What are Responsive Display Ads and When to Use Them

Find out how you can widen your reach and use the Google Display Network more effectively…

As more and more businesses flock to take advantage of the benefits of online advertising, as well as competing to appeal to the influx of online shoppers, the sector is becoming overcrowded, and the competition is becoming tougher than ever before.

However, Responsive Display Ads can be a useful marketing tactic for savvy businesses hoping to stand out amongst the crowd.

We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this paid advertising solution from Google, and how you can utilise Responsive Display Ads in your marketing strategy.  

What are Responsive Display Ads?

Responsive Display Ads are typical Google Display Ads, just combined with visual and text elements. They are created automatically, using assets that you have uploaded, and can be used in both standard and smart display ad campaigns.

Another interesting feature is that they can automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to ensure they fit all available ad space on the Google Display Network (GDN).

What are the advantages of Responsive Display Ads?

They come with a handful of benefits for businesses and online retailers. From the ease of use to improving the overall performance of display campaigns, here are the key advantages:

  • Quick to create – supporting over 20 different ad sizes, there’s no heavy lifting involved when creating a Responsive Display Ad. Simply select your assets and sit back as Google automatically optimises things for you.
     
  • Provide a great source of affordable traffic – they can achieve great exposure for your business, appearing as a medium rectangle, leader board and wide skyscraper.
     
  • No need to use internal resources or outside designers – a great solution for smaller companies that may not have the resources. All you need is a selection of high quality images and a logo, and you’re good to go.
     
  • Broader reach – thanks to the ability to upload multiple assets, and the automatic resizing, responsive ads can appear in a wide range of online platforms, placing your ads in front of an even wider audience.
     
  • Compatible with dynamic remarketing – additionally, you can use your Responsive Display Ads to support dynamic remarketing by attaching a feed to your campaigns. Your ads will appear in both dynamic and static formats.
     

Responsive Display Ads on Laptop

What are the disadvantages of Responsive Display Ads?

Of course, there are also a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. For example:

  • Lack of control – sometimes, you won’t have control over the combinations that are made from your provided visual assets. This can result in text being randomly paired with images.
     
  • Less insights on campaign performance – while you will receive an overview of your ad performance, the data segments provided by Google are somewhat limited, which may restrict your reporting abilities.

Overall, the advantages certainly outweigh the negatives. However, you can rely on the support of PPC professionals to ensure your Responsive Display Ads are optimised to reach their full potential.

How to create Responsive Display Ads

Now you understand a little more about them and what they are, it’s time to learn how to create them. Below, we’ve outlined a step by step list on how you can create your own ads.

  • Sign into your Google Ads account.
  • Click “all campaigns”.
  • Next, select “display campaigns”, and select a campaign that you want to add Responsive Display Ads to.
  • Click “ads & extensions”, then click “ads” and click the plus button.
  • Select “responsive display ad”.
  • Now, choose an ad group.
  • Add and save your chosen images.
  • If you want to add a YouTube video, select the plus button under “images and logos” and include your YouTube video link.
  • Complete the rest of your ad information.
  • Preview your ad and click “save”.
Screenshot of Creating a Google Responsive Display Ad
Image source: Google


While the steps involved in creating an initial campaign may seem simple enough, it’s the maintenance and optimisation that follows that can often be tricky and time consuming for businesses to handle.

Responsive Display Ads vs Display Ads

When deciding between Responsive Display Ads and Display Ads, there is one key difference: the former are more versatile. As we’ve previously mentioned, they can automatically adjust their size to fit the available space on a website that is part of the GDN.

Standard Display Ads, while having their own undeniable set of benefits, do not have the same level of versatility.

Depending on your unique goals, this will determine whether standard display advertising or responsive display advertising is better for you.

When to use Responsive Display Ads

So, when is the best time to use them? If you’re looking to get an amazing campaign up and running without having to invest too much of your businesses time and resources, then Responsive Display Ads could be the perfect choice for you.

Additionally, if you’re looking to increase your reach and cast a wider net, then you can take advantage of Responsive Display Ads to reach users on all types of devices.

Do you need help with maximising your results from Responsive Display Ads?

The team at Diginius have years of experience navigating the paid online advertising landscape, providing professional PPC management services to a wide range of businesses. This includes assisting with the creation, monitoring and optimisation of Responsive Display Ads.

Contact us today for more information and to find out how we can elevate your success online.