While anyone can learn how to create AdWords Display Ads images to advertise their service or business online, there are a number of requirements that your images will need to meet to set up a successful campaign.
If you work with a digital marketing agency, you’ll be able to rely on the expertise of someone who specializes in planning every aspect of a Display Ads campaign, from overall strategy to detailed design of the ad image. In some cases, however, companies prefer to take advantage of their existing design teams, creating Display Ad graphics in house and supplying them to the digital marketing agency for use in campaigns. This approach can work well if design professionals are well informed about the requirements for successful Display Ad images, as they occupy their own niche in the world of online advertising.
Display Ad Images Best Practices
In addition to standing out, you’ll want your ad to meet Google Display Ad requirements and fit into an overall branding scheme and marketing strategy. There are many components to consider in a successful campaign, but here, we’ll start with the basics: your images have to meet the Google criteria for Display Ads.
In this post, we’ll focus on the best practices for creating Display Ad images. We’ll summarize key points on ad dimensions, text, color, templates, and important quality standards from Google.
1. Keep these important Display Ad rules in mind.
Google requires that your image meets certain quality standards. For Display Ad images and videos alike, you must ensure that your ad is displayed with the right side up and the image is crisp, clear, recognizable, and with legible text. Make sure that your text fits within your ad—you don’t want any part to be cut off! While it’s no required, it’s best to use a transparent 24-bit PNG format for your images. This looks more professional because the image background matches the ad background.
The image size must fit the frame—it must take up the entire ad space, but not expand beyond the frame. Google recommends using the preview tool to check whether the ad size you’ve selected fits the size of image you have provided.
Keep in mind that Display Ads that are animated must be no longer than 30 seconds—shorter animations can loop or repeat, but they must stop within 30 seconds. Remember that animations cannot make use of strobing, flashing or other distracting effects.
2. Experiment with various Display Ad image sizes.
In the Google Ad Gallery, you’ll find a large assortment of templates—in order to use these, you must ensure that your image corresponds with the required size for the template. For computer Display Ads, these are some of the most common ad dimensions:
250 x 250
200 x 200
468 x 60
728 x 90
300 x 250
336 x 280
120 x 600
160 x 600
300 x 600
970 x 90
For mobile Display Ad sizes, see the mobile ads section below.
3. Include an effective Call-to-Action
It is important that your ad’s image and text sends viewers a clear message about who you are and what you offer. Likewise, you must make it as easy as possible for people to quickly understand what will happen if they click on your ad—in other words, you need a clear call-to-action.
An effective call-to-action must be explicit. In image-based ads, it’s sometimes unclear to viewers that the ad is clickable because the image blends in with the website or because the graphics and text fail to provide clear instructions telling the viewer to take action.
A call-to-action often takes the form of a button or other graphic with text telling viewers to “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, “Buy Now”, etc. A call-to-action might also include a special deal or promotion. If you’re offering a special deal, make sure your potential customers know about it. Make it explicit in your call-to-action with messages like “Shop Discounts”, “View Special Offer” etc.
4. Make sure your Display Ad text fits your strategy
Choosing the content for your Display Ad is a reiterative and involved process that should be designed to suit your overall marketing strategy. Your ad may include multiple lines of text, images, graphics, and animations—not only should these match your company’s branding with appropriate colors and fonts, but they should also use carefully chosen words that suit your marketing goals.
For example, if your ad sends customers to your landing page, make sure that the text from the ad matches the message that they see when they arrive at your landing page. If the text in your ad says “Sign Up for a Free 2-Week Trial”, make sure that you clearly offer a free 2-week trial on your landing page. Not only does this create a cohesive customer experience, but it also conforms to Google’s quality standards, which do not allow for ad content that misleads the consumer.
5. Balance your Display Ad content
When designing your ad image, aim for balance. The components of your ad should look visually balanced within the dimensions of the ad, without any parts being cut off, oversized, or too small to read. Pay attention to the available ad sizes, and experiment with different shapes and sizes to see what looks best. Resize and rearrange your graphics, text, and image accordingly.
6. Follow these tips for mobile Display Ads
There are a few additional details you’ll need to pay attention to when creating ads for mobile devices (which includes both mobile phones and tablets). Here, we’ll go over the basics for image ads (as opposed to text-only ads).
Image ads can either appear as banners that occupy a small portion of the screen or as interstitial ads that occupy the entire screen (banners are the most commonly used format for mobile ads). Here are the mobile Display Ad size requirements for image ads:
Mobile phones: 320 x 50, 300 x 250, 336 x 280 Interstitial
Tablets: 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 468 x 60, 336 x 280 Interstitial
An additional note: for mobile device Display Ads, Google recommends that you take advantage of IF functions and ad customizers. These will allow you to automatically insert call-to-actions that are aimed directly at mobile customers, such as “Easy Mobile Booking”. Of course, if you advertise a mobile experience in your ad, you must offer a landing page or website that is optimized for a positive user experience on mobile devices.