Recently, Google rolled out a new ad format on the Google Display Network (GDN). Responsive ads come as a huge relief to digital advertisers thanks to the flexibility they offer along with the ease of setup. With such a large variety of screen sizes and content types, responsive ads are essential to increasing the reach and the effectiveness of your display advertising efforts.

So, what is a responsive ad?

A responsive ad does exactly what it sounds like: it’s an ad type that automatically adjusts to fit the available ad sizes and placements on websites across the GDN. Advertisers are now able to create one ad with an image, a logo, and text, leaving it to Google to select the most appropriate ad format to display (image, text, or native) to the target audience. In theory, responsive ads should outperform other ad types across the GDN, considering Google’s complicated algorithm chooses the most appropriate and best performing version of the ad depending on the device being used and where the ad is being served.

What are some benefits?

  • A huge benefit of responsive ads is the ability to access native ad placements on websites across the GDN. Native ads are unique, they grab attention, and most of all, they don’t look like a traditional ad. Native ads take on the format and feel of the website on which they are served, with the top priority being a seamless and non-interruptive user experience.
  • If you are a marketer who is pressed for time, responsive ads might become your new best friend. Because responsive ads take on an “all-in-one” method, advertisers no longer need to spend hours crafting numerous variations of the same ad in dozens of sizes to ensure they are eligible for all of the available ad slots.
  • The amount of content that responsive ads are eligible to show in a single ad is a dream come true. With a long headline and long description line, advertisers have the necessary space to highlight what makes their business unrivaled.


Are there any disadvantages?

With all of the great benefits of the responsive ad, there must be at least one disadvantage, right? Unfortunately, there is. Currently, Google doesn’t offer advertisers insight into which responsive ad format, size, or image was shown at any given time. If ad optimization is your favorite pastime, you may get frustrated with the limited data segments that Google is providing at this time for responsive ads. Subsequently, one of Google’s top priorities is an enjoyable user experience, and advertisers should feel confident trusting Google’s optimized algorithm to show the right ad at the right time in the right format.

How is performance so far?

The Digital Advertising team at G5 were early adopters of responsive ads and have seen some great results thus far. When running a split test between standard ad formats on the display network and the new responsive ad type, one account in particular saw a 44 percent higher click-through-rate, a 5 percent lower cost-per-click, and 12 percent more conversions.

Start utilizing responsive ads. You’ll be happy you did!

On January 31, 2017, Google revoked the option to create or edit any standard text ads currently on the Google Display Network. There isn’t a better time than now for advertisers who aren’t currently on the GDN to get their feet wet with a very simple and user-friendly responsive ad format; and for those advertisers out there who are still  novices when it comes to the Google Display Network (we’ve all been there), G5 has an entire team of trusted and experienced Google AdWords experts to help create, manage, and optimize your digital advertising campaigns.