Google has recently released responsive display ads (RDAs) for everyone to use, which has opened up a new world of possibilities as far as advertisers are concerned. Those who regularly have to create different ads for desktop and mobile devices will benefit the most here, as responsive ads are designed to resize automatically depending on the screen size they’re being viewed on and where they are positioned.

The news has also been welcomed by advertisers worrying about how they were going to create compelling ads from next year, when Google will stop hosting Flash-created ads. Responsive ads allow for the upload of an image and a logo, in addition to headlines and descriptions, so advertisers are given more freedom to create than ever before. With around 60% of searches now being made on mobile devices, RDAs look set to be an invaluable addition to the paid media arsenal.

In addition, beta data showed that responsive display ads garnered a 20% increase in conversions at a competitive CPA, versus the text ads that had been used previously. This makes them an even more attractive option for advertisers looking to maximise value for their clients.

It’s important, though, that if you haven’t started experimenting with these ads yet, you get started soon. From October 26th, you will no longer be able to create standard text ads, so it’s vital to begin A/B testing so you can hit the ground running.

What are the RDA copy limitations?

RDAs are notable for ramping up advertisers’ ability to be creative, without sweating about character limits. Let’s dive into the facts and figures:

  • Short headline: Up to 25 characters
  • Long headline: Up to 90 characters
  • Description: Up to 90 characters
  • Business name: Up to 25 characters
  • Image: Up to 20% can be covered in text

This represents a significant amount of ad content, with up to a potential 205 characters available to use (excluding the business’s name). Given the ease with which the ads can be created, advertisers should be able to come up with ever-more compelling examples much more quickly than before.

Things to consider

The recommended image size for these ads is 1200 x 628, so it can easily be resized according to the device it’s being viewed on. It can be cropped up to 5% on each side, so if you’re intending to add text to the image, don’t put it too close to those edges.

Although images and text are intended to be used in RDAs, there may still be times when the ad shows just the text without the image. You should therefore ensure that the text works independently of the image.

Similarly, though you have a lot of freedom to be creative with your wording, Google has stated that text may still be cut off if the screen used to view the ads is too small (there are limits to the ads’ responsive resizing). CTAs and the most important information should always be positioned at the front of a line, so there’s no chance of it disappearing.

Travis Eyles, one of our Paid Media Executives, has the last word:

“Google’s responsive ads are a great addition to the platforms inventory. Not only will they provide quick and easy means to get up and running on the display network, but they will also allow advertisers to create single ads that can display effectively across multiple website and content types, a powerful tool in this day and age.”

If you’re interested in the possibilities that responsive display ads represent for your campaigns, get in touch with us via @rocketmill now for more information. Alternatively, if you’re already using them, how are you finding them? We’d love to hear from you!