How to create image ads for Google AdWords

Cheryl Luzet - 5 June 2015

With an eye-catching image and a compelling call to action, you can attract clicks from all over the web by advertising on Google’s Display Network. Here’s how it works: you create image ads for Google Adwords using an automated tool, then decide where and when you want the ad to appear. And that’s it: once your image ads are up and running you’ll reach a wider audience than you would by using text-based ads on Google’s search network, and because it’s such a visual medium, you’ll be able to show off your products in a way that text alone simply can’t do.

Image ads made easy

You don’t have to be a whizz at Photoshop to create image ads for Google Adwords: Google’s automated ad generator makes it easy.

If you already have a text ad with the text and landing page you want to use for your image ad, the whole process is really quick and simple – you can get Adwords to produce an image equivalent with the tick of a box. Go to the ad and select it using the tick box. Under the More Actions tab you’ll find an option to Generate Display Ad. It’ll scan your landing page and lift an image for you to use, then present you with a preview of a few different designs so you can fine tune the design picking the elements you want.

If you don’t have an appropriate text ad sitting in your account, don’t worry. You can generate image ads for Google Adwords using the Display Ad Builder.

Dimensions and formats for your image ads

You can create image ads in a number of different dimensions to be shown on websites across Google’s Display Network. There’s a long list of different shapes and sizes such as long banners, tall ‘skyscrapers’, and different sized squares and rectangles. You might find it tempting to skip some of these; however we’d recommend that you maximise your exposure by creating ads in every image dimension. Don’t forget some people will be viewing your ad on a mobile, some on a tablet and some on a desktop computer: it’s important for your ad to be viewable on all of these devices so that you’re not missing out on potential customers. You can read a list of all the usable dimensions and image formats on Google’s Adwords Help site.

Choosing your ad placements across the Display Network

Once you are happy with your image ads, you need to decide which sites across the Display Network you want them to appear on and when. You can specify keywords for contextual targeting – where audiences will see your image ads based on their relevance to the content of the websites they’re browsing. Or if you like you can opt to specify particular sites where you’d like to place it. These are just two of a number of different options for placing your ads, some of which are really sophisticated and can help you to target your audience very specifically. A representative from Google will be able to help you decide which placement options might work best for you.

Free support from Google

Google offer a free consultation service for anyone wanting to create image ads for Google Adwords. You can get one-to-one support setting up your ads by calling 0800 169 0491 during office hours, and we’d suggest you take them up on it – if it’s your first time creating image ads they’ll be able to guide you through the process and offer their insights on your own particular products and ads.

Making image ads work for you

As with all pay-per-click advertising formats, it’s important to ensure that your ads are profitable. While it’s tempting to sit back and let Adwords get on with it, we can’t stress enough the importance of monitoring your image ad performance to ensure that you’re getting a decent return on your investment. Clicks are great but conversions are what you’re looking for – don’t forget you’re paying for every click but the purpose behind this is to get people to convert by making an enquiry or buying your product.

Google have made it easy for anyone to create image ads for Google Adwords, with automated tools and the free support, but it’s important to make image ads work for you. Wagada is a Google Partner, which allows us to deliver an effective and trustworthy service to our clients. If you’d like help managing your Adwords account, just contact us for a chat.