Put simply, ad customisers allow advertisers to adapt their text ads to what someone is searching for, which device they are using, where they’re located, or even the date, time of day or day of the week. They can insert a price, the time left before a sale ends, and any other text that you define. For example, a line of text that says “Prices starting as low as ____!” could be filled in with the right sale price – and that’s just the beginning.

Customisers are a clever way of being dynamic in how we put out our ad messaging. For example, we can set up start and end-points for ad changes to be made during a sale period. Or where offers change daily, we can quickly and easily change prices or offer details, or we create countdown style ads to add urgency as the end of a promotion period approaches.

The Benefits

We’ve seen big successes in using Ad Customisers in campaigns for retail clients, with customiser ads out-performing standard ad variants, both in terms of CTR and Conversion Rate. There’s plenty of opportunity for customisers to be used across different campaigns. Some of the key benefits of using Ad Customisers include:

  • Tailored messaging: Ads are hyper-specialised to each search or web page being viewed.
  • Scalability: Customisers let a single text ad have hundreds of variations, and show the most relevant variation to each potential customer.
  • Reporting: The automatic updates that happen when an ad is triggered don’t reset the ad’s performance data.

All of this starts by creating a Business Data feed for your customisers. In this guide, we provide step-by-step instructions on exactly how to set up one of these feeds, and start pulling the data into your ad copy for maximum relevance. The below example is based specifically at one of the most common and useful ad customiser attributes, start and end dates. This is particularly useful when running sales or promotions.

Important – Ad groups containing Ad Customiser ads must also have at least one non-customiser ad, in case anything goes wrong with the feed.

Setting up Ad Customisers:

(For more info: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6093368?hl=en-GB)

To set up an ad customiser feed based on Start / End Dates:
  1. Create a new Google Sheet document.
  2. In row 1, add in all of the required fields for your customiser sheet

Required fields are:

  1. Start Date
  2. End Date
  3. NB – Start and End Dates must be in the format below, or Google Ads won’t read it correctly:

2018/11/30 00:00:00

yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss

  1. Everything else is optional, it’s completely up to you what you want to add but this might include:
  • Phase (referring to what phase of a promo or sale we’re in)
  • Description Copy
    This can be generic, or you may wish to have different descriptions for different genders or product categories, for example if there are different offers on for kids and adults.
    You might also want to include =LEN columns to see how many characters messages are NB the max length for customiser data is 80 characters
  • Headline Copy
  • Description Copy
  • Any other necessary details
  1. Once you’re happy with the column headings in your sheet, download a copy of the customiser sheet to Excel

In Google Ads:

  • Go to Business Data > Data Feeds
  • Press + to add a new Ad Customiser Data feed
  • Name the feed something memorable / obvious (as you’ll be referring back to this in ads)
  • Upload the sheet you downloaded before, this should pull through to Google Ads as changes, and highlight any errors – Apply File when you’re happy
  • Go into the promo customiser feed (it should be in the list)
  • Go to ‘Schedules’ on the left. Here, press + Schedule, choose the source for Google Sheets
  • Search for the Google sheet you had originally set up (make sure you’re logged into the right account!)
  • Choose how often you want the feed to update. The most frequent is every 6 hours, which is recommended if any changes needed to be made on the fly

image shows ad customisers screengrab

  • Make sure you share access to the email address it tells you to in the Google Sheet, then save your Schedule.
  • If you want to update the Business Data feed at any time, you can go back to Schedules and click ‘Update Now’

If you ever need to add a new field into the Ad Customiser feed, go to Business Data > Data Feeds > Settings

  • Go to ‘Attributes’, select the attribute type you want to add, (usually this is ‘text’), name the attribute then add this in as a new column heading in the Google Sheet

Creating Ads

When you are ready to start making ads, the easiest place to start is in the Google interface:

  1. Type in {
  2. Choose Ad customiser
  3. Choose the Customiser feed you want to pull data from
  4. Choose the Attribute you want to pull into your ad copy

The ad preview should show you an example of what the ad should look like

Whenever you want to make an update to your customiser feed, make all of the required changes within the Google doc – whether this is to change your ad messaging, start / end dates, or to add in new lines. Once done, the business feed will update within 6 hours, so there is no need to manually change ads.

If you want to run more than 1 ad customiser variant at the same time, simply set the same start and end dates. Typically, the customisers will split impressions evenly

To check on the performance of your individual ad customisers, just go into the feed Data and it’ll show all of the stats for each item on the feed. You can see clicks, impressions, cost, conversions and everything else you need.