Google Responsive Display Ads: Complete Guide 2020

google responsive display ads

Google Responsive Display Ads can be difficult to understand at first. When you get started with Google Display Ads, one of the main aspects of your campaign is ad creation.

Our video tutorial and article below will help guide you through the process. You don’t have to struggle with Google Responsive Display Ads. All the information you will ever need is in our video below. In addition, you can head directly to YouTube to watch our Google Display Ads tutorial and visit our Google Display Advertising tutorial, which are completely free and available.

Google Responsive Display Ads Video


Google Responsive Display Ads Guide

In this article, we will cover Google Responsive Display Ad examples, strategies, and best practices. You can also view our corresponding video tutorial above or on YouTube. Responsive Display Ads have become the default display ad running on the Google Display Network (GDN). They can be used in Standard Display campaigns as well as Smart Display campaigns.

How to Create Responsive Display Ads

When setting up ads for a campaign or for an ad group, click on the (+) sign next to new ad and select “Responsive display ad” from the menu.

create new responsive display ad

When you begin to create your ad, you will have to add image and logo options. If you have entered your website, Google will scan the site for images and logos. You also have the option to manually upload up to two images and two logos.

Media For Responsive Display Ads

uploading responsive display ads


  • Landscape (1.9:1): 1200×628 (min required: 600×314, max file size: 5120KB)
  • Square: 1200×1200 (min required: 300×300, max file size: 5120KB)


  • Landscape (4:1): 1200X300 (min required: 512×128, max file size: 5120KB)
  • Square: 1200×1200 (min required: 128×128, max file size: 5120KB)

add images and logos google display ads responsive

How to Create Successful Responsive Display Ads

While you can watch the video above, we have a step-by-step process below to creating success responsive display advertisements.

Step 1 – Upload Your Images and Logos

You want to start with uploading 15 images and 5 logos if you have that creative. The more you upload, the better performance you will see because the top-performing images will continue to be displayed across the web.

upload images responsive display ads

Step 2 – Create 5 Headlines, Long Headline, and 5 Descriptions

Once you have your image and logo selection, click on “Save” and you will be able to see a preview of your ad to this point. It will keep updating as you fill in your 5 short headlines, long headline, 5 description lines, business name, and final URL. As a time-saver, there are limited character counts for these sections.

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At Surfside PPC we typically save multiple headlines and descriptions in a word or text document, with the complete character counts, which gives us the ability to cut and paste when creating new campaigns.

headlines and descriptions

Step 3 – Preview Responsive Display Ads

Also, on this page, you can look at the ad preview pane to scroll through how your ad would look in different formats. And as Google gets more data, they will indicate what ad is running best in the same pane. There will be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, which is why it’s important to monitor your campaign results regularly.

Step 4 – Call To Action

Before you finish this section, be sure to click on “More options” and add a call-to-action text to your ad. For example, you can include apply now, contact us, shop now, download, subscribe, contact us, visit site, etc. There are many selections to match every campaign goal. Once you have finished these steps, click “Add to ad group”.

Step 5 – Create Multiple Responsive Ads Per Ad Group

You now have your first set of responsive ads created. We recommend creating at least two more sets for your campaign. You can create more ads using stock images; which are accessible in a tab during the image selections process. Simply enter your site and Google will pull up stock images that are similar to the site you are promoting. This feature will let you use the same image for both landscape and square sizes.

For your third option, let’s just say you have a very large image that you need resized and you don’t know how to do it. In these cases, we use several free and paid websites for assistance, one such is Canva. The site allows you to enter custom dimensions for your uploaded images. Once they are resized you can download the new image for use in your ad campaign.

Step 6 – Test and Optimize

Regardless of whether you are using your own images or the stock options, one of the most important things to remember when creating your ads is to have a cohesive look and targeting approach. Uploading multiple ads will help you in the long run. You will have more data to compare to see what is working best for your campaign.

Responsive Display Ads Best Practices

There are some best practices to follow so you can get the most out of your display advertising budget. Your ads play a huge role, so follow the best practices below.

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1. Use 15 Images and 5 Logos

You have the option to use 1 image and 1 logo or use 15 images and 5 logos. There’s no downside to testing more images and different logo colors and sizes. A best practice is to test as many ads as possible with your responsive display ads.

2. Use High-Quality Images

We do highly recommend uploading higher-quality images as they are easier for Google to size down, rather than up. Uploading small images or low-quality images can result in blurry images and low-quality ads.

3. Use Recent Images

You also have the option to utilize the “Recently used” tab; especially if you have run any Google Display Ads before. When you decide on an image, select “Use as”, then “Image” and click “Continue”. The same steps apply to your logo usage and selection.

4. Test Videos

Videos are optional, but you can use an existing YouTube video in your advertisements and it will play as part of your Display advertisement. Again, there’s no downside to testing videos in your responsive display ads.

5. Fill All 5 Headlines and Description Lines

More text combinations means more advertisements that run across the Google Display Network. You can create up to 5 headlines and up to 5 description lines, so you should fill out each field.

upload images and logos responsive display ads

Benefits of Responsive Display Ads

As with most types of Google Ads, there are quite a few benefits to using Responsive Display Ads.

  1. Optimize Your Ads More Effectively
  2. You can quickly optimize your Responsive Display Ads because the steps are easy to follow. By simply uploading several images, several logos, and creating ad copy; Google will create hundreds of versions of your advertisements.

  3. Gain Broader Reach
  4. Your responsive ads will dynamically change to fit in every single format; giving your content a much broader reach.

  5. Saves You Time
  6. Instead of creating hundreds of static banner display ads, you can create hundreds of Responsive Display Ads in a fraction of the time.

  7. Can be Used with Dynamic Remarketing
  8. If you are using Dynamic Remarketing for your Google Display Ads campaigns, using responsive ads makes set-up both easier and more efficient.

Google Display Ads Campaign

To create a Responsive Display Ad, all you need to do is upload your assets (images, headlines, logos, videos, and descriptions), and Google will automatically generate numerous ads to be shown on the Google Display Network.

To begin, sign in to your Google Ads account and select “Create a New Campaign”. In your new campaign screen, you are prompted to select your goals. For these ads, we typically select the goals of sales or leads. Your campaign type selection is “Display”, and in campaign subtype, you will select “Standard”.

create google display ads campaigns google ads

Set Targeting and Bidding

You will need to name your campaign, select locations to target and set your bidding strategy. If you would like more information and details on targeting settings and bidding strategies, we have several articles on our website and video tutorials on our YouTube Channel that provide in-depth explanations. Once you have finalized your targeting settings and bidding settings, you can create your responsive display ads.

Google Display Ads Targeting and Bidding

Creating a Display Campaign with Responsive Display Ads

Once you have all of your targeting and bidding set and your ads created, you will click on “Create Campaign”. You can now look at your campaign in Google Ads, add different Ad Groups and test out different audience targeting options. With Google Display advertising, it doesn’t always perform as well as Google Search. Instead of people searching for you or content similar to what you are promoting, you are targeting them. This is why we highly recommend testing as many aspects of your campaign as you can. And, you will have the option to create Google Responsive Display Ads when you create a new standard display campaign or smart display campaign.

create responsive display ads

Optimize Google Display Ads for Conversions

Also, it important to remember to optimize your ads for conversions, which you will do by trying different goals and utilizing different ad designs. Regardless, it is important to have responsive ads available since it is now the default Google Display Ad format. You can also adjust your campaign settings to ensure that your ads are being optimized for conversions.

ad rotation campaign settings

Google Display Ads Tutorial

If you want to see my complete tutorial for Google Display Advertising campaigns, you can watch the video below.

In Summary

There are plenty of reasons to use Responsive Display Ads. By creating one responsive advertisement, you get access to more inventory and you will see better performance. In terms of being a more efficient and effective marketer, responsive display advertisements for Google Display Network campaigns are vital.

If you would like more information, including access to additional tutorials on Google Display Ads, we invite you to subscribe to the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel.

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