One of Google’s newest pushes is for the adoption of responsive ads in display networks. The standard text ads formerly available are being phased out, so technically, this is a forced change. However, this change shouldn’t be thought of as scary, as responsive ads hold greater potential to capture people’s attention thus gaining brand awareness and more traffic to your website. But, how, and, what are they?
Responsive ads are a combination of image, text, and native ads. These ads are aptly named as they automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit inside the available ad space in which they appear across the Google Display Network.
The ads are comprised of the following assets and associated limitations:
- Short Headline – (25 characters or fewer) – appears in tight ad spaces where the long headline doesn’t fit
- Long Headline – (90 characters or fewer) – appears instead of the short headline, and may appear with or without your description
- Description – 90 characters or fewer
- Business Name
- Final URL – where people will be taken on your site when they click your ad
Additionally, you are able to add two images (landscape and square) and a logo (optional). You can either flex your creative muscle and upload your own images, allow Google to scan your website for images, or search through Google’s free library of stock images. If you choose to upload your own images, you must adhere to the below limitations:
- Landscape Image – Ratio of 1.91:1 and greater than 600 x 314. Recommended file size is 1200 x 628 and maximum file size limit is 1 MB.
- Square Image – Ratio of 1:1 and greater than 300 x 300. Recommended file size is 1200 x 1200 and maximum file size limit is 1MB.
- Square Logo (optional) – Ratio of 1:1 and should be 128 x 128 or greater. Recommended file size is 1200 x 1200 and maximum file size is 1MB.
- Landscape Logo (optional) – Ratio of 4:1 and should be 512 x 128 or greater. Recommended file size is 1200 x 300 and maximum file size is 1MB.
- Avoid Excessive Text – Text may cover no more than 20% of the image.
Your images and ad copy should relate to each other. But keep in mind that there will be times when the responsive ads are still shown in the native format (text only). Make sure you don’t rely too heavily on your images to convey your message, while leaving your ad text too vague. Your text should be able to stand on its own and still successfully get your message across.
So, now that you know what responsive ads are, you’re still wondering how they differ, or even might be better, than standard ads. The main benefit is the time saved in ad creation. Before, you needed to create separate image and text ads or have multiple images to cover every type of ad size. With responsive ads, you create one ad with images and text and Google takes care of the rest, size- and placement-wise, at least. This freedom of time will allow for even more ad creation which will, in turn, account for better testing and ad performance.
You also gain more ground across the vastness that is the Google Display Network. Responsive ads conform to every website in which they are shown meaning these ads will show up more often and in more places than standard image ads, giving them higher odds for increased click through rate, which benefits both Google and you. So be bold, be creative, and get responsive!