When creating ads for GDN (Google Display Network)  you have lot’s of options.  Perhaps the greatest feature of being outside of just search is the many different ad options you have.  Everyone knows you can do image and text options on the Google Display Network but you also have a wide range of different kinds of image ads as well as video options.

Adwords Display Ad Creation Options is part 5 of our Google Display Training Course found at http://marketingplaybook.co/adwords-display-training-guide-gdn/.  All our Adwords Courses can be found on http://marketingplaybook.co/ppc-training/  and our Adwords Search course can be found at http://marketingplaybook.co/adwords-ppc-search-training-course/

We have created a companion video that covers much of the written guide.  You should be able to gain a full understanding of the options out there by the time you watch and read this guide.

We do hold live Q/A sessions from time to time so be sure and signup to the newsletter to be informed of the next live Q/A session as well as updates to our free training material.

GDN Ad Creation Options Video

Your ad Options

Text ads:  Text ads have the widest reach on GDN.  Many people do not know that text ads can also show in places where banner ads go.  So if there is a spot open in the 728×90 banner section, your text ad has the potential of showing in those spots.

Headline: Max 25 characters

Description 1 and 2: Max of 25 Characters each

Display URL:  The domain name you are using (Not the final destination)

Final URL:  This is the final landing page your visitors will be taken to after they click your ad copy.

For more information on how to write an enticing ad you should read http://marketingplaybook.co/adwords/adwords-pcc-search-training/best-practices-for-creating-ppc-ads-on-adwords/

Image Ads: Acceptable image format are Acceptable file formats: .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG and HTML5.

Different image sizes acceptable are

  • Vertical rectangle: 240 x 400
  • Mobile leaderboard: 320 x 50
  • Banner: 468 x 60
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90
  • Square: 250 x 250
  • Small square: 200 x 200
  • Large rectangle: 336 x 280
  • Inline rectangle: 300 x 250
  • Skyscraper: 120 x 600
  • Wide skyscraper: 160 x 600
  • Half-page: 300 x 600
  • Large leaderboard: 970×90
  • Large mobile banner: 320 x 100
  • Billboard: 970 x 250
  • Portrait: 300 x 1050

For examples of above images sizes see – https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722096

Adwords can automatically scan your website and suggest adcopy and templates that you can use on GDN.


To do this go to Ads tab inside your campaign and from the +Ads section select Images. Then enter in the final destination page where your visitors will land and Adwords will scan that specific page and attempt to auto create image ads for you.

Example of what some auto generated images might look like


From there you can select and edit any adgroup and swap out ad copy as well as images to create the image you want.

The downside for this method is it’s hard to know what image size is converting as everything is lumped together.  You are not able to pause specific ads when bundled in this manner and that makes things really hard to optimize.

A better option is to just hire someone to create banners for you or create your own banners.  At the bottom of this guide we have a few recommended options for you.

Gmail Ads: Gmail ads appear inside a persons g-mail inbox.  Google associates certain behaviors of gmail users to attempt to target your Gmail ad to specific people.  See https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6105478?hl=en

Your ad is shown originally in a collapsed state.  Once a user clicks the ad it expands to show an image that you uploaded.  Only by clicking the image will the person be taken to your final destination.  You are charged every time a person initially clicks on your ad while in a collapsed state even if they do not click through to your website.

Your image must be less then 650px by 1000 px with a minimum of 650px by 300px.

When using Gmail ads it’s important to note that you will only be targeting g-mail users inside that particular adgroup.  I would recommend you only target g-mails users inside a specific campaign to make things easier to manage.

Video Ads: This can get complicated really fast.

TrueView in-stream ads

Adwords now offers users the ability to create Video Campaigns direct inside Adwords.  When creating with this method you are creating TRUE VIEW video ads that will appear before, during or after other videos on the YouTube and Display Network.

You are charged when someone watches 30 seconds or more of your video.  If the video is shorter then 30 seconds you are charged once the video finishes playing.

Your ad will have a skip button that users can press to skip the video ad after 5 seconds.

One major downside is that YouYube automatically starts playing the “next” video without user intervention so your viewers might not be as engaged as you originally think.

TrueView in-display ads

Your ad will appear under youtube search results or from people browsing videos across the web.

You are charged every time someone clicks to watch your video regardless if they watch just a few seconds.

Video ads in Ad Gallery

This is what we cover in the video above.  I’m simply going to refer you to Google’s site for this as they do a good job of explaining the several options you have – https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375465?hl=en

Lightbox Ads: This is a great ad format to use if you already have videos and images made for your business.  It’s a way to really engage with your potential customer.

From Adwords “Lightbox ads are available in standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sizes. After customers interact with these ads, they load rich media either within the ad, or in an expanded canvas. This type of interaction reduces accidental engagements, providing a better experience for customers and better value for advertisers. For instance, on laptops and desktop computers, people hover their mouse over the ad for two seconds in order to engage; on mobile phones and tablets, consumers can tap on the ad to prompt the engaged state.”

The best way to learn more is to see Lightbox in action in the video at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUsLPPuJhZc

Dynamic Ads: This is a powerful way to remarket to visitors who where on your product website and viewed multiple products but did not make a purchase.  Chances are you have seen these kinds of ads from Amazon and other top retailers. Features of layouts include multiple product carousels, cropping your images to fit the ads, star ratings, and more.

This option is best suited for websites who are doing re-marketing and have multiple product skus.

Extra Tips

For many out there creating banner images or even videos is not inside their wheel house.  I feel your pain.  Here are some resources and tools to help you out that you might not be aware of.

Fiverr : https://www.fiverr.com/

Fiverr is a place where you can get just about anything digital done for you at a decent price.  There are many banner creators there that do a great job.  You may have to go through several gigs using different people till you find someones work you really like.  You will also be able to find people who can help out producing videos as well.

Google Web Designer: https://www.google.com/webdesigner/

Not the easiest tool in the world to use but they have dozens of templates to help get you started.  If you are not tech savvy at all then this banner creation software most likely won’t help you out.  If you are technically inclined then you can find DOZENS of how to videos on youtube that help walk you through creating banners.

PerfectBanner : http://www.perfectbanner.com

I’m not sold on the method in which this company charges for the banners, 3% of ad spend for banners used.  However they do a great job making banner creations very easy to do and easy to test.



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