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Demystifying Google Display Ads: Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet Made Simple

There are two types of players in sports: star players and playmakers. A star player scores the goals, nets the points, and wows the crowd. On the other hand, a playmaker may not be the fastest nor the top scorer, but they bring out the best in every other player on the field and serve as a catalyst for those wow plays.

Let’s say PPC is a sports team, and we’ll call them the Clickers. In this team, search would be the star player, while Display would be the playmaker. While search is effective in scoring points, the Display can bring out the best in every other player on the field and create the wow factor. Advertisers who know how to harness the power of Display, like PPC Beast, are the ones who ultimately win.

According to recent studies, 27% of consumers search for a business after seeing its display ad. Moreover, there is a 59% increase in conversion rates when users conduct a search related to a display ad.

Effectively utilizing display ads requires specific knowledge and expertise in online marketing. That’s why I, along with PPC Beast, have created this comprehensive guide to share valuable insights and techniques for successful display advertising campaigns. Whether you are new to this or looking to improve your current strategy, this guide, in collaboration with PPC Beast, will provide the tools you need to succeed.



What is Display Advertising?

Display ads are a type of advertisement that relies on visuals. These ads can be seen while reading an article on your favorite blog, watching a video on YouTube, or using a mobile app. They typically catch your attention with eye-catching graphics or images.



What do Google Ads Mean?

Google display ads are advertising on websites and apps within the Google Display Network (GDN). However, there are other display ad networks available as well.

The GDN, with the support of PPC Beast, is a massive network that includes over two million websites and apps and has the potential to reach up to 90% of internet users. While this can provide a vast audience for your brand, it can also be a double-edged sword. If not used carefully, display ads can target irrelevant consumers, costing you money and potentially harming your reputation. We will discuss steps to avoid these issues later in this post.



The Importance of Display Advertising

Many people might wonder why a business would display ads, given that they are often seen as less effective than search ads at driving performance. However, the importance of display advertising, alongside insights from PPC Beast, should be considered.

As with search advertising, display ads are typically shown to people while consuming content rather than actively searching for solutions. This raises the question: why should businesses invest in display ads?


Distinguish your Brand

In today’s competitive business environment, companies must set themselves apart from their competitors to catch the attention of potential customers. An effective strategy to achieve this goal is leveraging digital marketing display ads. These ads allow businesses to showcase visually captivating content and establish a distinctive brand presence that leaves a lasting impression on potential customers. By utilizing these ads, businesses can stand out from the competition and remain top-of-mind for their target audience.


Build brand Awareness

Display advertising offers an incredible opportunity to build brand awareness in the digital marketing space by providing extensive exposure to your target audience. Larry Kim, a renowned marketer, emphasizes that one of the most influential factors in purchase decisions is whether people have prior knowledge of your brand. Hence, it is no surprise that 84% of B2B marketers rank brand awareness as their top priority, followed by sales and lead generation.


Improve the Performance of Your other Ads

Enhancing brand awareness with the help of a Google Ads specialist, such as a PPC agency, can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your other advertising endeavors. People who are more familiar with your brand are increasingly likely to click on and actively engage with your other marketing campaigns, including search and social ads. Recent research has revealed that after viewing a display ad, approximately 27% of consumers conduct a search for the advertised business. Additionally, a search related to a display ad results in a remarkable 59% lift in conversion rates.

Interestingly, a specific metric is designed to measure conversions influenced by display ads: view-through conversions.



Achieve Outstanding Results by Leveraging the Power of Retargeting

It’s common for potential customers not to convert right away. Even if they click on your ad, they often leave your website without taking any action. That’s where retargeting display ads come in. This strategy, commonly used by PPC (pay-per-click) agency, allows you to target individuals based on their interactions with your website specifically.

For instance, let’s say someone viewed a product on your website but didn’t make a purchase. With online marketing retargeting, you can display an ad for that product to that user. It may seem eerie, but trust us; it’s incredibly effective. Just take a look at these remarkable remarketing statistics:

Based on research findings, retargeting display ads significantly amplified brand-related search queries by an impressive 1,046% and resulted in a remarkable 726% increase in website traffic.

Comparatively, the average click-through rate for retargeting display ads is 0.7%, which is ten times greater than the click-through rate of regular display ads at 0.07%.

Additionally, when a website visitor is retargeted with a display ad, the likelihood of them converting into a paying customer increases by 70%.”



Google Displays Ad Sizes & Formats.

Google offers two categories of display ads which include uploaded and responsive formats. Each format is available in a variety of sizes prescribed by the search engine.


Uploaded Display Ads

If you possess the necessary design resources to create display ads from scratch, uploading them to Google Ads Manager is the way to go. Google Display ads accept JPG, PNG, and GIF file formats; however, it is important to note that merely qualifying for a particular placement is insufficient. Unless an ad meets the size requirements specified for that placement, it will not be displayed. Therefore, to maximize your exposure, it is recommended that you upload a variety of differently-sized versions of each ad.


Responsive Display Ads

To make the process of creating display ads more enjoyable, you can work with a PPC agency that can use Google’s responsive display ads as the default ad type for display campaigns. You only need to provide visual assets in this format, such as images, logos, videos, and some basic ad copy. Google will then run tests using various combinations to identify the well-performing versions. The best part is that responsive display ads automatically adjust their size to meet the specific requirements of different web pages. This ensures optimal display and visibility for your ads.


Google Display Ad Sizes

If you intend only to run responsive display ads, move on to the next section. However, if you prefer more control over your ads and plan to take the uploaded route, you should know the 12 standard display ad sizes you must accommodate. They are as follows:


















Google Display Ad Costs

Similar to the Google search network, the Google display network operates on a live auction system. You are entered into an instant auction with other eligible advertisers when you meet the eligibility criteria for a particular ad unit based on your targeting parameters. Google utilizes your Ad Rank, determined by your maximum CPC bid and Quality Score, to determine your ad position and cost per click (CPC). This means you pay per click when someone interacts with your ad on the Google display network.

The actual cost per click is often lower than your maximum CPC bid. Ultimately, you only pay the minimum required to outrank the advertiser directly below you.

Based on data from WordStream, the average CPC on the Google display network is $0.63. In comparison, the average CPC on the search network is $2.69, which is over four times higher. This is because clicks on the search network are generally considered more valuable, as discussed earlier.



Google Display Ad Targeting

To make the most of your display ad budget, it’s important to layer your targeting parameters strategically. This lets you generate the most relevant impressions and clicks for your ads. Google provides five main groups of targeting, which can be categorized into two types: people targeting and contextual (topic/content) targeting. By effectively combining these targeting strategies, you can optimize the performance of your display ads and ensure they reach the right audience at the right time.


Contextual Targeting

Contextual display ad targeting offers three options:

Topic:¬†Display your ads on websites that are relevant to specific topics. For instance, if you’re promoting an upcoming music festival, you can target topics such as “music” and “live entertainment.”

Keyword: Display your ads on websites that are associated with specific keywords.

Placement: Target specific web pages, videos, or apps for displaying your ads. You can find more information about display ad placements here.

People Targeting

When it comes to people targeting, there are two options available. However, audience targeting is a more intricate subject we’ll cover shortly.

Demographic: Display your ads based on specific demographic factors such as age, gender, and parental status.

Audience: Serve your ads to individuals who have particular interests and behaviors.



Google Display Ad Audience Targeting

If you’re looking to utilize audience targeting for your Google display ads, there are various options that you can take advantage of. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

Affinity Audiences: Target people who share a common interest, such as sports, travel, or food.

In-Market Audiences: Target people actively looking to purchase a particular product or service.

Remarketing Audiences:¬†Use remarketing audiences to focus on people who have interacted with your business previously, whether by visiting your website or engaging with your ads. This way, you can target people interested in your products or services.”This approach presents an excellent opportunity to reconnect with potential customers who have already displayed interest in your products or services.

Custom Audiences: Create your custom audiences by mixing and matching various targeting options.


Excluded Audiences

Google Ads allows you to exclude specific topics and distance your brand from irrelevant or inappropriate content. This feature is particularly useful when you want to ensure that your ads align with the preferences and sensitivities of your target audience.

For example, if you were running ads for super deluxe ice cream or dessert products, you might consider excluding websites related to weight loss or healthy eating. By doing so, you can avoid being perceived as irrelevant or, in some cases, even insensitive.



“Steps to Build a Google Display Ad Campaign”

To set up a Google display campaign, log in to your Google Ads account and select the option for “New campaign.” When asked about your campaign objective, choose “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance” and select the “Display” option.


Here are the steps to begin:

  • Start by providing your website.
  • Then, name your campaign.
  • Choose your location targeting and language preferences.
  • Set The budget and decide on your bidding strategy.
  • Create your targeting parameters based on your preferences.
  • Next, upload your creative pieces and provide written content.
  • Lastly, review your work and publish it.



5 Google display ad best practices

Okay, now that we’ve discussed the technical aspects of display advertising, let’s shift our focus to some practical strategies you can employ to optimize your results and achieve higher returns.


1. Utilize Your Best-Performing Search Keywords

If you’re considering keyword targeting for display ads, starting with your top-performing search keywords is recommended. Your definition of “top-performing” may vary, but if a few keywords consistently drive low-cost clicks or conversions on the search network, it’s worth trying them on the display network too.

Consumer intent indeed varies between the two Google Ads networks. However, if clicks and conversions indicate success for your search ads, you can have confidence that the keywords driving those results are winners.


2. Take Advantage of Bid Adjustments

Once you have gathered sufficient data from your display campaigns, you can make informed decisions about their performance. This includes identifying which keywords perform well and which affinity audiences may not deliver the desired results. Bid adjustments provide a powerful tool to leverage this information and develop effective strategies.

By setting a positive bid adjustment on a specific ad group, you instruct Google Ads to increase your maximum CPC bid whenever an eligible ad is shown. Conversely, setting a negative bid adjustment tells Google Ads to decrease your maximum CPC bids for that particular ad group.


3. Analyze Your Referral Traffic

Google Analytics contains a vast amount of valuable information. For advertisers who use display ads, the referral traffic report (located under Acquisition > All Traffic) is an invaluable tool that provides important insights. It provides valuable insights and can be a valuable resource for display advertising campaigns. This report provides valuable information about websites that are linked to yours. It highlights the websites that cater to audiences who could benefit from your product or service.

These websites offer ideal platforms to display your ads. Since you know you’re advertising to audiences relevant to your product or service, you can have confidence that your impressions and clicks generate valuable returns.


4. Capture Attention with Your Value Proposition

Consumers have become accustomed to seeing display ads, which means that there is a risk of your prospects scrolling past your ads without even noticing them. To avoid missing out on potential opportunities and wasting your budget, it’s crucial to create attention-grabbing display ads that effectively capture your prospects’ attention. This is especially important if you bid on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. Partnering with a PPC agency can help you optimize your display ads and increase their chances of catching your prospects’ attention.

One great illustration of a well-crafted value proposition is from Royal Canin, who promises to “Support their health at every stage.”

The visual appeal of your display ads, including the color scheme and typography, is undoubtedly crucial. However, what may be less apparent is the significance of your value proposition. Your value proposition represents the advantage someone will gain by becoming your customer. For instance, if you’re advertising men’s boots, your value proposition could focus on the increased confidence of looking good.

Irrespective of your specific value proposition, ensure it jumps off the page and captures attention.


5. Focus on Headlines for Responsive Display Ads

When crafting a responsive display ad, you will be asked to create four pieces of copy:

  • Short headline (25 characters)
  • Long headline (90 characters)
  • Description (90 characters)
  • Business name (25 characters)

When it comes to headlines, there are two important points to consider:

  • Google Ads will never display both headlines simultaneously.
  • Google Ads may occasionally exclude your description.

As a result, it is crucial to ensure that your headlines can stand alone and effectively communicate your business’s unique value or the offer you are presenting.


Use Video

Utilizing video in your display ads can lead to remarkable results. Studies have shown that display ads with video achieve an impressive 89% higher click-through rate, as reported by Bannerflow. The good news is that creating a video display ad is simpler than you may imagine. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a recorded video. You can achieve the desired impact with basic text animation, movement, or GIF.



Five awesome Google display ad examples

No cheat sheet is complete without a bit of inspiration! This guide will share five examples of amazing Google display ads. We’ll also break down what makes them so effective, providing actionable tips you can implement immediately. Let’s dive in and get inspired!


1. uses stellar imagery

Our first example showcases an outstanding Google display ad from This ad demonstrates impeccable targeting, as encountered on a travel blog. The visually stunning images used in the ad instantly captivate viewers. Interestingly, there is no need for persuasive ad copy, as the affordable prices speak volumes. When they claim to offer cheap deals, truly delivers on that promise.


2.ClickCease taps into the power of fear

While reading a Search Engine Journal article, I saw a display ad from ClickCease. ClickCease is a software company dedicated to helping advertisers combat click fraud. What sets this ad apart is the clever use of emotional ad copy, successfully capturing attention and effectively conveying the value of its product. Fear, a persuasive emotion, ensures this ad leaves a lasting impression.

However, it is important to note a small critique: the ad lacks a brand name. While it is effective in its current form, it could enhance its trustworthiness by including a clear brand identity. By doing so, ClickCease can fully leverage the ad’s potential.


3. Wikibuy makes an undeniable value proposition

Get ready to compete with Wikibuy! What makes this Google display ad particularly successful is its simplicity. The ad features an uncomplicated value proposition: “Buy from us, and things are cheaper.” Despite the minimal copy, this message is communicated clearly and effectively, immediately catching the eye of its audience. Interestingly, the brand name takes a backseat to the value proposition. This approach is worth noting, particularly for those in fiercely competitive markets.


4. Alteryx nails the headline (and offer)

This specific display ad is from Alteryx, a software solution designed for data science and analytics. Firstly, the headline in this ad is attention-grabbing and creates a sense of aspiration. It’s always beneficial to infuse some aspirational sentiment into ad copy. Secondly, the subhead effectively presents a strong value proposition: Alteryx makes data analysis easy. Lastly, instead of immediately asking for a purchase, Alteryx smartly utilizes the content marketing funnel by offering an ebook. This approach adds value to the customer’s journey and helps build relationships before making a direct sales pitch.


5.LinkedIn makes it personal

As someone working in the B2B marketing industry, I was immediately intrigued by this ad I encountered using, a tool I rely on for daily tasks. This ad employs a clever psychology copywriting tactic known as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It taps into the fear that no marketer wants to be left behind as a late adopter. No wonder this ad has an incredibly high click-through rate – it effectively captures attention and generates a sense of urgency.



Discover effortless and cost-free tools to create captivating Google display ads

We seek an easier way to create Google display ads that won’t break the bank. We hear you. We love display advertising, but we understand that it can be daunting and time-consuming, especially for small or medium-sized businesses that need more resources.

The good news is that several free tools, in partnership with PPC Beast, allow you to create your own Google display ads easily. Here are two of our favorite picks:

  1. Creatopy: A drag-and-drop solution that includes free fonts, stock photos, and animations, making it easy to create professional-quality visuals that work across platforms.
  2. Canva: With thousands of flexible banner ad templates, you can unleash your creativity and design eye-catching display ads effortlessly, ensuring your campaigns shine in the online landscape.



Customize your design to match your brand’s aesthetics.

Once you’ve designed your ad, it’s time to launch your campaign! If you’re looking for more tips and strategies, check out these helpful resources:

  • 6 Google Display Network Mistakes to Avoid
  • 5 Google Display Ad Best Practices That Always Work
  • I’ve Designed 100+ Display Ads. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

Good luck, and happy advertising!



When Seeking a PPC Agency Nearby, Consider PPC Beast as Your Choice.

Experience a transformative journey by scheduling a call with PPC Beast, the leading online marketing and digital marketing PPC (Pay-Per-Click) agency. Our expert team is here to guide you through the exciting realm of pay-per-click advertising. As a dedicated PPC agency, we boast a team of accomplished Google Ads specialists who are committed to helping you achieve your objectives. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting conversions, we’re here to support your business growth.

With a comprehensive approach to online marketing strategies, we harness the power of tools such as Google Ads Manager to ensure your campaigns thrive. Our collaborative partnership is focused on bringing your entrepreneurial dreams to life. We understand the challenges you face in the competitive digital landscape, and that’s why we’re dedicated to tailoring effective solutions that yield results.

Join hands with PPC Beast and explore the endless possibilities of online marketing. From crafting compelling ad copy to strategic bidding techniques, we’re here to provide insights that drive success. Let us empower your journey towards a thriving reality, where your business not only survives but flourishes in the digital era.

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