Ad relevance is a vital part of every AdWords campaign, considering that clickthrough rate makes up a large part of your quality and Ad Rank, it’s no surprise. Tailoring messaging within these ads is great way to speak to your customer’s needs and entice them to make the leap from the search engine results page onto your site. A feature that can help in this regard is Countdown Ads.

What Are Countdown Ads?

The countdown function in AdWords dynamically includes a real time countdown in your ads before any time sensitive sales or upcoming events kick off. This helps to build a sense of urgency for customers and ensures that they act now.

Here’s what they look like:

Before ad customisers, to create something similar in our accounts we used to have multiple ads in each ad group with differing headlines. For example: “Winter Sale – 3 days remaining”, “Winter Sale – 2 days remaining” etc. These would all have relevant AdWords labels and be paused and activated as appropriate using automated rules. Now we can create the same end result using one customised ad and save a lot of time we’d usually spend creating rules, ads, and labels!

How Countdown Ads Work

Countdown ads are really easy to implement, the dynamic snippet you need to add into your ad copy looks like this:

{=COUNTDOWN(”yyyy/MM/dd HH:mm:ss”,”language”,daysBefore)}

In the AdWords Next interface, as soon as you type a curly bracket or { the below menu will appear, asking you which of the dynamic features you’d like to include.

adwords countdown ads interface

Click ‘Countdown’ and you’ll be shown a calendar and timer to stipulate your end date.

adwords countdown ads

Once done, your populated Countdown snippet will be added, leaving you to add in the rest of your ad copy around it.


To explain the function fully:

{=COUNTDOWN(”yyyy/MM/dd HH:mm:ss”,”language”,daysBefore)}

There are three main arguments:

“yyyy/MM/dd HH:mm:ss”

This is the date and time you want to countdown to. The end date of a sale or the day of an event for example. Note that this is using the 24-hour time format. If no time is entered into the function, it will default to 00:00:00.

“language”

This is the language the date and time will be displayed in.

“daysBefore”

This argument tells AdWords when your ad should start running. Use a whole number to indicate how many days before the end date to start running your ad.

Conclusion

As a final point, it’s worth noting that, within advanced settings, you can select whether the function should use the AdWords account time zone or an ad viewer’s time zone.

From our experience, results from AdWords Countdown ads can be very impressive. We typically see significiantly higher click through rates and conversion rates thanks to how well they drive urgency. To learn more about how our PPC agency can help you get the most out of your AdWords activity, why not get in touch?