Google Ad Customizers: The How And The Why

“I’ve never seen a child work so hard to be lazy. »

A teacher once said this to my parents. However, she didn’t mean it in a demeaning way. She was impressed with me.

I stayed after school and automated an excel sheet so that the data entry I was responsible for for our yearbook class took only half the time.

Advertising

I put in hours of hard, hard work to be as lazy as possible for the rest of the semester.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my first automation – and my first experience of working hard to be lazy!

Years later, as a marketing professional, I looked for ways to speed up the ad creation process for my Google Ads search campaigns.

And that’s where I discovered ad customizers.

Just like in high school, I saw the value of doing the heavy lifting in advance to make it easier for me later.

It was worth it then, and it’s worth it now.

If you learn how to create ad customizers, it will be worth it for you too.

Here’s how to set up ad customizers and why they’re worth your time.

Why ad customizers are important

Learning about all the different features and functions of Google Ads can be overwhelming, and sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with everything.

But, there are good reasons why learning how to use ad customizers in Google Ads campaigns is a good use of your time.

Your ads need to stand out

You know you need to break up the clutter.

But, you also know that you don’t have the time to create all the new campaigns, ad copy, and new account structure that goes along with designing all the new super-relevant ads for users.

This is precisely where ad customizers are worth their weight in gold.

With a little more lead time now, you can have ultra-relevant ads that boost your Quality Score and engage your customer for months to come.

Reduce conversion costs without making changes

Ultimately, conversions (and conversion costs) start at the search engine results page (SERP) and your ads.

Without changing your price, product, landing page, marketing funnel, etc., you can still increase conversions and conversion rates, and reduce conversion costs with ad customizers.

What other tool has the power and ability to do this without a huge amount of work or change to your product, price, landing page or marketing funnel?

Personalization without privacy concerns

No other tool on the market allows you to personalize advertising to such a degree without violating privacy concerns or laws.

Ad customizers are a gift waiting to be used.

You can be ultra-relevant to a user, using only the data they freely (and legally) offer you, so let’s use it.

Long term benefits with low upfront time cost

Setting up ad customizers can take a while, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

However, once your business data is connected and attributes are configured, you can serve relevant ads to users indefinitely.

You can do this without additional work outside of general maintenance of updating business data.

While keeping all the data formatting straight can be tricky, there are three main steps to creating and launching personalized ads.

  1. Configure your business data.
  2. Create a data stream.
  3. Configure your personalized ad in Google Ads.

Configuring your business data

Google-style, setting up your business data is the hardest part, as there are very specific rules about how your data should be formatted.

But once you learn the rules and have a few of these campaigns under your belt, the whole process can be done in 20-30 minutes.

First, download the template that Google suggests you use.

(Once you reach step three, you’ll see a link to download the template, so keep following.)

It’s always a good idea to use the exact documents recommended by Google for tasks that deal with tedious data.

Configure your template with the information you want to use to personalize your ad.

There are three types of data you can use in the model:

Types of attribution

Screenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Examples of attribute types

attribute type examplesScreenshot by author, July 2022

Ad content

This is the exact text that will be placed in your ad.

The different types of content you can customize are count (i.e. the number of items available in your inventory), text (i.e. the color of an item), the time and date (i.e. the end of a sale) or price.

You can name these columns whatever you want, but you must ensure that the corresponding attribute type is in parentheses in the column name.

Duration and device

Use these columns to schedule your ad’s delivery, the devices it appears on, and other additional preferences (see the table below for more options).

When naming the column in your spreadsheet, you must use the name exactly as it appears in the Attribute in the table below.

And don’t forget to add the attribute type in parentheses at the end of the name.

Standard attributes

standard attributesScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Targeting

Targeting lets you choose what triggers an optimizer, which campaigns/adgroups are involved, and how keywords play into the ad.

If you want to use any or all of the targeting options, you must use the name exactly as it appears in the Attribute in the table below.

However, you Not must include an attribute type at the end of the column name.

Targeting attributes

targeting attributesScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Create a dataflow

Once your business data is set up, organized, and formatted, you need to connect it to your Google Ads account.

As long as there are no issues with the formatting of your company data, this is a fairly straightforward process.

  • Click the Tools icon in the top menu.
  • Under Setup, click Company data.
  • Click Data Feeds on the left side.
  • Click the plus button and click “Ad customizer data for text ads”.
  • Name your flow.
  • To click Select Source then click Download a file.
  • Click Apply.

Ad Setup

If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations!

The worst is over.

Setting up the actual ad in Google Ads is much easier than setting up business data, especially if you’re familiar with setting up other campaign types.

  • Navigate to the ad group where you want to create your new ad that uses ad customizer business data.
  • Click the icon and select Responsive Search Ad.
  • Fill in titles and descriptions with the ad customizers you want to use. Enter whatever text you want, and when you get to the point where you want to use a customizer, add a curly bracket ( { ). This will bring up the drop-down menu where you can choose Ad Customizer. Now select the customizer you want to use, and it will be inserted into your text.
  • Repeat this process to place customizers in your ad text.
Google ad customizer text adsScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Like many automations, adding ad customizers to your Google Ads campaigns can seem a bit tricky and complicated.

On this point, you are not wrong!

However, automations are quick and easy to set up after the learning curve.

You will also find that they are the key to maximizing production, gaining efficiency and reducing conversion costs.

So, try ad customizers. I know they will become part of your daily arsenal and you will come to love them!

Want more?

Ad customizers are a huge topic, and we couldn’t fit all the information around this topic into a single article.

Fortunately, SEJ has another great article on ad customizers by Andrea Atzori.

In her article, “4 Ad Customizers to Improve Google Ads Campaign PerformanceAndrea digs deeper into why you want to use ad customizers, how they work, and four great ways to use them in your day-to-day campaigns.

Together, these two should give you a good foundation on what ad customizers are, how to use them, why to use them, and how to set them up.

Enjoy!

More resources:


Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

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