AdWords is a robust platform, making it intimidating to delve into for the first time. The positive: there are opportunities to automate AdWords workflows so you can focus on interpreting data and optimizing campaigns. With minimal tech skills, add dynamically inserted data to each ad or automate bidding with rules.

Life is Easy with Automated Rules & Ad Customizers

1. Automated Rules

Automated Rules is a section in AdWords found at the Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, or Ads tab. Rules are applied at any of these levels. They provide high-level control of your ads. Automated Rules take care of your ads while you’re sleeping, working, or if you’re managing a large number of campaigns.

Pro Tip: If you need campaigns paused at a certain time after the workday, set up an Automated Rule.

To create a rule, navigate to the level you want the rule to apply. At each level, the Automate tab is by the red addition buttons.

Automated rules button on AdWords ad groups.

Automated rules button on AdWords ads.

What Should You Use Rules For?

Automated Rules are best for controlling budgets and pausing/enabling ads. At the Campaign level, you can set rules controlling the daily budget based on requirements that must be met like when spend reaches a certain amount. Choose increasing or decreasing and by what percentage, what needs to happen in order to execute and how frequently AdWords should run your rules.

Example of creating automated rule in AdWords.

At the Ad Group & Keyword level, you can lower/raise CPC (additionally, at Keywords you can raise/lower for first position CPC) and pause/enable groups and keywords. At the Ads level, your option is pausing/enabling ads when conditions are met.

All Automated Rules follow the same procedure:

  1. Choose your rule,
  2. Choose your conditions (there can be multiple),
  3. Then, choose the frequency.

Pro Tip: Use Automated Rules to manage promotional ads. If you’re running a holiday sale, write an Automated Rule to enable your promo ads when the sale starts and pauses at the end date. If you have multiple ads in different groups, enable/pause ads that contain holiday ad text. For example, if it’s for a winter sale, write a rule to enable/pause ads with the text “winter”.

2. Ad Customizers

Add Customizers to change your ad copy based on descriptors of your product or service. Ad Customizers are more complicated than Automated Rules, but can enhance click through rate. There are two ways to add customizers: uploading a feed or using the Countdown function.

Countdown Function

Countdown parameters are used for a one-time event like a sale. They countdown to the days leading up to the event or the days left in the event. If you want to add parameters for a one-time event, you don’t need to upload a feed. You can add the parameters directly into the ads.

These are very easy to set up. In either Headline 1, 2, or the Description type a brace ( { ) and you will  be prompted to choose Dynamic Keyword Insertion or Countdown.


Pro Tip: Make sure to test how many characters headlines or descriptions will be with the dynamic customizers. The countdown customizer adds 5 characters and you do not need to add “days/hours” (the customizer does it for you). If the ads are too long with the customizers, they will be disapproved.

Dynamic Ad Customizers

Let’s say you had multiple products with different attributes like colors and styles. You can create ads that display these elements based on keywords. Since you have many different attributes, this is where the feed comes in. The easiest way to start your feed is downloading Google’s Ad Customizer Template and filling in your information.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to use a CSV. AdWords accepts .csv, .tsv, .xls, or .xlsx format. Your file can be as large as 50 MB for .xls or .xlsx and 500 MB for .csv and .tsv.

Start with your headers. The headers on your spreadsheet will be the categories of your attributes. So if you are a car dealership, you will want to insert makes, models, colors and prices etc. Your spreadsheet will look something like this:

Example of ad customizer spreadsheet

AdWords accepts the following data types on the spreadsheet:

Attributes AdWords accepts for its ad customizers.

Next, choose which keywords trigger the customizers and at which level: Campaign, Ad Group, or Location. You can keep multiple targeting columns to customize your ads for the same keyword in different campaigns and ad groups.

In this example, someone who uses the search term “red corolla” might see an ad from the Toyota ad group that has the dynamic text inserted:

Example of an AdWords ad

Once you are satisfied, upload your file to AdWords by navigating to Business Data on the bottom left hand side. Once clicked, you will see a red +Data button. Click it and choose the first option Ad Customizer Data.

Uploading ad customizer feed to AdWords

Pro Tip: Make sure to give your ad customizer data a simple, relevant title since you will reference it when building your ads.

When building ads, type your copy as you normally would and type a bracket ( { ) when you want to use a customizer. You will see the name of your feed and you can choose your attribute categories.

Creating ad customizers in AdWords

Pro Tip: You must have at least one regular text ad in an ad group with your dynamic text ads. If your ad customizers do not function or if your dynamic text ads are disapproved, you have a backup.

AdWords makes automating data easy, but if you are just getting started it can seem like a large undertaking. If you need help, contact us. We’re AdWords professionals helping automate campaigns for higher converting ads!

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