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Google Countdown Timer Ads

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Paid Media

Updated Date: July 20, 2022

One of the secrets of successful search ads is customization, which provides you with an invaluable opportunity to design more tailored ads. And, of course, tailored ads make it easier to target your ideal customers – and that can be key in connecting with users that convert into customers.

For users of Google Ads, also known as Google AdWords, there are many different ways to utilize ad customizers. If you’re willing and able to invest some time and effort, you’ll discover a huge variety of options for crafting highly tailored ads.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Google Countdown Timer Ads, an innovative and simple way to boost the success of your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. With the Google Ads Countdown function, you can create ads that encourage users to take action (clicking on your ad) within a given timeframe. It adds a sense of urgency to interacting with your ad, making it more likely that you’ll receive a click from users that are ready to engage.

If that sounds like a benefit you’re interested in having – and we’re guessing that it is – you can use this guide to learn more about what Google Countdown Timer Ads are and how they work, why they’re so advantageous, and how to set up a Google Countdown Ad of your own.

What are Google Countdown Ads?

Google Countdown Ads appear to online users just like any other search ad, once they’re triggered by specific keywords you have selected for your ad groups. However, unlike standard search ads, they allow you to incorporate a countdown feature that leads up to a specific event – for example, the end of a sale promotion.

The countdown feature is built directly into the headline or description of an expanded text ad and automatically updates to reflect the amount of time remaining on the “clock.” First, it displays the days remaining, then hours, then minutes until a sale or offer expires.

Because the countdown updates in real-time, you no longer need to constantly update the ad copy in the Google Ads network to reflect the time remaining. Countdowns can be set up in any text ad, as well as responsive search ads or Dynamic Search Ads.

You have two options for using Google Countdown Timer Ads:

  • A countdown to a set time that is automatically adjusted to the time zone of the user viewing the ad
  • A countdown to a “global” time, one that is aligned with your account’s specific time zone (for example, the ad will display “ends in 6 hours” to users in California and New York alike, at the same time)

Let’s look at an example of the feature in action: Instead of an ad that includes a line saying “Sale ends March 1st,” you can use the Google Countdown feature to create one that goes from “Hurry, only 3 days remaining!” to “Hurry, only 1 day remaining!”, and so on.

If you put yourself in the position of an online user, you can see that the second ad takes a far more urgent tone – and is more likely to lead you to take immediate action to avoid missing out.

Why You Should Be Using the Google AdWords Countdown Function

Does your business ever run limited-time promotions, such as sales or special deals on your services? Have you ever found it difficult to advertise these discounts or promotions because their limited-time offering makes it challenging to set up ads effectively?

Just about any business owner can answer yes to one, if not both, of the questions above – making the Google AdWords Countdown function definitely worth looking into. If saving time and effort while also launching more effective PPC campaigns sounds compelling to you, then Countdown Ads will be a welcome addition to your approach to online advertising.


Benefits of the Google Countdown Timer

For anyone that’s spent any amount of time constructing Google Ads, the benefits of Google Countdown Timer Ads are fairly obvious. In a wide range of scenarios, your business can enjoy multiple advantages when putting the Countdown function to good use:

  • The Countdown Ads can boost the relevance of your advertisement’s messaging, which then supports your PPC campaign performance both directly and indirectly.
  • You can cut down on the time, effort, and resources invested in manually updating ad copy for limited-time sales or offers because the tool automates the process completely.
  • This style of advertising creates a sense of urgency, which makes it more likely that users will take quick action to avoid missing the deal.
  • Particularly during competitive sales seasons, such as the holidays, countdown ads keep users informed regarding the amount of time they have left to take action through your website.
  • If you’ve used Google Ads to set up Countdown Timers, you can import them directly into your Microsoft Advertising software (both ad platforms have the same limits).
  • The tool offers the capability of setting up multiple ads, each with its own timer. As a result, you can avoid creating several different rules with separate dates or times and instead have ads running one after another with less effort.
  • If you want to target international customers, you can display the countdown in varying languages (which don’t have to match your ad copy).
  • The versatility of the Countdown function makes it useful in a wide range of scenarios, including sales, promotional deals, or even events like a grand opening or new product release.

Keep in mind that, to make the most of Google Countdown Timer Ads, you’ll tailor ad messaging to first connect with customers and then later remind them of the special offer. An ideal situation would be one in which you’ve reached a customer before the sale/event even begins, and then another Timer Ad is used to retain their attention and prompt them to take action as the clock is ticking.

For example, you can customize two sets of ad messaging to achieve maximum effect, both using the countdown feature:

  • Before a promotion begins, launch a Timer Ad that informs online users of when it will begin (e.g., “5 more days until Black Friday – Get ahead and shop deals now!”)
  • As the sale is in progress, create a new Timer Ad that raises the stakes and puts gentle pressure on users (e.g., “Don’t miss our best-ever Black Friday deals – Only 5 hours left!”)

How to Use Google Countdown Ads

Ready to build your first Google Countdown Timer Ad! We’re breaking down the process step by step now.

Start by editing your ad

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Access the page menu on the left side, then click Ads & extensions.
  3. Choose the ad that you want to add the countdown feature to, or click the plus button to create a new ad (choose Text ad, Responsive search ad, or Dynamic Search Ad).
  4. Write your ad copy.

Activate the countdown widget

  1. Decide where in the copy you want the countdown to appear. Then, type a brace ({) and click Countdown in the drop-down menu that appears.
  2. Next to “Countdown ends,” put the date/time that you want the countdown to end. Remember that you must enter the time in a 24-hour format. Also, if you don’t input an end time, the default will be midnight (00:00:00). Depending on your preferences, you can choose from the following:
    1. Start of day
    2. End of day
    3. Custom time
  3. Next to “Countdown starts,” enter the exact number of days before the end date that you want the ad to begin displaying. If you leave this box blank, it will default to five days before the end date.
    1. For example, if you selected an end time of 5:00 PM on February 1, 2021, and you want the ad to begin at 5:00 PM on January 25, enter “5” in the box.

Set the ad’s time zone and language

  1. Make sure to expand the “Advanced” section so that you can access all additional options.
  2. Select Account time zone if you want the countdown’s end time to be aligned with the time zone of your specific Google Ads account. Or, set the countdown to display an end time that matches the viewer’s time zone by selecting Ad viewer’s time zone.
    1. If the countdown is not geographically specific (like a sale on your website), it’s usually preferable to use Ad viewer’s time zone.
    2. If the countdown is for an event in a specific location, such as a concert or conference, it’s recommended to use Account time zone.
  3. You can now change the countdown’s display language by selecting a language next to “Language.” Each time you select a new language, you will see a preview of the ad display. Keep in mind that you cannot change the countdown language for responsive search ads.

Trigger the countdown and save

  1. Save the countdown by clicking Apply. You will then see the countdown customizer appear within your ad copy.
  2. Make sure that you are pleased with the final ad and that the text stays within the character limits after the addition of the countdown.
  3. Click Save ad to apply and save the final ad with the countdown.

Despite requiring some time and effort to set up, Google Countdown Timer Ads offer outstanding payoffs in the form of increased conversation rates and additional conversions.

Do Make Search Ads Work for You with Help from V Digital Services

If you’re trying to learn how to master the often-complex world of PPC ads, Google Countdown, and more, you don’t have to do it alone. As a leading expert in digital marketing and content innovation, V Digital Services is well-equipped to help you navigate online advertising in a way that makes the most sense for your business.

Digital marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all, so your strategy shouldn’t be either. Instead, we will create a customized plan for maximizing online opportunities to benefit your business, opening the door to growth, expansion, and sustainable success. You’re already an expert in your business – you don’t have to become an expert in digital marketing as well because the experienced team at V Digital Services has you covered.
Together, we can make sure that your brand is reaching its full online potential.

For more information about using the Google Countdown Timer Ads or getting started with a fresh new digital strategy, reach out to V Digital Services today.

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