Tips for creating effective display ads

If you're new to creating display ads, or you'd like to improve your display ad performance, we've got some tips to help you get the job done:

  • Use text, images, and color schemes effectively
  • Experiment with different display ad types and content designs
  • Create your own custom images
  • Generate display ads based on your existing text ads

Creating the ideal display ad

Display ads offer many options, so take the time to experiment with different templates, colors, and content to get the best results. You want your ad to be a standout!

What makes a great display ad? Here are our top tips for creating effective display ads. Let's dive into each of these tips, and look at some examples.

Use responsive ads

Using responsive ads will save you time creating different versions of your ads for different devices. Responsive ads will automatically adjust the size of your ad for different types of devices, such as mobile, tablet and desktops, and can fit in almost any available ad space. Learn more about responsive ads

Get ideas for ads

Need ad ideas? Consult our rich media ads gallery. Filter by ad format, feature, type, size, vertical, or country.

Optimize images and your brand logo

Responsive ads should include a clear and simple brand logo (with a 1:1 or 4:1 aspect ratio) and  a clear and simple brand name.  Your main image should be clear and high-quality. Avoid overlaid text, collages, and excessive blank space.

The main image should ideally include a physical setting, with a real background, and organic shadows and lighting. Acceptable aspect ratios are 1.91:1, and 1:1. It's recommended to have more 1.91:1 images than 1:1 images.

Use clear and compelling headlines and text

For your headline, use a clear and simple text to describe your product, service, or brand. Make your description text easy to read and understand (80-character limit). Avoid generic messaging or click-bait.
Use sentence case, and avoid using “all caps.”

Good  examples Bad examples

Headline: “Our new wool socks are warm and cozy”

Text: “All of our orders are custom-made and delivered to your door!”

Headline: “Our New Wool Socks”

Text:  “Click here to learn more.”

Headline: “Sinbad's Big Adventure in theaters Nov. 22”

Text: “Don’t miss the most adventurous film of the summer.”

Headline: "SINBAD’S BIG ADVENTURE."

Text:  “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS FUN, SUMMER FILM.”

 

Include prices, promotions, and exclusives

If you have something special to offer, make sure your customers see it. People are usually searching to make a decision about something. Give them what they need to help make their decision.

Using terms like special offers, coupons, discounts, promo codes, and bargains is a great way to let people know you’ve got some deals.

Provide a relevant landing page

Take a look at the page on your website that you're linking to, which is called the landing page. Make sure to include a clear call-to-action in your ad that takes viewers straight to that landing page. For example, if your ad text says “Call us,” be sure to include your business phone number on the landing page. If your ad text says “Limited time offer,” be sure to point people to that promotion on the landing page. In your final URL, provide the complete URL.

Create 3 to 4 ads per ad group

Create 3 to 4 ads per ad group, trying out different messages with different images. See which ad performs the best with your customers. AdWords can automatically show the better-performing ads within an ad group more often. This removes the guesswork and lets you build on what you've learned from your experiments.

Advanced steps:

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?