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Google Search Ads 101

Where else can any business, small or large, target their specific customers day or night? Google Search Ads. Like many business owners, you tend to receive Google postcards every few months offer a free $150 to start using their platform. Opening an account, doing keywords research, and building your campaigns is the first step towards going live. Google earns 80% of the $36.7 billion spent on search ads annually, so it pays to be well-versed in Google advertising.

We’re breaking down what your business really needs to know about Google Search Ads and their specifications to be a successful competitor.

What are Google Search Ads Anyway?

Google Search Ads are text-based advertisements that appear when an internet user searches a keyword related to an advertiser’s business. The Google ads appear with a small yellow box stating “Ad,” so users can recognize the difference from the organic search results. Google has unique capabilities to pinpoint a business’s specific audience via demographic, keyword, website, interest, device, geographic, and behavior-based retargeting to name a few. Google offers different types of ads depending on a business’s needs and each type of ad has its own set of specifications.

Google Search Ad Specifications

A quick search query on Google will show that the most popular search ad appears on most SERPs (search engine results page). Here you will have the ability to craft your ad text to help users determine (and click) on your ad offering.

  • Headline 1: 30 characters
  • Headline 2: 30 characters
  • Description: 80 characters
  • Path (2): 15 characters each

Responsive Search Ads Specifications

Responsive search ads allow digital marketers to create ads that change to show more text and more relevant messages to reach customers.

  • Headline (3): Maximum 30 characters each
  • Description (2): Maximum 90 characters each
  • Note: All other fields are the same for responsive search ads as they are for expanded text ads.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads adjust to showcase your business’s newest products and promotions. Even better you, you can customize these ads, thereby controlling the messaging that customers receive.

  • Note: If you include a formatted price in your feed, then it will be used instead of the price prefix you add in AdWords when creating up your ad
  • Products shown in preview are for illustrative purposes only
  • Google may show layout tags for retail advertisers, such as “new”, “hot”, or “price drop”, on relevant products in order to drive performance
  • Your ads may show without images to increase your reach across the Display Network

Lightbox Ads

Lightbox ads allow you to engage audiences with a format that responds to clicking, tapping, or hovering. These ads can expand to fill the screen, display videos, or allow users to swipe through a set of images.

  • Logo: static GIF file, JPG, or PNG, 200kb maximum file size, 50×50 pixel minimum dimensions.
  • Logo Click URL: After clicking on the  expanded logo image, the user is then taken to this URL and it must match the domain of the display URL.
  • Message: Minimum of 1 line, maximum of 3 lines, no character limit, but use fewer than 35 characters per line for best visibility.
  • Call-to-Action Button: Unless the ad uses custom invites, Google Ads automatically creates the text.
    Call-to-Action Final URL: When clicking on the call-to-action button, the user will land on this URL. The URL must match the domain of the display URL and the URL is compatible with Upgraded URLs and tracking templates.
  • Custom Invitation Messages (optional): These custom invites can use files in all Interactive Advertising Bureau sizes. Assets are required in three sizes — 728×90, 160×600, and 300×250 — but 320×50 is also frequently used. Static banners or GIFs (Flash and HTML5 not supported), 72 PPI minimum resolution. 200kb maximum.
    • Custom invites require that you include either call-to-action text or the expand icon. For text calls-to-action, you should include a Hover to Expand option for computers and Tap to Expand option for mobile devices. The ad’s header call-to-action is the description for the call-to-action button in the expanded state. The call-to-action includes a maximum of 20 characters or 10 characters for double-width character languages.
  • Custom Header Images: Use a custom header image to represent your product category, brand, or business. Images can be three sizes – 350×75, 900×125, and 1200×150.
  • Final URL: The Final URL is the web address of your landing page. The URL is compatible with Upgraded URLs and tracking templates.
  • Image Assets: Images will appear both in the image gallery and in the thumbnails. You can build up to 10 image galleries with a maximum of 10 images in each gallery.
    Image specs: File format: GIF, JPG, or PNG, file size: 200kb maximum file size, image dimensions: 1024×1050 maximum, resolution: 200+ PPI for high-resolution images (Export the image at twice the pixel width and height for images intended to appear on Retina devices). There is no set aspect ratio.
  • Image Text: Title: 40 characters, text: 100 characters, CTA: 20 characters.
  • Video Assets: You can add videos to your ad by searching YouTube, uploading from your computer, or choosing from recently used videos. Each video requires its own card.
  • YouTube Videos: Recommended maximum length of 4 minutes. YouTube annotations and info cards will be visible and actionable on supported browsers.
  • Non-YouTube Videos: Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4 preferred, Audio Codec: MP3 or AAC preferred, only used for Lightbox ads made with Google Ads templates.
  • Video Cover Images (optional): GIF, JPG, or PNG, 200kb maximum, 200+ PPI for high-resolution images.

Using Google Search Ads for Continued Success

Now more than ever it’s critical for companies to understand how to utilize key online platforms. Google advertising continues to be the number one form of digital advertising, offering the largest array of methods to reach target consumers. Now that you understand the specifications of Google Ads, consider implementing these types of advertisements for your business! If you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to maximize your online presence. With years of experiencing helping businesses of various industries reach the first page of Google, let Premiere Creative service your digital marketing needs. Contact us today at (973) 346-8100 to get started today!