Responsive Ads Rock: Get To Know This Google Ads Display Ad Format

Find out why responsive ads rock our white label PPC portfolio, plus why they deserve a sport in your Google Ads management services.

How Responsive Ads Will Rock Your Remarketing [Campaign]

AdWords Responsive Ads are a rockin’ way to expand your remarketing and display ad reach. As white label PPC providers, we’ve noticed that can it can be very difficult to explain the specialized requirements for custom ads, be it visual assets or even approval of the ads. Ad testing becomes less frequent when you utilize custom ads involve a designer, which can hurt a campaign. Up until recently, the internal AdWords ‘Ad Ideas’ gallery was limited in capabilities, character limits and ad sizes.  Now here comes AdWords responsive ads!

What are responsive ads?

With every responsive ad, you get three dynamic versions that show based on which format Google thinks is best for the site that the ad will be seen on.

  • A dynamic image version most similar to the old ad gallery ads.
  • A native format that matches elements of the website publisher to better match.
  • A text version when Google thinks it will perform best or fit best in the slot.

What Makes Responsive Ads Rock?

  • Ads will adjust to the type of device used by the viewer. This means more coverage on more devices.
  • Ads adjust to the website ad slot. This means better fits on more sites. The more sites your ads adapt to, the more reach your campaign will get.
  • Fewer ad updates to sizes, more design updates for ad testing.
  • Fewer requests from designers, clients, etc to generate these ads.
When you create your responsive ad, you’ll get to preview some common layouts, but it’s not possible to show you every possible layout across the 2 million sites that make up the Google Display Network. That is one of the benefits of responsive over custom ads, endless potential.

Previously, you had the option of a text ad, a custom image ad designed for each size separately, or to use the AdWords ‘Ad Ideas’ gallery which generated up to 8 ad sizes.

Here are just a few variations of how your ads will appear and adapt responsively.

Agency Action Items

If you are currently using or selling custom ads or image gallery ads as part of your PPC package, you will need to update your AdWords management services line item to responsive. As of January, you can no longer make new text ads for your display campaigns, soon, the same will apply to the “Ad Ideas”. Per Google:

Starting this month, your “Ad ideas” ads – ads that you’ve created by scanning your website – will be automatically upgraded to responsive ads when you edit them. Going forward, you will no longer have the option to copy or create “Ad ideas” ads.

This means Responsive Ads a part of your AdWords management services package becomes a priority.

“That means less work for you, none for a designer, so shouldn’t I get a discount on responsive ads?”

Not so fast. Responsive ads are much faster to build initially, yes. However, there are now multiple elements allowing for much more testing and analysis with responsive ads. There is also more copy now, as opposed to more visual elements to work with.

Responsive ads are made up of the following written elements

  • Short Headline
  • Long Headline, which appears instead of your short headline in larger ads.
  • Description
The visual elements you will need are for both a landscape version and square version you will get to preview. These can be pulled from your website or uploaded as separate files.
  • A landscape Image with a ratio of 1.91:1 (landscape) and be greater than 600 x 314. The recommended size is 1200 x 628. The maximum file size is 1MB.
  • A square image with a ratio of (1:1) and be greater than 300 x 300. The recommended size is 1200 x 1200. The file size limit is 1MB.
  • An optional logo, which should be square (1:1) and should be 128 x 128 or greater. The recommended size is 1200 x 1200. A transparent background is best, but only if the logo is centered. The file size limit is 1MB.
  • Text may cover no more than 20% of the image. Note: To fit in some ad spaces, your image may be cropped horizontally—up to 5% on each side.
All of these options mean you can test:
  • Headline copy
  • Description copy
  • Call to action in your description
  • Using similar images as both landscape and square
  • Using different images for ad sets
Plenty of smart optimizations to make a part of your ongoing AdWords management services!

Please note, new onboards with InvisiblePPC get responsive ads for free. That’s right, remarketing campaigns with responsive ads for free. Current clients are being upgraded as we speak to the newest format.

To summarize, both text and image idea ads will no longer be options for new ad creation moving forward. You can still upload image ads created outside of AdWords in multiple sizes, but that requires work with a designer, restrictions on reach (those ads will only fit so many ad slots!) and will need a designer’s help to test new ad copy. Responsive ads are easy to create, easy to update and allow AdWords managers to test many elements as regularly as any text ad.

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Avi Kumar
Avi took the Engineering Route to Marketing. He loves proving that all marketing is Scientific and not black magic. He is obsessed with finding efficient ways of doing things. He started at 17 from improving how to “Holystone” ship’s wooden decks efficiently as an apprentice on ships!