Can customised ad copy give PPC the personal touch?

At the start of 2018 Google was keen to promote the importance of the ‘4As’ – Assets, Audiences, Automation and Attribution. They are considered key areas for developing the intuitive and personalised response that people are now expecting from word or voice search.

The challenge for all marketing professionals is to get the most personalised and relevant ad in front of the user, at the critical point of intent. Knowing your user, and being able to serve highly-targeted pay-per-click (PPC) ad copy at the right micro-moment is vital for providing such a personalised response.

So, how can assets and audiences be used to give users a more personalised PPC response, at key touch points in their conversion journey?

Creative ad customisers

Ad customisers are a new asset found within Google AdWords. They provide a mechanism for creating a range of customisations for your PPC ad copy; all built around a data stream which you create and place into business data within AdWords.

The stream can then create unique combinations of customised messages within your extended text ads (ETAs). These customised ads serve targeted messages to each individual user as they search.

What level of customisation can be achieved?

The business data created can be:

  • location-specific (where are they at the exact moment of searching)
  • time-specific (target after 2pm)
  • device-specific (only target mobiles)
  • price-specific (dependent on the location, time or audience)
  • household income-specific (only target individuals in the top 10% income bracket)
  • gender/age-specific (only target women between 25-34)
  • interest-specific (only serve to people who are searching for a loan)

Ad customisers in action


One of our B2B clients wanted to give real-time suggestions of their services in the immediate area in which the user was located, whilst they were searching. By targeting geo-location data, it was possible for Croud to serve a customised ad to each user, sending them to the landing page of the closest rental office to their physical location.

The ad customiser within Google AdWords uses the geo-location data and matches it with the appropriate ad text options (set up in business data on AdWords). It then serves a customised ad directly to the user with the location-specific text dropped into the copy.

In a recent trial using location-specific ad customisers in Australia, the click-through rate (CTR)  improved by 10% when serving ad customiser ads, compared to standard expanded text ads (ETAs):


Whether you have a new hotel, shop, office or product to push, using the new countdown feature can give a sense of anticipation and build intent within your user groups. A clear end date and time is needed to set up the feature, which runs inside your ad copy. For example, a countdown to a sale date can be achieved using days, minutes or even seconds!

A recent UK trial using countdown ads to flag an end of sale date to users showed a significant rise in CTR, at +378% compared to standard ETAs:


For situations where you want to target mobile users, ad customisers can be used in conjunction with device data to serve different copy to desktop and tablet users, as opposed to mobile users. This can be done using ad customisers or using ‘IF function’ ads. In both cases, mobile users can be targeted with specific customised ad copy.

Despite delivering fewer impressions and clicks, a recent trial in Australia found the CTR increased by 108% compared to standard ETAs:


These days, users expect search engines to “know” them and their taste in food, decor, movies, clothes etc. Gone are the days of searching for ‘car dealer’. Instead, consumers have specific queries such as ‘car dealer selling white convertible mini cooper with less than 40,000 miles’.

To win in this situation, price is a significant factor. Price data can be fed directly into your ad customiser copy. Ad customisers can use the geo-location data to only send ads to people within a set number of miles of a business.

In a recent US trial, the ad customisers gave incremental growth to our conversions of 31.13%, with an improved CTR of 17.58% compared to standard ETAs:

Household income-specific

Within the new Google AdWords interface, a new household income demographic allows some accounts to analyse their converting users by household income stream. One of our client’s accounts showed that nearly 80% of all conversions were being generated by just two streams of household income. To improve cost efficiency, we wanted to target customised messages to the two key household income streams.

Using this newly available feature and in conjunction with ad customisers, household income bid modifiers and negative household income targeting was used to allow us to target a specific message at just two key household income groups.

In a recent trial in New Zealand, ad customisers were combined with household income data to serve customised messaging to users with specific household incomes. The results were an improved CTR of 46% when serving ad customiser ads, compared to standard ETAs.

What are you waiting for?

Whatever your business and whoever your target audience consists of, Google’s latest AdWords asset – ad customisers – will give you the ability to offer highly customised messages to targeted groups of users. 

Layering your AdWords audiences and/or demographics with your ad customiser ad copy, will allow you to send personalised messages to a specific individual at the precise moment of intent.

If you haven’t tried Google AdWords ad customisers, now is the time to start. For more information on how you can benefit from ad customisers, contact us.

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