About custom parameters for remarketing

Google Ads remarketing lets you use custom parameters to include any non-personally identifiable and non-sensitive information directly in the tag. With this implementation, you'll able to create more advanced remarketing lists based on information you send through the remarketing tag.

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

Alert:  Please be sure you are using AdWords 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 AdWords Editor version you're using.

To further safeguard your parallel tracking changes from being deleted, some edits made in the previous AdWords experience (including those to campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads and extensions) may be rejected. To complete these edits, switch over to the new Google Ads experience. Determine which Google Ads experience you’re using.

How custom parameters work

Custom parameters are key-value pairs that you can implement in the remarketing 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 remarketing lists.

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 remarketing tag would be value (price of the product) and pagetype (in this case, the purchase page).

Here's how the remarketing standard implementation and custom implementation compare:

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 remarketing 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, please 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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