How To Add Availability Countdown to your Google Ads

Google Ads has many features that allow you to set your ads to dynamically update based on parameters you choose. You might be familiar with keyword insertion or using the countdown feature for sales and special events, but that’s just the beginning. You can use ad customizers to update ads to include anything you’d like.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at how to use Google’s ad customizers to update ads based on remaining availability. This example will be the number of tickets remaining for an event, but you can also use this for product availability as well.

What Are Ad Customizers?

Google Ad customizers allow you to adapt your text ads in real-time using data that you upload. You can use ad customizers anywhere in your ad, except for the final URL field. You create parameters in your ad using braces, {like this}, that will be replaced dynamic text when your ad appears on the Search Network.

Parameters will be filled in using ad customizer data that you upload into Google Ads via a spreadsheet. You can also create a default value if the customizer does not show in your ad.

Setting Up Ad Customizers – Create Ad Customizer Data

In this example, we’ll be using a client who holds different events throughout the United States. We want to update the ads to show remaining ticket availability to create an incentive for people to register.

Step 1. Define your attributes

First, you’ll want to download the ad customizer data template. This template includes sample data that you’ll want to replace. You’ll also want to remove any extra columns that you won’t be using.
ad customizer template

Make sure each column header specifies the attribute type in parentheses. You can see all available attribute types here.

For our example, we’ll need the following attributes:

  • Event (text)
  • Availability (number)

Step 2. Define your targeting

The ad customizer template includes targeting attributes in columns F to H. These columns are optional and you’ll want to remove any targeting columns you don’t need. If you remove all targeting columns, your customizers will be eligible across the entire account.

Besides campaign, ad group, and keyword targeting you can also target by keyword match type and location.

For our example, we’re going to use “Target campaign” because each campaign is targeting a different event with different availability.

Step 3. Enter your data and upload the spreadsheet to Google Ads

We’re going to remove any columns we don’t need and replace the sample data with our data. You can leave or remove the instructions in rows 5 to 8 as they’ll be ignored on the upload.

Here’s a look at our spreadsheet:

ad customizer example

When you file is complete, save it and log into Google Ads to upload it. You’ll navigate to Tools & Settings > Setup > Business data. This will take you to the Data feeds section. Click the plus sign and select Ad Customizer Data from the dropdown.

Use a short name for your data and don’t use spaces. You’ll reference this name in your customizers.

If your data updates regularly, like availability would, you can go into Schedules and select a source for Google to pull data from as well as set the frequency. I prefer to use Google Sheets for this.

Step 4. Add customizers to your ad text

Once your data is uploaded, you’re ready to set up customizers in your text ads. You can include a customizer anywhere in your ad except for the final URL.

The format for a customizer is {=DataSetName.AttributeName}. Make sure the name of your data and attribute match exactly and note that the attribute type isn’t included in the customizer.

Here’s how our ad will look using the customizer:

ad customizer text

You’ll want to include a default value to make sure your ads can show if the customizer can’t use your data, for example if the customizer would cause your ad to go over character limits. You also want to keep in mind grammar with your ads. For example, if I said Only {=Availability.Availability:A Few} Tickets Remaining and the availability changed from 2 to 1, the ad would read “Only 1 Tickets Remaining.”

Every ad group with a customized ad should also include an ad without any customizers. If the customized ad’s ad group doesn’t include an ad, Google won’t be able to show it. Once your ads start running, you can review customizer performance data within the Business data section of your account.

This was just one example, but you can use this method to customize your ads with any text you choose.

How have you used customizers with your text ads? Let us know in the comments below!

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