Google Display Ads Cheat Sheet: everything you need to get started

Browse articles in:
Home > Knowledge Base > Technical Marketing > Google Display Ads Cheat Sheet: everything you need to get started

Google Display Ads Cheat Sheet: everything you need to get started

Google Display Ads….everybody has heard about it, but very few actually know how to set them up correctly. Whether you are a Google Advertising Specialist or just getting started on your first campaign, a great way to strategically spend your ad budget starts with knowing which image sizes and formats work best.

Why is size important?

The Google Display Network supports over 20+ size types but in reality, only a handful of those are popular, fit into commonly found ad space and thus are seen by your audience. Size impacts everything from where your ad is placed, how many viewers see it, how often it is seen and even whether it will display on mobile!

Not well known, is that Google themselves have published a report on the top performing ad sizes. The report details the top 5 most popular ad sizes and these should be considered as a great starting point for your Google Display campaigns, especially if you have limited resources or are time-poor.

Google’s Display network currently supports two types of Display ads. Specifically, the Standard Display ads and a recently launched offering known as ‘Responsive Display Ads’. The latter launched in late 2019 and requires the advertiser to upload additional elements such as a logo and ad imagery in specific sizes. Requirements for both Ad types – Responsive Display Ads (RSA) and Standard Display Ads are provided in our comprehensive Google Display Ads Cheat Sheet below. Starting with Responsive Display Ads first is recommended if you might not have the time or resources to turn-around creative for Display Ads quickly.

The Google Display Ads Cheat sheet makes setting up Google Display Ads super easy, with all the necessary information around formatting, image sizing specifications and other details in one place:

Ad TypeSize RequirementsFormatting & Text Requirements
Responsive Display Ad (RSA)

  • Combination of text and display ad type
  • RSAs appear as native ads on one page and a whole page ad on another, suitably increasing the reach of your ad
  • Uses machine learning to dynamically create the optimal ad using the assets available
(Landscape)
1200 x 628 Ad Image
&
512 x 128 Logo
(Square)
1200 x 1200 Ad Image
&
1200 x 1200 Logo
Both logo and ad images required
Max file size 5120 KB
3-5 short headlines (max 30 characters) required
3-5 descriptions (max 90 characters) required
Medium Rectangle

  • Easily available and sizable ad inventory from advertisers
  • Performs well when embedded within text content or at the end of articles
300 x 250Max file size 150 KB
PNG,GIF & JPG/JPEG supported
Large Rectangle

  • Easily available and sizable ad inventory from advertisers
  • Performs well when embedded within text content or at the end of articles
  • Does not display on mobile
336 x 280Max file size 150 KB
PNG,GIF & JPG/JPEG supported
Leaderboard

  • Easily available and sizable ad inventory from advertisers
  • Performs well when placed above the main content and on forum sites
  • Does not display on mobile
728 x 90Max file size 150 KB
PNG,GIF & JPG/JPEG supported
Half Page Ad

  • Allows for larger space to communicate your message
  • Offers users a rich engagement experience
  • One of the fastest growing sizes by impressions
  • Does not display on mobile
300 x 600Max file size 150 KB
PNG,GIF & JPG/JPEG supported
Large Mobile Banner

  • Can be used as an alternative to the medium rectangle type ad
  • These ads offer twice the height of standard mobile leaderboard ads
320 x 100Max file size 150 KB
PNG,GIF & JPG/JPEG supported

What else can I do to get Display Ads running quickly and performing?

Here’s some useful tips to make the best out of your GDN campaign:

  • Upload your standard ads in high definition sizes for clear and crisp images that stand out
  • Upload the five most popular standard image sizes (detailed above) first, as these can be automatically resized to fit 95% of available ad placements
  • If you’re time poor or don’t have a graphic designer in-house, we recommend starting with Responsive Display Ads as these will pull images from your website directly for a majority of the ads. The only necessary assets are a Logo and a Landscape or Square ad image.
  • Upload images with a strong visual focus and minimal text overlay as these tend to perform better
  • Ensure the message on your landing page matches the message in the Ads
  • Rotate in fresh display ads every few weeks to prevent customers from ad-fatigue

While the initial process of getting started can seem tedious, we hope that this cheat sheet will help make the process that much easier and seamless. While in this cheat-sheet, we’ve only discussed the most popular ad sizing for standard display ads and RSA sizing, we recommend that overtime and given sufficient budgets that you A/B test ads in varying sizes, colors, and creative to see what works best for your business.

Information on the other supported sizes for Standard Display ads can be found here.

Tactic Lab is a full-stack digital analytics and marketing agency based in Australia. This knowledge base was developed as a resource for both our clients and anyone else wishing to improve their measurement, strategy, marketing and digital assets.

Have comments/questions/topic suggestions? Get in touch with us:
Browse articles about: