Home Tutor & Tips Display Google Ads: 25 best practices for your responsive display ads

Display Google Ads: 25 best practices for your responsive display ads

by Sorbaioli
Display Google Ads: 25 best practices for your responsive display ads

Table of Contents

If there is one format that has existed since the beginnings of online advertising, it is display. However, one of the ways to do display on a large scale is to launch a campaign on Google Ads that targets the Google Display Network (GDN), capable of reaching 95% of the Internet population.

It turns out that for some time, Google has created a format called “responsive display ad”. This article tells you everything you need to know about this type of ad, available in Google Ads, to all advertisers.

What is the responsive display ad format on Google Ads?

Format: What does a Google Ads responsive display ad look like?

Responsive display ads are ads automatically created by Google Ads from information you provide. 

Responsive display ads are the default ad type for the Display Network. They will therefore be distributed on this network, being optimized to create a powerful ad at the time of printing.

Instead of uploading a “kit” of ready-made display visuals, you configure several elements of the ad such as titles, descriptions and images/videos. Google Ads then automatically generates combinations of ads whose size, appearance and format will be adjusted according to the available advertising space. For this type of ad, Google offers different formats depending on the medium:

These ads will be created and resized automatically by Google Ads for these formats using the elements that you provide: graphics, audios, videos, descriptions, titles, your logo, the final URL.

Where are Google Ads responsive display ads shown?

Google Ads responsive display ads run on the Google Display Network.

The Google Display Network is a group of over two million websites, news pages and blogs, videos, and over 650,000 apps. It’s on this inventory that your ads are likely to appear. be broadcast.

Indeed, by tapping into this network, you will reach more than 90% of people who browse and do all kinds of searches on websites, watch YouTube videos, consult their Gmail or an application. You can use different targeting options to choose on which audiences / on which placements your ads will be shown.

Each time, Google Ads optimizes your ad to maximize moment-of-impression performance, regardless of delivery placement.

Create a responsive display ad on Google Ads, step by step

It is very simple to create a responsive display ad on Google Ads. I invite you to watch the following video to see, step by step, the steps to follow in your account.

The elements needed to create a responsive display ad on Google Ads

1 / Systematically write 5 titles, 5 descriptions and a long title

Google support itself recommends providing as many unique titles, descriptions, and images as possible.

Be careful though! Responsive search ads may appear in different orders presented to users, so it will be important to ensure that they make sense individually, as well as when combined.

The principle consists in inserting several titles as well as several descriptions within the same ad. Google Ads then takes care of automatically testing them and making different combinations of titles and descriptions to memorize which will perform best over time.

It is mandatory to fill in at least 3 titles and 2 descriptions. However, you can specify up to 5 titles and 5 descriptions by clicking on the “Add title” and “Add description” buttons.

It is recommended to also create long titles because they can be displayed without the descriptions. 90-character titles often work best when they appear in the context of a publisher’s site.

As for the description that follows the long title, add a text different from the title because whether it is the titles or the descriptions, they are not always displayed in their entirety.

Below are more specific recommendations for titles and descriptions, images and logos.

2 / Resize your images in these two precise dimensions

 Avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that can hurt performance or simply lead to disapproval of your ad. Here’s how :

First of all, whether you import your own images or those from the Google library, pay attention to their proportions!

Google allows two image formats:

  • 91:1 (landscape): they must have a minimum size of 600×314
  • 1:1 (square): they must have a minimum size of 300×300.
  • One of your images MUST have an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. The rest can use either of the two.

After uploading your images, Google will resize them to fit particular ad sizes.

3/ Make sure the format of the images is in JPG, PNG or GIF (not animated)

Images and logos must be in one of the following formats:

  • PJEG
  • PNG
  • Non-animated GIF

So no TIFF, PDF, SVG, WebP, Animated GIF, BMP or any extension other than the three listed above.

In fact, no animated images are allowed to comply with advertising rules. In addition, the text (including logos with text) must not cover more than 20% of the image (your ad may be refused).

4 / Make sure your image files are less than 5MB

You will not be able to upload image files larger than 5MB.

The average size of an image is generally less than 1 MB; on the other hand, the videos are quite often likely to be too large to be accepted (if they are not already hosted on YouTube).

5 / Import at least your logo, and 5 images (and 15 images is even better)

Adding a logo will increase the number of placements your ad will be eligible for.

As we’ve seen, responsive display ads require at least two images and allow up to 15 assets. It is true that putting more image or video elements can often improve your responsive ad.

Google requires different aspect ratios for logos and images. Logos should be sized to one of the following sizes:

  • 4:1 (landscape)
  • 1:1 (square)

It is best to upload logos that have these dimensions. However, if you can only upload one version of your logo, choose a 1:1 logo.

Best practices related to the logo you upload for Google Ads responsive display ads

6 / Import a version of your logo in PNG (transparent background)

To give Google the most flexibility when auto-creating your display ads and ensure they look as good as possible in all configurations, it’s ideal that your logo is uploaded with a transparent background.

White backgrounds are also acceptable.

You cannot use any other background (such as colored backgrounds for example).

The white space around your logo should be 1/16th the size of the logo.

If you don’t want to calculate it exactly, that means your logo shouldn’t be contiguous with the edges of your image (like the 4:1 example) but should be centered in the middle of the white space around it.

8 / Do not add your logo on your images

Do not overlay a logo on an image you upload. This could lead to repetition and visual confusion, as Google will automatically overlay your logo element on your separate image elements in some ad layouts.

On the other hand, if you have an image where the logo is organically integrated into the photo, you can use it.

Also be aware that your logo may appear multiple times in some layouts.

Google Ads responsive display ad image best practices

9 / Your product / service must represent 80% of your image

The image is the most important element of a responsive display ad.

So the product or service you are promoting should be the main focus of your ad. As a general rule, empty space should not occupy more than 80% of the image.

Highly visual images with minimalist overlay text will illustrate the main purpose of your ads in a relevant way. This is how they will provide better results.

Remember that Google Ads has a bank of free images that can be consulted on the rich media ad gallery.

10 / Use images that are not blurry

The easier and more pleasant your images are to look at, the more they will make your ad perform.

The success of your ad therefore depends heavily on the quality of the image you offer: it must be very clear, very sharp, without a shadow of blur. They should also not be saturated with color, washed out or opaque.

11 / Use borderless images

Do not surround your images with a frame or round edges. The edges should be transparent and leave the image intact.

12 / Keep “natural” images, without filters

The image you upload, whether yours or taken from the image library, must be natural as it is offered, without changing the original colors and/or without putting a filter.

Always keep in mind that it is as clear as possible for the Internet user who will see your ad.

13 / Do not add an action button on your images

Never add an action button of any kind ON your image. Your ad would lose all its effectiveness because it would hide part of your product and no longer look “natural”.

In addition, the responsive display ad format already provides an action button that is added automatically.

14 / Do not add text on your images

Text, including logos with text, should not cover more than 20% of the image.

Avoid inserting text over an image.

  • On the one hand, it hides a part of the image that loses its impact;
  • on the other hand, this text is difficult to read because it is too small on small ads.

When the elements you have chosen are automatically combined by Google, the layouts vary:

  • so you don’t know exactly how this text will appear
  • moreover, your post may become repetitive when placed next to your title and description.
A word of advice: do not put text on the image of your responsive ad

15 / Do not use images from “collages”

The image element that you submit to Google Ads Display for your ad must contain only one single image.

Indeed, it must not be an element that contains images pasted and assembled inside a single image.

You can choose to take only part of an image which will then appear larger in a single image, but not to make a montage of several photos to make only one image-element.

The image element offered to Goggle Ads Display must only consist of a single image

16 / Do not add your logo on your images

We already noticed in §5 that adding your logo will increase the impact of your ad. However, it should not be added anywhere and anyhow!

Above all, do not superimpose a logo on an image that you upload. Google will automatically overlay your logo element, in some ad layouts, over your separate image elements. Hence the repetitions and visual confusions that will harm the visual and understanding of your ad.

On the other hand, if you have an image where the logo is organically integrated into the photo, you can use it without problem.

Best practices for copywriting Google Ads responsive display ads

17 / Write titles & descriptions for different stages of purchase

The goal of your Google Ads Display ads is to create a relevant and compelling message.

To do this, you need to adapt your ads to the different stages of the conversion funnel (discover > get information > compare > buy).

Indeed, if you broadcast the right message at the right time, you encourage your customers to react and you guide them towards the action that corresponds to their buying process (and your selling process).

18 / Add information related to your assets, your prices, your promotions

Your ads don’t have to be mysterious! On the contrary, give as much information as possible via your titles and descriptions.

Ads should provide the user with all useful information about prices, promotional codes, special offers, one-time sales, coupons, discounts, etc.

When an ad is clear and complete, the user is more likely to interact with it to make their own selection before clicking. In addition, it will help him to differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors.

So he can make an immediate and informed decision on the promotion or reduction you are making. It’s a win-win.

19/ If you have a store, combine responsive display ads with location extensions and insert locations into your ad text

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want to use your display ads to help drive in-store visits & offline sales.

Why ? For the person who wants to go to the store, it is always interesting to know the opening hours, to see photos and other information. This will drive more traffic to your store.

So how do you create this display ad? Please note that local ads for the Display Network may automatically include detailed business or product information from your Google My Business account or product feeds. 

There are location extensions in Google Ads that allow you to adapt the text of your responsive display ads based on the geographic location of your customers, their usual locations or their places of interest. Just configure this place insertion tool as shown here.

The advertisements are thus personalized because they are adapted to a geographical area or area of ​​interest. And, best of all, you can tailor your ads based on the city, state, or country where you want to show them.

Optimize your Google Ads responsive display ads

20 / Aim for “Excellent” ad effectiveness

Google Ads has implemented a metric to measure the effectiveness of your responsive display ad. This metric lets you know if an ad is set up correctly. The rating you will get ranges from “Incomplete” to “Excellent”.

Indeed, ad effectiveness includes three components:

  • an overall score,
  • a specific step to take to improve ad performance
  • and progress indicators for each item.

This rating changes as you create and edit your ad. The efficiency metric will offer you more efficient modifications and/or additions until you obtain the “excellent” rating.

So how do you make a poorly rated ad more efficient, and therefore more effective?

  • Add unique creative elements: the metric will be able to test many variations of ads and deliver the most relevant one to your users.
  • the metric also includes settings that allow you to configure high-quality items.
The responsive display ad effectiveness measurement metric offers improvements to make the ad perform better.

21/ Make sure your landing page matches your ad

The goal of your ad is to positively influence your users, increase your conversion rates, and ensure your Quality Score.

For this, when you create the ad, Google asks you to share a landing page to which your ad should point.

But now, this landing page must be carefully thought out and worked on to the smallest detail in order to contain the same message as the ad ! This means that your landing page text and call-to-action should match your ad text.

For example, if the text of your ad provides for a promotion on one of your products on March 26, your landing page must relate exactly to this promotion.

The landing page of your ad must match the promotion made in your ad

22 / Make sure to allow the system to generate videos automatically

Google’s responsive display ads are created with an advanced formatting option to automatically generate videos using your assets. Once selected, Google will create a video by combining your images, logo, and text elements.

To create an auto-generated video, you need to add at least to your responsive display ad:

  • a logo
  • and, at your choice, three images in landscape format
  • or four images in square format. 

On the other hand, be careful not to block the creation of these videos with some errors:

  • blurry images with too much text
  • logo on pictures
  • text and logo on the border of the image
  • pictures that look alike
  • words that are too long
  • etc

23 / Configure ad rotation to automatically optimize your campaigns

It is difficult, if you test many ads, to know which ones reach a sufficient level of statistical relevance.

This process can be fully managed automatically by the Google Ads system if you set the rotation of ads to “Optimize: favor the best performing ads”.

How to do it concretely?

  1. You can only set an exposure frequency limit in a display campaign after you create the campaign in the “Frequency management” section of your campaign settings.
  2. Then allow Google Ads to optimize the frequency of display ads to limit the number of times ads are shown to the same user. 
  3. You can let Google Ads optimize your ad serving frequency or set your own exposure frequency limit settings.
  4. For your Display campaigns, only impressions that were viewable count towards the frequency cap.

24 / Change the worst performing elements of your ads every month

Even the best performing ads falter over time. To prevent Internet users from getting bored (and improve your performance), you should remember to rotate ads regularly.

Have you learned for a while from your previous ad optimizations by making different creatives? So why not apply this valuable information to your new responsive display ads?

Tip: Every two or three weeks, include new display ads in your ad groups.  

Feel free to remove underperforming creatives and replace them. This will allow you to test and optimize your ads to see which ones deliver the best results.

Finally, use location extensions or local catalog ads to drive offline sales with your display ads, as discussed above.

25 / Boost Google Ads responsive display ads with a data feed

Google makes it super easy to turn your responsive display ads into dynamic remarketing ads.

In addition to providing a simplified setup process, responsive ads can help improve the overall performance of dynamic remarketing campaigns.

All you need to do is attach a feed (i.e. a database of your products and services) to your campaigns. Then let Google take care of the rest!

You can create a feed for all your products or services along with attributes, such as unique IDs, images, and prices. Using details from your feed, Google’s dynamic remarketing tool will create responsive ads with the most relevant content to serve to users who have visited your website before.

Take the example of an airline that creates a feed for its flights: Internet users who have visited their website will see ads containing information about the flights on which they have searched, viewed or viewed. they started booking.


Google responsive display ads appear on over three million websites, in over 650,000 apps, and on Google properties such as Gmail and YouTube. 

To improve the performance of your campaigns, create responsive display ads with Google Ads from information you provide to the Google tool: it combines them and automatically generates different versions of your ads depending on the type of device you are using. user will use.

Google Ads can automatically show the best performing ads in an ad group more often. 

The following video from Google Support summarizes all the creative best practices for creating responsive display ads.

Google Ads Display FAQs


Responsive ads are ads created by Google Ads from information you provide. 

Instead of setting up a complete ad, you present several elements of the ad such as titles, descriptions with relevant and convincing message as well as images/videos.

Google Ads then automatically uses these elements to create different versions of your ads by mixing titles and descriptions.


These ads are shown on the Google Display Network which is a group of over two million websites, news pages and blogs, videos, and over 650,000 apps.


  • The combinations of the elements provided to Google by yourself allow you to create varied ads to effectively reach the Internet users you are targeting.
  • The regular rotation of your ads by the Google tool makes it possible to present different ads for the same product without boring the Internet user, with automatic optimization by Google of the frequency of exposure of your ad, according to your performance.
  • If you have a brick-and-mortar store, your display ads will help you drive offline sales by showing all the information about your store’s location, product catalog, and more.


Certain constraints must be respected:

  • It is mandatory to fill in at least 3 titles and 2 descriptions. However, you can specify up to 15 titles and 4 descriptions.
  • Two image formats <5 MB (JPEG, PNG, non-animated GIF) are authorized: 91:1 (landscape) which must have a minimum size of 600×314 and 1:1 (square) which must have a minimum size of 300×300.
  • Crisp, borderless, natural images with no text, no action buttons.
  • A logo (landscape or square format) and 5 to 15 images/videos.
  • Text should not occupy more than 20% of an image.

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