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Make Your Ads Stand Out With Dynamic Content

Make Your Ads Stand Out With Dynamic Content

AdWords Jackpot

It has been almost two years since Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, first introduced the phrase, “AdWords Jackpot,” which occurs when very similar ads are served for a search query.

Unlike hitting a jackpot, on a slot machine, marketers want to stay out of the homogenized Adwords Jackpot zone. When your ad is suddenly just one in a long string of nearly identical ads, you can kiss your click-through-rate (CTR) goodbye.


A great way to make your ad stand out against your (bland) competition is by utilizing ad customizers. This can transform your ad from static to dynamic, from blah to compelling. With ad customizers, Google automatically updates your ad in real-time by inserting a countdown timer, a keyword, a sale price, or any other dynamic information you’d like to display.

With the ad customizer tool, you can upload just one ad and get an infinite amount of variations!

According to Google, the benefits of using ad customizers include

  • tailored messaging,
  • time-sensitive calls to action,
  • scalability, and
  • reporting.

Get Started with Ad Customizers

If you have ever used keyword insertion, then you’re probably already familiar with how parameters work. If not, then you may have had an ad served to you before with your exact search query somewhere in the ad copy. This is done using a special piece of code that looks like this: {KeyWord:Vitamins}. What this tells Google is to insert a searcher’s query and if is unable to be inserted then insert the word “Vitamins” instead. An ad customizer is a parameter, so it’s very similar in that you are telling Google to dynamically replace a part of your ad based on criteria you specify.

To get started, you will first need to upload your ad customizer data using this template from Google into the Business Data section of your Shared Library in your AdWords account. Your data template should include columns with the various attributes and targets you plan on promoting.

Let’s say that my ad customizer spreadsheet includes the following columns and text

Target Keyword Brand (text) Size (number) Type (text) Start_price (price) Sale_ends (date)
nature made b-complex Nature Made 100 B-Complex $8 2015/04/13 10:00:00


This is the format you will use within headlines or description lines {=DataSetName.AttributeName}.

So, based on the above ad customizer spreadsheet I have created this sample ad:

{=Vitamins.Brand} B Vitamins
{=Vitamins.Size} Caplet {=Vitamins.Type} Vitamins.
Only {=Vitamins.Start_price} – Sale Ends In {=COUNTDOWN(Vitamins.Sale_ends)}
Now if a searcher types in “nature made b-complex” into Google, they will get served this ad:

AdWords Ad Example

AdWords Countdown Function

If you’re just interested in the dynamic countdown function for your ads, you can use it by itself in AdWords without the hassle of putting together a spreadsheet of attributes and targets. When creating a new ad, simply type in to the description line “{=” which automatically triggers the countdown widget.

AdWords Countdown Widget

Examples of using a countdown to create urgency:

  • Sales
    • Countdown to how many days left until a sale begins or a sale ends
  • Seasonal
    • Countdown to how many days until a specific time of year
      • For example, a flower delivery company may countdown how many days until Valentine’s Day
  • Timed events
    • Countdown to when a webinar streams or a conference begins

Automated Ad Extensions

Google is already doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to help tailor ads to end users without requiring any action from the advertiser. For example, dynamic structured snippets were just introduced last month and these allow for additional information from your website to automatically display when your ad is served (similar to callouts). We’re also seeing other automated extensions appear across accounts. Examples of automated extensions include seller ratings, social extensions, previous visits, and consumer ratings. Google will show these automated extensions when it believes it could improve your ad’s performance and also takes into account certain restrictions.

You can locate your automated extension report by clicking into your “ad extensions” tab in Google AdWords and clicking into “automated extensions report” in your view drop-down menu.

AdWords Automated Extensions

Next Steps

We recommend experimenting with at least one ad per ad group using ad customizers. This is a great way to stand out in the AdWords Jackpot and ultimately improve your CTR and conversion rate.

If you’re interested in taking your AdWords campaign to the next level and you’re not sure where to start then contact the digital marketing experts at Forthea. We’re an award-winning digital agency in Houston with a PPC team devoted to developing advanced, profit-driven strategies based on your brand’s immediate and long term goals.

Jennie Purser
Jennie is Forthea's PPC Lead, with experience in all aspects of SEM. Her results-driven work ethic has helped her successfully manage dozens of paid search programs. When she's not in the office Jennie is obsessively updating her cat's Instagram (@koopathemunchkin) or spending way too much time watching YouTube vlogs.


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