Introduction to Google Display Ads

Display Ads – Introduction

Display campaigns show visual ads on the Google Display Network. The Display Network enable advertisers to reach people on millions of websites, apps and Google-owned properties such as YouTube and Gmail.

Benefits of Display Ads

  • Expand beyond Google Search. Display campaigns reach people on 35 million websites and apps worldwide including YouTube and Gmail.
  • Goal driven. Drive sales, leads and traffic or build brand awareness.
  • Easy to use. Display campaigns use machine learning for targeting, bidding and formats to reach a new and existing audience.
  • Optimised targeting. Identify the best-performing audience segments according to your advertising goals.

Targeting Options

Display ads are shown to specific audience segments. The advertiser can create these, or you can let Google decide the best audience for your ads (Optimised Targeting).

Optimise targeting

Optimised targeting looks at signals like the keywords on your landing page or creative assets and then identifies audiences that may meet your campaign’s goals. Optimised targeting is on by default but can be easily disabled.

Optimised targeting helps:

  • Identify high-converting segments
  • Find new customers beyond your existing segments
  • Increase conversions without increasing costs

To help Google learn more quickly, you can add audience segments or keywords, known as ‘targeting signals’, to optimised targeting.

Which targeting option to use

  • Reach new customers. Keep optimised targeting enabled. No need to add targeting signals.
  • Reach and acquire new, relevant customers and specific audience segments. Add targeting signals to the campaign and keep optimised targeting enabled.
  • Do not want to look for new customers. Turn off optimised targeting and use your current data segments.

Types of data segment

Google will create segments based on your historical account data or using information you provide. These include:

  • Affinity. Reach users based on their interests and habits.
  • Custom segments. These automatically choose the right audience to fit the needs of your campaign best.
  • Detailed Demographics. Reach users based on their demographics, e.g. age, sex, and location.
  • Life events. Reach users when they are at important life milestones.
  • In-market. Target users based on their purchasing behaviour.
  • Your data segments. Target users who have previously interacted with your business.
  • Website and app visitors. People who have visited your website or apps.
  • Customer Match. Target existing customers based on your customer data.
  • Similar segments. Reach new users similar to your existing customers or website visitors.

Responsive display ads

Display campaigns use responsive display ads which automatically adjust their size, appearance and format to suit available ad space and improve performance.

To enable responsive display ads, the advertiser uploads various assets, i.e. images, headlines, logos, videos and descriptions. Google chooses the combination and size of assets to display in ads across websites, apps, YouTube and Gmail.

Creating Display ads

Responsive display ads are an asset-based ad type, which means you can create them by uploading your assets (images, headline text, logos and descriptions). Google will generate ads combining these assets to create the best user experience at the time of the impression.

Display ads consist of the following asset types:

  • Images
  • Headlines
  • Descriptions
  • Data feed


Your image is the most important part of your ad. It helps people understand your business, product and brand. Make sure to you use high-quality images in which focus on your business, product or brand. You may upload up to 15 marketing images for your responsive display ads.


  • Blurred images
  • Skewed/distorted images
  • Images that include a mirror image
  • Washed-out colours, inverted colours, excessive filters
  • Images with borders
  • Collage images
  • Images with digital composite backgrounds
  • Text on top of your images, as this can be hard to read


You may upload up to five different logos. Logos are optional, but if you do not provide a logo, Google will generate a neutral one for you, e.g., a globe, or the first letter of your brand name. Bear the following in mind when you provide a logo:

  • Use a 1:1 or 4:1 aspect ratio (it is best to upload both).
  • The logo should be centred and close-cropped.
  • Avoid small text with the logo.
  • It is recommended to use a transparent background, however, white backgrounds are acceptable.
  • White space or padding should not exceed 1/16th the size of the logo. For example, for a 400 x 400-pixel logo, your padding should not exceed 25 pixels.


Advertisers can write five descriptions of their brand or product, each up to 90 characters long. The description should be written to complement your headlines, providing additional detail to back up your value proposition.


You can upload a maximum of five headlines of 30 characters each for your display ads. Make sure your different headlines say something unique and informative, clearly spelling out your value proposition. Best practise:

  • Punctuation at the end of your headline is not necessary
  • Avoid duplicating the text from your description
  • Do not use your business name in the headline

Long headline

In your long headline, you have 90 characters to describe your brand or product’s value proposition. Write text that will be interesting and useful to users. Your long headline may be shown without the additional description text depending on where your ad is displayed. Therefore, ensure that the long headline can stand on its own and say something unique.

Feed for dynamic remarketing

Submitting a product feed enables relevant product information to be displayed to potential customers, including those who have already visited your site.

Performance labels

The different creative assets you upload for your campaigns will produce varying results, and you can see that data over time. After the assets have served long enough to accumulate statistically significant data, you can see a performance label, which is the data-based performance strength for each of your assets – descriptions, headlines or images – in the asset report. You may see a Low-Performance notification next to any of your assets while editing your ad, where the Google Ads tool will guide you to make adjustments as needed and help you create a more optimal set of assets.

Ad strength

Ad strength estimates the relevance, quantity and diversity of your ad content. Making sure that your ad has relevant, unique content can help you show the right ad to your potential customers and improve your ad’s performance.

This is an overall rating and progress indicator for the responsive display ad. This rating is based on the quantity and diversity of assets. Adding more assets can improve this rating and your chances of generating the best creative to put in front of your customers.



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