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Google Responsive Display Ads- Do They Get Better Results?

I've found that recently Google has been focusing on their Responsive Display Adverts as a priority for marketers promising improved campaign performance when compared to standard display campaigns.

Heres my thoughts....

What are responsive Display Ads?

The adverts use both a text and an image insert and serve as a kind of a mix between text and display advertising, like the example image above. They are a lot quicker to set up as you no longer need to create numerous banner assets to accommodate for all of Googles ad inventory. Simply by uploading your logo, image, headline and description then Google takes care of the rest.

The Google Display network utilises around 20 different types of banner dimensions so most teams are not able to effectively tweak and optimise their campaigns on an ongoing basis to be utilised across all the GDN inventory. This is where the Responsive Display format really helps...

According to Google " When you create a responsive display ad by uploading different assets into Google Ads, Google uses a machine learning model to determine the optimal combination of assets for each ad slot based on predictions built from your performance history."

Mobile ad sizes according to Google

Desktop ad sizes according to Google

How well do Google Responsive Display ads perform?

First off you will notice impressions will be significantly higher compared to standard display campaigns, why might you ask? Well Google is increasingly prioritising its inventory to use responsive ads which means your ads will be shown in more places more frequently. This increased optimisation in ad inventory helps improve click through rates (CTR) too, you'll most likely notice your CRT will increase when compared to previous display ad types.

Targeting Options

Interests:  Interest targeting matches your ads to users who recently started viewing sites of the same topic. It’s a perfect fit for finding new customers who have just begun to be interested in something.

Affinity: Affinity targeting is similar to interest targeting, but it matches your ads to users who persistently visit sites of the same topic. These you could consider as your more experienced, involved users.

Custom audience: Target users who engage with specific websites or relevant keywords, for example target an audience who engage with your competitor websites.

Will Responsive Ads work for my industry?

Considering the above, Responsive Ads simply aren’t a good fit for all companies.

For some companies when considering a brand safety perspective, it may be unacceptable to not know all combinations of images and text that are going to show up. For these businesses they would rather control all aspects of the ads from start to finish. So by implementing standard display banner ads are most likely going to be the best way forward for them on the Google Display Network.

Another common challenge around Responsive Ads is in regards to regulations. In some industries advertisers may be required to disclose legal information in their adverts. When considering Responsive Ads, this could be a downer, as they would most likely use up all text space with regulation info.

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