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How to successfully create an effective display Google ad

Find out how to successfully create an effective display Google ad and effectively utilize this powerful and versatile advertising tool.

Why is it important:

Display ads help promote a website on a vast array of websites across the web and aim to increase brand awareness through graphical banner images, texts, or videos. These ads are showcased to set audiences across any Google network website. For example, you might have seen ecommerce website ads on sites like news websites or blogs or similar websites. They are display ads that have been targeted to you.

Google display ads are a powerful and versatile advertising tool for businesses of all sizes. They can be used to reach potential customers with highly targeted messages, as well as to help create brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website. Google display ads also offer more customization options than other ad types, allowing you to tailor them to focus on specific audiences and match their look and feel with your business’s branding. Lastly, these ads are cost-effective and can be set up quickly, making them an ideal part of any Google Ads strategy.

They are best used for remarketing to users to boost more conversions or can be used as an initial brand awareness campaign (due to lesser cost) to a segmented audience or can be used for brand awareness booster as well, i.e., by those who have already built a strong presence online but now want to expand their reach further in order to draw more customers in.

Things required before you start:

  • You should have an existing personal Google account with the necessary login information (email address, password).
  • You need to have an already set Google Ads account, and if you haven’t done it yet, then follow our guide to do so.
  • You should have set up conversion tracking for your Google ads account, and if you haven’t yet, then follow our guide to do so.

Steps to successfully create an effective Display Google ad

Step 1: Go to the Google Ads website.

And click on the Sign In button at the top right corner of the screen.

You need to be logged in to your Google account associated with the ads account you are trying to access to be able to successfully log in in the next step.

Google ads website accessing

Note: If you have multiple Google ads account already set on your Google account, then you will see the following screen after you click on “Sign In” and from which you need to click on the Google ads account that you want to log into.

selecting the google ads account

If you have only one Google ads account associated with your Google profile, you will be automatically logged into the account after you click on “Sign In” in Step -1.

Step 2: Once you have logged into your Google Ads account, click on the link “Campaigns” on the left menu panel of the screen.

google ads campaigns segment

Important Note: If you are not able to find the necessary links or buttons (as shown here) at the top/left menu of your Google Ads account, then you might have been, by default, switched to the new design of your Google Ads account. Though the new design looks good but since it’s still in the experimental phase, the UI might get complicated or erroneous, so we will recommend that for the time being you can simply switch back to the more stable older version.

To do so, please go to the option “Appearance” at the top menu, and from the dropdown, click on “Use previous design”.

Switching to old UI

Step 3: Once you are on the Campaign screen, click on the “+” button, and then from the dropdown menu, click on the option “New Campaign”.

Google ads display campaign creation new campaign creation

Step 4: On the next screen, you will need to select the objective of your campaign; this will define the way the campaign’s goals and settings are designed.

For our example here, let’s say we will go with the objective “Website Traffic”; in that case, click on the required objective to proceed.

Campaign objective selection for display ads

Step 5: Your already set conversions on the ad account will be displayed, and they will be automatically associated with the new campaign.

You need to click on the “Continue” button at the bottom right corner of the screen to proceed.

Verification of the conversion tracking available

Step 6: From the Campaign Type options, select “Display” by clicking on it.

selecting the campaign type as display

Step 7: As the next windows open up, provide the necessary details like the website URL and a meaningful name of the campaign, and then click on “Continue” to proceed.

providing the campaign name and url

Step 8: For Google display ads, you need to start the Campaign settings by defining the audience location.

  1. By default, the ads campaign location is set to “All countries and territories”, but you want to specifically target the countries from where you expect your main target audience. For that, click on the “Enter another location” radio button.
  2. Start typing the desired country names in the search box and click on the correct ones from the search list that is displayed in the dropdown. The ones selected will be displayed above the search box.
  3. Important: Always ensure to click on the “Location options” link to expand the lower half of the menu. Here, you must select the option “People in or regularly in your target locations”.

Failure to set that will deplete your budget on unwanted audiences who are actually not from your target location.

Location details for the campaign

Step 9: In the next segment, you can target your audience based on the desired language of communication.

language requirements for the campaign

Step 10: Scroll down and click on the “More settings” option.

Here, you can use the options according to your requirements, especially if you want to set an end date for the campaign (not preferred, as you can pause any campaign at any time) or alter any ad schedule, etc.

One segment here that you need to change is the last tab called “Content Exclusions”. This setting lets you set the content types where you don’t want your ad to be displayed.

For e.g., You don’t want to display your ad on sensitive topics like disaster news or war news, etc. It will be seen by your audience as insensitive on your part, and your brand name will take a hit.

Click on the tab “Content Exclusions” from the list to expand it.

Content exclusions

Select the ones that apply and then click on the Next button at the bottom of the screen.

Content exclusions 2

Once done, then click on Next button.

Step 11: On the next screen, type in the average daily bid that you want to set for the display ad campaign. You can adjust the bid according to the estimated results that are displayed on the right side of the screen.

You need to select the bidding focus as Conversions.

And keep the next option as “Automatically maximize conversions”.

Budget selection and bidding

Once done, click on the “Next” button at the bottom right corner to proceed.

Moving to the next segment

Step 12: On the next screen, click on “Add targeting”.

Targeting setup for the google display ads

Step 13: Expand the following section (Audience Segments) to customize your target audience even further.

Adding audience segments

On the following screen, search for keywords that can define traits of your audience, and then from the list, expand each option and select the ones that are nearest to your audience trait.

For example, say we are planning to target users who are searching for “Advertising & Marketing services”.

You can do that in two ways:

  1. Search for the relevant term, and from the search results, select the ones that are nearest to your trait.

In display ads, you get additional traits you can add for your audience targeting.

Like, you can add targeting based on segments like Life Events.

For e.g., you want to target an audience who has recently opened a business or is opening a business soon.

To do so, in the search box, type in “started new business”. From the search results, select “Starting a Business Soon” and “Recently Started a Business”.

Exploring life events - segment available for only google display ads

  1. You can find targeting options through the Browse option too. For that, click on Browse -> What they are actively researching or planning (in-market)->Business services->Advertising & Marketing Services.

Editing the target segments

For the display ads in the initial days of a Google account, it is helpful that the Optimized targeting is set off as this will ensure only relevant people will be shown your ad and your budget will be spent on an effective audience.

To do so, expand the next segment called “Optimized Targeting” and uncheck the box under it to switch the option off.

Switching off optimized targeting

Once your ad account has enough conversion data for Google to determine the type of audience that converts more, switching on Optimized Targeting will help you reach people who have the intent to convert even beyond your targeted list.

Step 14: Next, you need to expand the “Demographics” segment to set the demographics for your target audience.

Based on your ideal audience demographics, check/uncheck the values accordingly.

Audience demographics selection

Step 15: For setting up additional targeting options, you need to click on the segment “Add Targeting”.

Adding new targeting options

Additional 3 options open up:

Additional targeting options available

You can now define the targeting further in 3 more ways:

  1. You can select the keywords that will ensure your ad is shown on websites having those terms. Suppose you select the keyword “content marketing”. Then, all websites containing any mention of the word will act as a target location for your display ad.

Adding targeted keywords for the display ads

  1. Similarly, you can select the “Topics” to define the website/app/video categories on which you want to place your display ad.

adding targeted topics for the google display ads

  1. Another method is to use specific websites and videos to target. This can be used only if you have an in-depth understanding of your audience and have a list of websites/YouTube channels, etc. that they visit.

defining the placements for the display ads

You click on each item and set it up accordingly.

Always notice how your targeting affects the estimated results shown on the right side of the screen.

In our example, we are keeping the rest of the targeting options as they are since we have already defined our audience in the main target segments.

Click on the “Next” button to proceed.

moving to the next segment

Step 16: Now, you need to set up the ad.

For that, fill in the URL and Business name details first.

  • Ensure the URL entered is correct and not misspelled.
  • The business name is displayed to the users in display ads, so ensure you provide the correct one.

Setting up the business details for the ad

Step 17: Before we proceed, let’s explore the main components of a Google display ad.

Display ad example

  1. Image: The image component of the ad is what catches the eye of potential customers. Images should be vibrant and high-quality and should reflect the product or service being advertised, or they can be any related & professional images to attract users.
  2. Logo: Including your company’s logo on the ad will help to reinforce brand recognition. It also gives customers an easy way to find out more information about your business.
  3. Headline The headline is another important part of a Google display ad copy because it will be the first thing people see and read, apart from the image that attracts them. It should concisely capture the attention of potential customers and make them interested in your product or service. To write an effective headline, focus on specific keywords, include action words (such as “Buy” or “Download”), and keep the length to no more than 30 characters.
  4. Description The description is where you can convey additional information about your product or service that may not have fit in the headline. You want to give readers enough detail so they know what they’re getting but avoid overcrowding with too many words. Use persuasive language to explain why they should choose your offering over others. Keep the description to no more than 90 characters.
  5. CTA buttons: The call-to-action (CTA) button is where people click in order to learn more about what you have to offer or take action on your offer (such as signing up for a free trial). The CTA button should stand out from other ad components and clearly communicate what action people need to take next.

As mentioned, images form an important factor in capturing your audience’s attention in Google display ads, as these ads are shown on network websites and need to pop out amongst the website’s content. To add an image to your ad, click on the “+ Images” :

Adding the creatives associated with the display ads

On the next screen, you have the option to either:

  • Use images from your website which Google already shows you as the first option
  • Use free stock images already displayed by Google based on your website theme
  • Use images that you upload

To upload an image, click on the “Upload” button at the top right corner of the screen.

Exploring the available assets and uploading new ones

Select the desired image from your system and then click on the image from the list to set the image dimensions.

Setting the image crops

Note: Ensure that you upload images that don’t have any text, as while cropping, they might not be displayed properly. Or if you decide to upload images with text, then create them in the dimension requirements for the display ads, i.e., 1:1, 1:91:1, and 9:16.

Once done, click on the Save button to continue.

Saving the image assets

Step 18: Next, you need to upload your business logo for the display ads. This is again an important step for the display ads as it is displayed to your viewer too and also adds a professional look to the ad.

Click on the “+Logos” link to open the logo uploader.

Adding the business logos

On the next screen, click on Upload, and from the options, select “From computer”. Select the logo from your computer and upload it.

Uploading it from your device

Once uploaded, click on “Save” to proceed.

Saving the logos

Step 19: Additionally, you can upload videos (of lengths up to 30 seconds) as a part of the display ads, too.

Adding video creatives with the ad

But this is something you can use only if you have a few options of videos already uploaded on your company’s YouTube channel.

Step 20: Scroll down and provide the details of the ad Headlines. As mentioned earlier, this forms one of the main segments that a viewer first sees; it has to be concise yet aligned with the user’s needs or desires and have keywords related to the action expected from the user, too.

  • You have to provide at least 3 headlines, but to make the best use of this segment, try to provide as many as possible. (Maximum:5)
  • Ensure each one of them is unique and is aligned with the keyword theme of the ad group.
  • If possible, provide action keywords like “Book”, “Buy”, etc. in 1-2 headlines.

Setting up the ad copy for the display ad

Additionally, you need to provide a descriptive headline (Long Headline). This is used in the case of a few locations of the ad where there is an option of having more textual details.

Table Description automatically generated

Step 21: Scroll down to the segment where you need to add the description part of the ad.

  • Provide more information about the service/product here.
  • You can provide 2-4 descriptions, but each has to be unique.

Ads copy - description

Step 22: Scroll down and click on the “More Options” button at the bottom of the screen.

more options

From the options displayed, select “Call to action text”.

Additional options

On the next screen, click on the dropdown, which mentions “Automated”.

Automated CTA

Select the desired text for the CTA button.

Selecting the CTA text

Step 23: Now click on the “Create Ad” button at the bottom of the screen to proceed toward saving the ad.

Finalizing and creating the ad

Once the ad is saved, it will appear in the following format. Then click on the “Next” button to proceed.

Ad preview

Step 24: On the next screen, verify the details of your ad and then click on the “Publish Campaign” button.

Campaign review

Your ad will be in the “Published” and “In-review” phases first. Once the Google review is complete, you will see the ad status changes to “Bid strategy learning”, which is the initial learning phase of the ad, and once it is completed you will have some recommendations and analysis to look into.

You can change the ad then to ensure you get the optimum result.

To avoid issues during Google’s ad review, avoid the following:

  • Capitalization (do not use Ad Headlines like “FREE gifts with each purchase”)
  • Abbreviations or acronyms
  • Bad or Wrong URLs
  • Slang terms or colloquial language
  • Excessive punctuation, symbols, and special characters (e.g., avoid using “!” in ad headlines)
  • Brand names or trademarks that have not been authorized by you (e.g., do not use brand names like Nike, Amazon, or WordPress in your texts if they are not owned by you)
  • Misleading language or unsubstantiated claims
  • False information, inaccurate content, or fluffy phrases
  • Offensive language (including profanity)
  • Incentives to purchase goods or services (This is a tricky one, but it mainly suggests avoiding texts that suggest something along the lines of paying your customer to take an action)

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