April 22, 2019

How to Create & Edit Google Display Ads

Learn How to Create & Edit Google Display Ads in this week's blog.

This week, get an in-depth lesson on how to create and edit responsive Google Display Ads. Our team has put together a step-by-step guide to finding success with Google Display Ads.

Here at Momentum Digital, we believe in empowering the small business owner. One way we like to do this is by teaching you valuable skills that will help your business succeed. As a small business owner – you must be thinking how and why should my business be using the Google Display Ad network?

Display Ads are the visual banner or side-bar ads you see on advertising-supported websites. Google states that display ads span across 2 million websites in total, reaching 90% of all internet users.

Displays ads are a valuable tool – they help businesses promote themselves without a potential customer having to search for a specific brand or keyword.

Display ads are valuable because they get in front of users while they are going about their daily business, not only when they are specifically looking for something.  For example, when scrolling through your favorite blog or website, you are most likely going to see an ad for a product or service along the sidebar, header, or even in the middle of the webpage. These ads are display ads.

This is a great potential opportunity for businesses who are looking to convert their audience into customers, build brand awareness, increase impressions, or drive traffic to their website.

Sound like something your business could benefit from? Amazing – let’s get started.

Review our guideline for running a new Google Display Ad Campaign below!

Google Ads Display Network

Here is our 7-step, in-depth guide to creating a responsive Google Display Ad campaign:

1. Log in to Google Ads

Log into your Google Ads Account from the Google Ads interface.

2. Select your Google Ads Account

On your Google Ads dashboard, select “accounts” from the menu on the left-hand side.

From here, if you have a manager account, select the account name located next to the Google Ads logo in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. This will display a drop-down menu of all of the Google Ad accounts you currently manage. From here, you can select which account you would like to create the campaign for.

If you are a small business owner managing only your business’ account on Google Ads, disregard this step.

3. Go into your Google Ad Campaigns and create a new Campaign

On the left, navigate from “Overview” to “Campaigns.”

From here, select the blue “+” button on the campaign dashboard. A pop-up will appear giving you the option to select “New Campaign” or “Load Campaign Settings.” Select “New Campaign” to create your new Google Display Ad Campaign.

new google ads campaign

4. Creating Your New Google Display Ad Campaign

Select Your Goals

Display Ad campaign goals

When it comes to choosing the goals for your Google Display Ads campaigns, here are some general guidelines:

The Best Performing Goals:

Product and Brand Consideration – Promote your business’ products or services.

Website Traffic – Promote people in your desired audience to visit your website.

Brand Awareness – Put your business in front of a large group of people to build awareness.

Low Performing Goals:

Sales – Drive sales via an app, a website, by phone, or in store.

Leads – Get leads and conversions by using CTAs.

App Promotion Campaigns and Custom Campaigns may both apply depending on your specific business.

We most frequently run “Traffic” or “Branding” Display Ad Campaigns.


Select “Display Ad” for Campaign Type

Google Ad campaign type

Select Your Display Ad Campaign Subtype

We will be selecting “Standard Display Campaign.”

Here, you will notice a new feature labeled “Smart Display Campaign.” This option does the work for you in your campaign, including automated bidding, automated targeting, and automated ad creation. However, it can also end up costing you more than a standard display campaign.

Select the Ways You’d like to Reach Your Goals

For this section, provide a link to your website. You can change the actual URL later to make it specific for campaign tracking.


5. Optimizing Your Campaign Settings

Choosing a Campaign Name

Here, you can name the Display Ad Campaign whatever you’d like. Our Display Ad Campaign names are usually created based on the targeting and the location. This can be helpful in the future when you’re looking at your campaigns to see what was set up without having the check all of the settings again.

For example, for our campaign, we may name it “Local 10 Miles (intent campaign) responsive” if we were targeting a local audience within 10 miles of our selected location by intent with a responsive display ad campaign.

Select your Campaign’s Location

Google Ads location targeting

Local businesses should insert a specific city. Afterward, select the blue “Advanced Search” text to narrow your targeting down even further.

In this pop-up, there is an option for Radius targeting or Location targeting.

Radius targeting allows you to target by zip code or by the zip code of your business’ Google My Business account. From here, you can select how many miles you would like the radius of the targeting to be around that zip code.

Choose Languages

Insert any languages applicable to your target audience.

Determine Your Ad Bidding and Campaign Budget

Google Ads campaign bidding

Here, there are a number of options for your Google Display Ad.

You can select the following:

  • Your focus – this is either on clicks or conversions
  • How you would like to get them – automatically maximize or manually set
  • Your Maximum bid – optional

Google Display Ads tend to be more affordable than Google Search Ads, so we would recommend setting the maximum bid at a tenth of the cost of your Search Ad campaigns.

Lastly, insert your campaign budget per day. We recommend starting small and scaling up as you go.

Select “Additional Settings” to go into more detail with your Google Display Ad Campaign

  • Ad rotation – If you have multiple ads for one display ad campaign, the ads will rotate.
  • Ad schedule – Here, you can select certain days of the week and hours that you want your ads to show.
  • Start and end dates – If you don’t want to forget about stopping your ad on a specific date, set an end date. This is a good option for event ads or promotional ads with a specific end date.
  • Devices – In this option, you can specifically target devices such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Mobile clicks and experiences aren’t always the most qualified, so we typically only target computers and/or tablets.
  • Frequency capping – This determines how often your ad is shown to the same user. We always frequency cap at 3 times per day.
  • Campaign URL options – This is for campaign tracking purposes. Here, you can insert any specific campaign tracking identifiers.
  • Dynamic ads – This helps pull in data for data feeds – great for e-commerce businesses.
  • Content exclusions – For Google Display Ads, your ad will be cast across a wide variety of places within the Google Display Network.  

It is very important to pick and choose where you want your ad to be shown and to exclude your ads from places you do not want them to be. The full list of exclusion options is below.

Google Display Ads content exclusions

6. Creating an Ad Group for Your Display Ad

Name Your Ad Group

For our Ad Group, we are going to name it based on the targeting that we use.

For example – we will use the name “Demo + Intent + Keywords” because we want to target based on demographics, intent, and keywords.

Selecting Audiences

In this section, you can select audiences that Google has generated based off of your previous responses or create a custom audience.

Today, we will be selecting some of the Google-generated audiences.

Google Ads audience ideas


If you would like to learn more about creating custom Google Ads audiences, check out How to Create Custom Audiences for Google Ads in Google Ads Audience Manager.”

Select Your Demographics

In this section, select the demographics of those who will be targeted.

Google Display Ad Demographics

Narrowing Your Content Reach

In this section, you can narrow your content reach by Keywords, Topics, or Placements.

For our ad, we will be narrowing by keywords. Simply insert the keywords you want to target or add them from a Google-generated list based off of your URL on the right-hand side.

Google Ads Content Keywords


Once you are happy with your list, navigate to “keyword settings” under the completed list. Here you will be shown two options:

  • Audience – To show your ad to people likely to be interested in your keywords
  • Content – To only show the ad on web pages, apps, and videos related to the keywords

For this ad, we will be targeting by Content.

Targeting Expansion

This option is similar to using Facebook lookalike audiences in order to reach more people based off of the information you have already provided about your target audience.

We do not recommend taking advantage of this setting and to turn the expansion off.


7. Creating your Google Display Ad

Select your type of ad

Here, you will have three options:

  • Responsive display ads – This option allows you to upload all of your desired ad content, including text and images, to Google Ads. From here, Google Ads will test and combine your assets to create the best ad that will get the most reach and ad placements.
  • Upload Display ads – This option allows you to upload the desired display ad.
  • Copy existing ads – This option allows you to make a copy of an existing display ad to use for your new campaign.

For this ad, we will be creating a Responsive display ad.

Before creating the ads, we want to set ourselves up for ad tracking. For this, we will be using Google Analytics’s Campaign URL Builder.

Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder


  1. Copy and paste your business’ URL into the “Website URL” section
  2. Use “Google” as the “Campaign Source”
  3. Insert “Display” as the “Campaign Medium”
  4. Input your display ad’s campaign name into the “Campaign Name” field

If you have specific paid campaign terms or campaign content you would like to add to the URL, you can do so here as well.

Once completed, Google will generate a personalized campaign URL which you can copy and paste into your final display ad campaign URL.

Upload Images and Logos

For this option, you can choose to have Google scan your website, upload your own images, or use stock images for your ads.

Start with scanning your business’ website. Not only will this bring content images over, but it will also grab your company logo.

Once the scan is complete, it will give you the option to have Google Ads scan your business’ social media platforms as well. This will give you lots of options for content for your ads.

When the scan is complete, it will display what Google pulled from your website that is suitable for the ad copy. If you click on an image, you can assign it as an image or a logo.

If you aren’t satisfied with the images from the website and social scans, you can upload other images or use stock images supplied by Google Ads.

Lastly, review the assets you have selected before hitting save.

Add Video

Adding video always makes an ad pop. You can add a video from a URL, a recently used file, or upload a new video.

Add Headlines and Descriptions

For both the headlines and descriptions, you want to compose add 5 versions each. Make these different from one another and unique to your business or campaign.

You also want to create 1 long headline of up to 90 characters.

Preview your ads

Google Ads will create mock-ups of what the ads will look like on Desktop and Mobile on the Google Display Network, Youtube, and Gmail.

Review Ad Strength

From here Google Ads will review your content and give it a rating based on the images, headlines, and descriptions. This is dynamic per ad based off of Google’s recommendations and algorithms.

All of your hard work is finally done! Select “Create Campaign” to make your campaign live.

Now you can say that you have mastered the art of creating Responsive Google Display Ads.

We hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and have learned something new. See you next week for another Momentum Monday blog!

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“My name is Mac and I used to work for Google. Now I help small businesses grow online and rank higher on Google”