Customizing AdWords Ads Using IF Functions

By May 16, 2017May 19th, 2017Google Adwords
Google Adwords IF Functions

Bye bye Standard Text Ad and well, hello to AdWords IF. Google is at it again upgrading their features and giving their users what they want. If you thought ad customizers was powerful, as it lets you show relevant ads to your customers in real-time no matter the amount of promos, you’re going to love IF Functions.

AdWords IF gives advertisers, globally, the ability to customize their ads based on their users device, without the feed.

All About AdWords IF Functions

No business has one type of customer, no matter what you are selling. All businesses have new, return, and loyal customers. These customers should all be advertised differently depending on their buying patterns, needs, and interests.

For example, you may want to advertise a new trending item to attract new customers, a discount to attract return customers, and to loyal customers maybe you want to let them know about your new membership program.

With the IF function you can customize your ads to be viewed by certain groups of customers which in turn will increase your sales. You can also use the IF function to show mobile customers customize ad text, like letting them know you accept PayPal for easy mobile purchases.

In the example from Google, an IF function can even be used to customize the discount/sale offer based on a customer’s buying habits. If they typically abandon their cart and are on your “Cart Abandonment” list they will see a 15% off discount, where customers who are not on the list may see a 10% offer instead.

How IF works

The IF function’s functionality is quite simple. It only works for ads shown on the Search Network and must be searched within brace {like this}. The parameter are changed by the text that you chose when your advertisement is prompted by a potential customer, or customer’s, search inquiry. Also, you can include the IF functions anywhere in your ad, except within the final URL.

The IF feature also has default values which can be used when customizer text can’t be determined from your ad customizer feed or IF functions. How does this work? If you are selling something you may use a ad headline with an an ad customizer to show the product’s name. Now you can use additional default values with your headline to make sure that if someone is searching for a product that you sell they will still see the item even if there are additional default values in the headlines. This means you can sell to multiple audiences and you do not need to have an ad without a customizers in your ad group.

However it is important to note that there is a character limit for your ads and will vary depending on the double-width character languages. You can learn more about that and other restrictions by reading through the Editorial advertising policy.


  • Tailored Messages: Ads are hyper-specialized to each webpage, social media post, or search being viewed.
  • Scalability: The most relevant variation, of the hundreds of single text customizers ads. Customizers let a single text ad have hundreds of variations, and show the most relevant variation to each potential customer.
  • Reporting: Automatically update ads when an ad is triggered which does not reset the ad’s performance data.

Syntax for adding IF Feature

Broken down, the syntax for IF functions is as followed:

  1. Start with open brackets: “{=IF”
  2. Add an open “(” after IF
  3. Follow with the targeting of “device=mobile” or “audience IN”
    Please Note: If using audience targeting, put the audience you want to target inside parentheses. If you are targeting multiple audience lists, separate them with a comma.
  4. Put a comma after the targeting.
  5. Add the text to insert when targeting criteria is met.
  6. Close “)”
  7. Follow with a colon “:”
  8. After the colon, add the default text that will be used when the targeting criteria is not met.
  9. End with the closing curly bracket “}”

All together it will look like the following:
{=IF(device=mobile or audience IN(audiencelist1,audiencelist2), Custom Text): Default Text}

Also, If you’re creating ads in the web UI, the IF function option will work when you enter a bracket “{“. Although, as of now, it will automatically default to the mobile targeting syntax:

{=IF(device=mobile,insert text):default text}.

More Information

Need more information about IF functions and default values? Google has a great forum that you can use and has more about IF functions here.

Not sure how best to use IF Functions to your advantage? The OperationROI team can help. We’ve been testing these IF Functions and can help you devise a strategy to hit your target goals. Contact us today at 1-888-277-5429 or by filling out our contact form to learn more.

Not using IF Functions? Contact Us Today!

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