What are Responsive Display Ads? Detailed Implementation Guide

What are Responsive Display Ads? Detailed Implementation Guide
June 2, 2019 MadMarTech

What are Responsive Display Ads?

Responsive Display Ads are the default ad copy type on Google display Ads. The ads are automatically created once advertiser upload images, text, and logo. You could upload up to 15 images, 5 logo variations, and 5 headlines. Permutation and combination of different elements are made to create multiple ad copies. These ad copies are tested for a period of time and after the testing period, Google shows the ads that have a high engagement rate.

Once created, these ads could be used for multiple different campaigns including dynamic campaigns and remarketing.

After you input the elements, it looks like this: (desktop formats example)

complete set up of responsive display ads

Benefits of Using Responsive Display Ads

Automation with daily monitoring is the key to success. There are a lot of benefits of using responsive ads in your next display campaign.

Responsive Ads Save Time

In a matter of minutes, you could create multiple ad formats for mobile and desktop. You could get your display ad up in no time. MNCs who pay creative agencies by the hour, could reduce the number of hours and optimize project management.

Save Money by Using Responsive Ads

Brands pay a lot of money to create ad copies to creative agencies. We have already seen that the benefit of saving time, but this also saves money. Imagine having to pay for 10 different ad copies which could be created automatically within seconds.

With Responsive Ads, You could expand Reach

There are so many different types of formats out there in the display network. Not all publishers accept the same formats. By uploading only the key formats like MPU or billboard, you are limiting your campaign reach significantly. This issue is solved by Google Responsive Display Ads as they can resize into any possible format.

Optimized Results

Google has a testing period for ad copies. The elements you add, the longer will be the testing period. In any case, Google will select the ad that performs the best with the users and displays this ad during the campaign period to get optimized results for your campaigns.



How to Create a Responsive Display Ad?

It is pretty easy to create responsive display ads. Before we get started, make sure you have the relevant images and transparent logo.

Use “+” sign in the Ad section, and choose “Responsive display ad.


How to create responsive ad

Once you choose the responsive display ads, it expands to the following window:

responsive display ads window

Insert the custom landing page URL for the campaign in the “final URL” section.

After this, insert up to 5 headlines with long headline and description. It is a good idea to add your brand name in the “Business name” section.


responsive display ads inputs


Now it is time to add the images. In the window, click on “Add images and Logo”. There are multiple ways to add images and the easiest way is to use your landing page. Google will pull out all the images that you could use for your responsive ad.

responsive ads image upload


You could also upload campaign specific images using the “Upload” tab. You would need the following:

  1. 1 image in the landscape format, 1200×620 is ideal but the minimum required size is 600×314.
  2. 1 image in square format 1200×1200 is ideal but the minimum required size is 300×300
  3. 2x transparent logo with one for landscape and one for square. Same sizes as mentioned above for each of the formats.

Once you have uploaded the above images, right-click and assign the relevant images as logo and images accordingly.

responsive display ads image assign


The interface starts displaying all the key formats on mobile and desktops. Google uses multiple text copies that you have input in the interface and does multiple combinations of them and displays it like this:

responsive ad mobile formats


How responsive ads looks on deskptop


Now it is time for the final step: To add a call to action button. Google has a wide range of CTAs to choose from.

In order to add a CTA, scroll to the bottom and click on the “More Options” text. A mini window will open up. Followed by this, click on “Call-to-action-text”, choose the one suitable for your campaign.

call to action options on responsive ads


We will choose “Shop Now” button and Voila! Our Responsive Display Ads are ready to use. Assign these ads to any ad group you like and start testing them.


complete set up of responsive display ads




Responsive display ads are powerful and efficient. It saves time and money and gets your campaign up and running in no time. Here are some best practices for responsive display ads:

  • Use the same text copies and test with at least 3 different images to know which image performs better
  • Create another set of ads with same images and at least 2x different ad copies to check which one performs better.
  • It is recommended to add at least 5 different ad copies so that Google has a good amount of data to work with. This may have a longer testing period but will help you identify the best performing Ad.
  • Use a mix of responsive ads and key display formats in your Ad group.

If you would like to know more about different available formats on the ad networks, check this post. Do not forget to read the best practises for display creatives before you start with your ad design.