With both Google AdWords display campaigns and remarketing, creating ads used to be a pain. Unless one were a graphic designer. Which I’m not. I know how to create compelling text ads, but doing ads with graphics in them was not my strong suit.  It could also be time consuming to create them, even if you knew what you were doing.

Responsive Ads are designed to show differently on different devices
Responsive Ads show differently on different sites

Google realized this and did their best to improve the process. At the same time, they recognized an ad would need to look different on some pages and on different devices. So they created an ad builder that built one ad into multiple formats. The problem with this solution was that the resulting ads didn’t look good in every variation. Advertisers would often have to create more than one ad to have ads that would look good in every dimension.

What are google adwords responsive adsWhat are google adwords responsive ads

Google AdWords responsive ads are designed to work on any size screen and would work on desktop, mobile, and in aps.

They are responsive ads because they change depending on the circumstance. In creating one ad you’re actually creating multiple ads, with not just sized differently, but also with different content. They could be a text ad, an image ad, or a native ad. They could even appear in aps.

Another advantage to these ads is that you no longer have to create both text ads and image ads for display campaigns. A single ad can fill both roles.

Responsive Ads are designed to show differently on different devices
Responsive Ads show differently on different devices

The old method of creating text ads will soon be no longer available. If you have the old text ads running, they will continue, but you will no longer be able to edit them or create new ads in the old format. So now is the time to begin getting used to this new format.

Despite their best efforts, Google AdWords responsive ads might seem a little intimidating at first. You have to have a lot more text and you have more steps to perform than before. Yet, once you understand how to create effective responsive ads you’ll find it easier than the old method. And the ads might be much more effective than the old methods if done correctly.

How To Create A Responsive Ad

Create Two Titles for Responsive Ads

If you’re used to Google search ads, then you probably won’t be surprised that there are two headlines to fill out. The difference here is that with search both titles are used, while here only one headline will display at a time.

The short headline is only 25 characters long, including spaces. In some variations there might only be this headline so it has to be effective on its own.

The longer title is up to 90 characters long, but don’t think you need to use every bit of this. In fact, your title could be truncated depending on the placement. This means your title might not always make sense when shortened. Keep this in mind when writing it. And simply because you can expand on the shorter headline, don’t just pad it to get more characters in. Create an effective headline and don’t worry if it seems short.

The Description

Like the longer title the description can be up to 90 characters long, but this too can be truncated. And in some cases the description might not be shown at all. Expand on the offer you made in your headlines or outline benefits of the product or service being advertised. It should also encourage the consumer to take some sort of action. Since the text could be shortened, put the most important information at the beginning.

Images and Logos

While sometimes your ad will be shown as a text ad, it will also be shown with an image.  You have four options when choosing an image. You can use a stock image supplied by Google, upload your own, or pick an image your recently use. The fourth option is to scan a website page and Google will take images from that page.

For the stock images you also have a url scanned and from that they will supply images that seem related to the content of that page.

Although the stock images may seem more professional, doing your own photos is often a better option. You can create something distinctly related to your business. If it’s a product you want an image different from other images of the product available online. You want your image to stand out as it will be one of the elements that will draw the attention of your prospects.

Just be aware that there are certain requirements for photos you upload. They must be at least 600X314, although they recommend 1200x628. And the image can’t be larger than 1 MB.

If you have text on your ad you need to be aware that the image could be cropped in some of the ads by as much as 5% horizontally. So make sure the text isn’t close to the sides or it might be cut off. And like Facebook’s restriction on images, the text can only cover 20% of the image.

Google allows you to preview how the ads look in different formats
When creating your ad the different formats will show.

Adding a logo is ideal for branding. Here the requirements are a minimum of 128×128, but with a recommended size of 1200x1200. As the dimensions suggest, the logo should be square. If you’re logo isn’t square, try to find a way to make a square image out of it, even it means having some white space on it. It’s better than no logo at all.

Business Name

This is pretty self-explanatory. With this your company name may occasionally appear in the ad. If you’re doing remarketing, you want to make sure your name shows up somewhere in the ad so having it in other locations is critical.

Final Url

This is the page you are sending people to when they click on the ad. If, however, you want prospects on a mobile device to be taken to a different page, this option is available. Simply click on the advanced options below this and check the box for mobile url. Here you can put the mobile friendly page.

If you are using a third party tracking service, then in the advanced options you can add the necessary information.

Ad Creative

Many people make the mistake of creating display ads similar to how they create search ads. This is a mistake. I won’t go into ad creative too much here, but did want to highlight the difference between the two.

How you create the text and which images you use will often be determined by which placement method you use. With search ads you’re likely targeting words that indicate the searcher is already searching for your products or services. They have a need and while they might not be familiar with your company, they can see you offer a solution to their problem with their ad.

For display ads you’re likely using some targeting option that is based on the person’s interests or the content of the page your ad will be displayed on. A large number of these people might not even have a need at the moment for what you offer. And if they do they could be in various stages of the buying process. So you should have different ads that appeal to various stages of the buying process they are in.

Your ad has to attract their attention away from what it is they are reading on the page. And let them know immediately what it is you’re offering. Depending on which format of your ad is being displayed, you want to give some sort of indication of what makes your service, product, or offer unique. The goal is to alert them of some problem they might not even be aware of or a product they might not know even exists.

Think of them as billboards that hopefully will attract the attention of the people passing by. If you’ve done your targeting correctly, then at least you know that a portion the people driving by have the potential to be your customer.

If these are for remarketing campaigns, then the persons seeing them are already somewhat familiar with your company. So the goal of the ads is to remind them of your brand, your products or your services.

Preview the Ad

Once you completed your ad, you can preview it and see some of the formats that it will be shown in. Remember this is only a sample of the ads that can be created and some ads that run will look significantly different.

Create Another Ad

Once you’ve created your first ad, then immediately create a second ad that is slightly different.  This allows you to test which ad performs better. And if you’re doing remarketing ads you want to highlight different aspects of your company or what you offer. Don’t simply think changing the image is enough as that is only one element of your ads.

The Drawback of the New Ads

The one element of the new campaigns is in the past you could see data for all the variations of your ads that were running. With these new ads the data that shows is for the ad as a whole and not a particular size.

The data shows that this new format often results in a significantly higher click through rate then the old format. And also a greater reach.

The way people access the web is constantly changing and with these ads, you can create a campaign that incorporates these changes.

Get Expert Help

If you’re struggling with your AdWords campaign and would like to get assistance, then consider contact me to discuss your marketing needs. With 13 years’ experience in online marketing and over 10 in pay per click, I’ve worked on thousands of campaigns. Fill out my contact form to set up a talk.