How Retailers Can Skyrocket Sales With Google Ad Customizers


How Retailers Can Skyrocket Sales With Google Ad Customizers

Ad Customizers were released in quarter 4 of 2014. Despite them being around for a few months now, they are still rarely used by paid search advertisers, which is a shame as they are proving to be hugely effective at driving more conversions. If you’re a retail advertiser with a large product inventory, ad customizers are definitely something that you should be experimenting with. Many advertisers have reported significant increases in CTR (Click-Through Rates) and conversion rates so read on to find out how you can be one of those retailers reporting increased growth.


What are Ad Customizers?

Ad customizers work in a similar way to dynamic keyword insertion, allowing you to simply add parameters to your ad with Google pulling data in to the ad to  achieve even better targeting. Google can pull in a variety of data from a feed that could include any of the following:

  • Product name
  • Model number
  • Type of product
  • Price
  • Sale end date/time

In the example below, the text in blue has been pulled in dynamically through ad customizations. This has allowed to tell the users what type of shoes they have what discount there is and how many days they have to catch the sale. shoe sale customised ad With customised ads, what the searcher sees is based upon what they search for, allowing for more targeted messaging, such as enticing discounts with super urgent calls to action. Let’s look now at how to set up Google ad customisations and how retailers can use them to super-charge conversions.

How do we set them up?

The setup of ad customizations is more complex than dynamic keyword insertion. Whilst the ad creation is fairly simple, once you know what parameters to use, the actual uploading and creation of the feed may seem a little daunting. Google’s example below (for a fictional ProWhip 300 mixer) will help to clarify the step-by-step process and how the data feed links to the ad:

1. Create ad customizer data in an excel spreadsheet

You can do this using Google’s customizer data template. It will involve you inputting key information about your product:s it’s important that all the fields are complete and no spaces are used in attribute names. Also, ensure that any mention of campaign/ad group names  exactly match those in your account. Each row of your spreadsheet may look similar to this: ad customizer spreadsheet

2. Upload data to your account

  Once you have filled in all your product data, you’re ready to upload it to Adwords. This is done in the ‘shared library’ by selecting ‘business data’ as shown below: Step 1: choose data type ad business data

Step 2: upload data

upload new ad customizer

3. Create ad customized ads

There are many different attributes you can use within your ads. You may want to promote a sale you have on, a discounted price, a particular product range or a recurring event for example. For the purposes of this article we’ll focus on the basics, but for further reading I’d recommend Google’s help pages. Based on the data used in step one, the corresponding ad, complete with chosen ad customizer parameters, will look like this: stand mixer code When a user then searches for ‘prowhip 300’ they will see the ad below. Note how the data that was uploaded has caused the highlighted fields to dynamically populate: stand mixer ad If the same user searched again the next day, the ‘5 days’ would dynamically change to ‘4 days’. Likewise, if the data feed was updated to reflect a price change to $150, this would be dynamically inserted. No need for you to change the ad.

4. Monitor performance

It’s highly likely that you’ll see an increased click-through rate ( CTR )and conversion rate as a result of using Ad Customizers. Don’t just take our word for it though; check your ads regularly within the ad dashboard. It’s good practice to run the customized ads along with some standard variations. This way you will be able to monitor any difference in key metrics like CTR. Bear in mind that when your specified sale dates end, your ads will automatically end. Also, if you stop selling a particular product, it’s important that you update your data via the shared library.

What are the benefits?

In comparison to the basic ads we’ve all become accustomed to, it’s possible tosee how the implementation of customised ads may seem a bit overwhelming. However, we’re confident that if you spend a little time setting these up, you’ll reap the rewards! Some of the clear benefits of customized ads include:


You’re in control of what parameters you use; there are a lot to choose from so, whether you run an e-commerce website or an events company, there will be suitable options to control your ads the way you want to.


We really like the countdown feature. If you have a 10 day sale for example, the way the ad dynamically changes the ‘x days left’ text is very clever. If users have a lengthy time to purchase, or if your items are high value, creating an urgency to buy via this messaging is surely going to influence the user to act faster.


If you were to replicate what customized ads can do manually, it would be a very laborious task! It would take continuous daily management of ad text and would eat away at the time you have for other key management tasks. Ad customizations certainly help your account to run more efficiently and the time savings are invaluable. 


Since these ad customizations are relatively new, there hasn’t been a huge surge in their use. In fact, we have only ever seen one advertiser using them! Bearing this in mind, if you did start using them before your competitors do there is a clear chance to stand out amongst the crowd with uniquely tailored ads.   If you run an e-commerce website, it’s highly likely that ad customizations will be of benefit to your Adwords account. If you like the look of them but are a bit off put by the slightly complex setup, feel free to contact our PPC experts who will be happy to help.

Matt Loughlin

Head of Paid Search

Matthew joined Receptional in 2008 and has worked on hundreds of paid search campaigns. He has worked on large-scale clients (spends exceeding £100k monthly) in markets such as travel, retail, finance and gaming. Matthew is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is AdWords, Analytics and Bing Ads Certified. Outside of work Matthew enjoys travelling, cooking and music.

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