Marketing

Best Tips for Creating Google Display Ads and Landing Pages

With Google Display Ads, you can do live, real-world market research on advertising styles, then plan your online ad strategy based on concrete numerical results.
Image credit: gilaxia | Getty Images
Author, Sales and Traffic Expert, CEO and Founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates

Assuming you're not a hands-on graphic designer, you have three good options when it comes to creating Google Display Ads and landing pages:

1. Use Google's Ad Gallery. Find it by going into an ad group within a Display Network enabled campaign and clicking the blue "+" button. You can use any of Google's free preset templates and insert your own images and text, or you can use Google's auto-create feature that automatically generates ads by searching your website and existing Search ads. (The results aren't always the best looking, but the tool is free, quick and easy.)

2. Find a budget designer. There's a plethora of online services that will create image ads for you. We like www.20dollarbanners.com and http://minibannerszen.com/, where for $20 to $30 a piece, you can have some nice custom designs crafted in a few days or even hours. Both of these websites have portfolio pages, which are worth perusing if you're short on ideas.

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3. Hire a pro designer. Find the right professional freelance graphic designer, one who takes time with the creative process and isn't grinding out dozens or hundreds of designs per day, and you can end up with some stunning and original images for your campaign.

Google has explicit rules on what is and isn't allowed in image ads. Check every one of your ads against Google's requirements before activating your campaign. Here are a few rules that Google Display Network (GDN) users most commonly fail to apply:

Technical specifications

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Content specifications

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GDN landing pages

Generally speaking, you don't want to send your display traffic straight to a sign-up form or product to be purchased. People who are clicking on display network ads are less ready to buy or hand over their personal information. They need to be given more useful, relevant and valuable content to consume. Treat it like a first date. Let them warm up to you, rather than trying to go straight for the sale.

It used to be that the prime goal of almost any smart site owner was to capture a visitor's email address on their first visit. That's changing. Most businesses are now happy to just cookie visitors and remarket to them instead. So the funnel now follows this sequence:

  1. Eye-catching display ad
  2. Webpage where you provide valuable content (without requiring visitors to take any action)
  3. Remarketing ad where you bring them back to see additional content
  4. Offer where they can give you their email or make a purchase

The point where you provide something of value and they give you their contact information is now more likely to occur on the second or third date.