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Set up ad customizers

Ad customizers adapt your ads to the real-time context of your potential customers—what they're searching for, where they're browsing, what device they're using, and when they're looking at your ad. Learn more about their benefits, or get started by following the steps below. You'll create ad customizer data first, and then set up ad text with customizers in each ad group that you want to reference that data.

Create ad customizer data

First, define your attributes:
  1. Download the ad customizer data template (.csv).
  2. Define the custom attributes (details) that you want each customizer to show.
    • The template includes sample custom attributes in columns A to E. Replace these sample custom attributes with your own attributes and remove any extra columns.
    • Make sure all your attributes specify an attribute type, in an Attribute (AttributeType) format. See all attribute types.
    • For example, the "Model" attribute in column A, a custom attribute, specifies "text" for the data that column includes, and appears as "Model (text)"
    • It's best not to include spaces in your attributes' names.
  3. (Optional) To make advanced configurations, like scheduling and device preferences, include standard attributes as well.
Second, define your targeting:
  1. The ad customizer data template (.csv) includes optional targeting attributes in columns F to H.
    • You can keep multiple targeting columns: to customize your ads for the same keyword in different campaigns, for example, use both the "Target keyword" and "Target campaign" columns.
    • To target by ad group, you'll need to include both the "Target ad group" and "Target campaign" columns.
  2. Remove any columns you don't want (could be all of them, if you'd like your customizers to be eligible across your account), or add different targeting attributes.
  3. If you're targeting by keyword, you have two options.
    • Use the "Target keyword" attribute, and format the keywords under it like you format keyword match types.
    • Use the "Target keyword text" attribute along with the "Target keyword match type" attribute, and specify the match type under "Target keyword match type." Learn more about match types
Third, enter your data and upload to AdWords:
  1. Complete each row with the data you want the customizers to display.
    • Replace the sample data in rows 2 and 3.
    • Make sure any targeting columns match your keywords and/or the names of your campaigns and ad groups exactly, including spaces and capitalization.
    • For each column with a custom attribute, make sure to used an allowed type.
  2. Save your file in a .csv, .tsv, .xls, or .xlsx format. Your file can be as large as 50 MB for .xls or .xlsx and 500 MB for .csv and .tsv.
  3. Sign in to AdWords at https://adwords.google.com
  4. From Shared library on the left navigation bar, choose Business data.
  5. Click +DATA and choose "Ad customizer data."
  6. Name your data set.
    • The name you give your data set here is the name your customizers will reference.
    • Use a short name, with no spaces.
    • Don't use the same name as an old (removed) data set. Customizers that reference removed data sets won't work.
  7. Click UPLOAD.

Note

If you want your customizer to count down to a one-time event, you don't need to create a file for ad customizer data. You can simply include a COUNTDOWN function within your ad.

Set up ad text with customizers

After you've created your ad customizer data following the steps above, you're ready to set up customizers in any text ad within your Search or Search with Display Select campaign. As usual, you can create text ads one at a time or by uploading them in bulk. A customizer can show text from the data you've uploaded, or text from a function within your ad.

Important

  • You'll need to include a text ad within the same ad group as any ads with customizers in order for AdWords to show your customized ads.
  • Keep in mind character limits to avoid disapproval: make sure that the values that replace the customizers keep your headline and description lines within the character limits.
  • Ads with customizers, like all other ads, must meet Google’s professional and editorial standards.
Set up customizers that reference customizer data
  1. As you create a text ad, include a customizer within the headline or description fields.
    • Use the format {=DataSetName.AttributeName}.
    • If you've named your file "Mixers," for example, and want to reference a custom attribute called "Model (text)," your customizer would be {=Mixers.Model}. Note how the attribute type isn't included in the customizer.
    • See examples of how customizers look within ad text.
  2. Make sure to match the name of your ad customizer data and attributes exactly.
  3. Your customizers might cause your text to go over the character limits. This is fine, but make sure that the values that replace your customizers won't exceed the limit (otherwise, your customized ad won't show).
  4. Save your ad as usual.
  5. Make sure this ad falls within an ad group that also includes an ad (that is, an ad without any customizers). If the customized ad's ad group doesn't include an ad, AdWords won't be able to show it.

Tip 

If you’re creating text ads in AdWords, you can also add your ad customizer data to your text ad by typing a brace ( { ) and selecting Ad customizer from the drop-down menu. Then, select the feed and attribute you want to show in your text ad and save your ad as usual. 

Set up countdown customizers

Countdown customizers come in both COUNTDOWN and GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN formats. Use GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN if you're counting down to a time that's consistent globally, like the time of a sports match. COUNTDOWN counts down to events in the user's time zone.

Both countdown functions count down by day, then by hour, then by minute. So, a line of ad text with a countdown customizer might say "Hurry, sale ends in 3 hours," and then 2 hours and 28 minutes later say, "Hurry, sale ends in 32 minutes."

By default, countdown customizers begin serving 5 days before the end time, in American English.

  1. As you create a text ad, include a countdown customizer within the headline or description fields.
    • Countdown customizers include the countdown function within {braces}, along with your end date within (parentheses).
    • Use 24-hour time within this format: {=COUNTDOWN("yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss" )}.
    • A countdown function that ends at 6PM on January 15, 2015, for example, would look like this: {=COUNTDOWN("2015/01/15 18:00:00")}.
    • If you've set up a column with dates in your ad customizer data, you can reference it in this format: {=COUNTDOWN(FileName.ColumnName)}.
    • Make sure your ad text doesn’t include a unit of time, such as days or hours, because that is added by the countdown script. For example, the ad: “Sale! Only {=Countdown(...)} days left" will repeat the unit of time and appear as “Sale! Only 3 days days left.”
  2. (Optional) Change the display language for "days," "hours," and "minutes" (the default is American English).
    • Add a display language and number of days, in that order, after the countdown's end date and separated by commas. See all language codes
    • To display the time in German, for example, you could set up your customizer like this: {=COUNTDOWN("2014/08/14 15:00:00", "de")}.
  3. (Optional) Change the number of days before the end date that the customizer should start serving. (The default is 5 days).
    • To show your ad 3 days before the end time, for example, your customizer might look like this: {=COUNTDOWN("2014/08/14 15:00:00","de",3)}. This example also specifies a display language (German).
    • If you aren't specifying a display language, you'll need to leave an empty space for the display language, like this: {=COUNTDOWN("2014/08/14 15:00:00",,3)}.
  4. Save your ad as usual.
  5. Make sure this ad falls within an ad group that also includes an ad (that is, an ad without any customizers). If the customized ad's ad group doesn't include an ad, AdWords won't be able to show it.

Tip

If you’re creating text ads in AdWords, you can also add a countdown to your text ad by typing a brace ( { ) and selecting Countdown from the drop-down menu. Then, select the date, time, and language you want to show in your countdown and save your ad as usual. Learn more

Manage your ad customizers

See performance of your ad customizers

AdWords reports the data for ads with customizers as usual, on the Ads tab.

If you've uploaded a file with ad customizer data, you can also look up the performance of individual customizers (and the values they display) within the Business data section of the Shared library. Learn how to see detailed performance of ad customizers.

Pause your ad customizers

To pause your ad customizers, you can pause the ads that contain them or remove the data associated with them.

  • Pause the ads that contain them: Simply pause your ads as usual.
  • Remove the data associated with them: Remove any data that the customizers reference. If you have a customized ad targeted to 5 ad groups, for example, and want to pause the customizers in an ad group named "San Francisco," then you could remove the rows that target the "San Francisco" ad group.
    • If you remove the whole data set, you won't be able to re-start your customizers by uploading a new data set and naming it the same thing. Editing your data (rather than removing the whole data set) is a better option if you'd like your customizers to keep running.

Keep in mind

Countdown customizers will stop showing automatically after their specified end date.

Update ad customizer data

You can update your ad customizer data one cell at a time within the interface in the Business data section of the Shared library, or you can make changes in bulk by uploading a new file. Learn how

Fix your ad customizers

Customizers aren't showing? Here are a couple of things to check.

  • Have you included an ad (without customizers) within the ad group that contains your customized ad? You'll need an ad within the ad group for your customizers to show.
  • Have you specified values for the campaign, ad group, or keyword associated with the ad whose customizers aren't showing? You can check the values you've uploaded in the Business data section of the Shared library. How to check your data

Specs for customizer data

Countdown functions

Countdown customizers can use COUNTDOWN or GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN functions. Use GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN if you're counting down to a time that's consistent globally, like the time of a sports match.

Function What it does
COUNTDOWN Counts down to a set time, adjusted to the timezone of the person searching.
GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN Counts down to a "global" time consistent with your account's timezone. If the ad says "ends in 4 hours" in California, it will also say "ends in 4 hours" in New York.
Language codes
Language Code
Arabic ar
Bulgarian bg
Catalan ca
Chinese (China) zh-CN
Chinese (Hong Kong) zh-HK
Chinese (Taiwan) zh-TW
Croatian hr
Czech cs
Danish da
Dutch nl
English (Australian) en-AU
English (UK) en-GB
English (US) en-US
Estonian et
Filipino fil
Finnish fi
French fr
German de
Greek el
Hebrew iw
Hindi hi
Hungarian hu
Indonesian id
Italian it
Japanese ja
Korean ko
Latvian lv
Lithuanian lt
Malay ms
Norwegian no
Polish pl
Portuguese (Brazil) pt-BR
Portuguese (Portugal) pt-PT
Romanian ro
Russian ru
Serbian sr
Slovak sk
Slovenian sl
Spanish (Europe) es
Spanish (Latin America) es-419
Swedish sv
Thai th
Turkish tr
Ukranian uk
Vietnamese vi
Attribute types (for custom attributes)
Attribute type Commonly used for Characters allowed Example value
text ProductName Any letters, numbers, or symbols Hiking Shoes
number InventoryCount Any whole numbers 11
price Cost Any number (including decimals) and valid currency characters $24.99
date Timestamp yyyy/MM/dd hh:mm:ss 2014/08/14 17:01:00
Standard attributes
Attribute Function Accepted values
Device preference Limits a row of data to ads that appear on smartphones (not tablets or computers) mobile or all
Scheduling The days and times of the week you want your ad customizer to be shown. Day, start time - end time. If you wanted to schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, for example, you would enter Monday, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM. If you want to schedule for multiple days, separate your days with a semicolon. For example, you could schedule for both Monday and Tuesday using Monday, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM; Tuesday, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM.
Start date Starts serving the feed item on this date yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss (24 hour time)
End date Stops serving the feed item on this date yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss (24 hour time)
Custom ID Unique identifying value for a row of data. AdWords gives each row a value called "Item ID," but you might like to create your own custom ID values that AdWords can recognize. Any combination of letters and numbers
Target location restriction
Targeting attributes
Attribute Function Accepted values
Target keyword The keyword that should trigger this row. Keywords with match type punctuation formatting. (e.g. [flowers] for exact match). Match type formats
Target keyword text The keyword that should trigger this row. This keyword has a match type specified in the "Target keyword match type" column. Keywords without match type punctuation formatting.
Target keyword match type The match type you want applied to the corresponding keyword in the "Target keyword text" column. broad or phrase or exact
Target ad group The ad group this row's data should be used for. Existing ad group names
Target campaign The campaign this row's data should be used for. Existing campaign names
Target location The location that should trigger this row when it matches the user’s location or area of interest. The name of the location, in any language
Target location restriction The type of targeting that's applied to the locations listed in "Target location." Physical location or an empty cell

 

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