About custom parameters for your data

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll see the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place, the “Audiences” tab within the left page navigation menu. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more About Audience reporting
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases

Global site tag lets you use custom parameters to include any non-personally identifiable and non-sensitive information directly. With this implementation, you'll be able to create more advanced data segments comprised of your website visitors and app users based on information you send through the global site tag.

This article goes over how to use custom parameters with your global site tags and lists.

Alert: Make sure you are using Google Ads Editor 12.4 or higher. Using an older version may result in the deletion of some of your previous URL and parallel tracking changes. Check which Google Ads Editor version you're using.

How custom parameters work

Custom parameters are key-value pairs that you can implement in the global site tag in order to categorize your site visitors in more sophisticated ways to further tailor your bids and ads. The parameters and values that you implement in custom parameters are sent through the tag to your Google Ads account and become available when you create your data segments.

An online store, for example, can collect the product price and the page type (which indicates how close to purchasing a customer is) in the tag to create a list for people who bought any product above a certain price. In this case, the custom parameters that the online store would include in the Google Ads would be value (price of the product) and pagetype (in this case, the purchase page).

Here's a comparison of standard implementation and custom implementation of your data:

Standard implementation: Create lists based on webpage URLs

  • Easier and faster to implement
  • Create as many lists as you want based on the URL visited
  • List definition limited by your site’s URL structure. You can only define lists based on your URLs.

Custom implementation: Create lists based on custom parameters

  • More advanced categorization of visitors by using custom parameters
  • Create as many lists as you want based on the URL visited
  • Requires more technical expertise and IT resources

How you can use custom parameters

Custom parameters are helpful for reaching a more targeted audience. In general, it’s a best practice to target all site visitors and to use Target CPA and Target ROAS Smart Bidding strategies, which use “signals” or the custom parameters that you send through the global site tag to optimize for conversions or conversion value. However, if the information you want to collect about your site visitors doesn’t match any of our automated bidding signals, you can create custom parameters to capture that information. You can then create lists based on those parameters.

Here are a few examples of how you can use custom parameters to build more advanced lists:

  • If you're an online retailer, you might want to review our dynamic remarketing implementation guide.
  • If you're an online travel site, you could consider creating lists around travel origins and destinations, check-in and check-out dates, or different travel packages.

It's up to you to determine what non-personally-identifiable information about your site visitors would be valuable in targeting your ads. Here are a few examples of custom parameters, definitions, and examples:

Parameter Definition Examples
section Site content category Arts, Entertainment, Life & Style, News
subsection Site content subcategory Movies, Music, Games, Theatre
membertype Member type Non, Free Member, Premium Member
pagetype Page type Home, Product, Cart, Purchase
conversiontype Conversion type Log in, Sign Up, Store Locator, Contact Us

Additionally you can include any other parameter you like, such as age or gender, using "a=" or "g=," but you can't include information, such as name or email, that would identify visitors. In addition, you can’t include sensitive information. For more information, check out the policy for advertising based on interests and location.

Note: Parameters names and values are not case sensitive. If a parameter shows up more than once in the drop down menu, you only need to select one. For example, "firstname" and "FirstName" function the same, so you would only need to make a parameter using one spelling.
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