Google makes Responsive ads easier — and squarer

Google has introduced changes to AdWords Editor making it easier to create responsive ads from existing text ads. And where before a simple (1.91:1) landscape image was the sole requirement for a responsive ad, Google is now testing mandatory inclusion of a second (square format) image.

New Responsive ad requirements (screenshot provided to Search Engine Land by Jonah Pessin, HeBS digital).

If you’re creating your ads in AdWords Editor, Google now enables an export of your existing text ads (old format and/or expanded text) in responsive format — just fill in the missing fields (including business name and image links), re-import into Editor and post to AdWords. Easier still, ask us to do it for you.

Beta testing is also underway requiring select advertisers provide a square image in addition to a landscape image. This will provide more options for ads to display on mobile devices, in particular.

Why should you care?

Advertisers who’ve been sitting on the fence since Google launched responsive ads back in July are running out of excuses for further procrastination.

If you already have standard size display ads on the Google Display Network, consider adding responsive ads as well. They will be automatically reformatted to suit a range of different ad sizes, placements and devices.

What’s needed to get started? Some text: a short 25-character headline which will be replaced by a longer 90-character headline when space allows, and a 90-character description. And a 1.91:1 (landscape) image greater than 600 x 314 (we recommend 1200 x 628), though its likely that Google will also require al advertisers also provide a square image soon. Optionally, advertises can provide a logo (which must be square and 128 x 128 or greater).

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.