You may have seen various digital marketing specialists discussing the latest changes to the Google Ads Editor. Among better filters, ‘ad strength’ features and better insights, version 1.5 also makes allowances for ‘image extensions’.
This reinforces the idea that design is becoming all the more important for search. Text ads, technically speaking, are no longer text ads. Unlike Google Shopping, in which the product image features heavily, text ads can have image extensions to bring the words to life.
Like the myriad rules for text ads themselves, these tiny avatars will be subject to certain rules in order to be ‘optimised’. Maximum image sizes, formats and quality will affect the ultimate click-through rates of your ads.
Before we go diving into this new extension, however, we should look at our display advertising on the whole. As a creative studio, we don’t believe in walking before we run. So how can we optimise our display ads to get better outcomes from Google?
First things first: what are display ads?
New to display advertising? Welcome aboard. When you sign up to a Google Ads account, you can choose text, display or Shopping campaigns.
If you go onto a website that supports banner advertising, you’ll likely see ads surrounding its content. This website will be part of the ‘Google Display Network’, a network of websites which accept ads from those who set up banner ads in the Google interface.
Typically, these ads will be relevant to the site they’re featured on – for example, shampoo ads on a health and beauty blog. You may have also noticed ads ‘following’ you. Let’s say you searched for running shoes, and now see ads appearing with images of shoes. That’s called remarketing, and it’s nothing to worry about!
How can I make my display ads better?
Display ads take a number of forms, for example long, skinny vertical banners or square shapes. You can upload your own designs into the Google interface and invite people to click through to your site.
We’ve designed hundreds of ads in our time, and can give you empirical data on what works. Based on trial and error, the following design facets will lead to better click-through rates and sales for your site:
Keep it simple, stupid
Don’t be offended – that’s a design principle, otherwise known as KISS! Your ads do not need to be full of text or feature hundreds of products. Keep the copy minimal and use only one illustration, with a clear call to action.
Use contrasting colours
People’s attention spans are short, so you need to grab them straight away. A surefire way to do this is to use contrasting colours. Think of the colour wheel – opposite colours include red and green, orange and blue, and yellow and purple.