Google ad Customizers: How and Why


“I’ve never seen a kid try so hard to be lazy.”

A teacher once said this to my parents. But she didn’t mean it in a derogatory way. She was impressed with me.

I stayed after school and automated the Excel sheet so that the data entry I was in charge of for our year class only took half the time.

I put in hours of hard work beforehand 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 experience of working hard in a sloth!

Years later, as a marketing professional, I was looking for ways to speed up the ad creation process for my Google Ads search campaigns.

And that’s when I discovered ad customization tools.

Just like in high school, I saw the value in lifting something heavy beforehand to make things easier for myself along the way.

It was worth it then and it’s worth it now.

Learning how to create ad customizers will also pay off.

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

Why ad customizers are important

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

However, there are some good reasons why learning how to use the ad customization tools in Google Ads campaigns is a good use of your time.

Your ads need to stand out

You know you have to cut through the clutter.

But you also know that you don’t have time to create all new campaigns, ad copy and new account structure This has to do with designing all new ads that are extremely relevant to users.

This is where ad customization tools are worth their weight in gold.

With a little extra time upfront, you can have extremely relevant ads that increase your quality score and engage your customer in the coming months.

Lower conversion costs with no changes

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

Without changing your price, product, landing page, marketing funnel, etc., you can still increase conversions, conversion rates, and lower your cost per conversion with ad customization tools.

What other tool has the power and ability to do this without a huge amount of work or change to your product, pricing, landing page or marketing flow?

Personalization without worrying about privacy

No other tool on the market allows you to customize advertising to this extent without violating privacy concerns or the law.

Ad customizers are a free offering waiting to be used.

You can be extremely relevant to the user if you only use the data they provide you for free (and legally), so we use it.

Long-term benefits with small, upfront costs

Setting up ad customizers can take some time, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

But once your business data is linked and attributes are set, you can show users unlimited relevant ads.

This can be done without any additional work beyond the general maintenance of updating business data.

How to set up ad customizers

While maintaining correct data formatting can be complicated, there are three main steps to creating and running personalized ads.

  1. Set up your business information.
  2. Create a data source.
  3. Set up your personalized ad in Google Ads.

Setting up your business information

In true Google style, setting up your business information is the trickiest part, as there are very specific rules about how your information must be formatted.

But once you learn the rules and get a few of these campaigns, you can do the whole process in 20 to 30 minutes.

First, download the template suggested by Google.

(When you reach the third step, you will see a link to download the template, so follow along.)

It’s always a good idea to use the exact docs that Google recommends for tasks that deal with boring data.

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

You can use three types of data in a template:

Types of attribution

Screenshot from Google Ads, July 2022

Examples of attribute types

examples of attribute typesScreenshot by the author, July 2022

Content of the ad

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

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

You can name these columns anything you want, but you must ensure that the appropriate attribute type is enclosed in parentheses in the column name.

Duration and device

Use these columns to schedule when your ad appears, on which devices it appears, and other additional settings (see the table below for more options).

When you name a column in your spreadsheet, you must use the name exactly as shown in the Attribute in the chart below.

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

Standard attributes

standard attributesScreenshot from Google Ads, July 2022


Targeting allows you to choose what triggers the optimizer, which campaigns/ad groups are included and how keywords play a role in an ad.

To use any or all of the targeting options, you must use the name exactly as it appears in the Attribute in the chart below.

But you no you must include the attribute type at the end of the column name.

Targeting attributes

targeting attributesScreenshot from Google Ads, July 2022

Create a data source

Once you have your business information set up, organized and formatted, you need to link it to your Google Ads account.

As long as there are no issues with the formatting of your business information, it’s a pretty simple process.

  • Click the tools icon in the top menu.
  • In the Setup section, click Business data.
  • Click Data Sources on the left.
  • Click the plus button and click “Ad Customizer Details for Text Ads”.
  • Name your resource.
  • Click Select a source and then click Upload the file.
  • Click Apply.

Ad setup

If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations!

The hardest part is over.

Setting up an actual ad in Google Ads is much easier than setting up business information, 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 ad.
  • Fill in the titles and descriptions with the ad customizers you want to use. Type the text you want, and when you get to the point where you want to use the widget, add curly braces ( { ). This will bring up a drop down menu where you can select Ads Customizer. Now select the widget you want to use and it will be inserted into your text.
  • Repeat this process to place the customizers in the ad text.
Google's text ad customizerScreenshot from Google Ads, July 2022

As with many automations, adding ad customization tools to your Google Ads campaigns can seem a bit difficult and complicated.

Make no mistake about it!

However, automation is quick and easy to set up along the learning curve.

You will also learn that they are the key to maximizing production, increasing efficiency and reducing conversion costs.

So, give Ad Adjusters a try. I know they will become part of your daily arsenal and you will love them!

Are you hungry for more?

Ad customizers are a vast topic and there is no way to cover all the information on this topic in a single article.

Luckily, SEJ has another great post on ad customizers by Andrea Atzori.

In his article “4 ad tweaking tools to improve your Google Ads campaign performance,” Andrea dives into why you should want to use ad customizers, how they work, and four great ways to use them in your daily campaigns.

These two parts together should give you a good foundation of what ad customizers are, how to use them, why to use them, and how to set them up.


More resources:

Featured image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock


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