ads with product-specific messaging to potential customers searching for related terms (via target keywords)
  • Present ads for a recurring concert or show as upcoming dates approach (via countdowns)
  • Let a user know how close the nearest location of a business is, and what the hours of operation are (via target location customizer)
  • If the price of a specific product or service varies from city to city, customization can be used to show different prices to users in different locations (via target location customizer)

The important thing to remember with Ad Customizers is that they will make a good campaign easier and more efficient, but they will do little to improve a bad campaign. That part, for better or for worse, still falls on the marketer. As a recent Twitter experiment proved, machines aren’t quite ready to supplant humans when it comes to marketing messaging.

Incorporating ad customizers into an already solid strategy and utilizing them to your advantage will go a long way in executing great ideas in paid search.

Related Content: 5 Steps to Track Clicks as Conversions in AdWords

Connor ChanHow Ad Customizers Make Paid Search Easier

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