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    When visiting websites, we often come across various advertising banners prepared by marketing agencies They contain animations, graphics and text boxes to encourage us to visit a particular site or buy a particular product. These ads are part of display campaigns – their main purpose is to display attractive content to specific audiences. In this article we will focus on the types of ads in display campaigns. A detailed specification of a display campaign, its advantages and settings can be found in one of the previous articles.

    display ads in google ads

    Display ad types

    Display ads can come in different forms, sizes and applications. Depending on the target audience, the size of the ad box or the goal you want to achieve, you will choose a different format. The most noticeable difference is whether the ad is static or changes (e.g., as an animation or video). It is also possible that we will decide to use a display campaign as retargeting (with a specific target group) or bet on the most classic banner ads. And these are just some of the forms.

    How to create

    Flexible ads

    Flexible ads are ads that Google creates based on the resources we upload. For flexible display ads, we need:

    • Company name (up to 25 characters in length).
    • Images – min. one in landscape orientation (1.91:1; 1200 x 628) and one square (1:1; 1200 x 1200). Maximum of 15 images.
    • Company logo – min. one in horizontal orientation (4:1; 1200 x 300) and one square (1:1; 1200 x 1200). Maximum of 5 logos.
    • Optional video in portrait or landscape orientation of up to 30 seconds.
    • Maximum of five headlines (up to 30 characters each).
    • Long header (up to 90 characters).
    • Advertising text (up to five, each up to 90 characters long).

    When all the required resources are added, Google will be able to generate flexible ads based on them. Thanks to the simplicity of preparation, this is the most popular type of display ads.

    Display ads

    Submitted display ads are creatives that will not adjust their size to the ad boxes – they will be displayed only in places whose size agrees with the ad size. Here we are assured that the ad we send will look exactly the way we want it to. Deciding on this option, we have a choice of:

    • AMP HTML ads, which are ads created using AMP (accelerated mobile pages). They load faster than regular ads, which is why they are mainly used in ads targeted to mobile devices.
    • HTML5 ads – more complex ads, often interactive, used to promote games and applications. To create them, you need to meet specific requirements, which I will outline later in the article.

    The exact specifics of allowed uploaded ads change from time to time. Google is constantly adapting the Google Ads system to new capabilities, so it’s a good idea to monitor for yourself the updated specifications

    Format and look

    Google allows you to upload advertising files yourself to be used in the advertising network. However, not all file formats, dimensions and contents are allowed. Google has prepared a series of guidelines that must be followed when preparing advertising.

    Classical banners

    The most popular and simplest type of display advertising on the advertising network. Usually, banners of this type are displayed at the top of a web page or in its margins. Most often they take the form of a rectangle, less common is the display of square banners. When preparing such a banner, be sure to choose one of the acceptable dimensions:

    • 200 x 200 (Small square)
    • 240 x 400 (Vertical rectangle)
    • 250 x 250 (Square)
    • 250 x 360 (Triple wide screen)
    • 300 x 250 (Mid-text banner)
    • 336 x 280 (Large rectangle)
    • 580 x 400 (Netboard)
    • 120 x 600 (Skyscraper)
    • 160 x 600 (Wide Skyscraper)
    • 300 x 600 (Half page ad)
    • 300 x 1050 (Vertical long banner)
    • 468 x 60 (Banner)
    • 728  x 90 (Long Banner)
    • 930 x 180 (Top banner)
    • 970 x 90 (Enlarged long banner)
    • 970 x 250 (Billboard)
    • 980 x 120 (Panorama for mobile devices)
    • 300 x 50 (Banner for mobile devices)
    • 320 x 50 (Banner for mobile devices)
    • 320 x 100 (Large banner for mobile devices)

    All dimensions above are in pixels.

    Video ads

    When using manual ad submission, we can choose HTML5 type creatives. These types of ads include an embedded video player, so we can display moving ads with sound. Video banners are only displayed on sites that have allowed this type of advertising resource, which means they have a more limited reach than regular graphic banners. There are three types of video ads in the advertising network:

    • Click to play – the user only sees a thumbnail of the video, one of the initial frames of the video. Only after clicking on it will the video begin to play.
    • Autoplay without sound – after loading the site and the content of the ad boxes, the video will start to play automatically without sound. Only when you click on the ad will the video “mute”.
    • Hover cursor to play – similar to the first case, the ad is initially static. Only when you hover the cursor over it, this one will begin to move and make a sound.

    Also, all video resources must include a clickable replay button, must not exceed the boundaries of advertising boxes, and the total duration of the video can be a maximum of 4 minutes.

    Creations must also meet technical requirements:

    • Download size: maximum of 40 KB loaded initially, up to 2.2 MB after uploading the whole thing together with the video.
    • Dimensions: 300 x 250 or 336 x 280.
    • Recommended aspect ratio: 4:3. Other ratios are also accepted, but may result in the addition of black bars to the image, supplementing the video to 4:3.
    • Border in one pixel width in contrasting color.
    • At least 14 frames per second, 30 fps recommended.
    • Sound encoded at a volume of -12 dB or less.
    • Animation with a maximum length of 30 seconds.
    • Initial graphics must not be animated.

    For each type of ad, the interaction requirements must also be met:

    • For “Click to play” ads: audio and video may only play when the user clicks, and “start” and   “stop” or “mute” buttons are required.
    • For the ad “Hover cursor to play“: the sound can turn on as soon as two seconds after the user hovers the cursor. When the user moves the cursor beyond the ad, the sound must mute. The video can start at any time if the animation is less than half a minute and the sound requirements are met.

    Google also checks the content of videos used in ads. Creatives are checked for, among other things, malware, HTTP cookies, landing page quality and language, etc. 

    Interactive multimedia ads

    Sometimes we come across an ad that is more elaborate than a graphic or video ad. It has more possible interactions, and clicking on its specific fields will produce different effects. The simplest example here are demo versions of games or applications, which allow us to “test” some features of the application. In addition to the main content of the ads, they usually also contain an icon and description of the application and a button with a call to action. We create such ads using manual HTML5 ad upload. However, preparing the appropriate file requires more advanced skills. A popular tool that allows you to create such ads is Google Web Designer, but the market offers many other options. 

    Because such ads display in full-screen mode on most devices, Google requires the use of appropriate HTML5 attributes. These include:

    • For vertical advertising: <meta name=”ad.orientation” content=”portrait”> or <meta name=”ad.size” content=”width=320,height=480″>
    • For horizontal advertising: <meta name=”ad.orientation” content=”landscape”> or <meta name=”ad.size” content=”width=480,height=320″>
    • For vertical and horizontal ads: <meta name=”ad.orientation” content=”portrait,landscape”>.

    Additionally, about interactive ads, it is worth knowing that they support (in addition to animation and static elements) also video and sound. The .zip file containing the ad can weigh a maximum of 5 MB and contain up to 512 elements. 

    Depending on whether you use Google software (Web Designer) or other systems to create such an ad, there are different requirements for HTML, uploading or buttons, among others. The exact requirements can be found in the article on HTML5 ads. I myself recommend using Google Web Designer – it is relatively easy to use, allows you to use most of the most popular components and the files it generates will definitely be compatible with Google Ads.

    Flexible native ads

    A native ad is one that adapts its appearance to that of the page on which it is displayed. Unlike the types of ads outlined above, we do not create it entirely ourselves. Our task is only to provide Google with the components from which it creates the ad itself, the appearance of which varies depending on where it is displayed. To create an ad, we need to prepare headlines, descriptions, images and company logos. The more options we prepare, the better. 

    Because native ads match the look and style of the page on which they are displayed, they provide a better user experience. Often visitors mistake ads prepared in this way for fixed page elements.

    Using flexible ads is much simpler and requires less time than preparing static banners or interactive ads. Providing basic resources, we get at least a dozen different variants of ads, which adapt not only in terms of appearance, but also in terms of the potential effectiveness of the ad.

    Flexible ads can be used in a variety of ways.

    Show off to the world with display ads!

    Discover the power of display in Google Ads! Contact us and create an effective campaign that will draw your business into the world of dynamic and attractive ads. Get users’ attention and achieve exceptional results with our experience and professionalism.

    Target group

    Display campaigns can also be divided according to the target group of the ads. By choosing the right audience, we can build brand awareness or remind users about our site. It is especially common to use this type of campaign for remarketing, which you can learn more about in the article “What type of remarketing to choose?“. From the article you will also learn more about the target groups and data segments that you should know when planning a display campaign.


    Types of ads we can use in Google Ads display campaigns are many. They differ not only in what the viewer sees, but also in how they are created or transmitted. Depending on the industry we want to advertise, we will choose different ad formats. Our choice should also depend on the target audience we want to reach. An ad aimed at an adult should look different when our goal is to get a contact to sell an apartment, and different when we want to reach a younger person who, enticed by colorful creations, is expected to download our new game. A universal recipe for effective advertising does not exist, however, I hope that the above article will allow you to independently choose the type of advertising that will be most appropriate for your case.

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    Patryk Żakowicz
    Patryk Żakowicz

    Hi! I have been involved in internet marketing for almost two years. I click on the computer and spend money that is not my own in such a way that it is most profitable for the owner of that money :) Despite a relatively short presence in the marketing industry, I have dealt with the largest Polish e-commerce companies. At UpMore I am responsible for managing projects including: in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Apple Search Ads.