Google Ads Customizer: How and Why

“I’ve never seen a kid slacking off so hard.”

A teacher once said this to my parents. However, she did not mean to belittle. She was very impressed with me.

I stayed after school and automated an Excel sheet so that I was responsible for data entry for the yearbook class in half the time.

I spent a few hours of hard work up front in order to be as lazy as possible for the rest of the semester.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my first automation – and my first effort to be lazy!

Years later, as a marketing professional, I’m looking for ways to speed up the process of creating ads for my Google Ads search campaigns.

That’s when I discovered the ad customizer.

Just like in high school, I saw the value in doing some of the heavy lifting ahead of time to make it easier on the road.

It was worth it then, and it is worth it now.

If you learn to create ad customizers, it’s worth it for you too.

Here’s how to set up ad customizers and why they’re worth your time.

Why Ad Customizers Matter

Learning all the different features and functions of Google Ads can be overwhelming, and sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with everything.

However, learning to use ad customizers with Google Ads campaigns can be a great use of your time, and for good reason.

Your ad needs to stand out

You know you need to break up the mess.

However, you also know that you don’t have the time to create all the new campaigns, ad copy, and new account structures to design all the new ads that are highly relevant to your users.

This is where ad customizers are invaluable.

With a little extra time now, you can have hyper-relevant ads that improve your Quality Score and engage your customers for months to come.

Reduce switching costs without changes

Ultimately, conversions (and conversion costs) start with the search engine results page (SERP) and your ad.

Without changing your prices, products, landing pages, marketing channels, and more, you can still increase conversions and conversions and reduce conversion costs with ad customizers.

What other tool has the power to do this without a lot of work or changing your product, price, landing page or marketing funnel?

Personalization without privacy concerns

No other tool on the market allows you to personalize ads to such an extent without violating privacy concerns or the law.

Ad customizers are freebies waiting to be used.

You can be highly relevant to your users and only use the data they give you for free (legally), so let’s use it.

Gain long-term benefits with a small up-front time cost

Setting up the ad customizer can take a while, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

However, once your business data is connected and properties are set, you can serve relevant ads to users indefinitely.

You can do this with no extra work beyond the general maintenance of updating business data.

How to Set Up the Ad Customizer

While keeping all the data in the correct format can be complex, creating and launching a custom ad requires three main steps.

  1. Set up your business data.
  2. Create a data feed.
  3. Set up your custom ad in Google Ads.

Set up your business data

In true Google fashion, setting up your business data is the most challenging part because there are very specific rules about how your data must be formatted.

However, once you understand the rules and master some of these activities, the whole process can be done in 20 to 30 minutes.

First, download the template that Google recommends for you.

(Once you hit step three, you’ll see a link to download the template, so stay tuned.)

For tasks dealing with tedious data, it’s best to use the exact documentation that Google recommends.

Set up your template with the information you want to use to customize your ad.

You can use three types of data in templates:

Attribution type

Screenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Attribute Type Example

Attribute Type ExampleScreenshot by author, July 2022

advertising content

This is the exact text that will be placed in your ad.

The different types of content you can customize are numbers (i.e. the number of items available in inventory), text (i.e. the color of the item), time and date (i.e. when the sale ends) or price.

You can name these columns whatever you want, but you must make sure that the corresponding attribute type is in parentheses around the column name.

Duration and Equipment

Use these columns to schedule when your ads run, on which devices they appear, and other preferences (see the table below for more options).

When naming the columns of the spreadsheet, you must use the Attributes Columns in the table below.

And don’t forget to add the property type in parentheses at the end of the name.

Standard properties

Standard propertiesScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022


Targeting allows you to choose what triggers the optimizer, which campaigns/ad groups are involved, and the keyword’s role in your ad.

If you want to use any or all of the targeting options, you must use the Attributes Columns in the table below.

However, you don’t want A property type needs to be included at the end of the column name.

targeting properties

targeting propertiesScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Create a data feed

After you’ve set up, organized, and formatted your business data, you’ll need to connect it to your Google Ads account.

It’s a very simple process as long as your business data format is okay.

  • Click the tools icon in the top menu.
  • Under Settings, click business data.
  • Click Data Feeds on the left.
  • Click the plus button, then click “Ad customizer data for text ads.”
  • Name your feed.
  • click select source then click upload a file.
  • Click Apply.

Set up ads

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!

The hard part is over.

Setting up actual ads in Google Ads is much simpler than setting up business data, especially if you’re familiar with setting up other types of campaigns.

  • Navigate to the ad group where you want to create a new ad that uses the ad customizer business data.
  • Click the icon and select Responsive Search Ads.
  • Fill in the title and description with the ad customizer you want to use. Enter the text you want, adding a brace ( { ) when you want to use the customizer.This will bring up a drop down menu where you can choose Ad customizer. Now select the customizer you want to use and it will be inserted into your text.
  • Repeat this process to place the customizer in your ad copy.
Google Ads Customizer Text AdsScreenshot of Google Ads, July 2022

Like many automations, adding customizers to ads in your Google Ads campaigns can seem a little tricky and complicated.

At this point, you are not wrong!

However, after the learning curve, automation can be set up quickly and easily.

You will also realize that they are the keys to maximizing output, increasing efficiency and reducing switching costs.

So, give ad customizers a chance. I know they will be part of your everyday arsenal and you will love them!

Craving more?

Ad customizers are a huge topic, and it’s impossible to put all the information around this topic in one article.

Fortunately, SEJ has another great article on ad customizers by Andrea Atzori.

In his article, “4 Ad Customizers to Improve Your Google Ads Campaign Performance,” Andrea dives into why you should use ad customizers, how they work, and four great ways to use them in your everyday campaigns.

Together, these two sections give you a good foundation for understanding what ad customizers are, how to use them, why they are used, and how to set them up.


More resources:

Featured Image: Prostock Studio/Shutterstock

Leave a Comment