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Adwords IF Functions are now available for advertisers to help customise their ads based on device and retargeting lists. What are Adwords IF Functions? How do they work? What does this mean for you? We explain everything you need here.


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Search Engine Land

Google Help

Wordstreamparticularly good for a step-by-step guide on how to activate Adwords IF Functions

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Search Engine Roundtable


Google Adwords IF Functions For Ad Customisation

What is it?

Ultimately, it allows you to do 2 things;

  1. Tailor Ad Copy towards a specific Device
  2. Tailor Ad Copy towards a specific Audience

According to Google; “IF functions allow you to insert a specific message in your text ad when a condition has been met, and a default text when it has not. This makes your ads tailored to each search and more relevant to potential customers.” (Google Help, 2017)

Let’s face it, it’s basically Ad Customisers on steroids!


How do Adwords IF Functions work?

Hopefully you’ll be familiar with the principles of Ad Customisers, but if not then thats OK! Basically it’s a set of parameters that you can put into your Ad Copy that will dynamically change based on a set of conditions within these parameters.

For example, if I want to show a specific message to users who have ‘visited my site but not purchased’, then I can now easily do this by using Adwords IF Functions.

Similarly, if I want to show a specific message to my Mobile users then I can now insert the Device parameter into my Ad Copy and have a specific Mobile call to action.

PPC hubbub - LightbulbTop Tip

Have you tried to use ‘Tap Now’ as a call to action on Mobile? As you know, Google doesn’t allow you to say ‘Click Here’ but you could test using a call to action such as ‘Hurry, Limited Time Only. Tap Now!’ for Mobile specific ad copy.

How can I implement them?

Kindly, Google has given us some useful tables which you can find here and below.

They have also given us some more specific examples to get inspiration from.

Device Example:


Audience Example:

Simple eh? To make it even easier for you, we have created the below for you to copy and paste into your Ads. Simply edit the red sections below..

Device Parameters – {=IF(device=mobile, text to insert):default text}

Audience Parameters – {=IF(audience IN(<userlist1>,<userlist2>),text to insert):default text}

For more information, Wordstream do a comprehensive breakdown of how to activate Adwords IF Functions here.


What does this mean?

Easier than ever to drive relevancy

Now there are no excuses in creating hyper-relevant ad copy for users. Understanding the moment to which the user is in is crucial to seeing an improved performance; are they on Mobile, a returning customer, a basket abandoner? Adwords IF Functions now remove the labour intensive workload in creating specific messaging for all of these users.

Strengthen your Expanded Text Ads

Not only do you have more character limit with Expanded Text Ads, but your ETA’s now allow you to have more room than ever to drive more relevant ad copy. On top of this, you now have Adwords IF Functions to help you get the most out of this new character limit.

Test, Test, Test

Let the data make the decisions for you. But you can only get the data if you test, test, test!

PPC hubbub - LightbulbTop Tip

If you need structure to your testing, use the Lean Analytics Model to help you. The Lean Analytics Model is a process that you can follow; Metrics > Hypothesis > Experiment > Act. 

For Example:

Metrics Choose a Metric that you want to see improve. For Adwords IF Functions, this may be ‘Click Through Rate’

Hypothesis Here you outline what you expect to see from the test. So in this example, it could be something like; ‘By using Adwords IF Functions, I believe that CTR will be higher versus my control ad copy’

Experiment This is when you start the experiment. Outline a timeframe, let it run.

Act Use the data here to make the decision on what the next steps should be. If it worked, then great! Here you can then look to roll out a wider test across a wider set of keywords. If it didn’t work, then why didn’t it work? Use the data to tell you, and then look to test something else; perhaps the Device targeting wasn’t right for your user, perhaps use a different Audience list.

If you need more information on this, check out the legendary Avinash Kaushik’s post here.


Before you go, there are a few key things to remember…

  • Currently, the only supported dimensions are Audience and Device.
  • IF Functions can be used anywhere in your ad. However they cannot be used in the final URL.
  • IF functions are only available on the search network.
  • As mentioned, you do not need a feed with Adwords IF Functions (unlike Ad Customisers).

Dan Out.

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan is a Google Shopping Specialist and was recently awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients, agency and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight and meaningful points of view for the industry.

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Dan Roberts
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