Google Gives Responsive Display Ads a New Look

The world as we know it has changed – at least for the foreseeable future. As the majority of the global population spends more time at home than ever before, we’re also spending more of our time online. To Google, that translates into a corresponding increase in the amount of time its users spend on the full breadth of its products, including YouTube, Gmail, and mobile apps.

For you – the digital marketer, ecommerce business owner, or web page administrator – it means fine tuning your ability to engage with and help your audience in this new normal. It’s an effort Google just underscored with new changes to the best way you can reach users primed to convert into customers – improvements to the look and feel of ads on the Display Network. As a result, Google’s responsive display ads are now more engaging and allow for more creativity than ever.

What Are Responsive Display Ads?

For those not accustomed to this Google ad type, Display Ads are the visual ads you see served across the entirety of the Google Display Network (GDN). Included in the GDN are a full two million websites and apps that reach the vast majority of internet users. As opposed to Search Ads, visible when a user searches for products or services like yours, Google users see your Display Ads while they’re consuming other content on YouTube or any other of the GDN partners – a prime pastime as we noted above.

Display Ads’ prominence on popular pages and apps is what makes them so important in times like these – and likely why Google has been increasing its efforts to improve them. Since Display Ads must take on a wide variety of formats to fit into the pages and apps that showcase them, it was essential for Google to help make Display Ads more accessible for marketers trying to leverage the GDN. As a result, Google developed responsive display ads (RDAs) that utilize Google’s machine learning and automatically transform to fit each unique ad space. 

How Can You Use Responsive Display Ads?

As of July 15th, 2020, RDAs are now the default Display Ad type on the GDN. To utilize them, all you need to do is fill in the blanks – that is, supply your images, brand logos, headlines, and other text. Currently, Google allows advertisers to submit the following for inclusion in an RDA: 

  • As many as 15 images
  • As many as 5 total headlines, both short (from 25 characters) and long (up to 90 characters)
  • 5 logos
  • 5 descriptions
  • 5 thirty-second videos

To do it, you’ll need to modify an existing Google Ads campaign (by clicking the plus sign in “Ads and Extensions”) or create a new one and choose “Display Ad” as your campaign type. Then, you can plug in your images, videos, and text. For the best results, provide as many asset types as you can, so Google has a wider variety of choices to select from to fit each GDN site as well as possible.

Benefits and Changes

As you might have guessed, allowing Google to leverage its powerful machine learning during the Display Ad creation process comes with a number of benefits, especially with the new changes in place. Using new Google RDAs allows you to:

    1. Save time in the creation process. Refining attractive, well-built Display Ads that fit a number of websites and apps is a difficult, time-consuming process. With the new RDAs, all you need to do is supply your images and text, and Google will render the ads for you. You can even allow Google to scan your website and pull appropriately sized images so you don’t have to re-upload. 
    2. Broaden your reach. Once you’ve added a number of different asset types and options for Google to choose from, it will display your RDA on a number of different pages and apps – each with the best possible combination of features for that page. As a result, you’ve effectively broadened your reach to the entirety of the GDN, putting a larger audience than ever at your fingertips.  
    3. Access improved, more engaging layouts. Google tests its Display Ad layouts extensively so you don’t have to. The new RDA layouts were developed to help you improve the aesthetics of ads across the GDN, as well as optimize ad performance to drive sales.  
    4. Use automated image enhancement. The new Google RDAs utilize automated image enhancement to help showcase the images and text you provide more effectively across the GDN. Smart image cropping, text overlays, and more lend a more seamless appearance and improved functionality.  
    5. Automatically create custom videos. If you lack the time, resources, or know-how to create your own videos for use throughout the GDN, Google can do it for you. Google can scan your existing image and text assets and create a custom, auto-generated video with the click of a checkbox. Or, utilize Video Builder to create short video clips within YouTube for use in your RDAs.  
    6. Unify your branding and your products. With the changes to RDAs, Google has also updated how it handles dynamic display ads within feeds. Now, your company’s branding appears right alongside your selection of your best or most prominent products. In addition, you can now include a much more visible, text-based promotion to highlight sales and other brand happenings. 

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Responsive Display Ads Give Your Visual Ads a Much-Needed Spark

Engaging with – and helping – your customer base is what digital marketing is all about in the best of times. Now, with more people than ever depending on online access to all of the products, services, and information they used to source from the world at large, providing your services to your audience is more important than ever before. Reach more of them with new and improved Responsive Display Ads.