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Countdown Customizers: Create Some Urgency for Your Ads

Countdown Customizers: Create Some Urgency for Your Ads

By | 06.16.15
Countdown Customizers: Create Some Urgency for Your Ads

Google is constantly updating their AdWords platform with new features and ad formats, though not all of them are useful for every kind of advertiser. Google’s ad customizers, for example, might at first glance seem like the domain of advanced users. Many of these customizers require you to create and maintain custom spreadsheets and use what looks like gibberish (e.g. {=Mixers.Type}) to reference them in your ads. Fortunately they’re not all that complicated. One in particular, called a “countdown customizer”, is very easy to use and can offer a potential boost to time sensitive ads.

Easy as {=

It may look like a malformed smiley face, but those two characters let you add customizers to your AdWords campaigns. Google has helpfully added a widget to enable you to easily create a “Countdown Customizer”.

Create AdWords Text Ad
To start, just create a text ad in any of your ad groups.
AdWords Countdown Customizer Widget
Type {= into any of the fields, and the countdown customizer widget will pop up.

True to its name, if you enter the necessary information into the widget and click “Set”, the countdown customizer will add a countdown into your ad text. Instead of trying to instill a sense of urgency in searchers by adding “ends 6/20” to your ad, you’ll have a timer that automatically updates itself each time it’s shown.

Countdown Customizer Sample Ad
This countdown could mean a big boost for your ads.

When setting up your countdown, make sure you select the right time zone option. If you select “Ad viewer’s time zone”, you’ll be serving a different countdown to someone in New York than in Los Angeles. This could be a problem if you want to end your countdown at the same time for all users.

Does it Work?

Matt Umbro at Search Engine Land recently did a study to gauge the impact of using countdown customizers in AdWords. His results suggest that your ads could potentially see a major boost for your ads, especially as the timer dips below the 2 day mark. You can click through to see the full study, but his key takeaways are as follows:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) was higher with the countdown ads vs. static (non-dynamic copy).
  • Conversion rate of countdown ads was nearly double that of static ads.
  • Conversions were at their highest with 1 – 2 days left of the promotion.

If you’re running any advertising that can be updated with a countdown timer, you owe it to yourself to try out this customizer to maximize your campaign performance.

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