Ad relevance is a vital part of every Google Ads campaign, considering that clickthrough rate makes up a large part of your quality and Ad Rank, it’s no surprise. Tailoring messaging within your Responsive Search ads is a 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 Google Ads Countdown Ads?

The countdown function in Google Ads 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:

google ads countdown

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 Google Ads 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 Google Ads Work

Countdown ads are really straight forward to implement, the dynamic snippet you need to add into your Responsive Search Ad looks like this:

{COUNTDOWN(yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss,daysBefore)}

In the Google Ads 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,daysBefore)}

There are two 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.


This argument tells Google Ads when your ad should start running. Use a whole number to indicate how many days before the end date to start running your ad. If you leave this blank, it will start showing five days before your end date.

Countdown Google Ads Settings

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

From our experience, results from Google Ads Countdown ads can be very impressive. We typically see significantly 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 Google Ads activity, why not get in touch?