Google Ad Customisers

Paid SearchPerformance Media

Google Ads can be tricky sometimes, almost like Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole. Imagine having to manually custom create ads for thousands of inventory products, or promote product categories, each with unique promotional offer attributes. This kind of scenario can be nightmarish for the most adept PPC marketers. Thanks to Google’s myriad tools and tech, PPC life gets a whole lot easier and manageable. One such tool is Google Ads Customisers.

Why Google Ad Customisers?

Google Ad Customisers dynamically adapt the text in ads to the user’s search, device, location and even date. Basically, it helps advertisers tailor ads to individual searches, thereby rendering personalised ad experiences. Introduced by Google in September 2014, it is responsible for increasing CTR and positively impacting leads, conversions and ad revenue achieved.

Ad Customisers allow you to tweak your search ads dynamically to the following attributes:

  • Keywords 
  • Device
  • Location
  • Item price, stock, category, etc.
  • Date and time
How do we use Google Ad Customisers?

Google provides different types of ad customiser templates for you to download and then tweak according to your requirements. Just follow the steps defined in the sheet below and custom create a feed for yourself with attributes relevant to your ads.

New Balance - Code

Creating Ad Customisers and using them are easy. Once you are logged into your Google Ads account, click on the gear icon for “Tools & Settings”. Then click on “Business Data”.

Product design - Brand

Click on the+” icon and choose the type of ad customiser you want to create.

Product design - Brand

You’ll have have the following options to choose from, as shown in the screen grab below:

Liferay - System

If it is a parameter based customiser, you’ll be prompted to upload a data feed file. Upload it from your system and give it a meaningful name. Adwords will process the data feed file and show a status message. After successfully uploading the file, you can start creating your ads using the attributes from the feed file. Your ads will start pulling in the values from the feed file dynamically to be shown on search, as per the user’s queries.

Types & Nomenclature

The two main types of Google Ad customisers can be mainly classified into:

  1. Built In Customisers: These ones don’t require a data feed to be workable.  They include Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI), Countdown customisers and If Function customisers. Built in Customisers only allow for a single attribute in customisation. These functionalities are pre-defined in the Google Adwords platform.
  2. Parameter Customisers: These ones use a data feed to pull in values related to different attributes you’d like to use for your ad copy. Parameter Customisers use the syntax {} to define the different attributes you’d like to use from your data feed file and the name of the data feed file uploaded in Business Data as in {DataFeedFileName.attribute}. An example can be {AdCustomiserLocation.RegionHeadline}.

Now, let’s explore each one of them in detail, starting with the built in customisers.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

To demonstrate, let’s see how DKI works:

The syntax for DKI is {KeyWord:xxxxx}.

Suppose you have ads crafted around perfume and your keywords center around the type of scents. So if you want to use DKI in your Headline 1, you can simply use {KeyWord:Rosescented Perfume}. This implies that every time a user searches for perfume using your keywords, the H1 of your ad copy will dynamically be replaced by the particular keyword and the user will see a customised ad copy on search. But, if due to any reason, the keyword can’t be fetched, by default “Rosescented Perfume” will be displayed in H1. You craft the ad in Google Ads as below:

On Google Search, the ad will look something like this:

Countdown Customisers:

Countdown Customisers are a lifesaver when it comes to seasonal sale ads that involve promotion or products with limited period promotional offers.

Good use cases are Xmas or Black Friday Sale ads. Countdown Customisers let you define the start and end dates of promotional offers tied to different products. It also imparts a sense of urgency to the ads. Following in the footsteps of traditional sale countdowns, this customiser helps rocket purchases- read CTR + CVR & conversions-towards the end of a sale. Creating it is easy as pie. Choose the type of ad you want to create & type in “({)” where you want the countdown inserted. Click Countdown” from the dropdown and select.

Next, fill in the details and click apply.

Your ad will look something like this:

IF Function Customisers:

They are fabulous to use, if you want to relay audience specific value statements & messaging in ads. Plus they are hard for your competitors to replicate. Similar to Countdown customisers, IF Function customisers can be inserted via typing ({) and choosing IF function from the displayed dropdown. They are used to insert a specific message in your ad text when a condition is met. Otherwise, the viewers see a default text.

Suppose we want to add additional text to ads shown on “mobile” devices. Then our IF customizer can be used like:

Viewers on mobile will be shown something like this:

Parameter Based Customisers: A great use of Parameter based customisers are location customisers. A classic example would be of a location based product or service. Suppose you have a website that offers child care services to job seekers & parents and you want to target around 50 locations. Location customisers can come to your rescue here. 

All you need to do is create a custom location data feed, with the template provided by Google. Tweak it to include the attributes relevant to you. Select Ad customiser Data in Business Data (Adwords) and upload the custom product feed.

A subset of the data feed for our example will be something like:

Next we craft our ads to include the “RegionHeadline”  attribute from the data feed in H1.

When an searcher types in “Eastern Suburbs” in your campaign, he will see this ad:


Metric Labs has been using ad customisers for ages. We think they are fun, quick and time efficient. We love the fact that ad customisers free up more time for strategic thinking, eliminating the need to waste heaps of valuable time crafting ads. 

How do you use ad customisers? We’d love to know. Drop us a comment on the blog.

Reminder: Google UA Historical Data to be Deleted in July 2024