Create Effective Display Ads: Google Best Practices
Official Guide to Display Ads and Messaging.
Three of the most important elements of a display ad are the message, image and design. This checklist outlines how to create effective display ads so that advertisers can improve conversions, brand recall and engagement.
To learn how to create an effective display ad, try the “Create Display Ads That Click with Your Customers” lesson in the Primer app. Launch this lesson in Primer.
1. Build a strong foundation
- When possible, use sizeless formats like text or HTML5 templates. When using image formats, upload in HD sizes and make sure that you include at least 300 x 250, 728 x 90 and 160 x 600.
Why: This helps maximise your reach across devices and formats. When you provide image ads in those three dimensions, we’ll automatically resize them to fill more placements on the Google Display Network.
- Use dynamic ads to provide the most personalised experience possible.
Why: People who see display ads with the actual offer they viewed, or similar offers, are more likely to return to your site to complete a purchase.
2. Craft a message worth their while
- Tailor your display ads to the different stages of the purchase funnel.
Why: Delivering the right message at the right moment can encourage response and help guide customers to purchase.
- Include unique selling points, prices and promotions.
Why: Make it easy for people to differentiate your service or products from competitors. People are also more likely to engage with ads that help them self-select before they click.
3. Captivate consumers with eye-catching images
- Consider featuring peoples’ faces and lifestyle imagery.
Why: More personable images tend to drive stronger results than product shots.
- Keep your display ads looking on-brand and flaunt your logo in every frame.
Why: Your ads should match the look and feel of your website. Keeping your logo in all frames can highlight your brand and increase credibility.
- Animate the message, but don’t overdo the interactive elements.
Why: Animation can help focus attention on the copy and the call-to-action straight away.
4. Be strategic about your design
- Keep your text and images complementary and visually balanced.
Why: This will lead to a better ad experience and ensure that your key messages are communicated clearly and effectively to the viewer.
- Choose high contrast colour schemes and art elements that demand attention, but don’t abandon your brand guidelines.
Why: Vibrant contrasts and colours can create visual excitement and help your ad stand out to consumers.
- Use a big, clickable button for your call-to-action and keep it in every frame.
Why: Your CTA button is the main element that you’ll want your visitors to notice and click on to complete a conversion.
- Ensure that the message on your landing page matches the message in your ad.
Why: This can have a positive impact on your users, conversion rate and quality score.
5. Don’t forget to test and optimise
- Prioritise your display ad optimisation efforts.
Why: Beginning with the highest volume ad groups allows you to maximise the returns that ad optimisation can bring you.
- Create 3-4 display ad variations in your high volume ad groups, trying out different messages with different images.
Why: Multiple versions let you test and optimise for best-performing versions.
- Consider setting your ad rotations to optimise automatically.
Why: Improving ads is a trial-and-error process. With many ad tests running, it may be difficult to keep track of all of those moments when statistical significance is reached. Let the system identify those moments for you, but always check back and see which creative is getting the lion’s share of your impressions.
- Stay on top of your tests if you prefer to test manually.
Why: While manual ad testing offers more control, you may be rotating in lower performing ads longer than you need to.
- Rotate in fresh display ads every few weeks.
Why: Even great banners can become less effective over time. Creative rotation is key for beating ad fatigue.
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