10 ways to optimize your Google Display ads

See our 10 suggestions for optimizing your Google Display Ads

Google Display Optimization tip #1:

Use a clear headline.

You’d be surprised at how many Display headlines I copy to my clipboard and never use. A lot of them look nice or contain keywords, but once I paste them into Google Adwords, it becomes clear that they don’t make much sense.

For example, here’s a headline I once used: “Google Display generates lots of leads.” Sounds good, right? But if you check out my search term report, you’ll see that over 90% of my clicks came from queries that included the word “Display,” so I’m not likely to generate a lot of leads.

If I line up a hundred “Display lead generation” headlines and paste the first one into Google Adwords, there’s a good chance that it’ll produce a similar result: a lot of clicks - about 90% - but the rest of the ads will likely be abandoned (my CTR is lower than 0.1%).

Instead, try what I did and focus on your top keywords. Try listing the first few words in your headlines in a sentence. Here’s another example:

Google Display generates lots of leads.

After reaching 100 words, your ad will probably receive even more clicks. Also, match your ad to your landing page: Avoid unrelated words or phrases.

Always remember to add a call to action. For example, “contact us,” or “buy now.” Also, try avoiding competing keywords — you might receive more clicks if you use “Google advertising” instead of “Display advertising.”

Google Display Optimization tip #2:

Use non-keyword specific keywords in the headline.

This is similar to tip #1: A creative headline that’s focused on the user should steer you toward better quality clicks. In the previous tip I talked about simplicity, but although a headline like “Google Display generates lots of leads” is clear and simple, it doesn’t describe what the user is going to see when they click on the ad.

Generate top-notch clicks with non-keyword specific headlines, using this sentence structure:

Advertising Platforms generate [certain actions] [for users].

When you use this sentence structure in your headline, you’ll create more useful ads and achieve better results.

Google Display Optimization tip #3:

Select ads based on CTR, not CPC.

CPC — that’s “cost per click” — is a measurement of the number of times your ad is clicked. But you should use CTR, or click through rate, as a way to gauge the quality of your ads. According to AdWords Help, CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks that resulted in an ad click by the number of times the ad was shown.

In short, CTR measures how effective your ads are. It gives you a good insight on how likely it is that your ad will be clicked on.

Another important metric to look at when assessing your ads performance is the Time To First Call to action. If you get a decrease in your CTR and still want to increase your CTR, make sure you also review your time-to-first-call-to-action (TTFTCA) rate.

A faster TTFTCA will increase your CTR because your ad will show up right away when the user checks out the page you’re advertising.

Google Display Optimization tip #4:

Know if your ads are effective.

If your ads are working according to your benchmarks, feel free to use them. However, at times you may feel you have to use ineffective ads if they’re cheap. But first, make sure they’re effective.

With our help, you can track the performance of your ads. You can be assured that you’re advertising to the right person and for less.

We’re a full-service TurnKey SEO company for ads. We’ll help you find the right ads with the right keywords, and monitor your PPC campaigns to ensure get the most out of your budget.

Google Display Optimization tip #5:

Use the same headline for wider keywords. Use the same headline for more specific keywords.

If you’re advertising for a general product or service, you’ll want to use a generalized headline. However, if you’re promoting a specific product or service you’ll want a more specific headline.

For example:

The headline of product A: “for sale.”

The headline of product B: “for sale, product B.”

Price as an element of optimization

Use the same price elements in all the ads in the same group. For example:

Buy now.

Price as an element of optimization

Remember to use a clear headline. Try using a call to action. Try using clear keywords.

An example of such an ad would look like this:

Buy now

Google: Nothing beats American muscle. I’ll deliver what you want, when you need it.

Buy Now!

This ad works for me because I’m browsing this website, so I know about American muscle, and it sounds like a reasonable offer. The ad also has an obvious call to action. It’s a good ad for me.

Google Display Optimization tip #6:

Use images to help your ads stand out.

Content plays a significant role in your ads. You’ll always want to use at least one strong image. Adwords says that “A high-quality image is one of the top-ranking factors that helps increase CTR.”

Your ad should show something of value to the user. Google says that “your ad’s imagery can help to make the product stand out and the call to action easy to perform. ”

In other words, use a strong image that depicts the product or service you’re selling.

Google Display Optimization tip #7:

Find a closing line.

Google recommends the use of a closing line, and it works. However, you’ll want to be careful when you choose a closing line. For example, you don’t want to use an ad that says “See more,” because it’s ambiguous and vague. Even if you write in a more specific sentence, like “Explore our offers,” it may not work.

You’ll want to use a real sentence that makes the user want to click - for example, “A new offer from __________.”

Google Display Optimization tip #8:

Use information that users really want to know.

Try optimizing your ads for your conversions, including the page’s title and description. Unfortunately, when you’re optimizing for clicks it’s a common mistake to try to write to what you think your audience wants to know, rather than what they really want to know.

For example:

Bad title: How do you make money with ads?

Good title: How to make money with ads

Bad description: 10 practical tips for low-cost effective ads.

Good description: Tips to get the most out of your ads for less.

Google Display Optimization tip #9:

Use ad text for optimization.

About 80 to 90% of your ad text should be in the ad. The remaining 20% should fill out critical information.

It’s recommended not to use too many words in your ad text. You want your ad text to be clear, simple, and short. Adwords also believes that “Optimizing your ad text is a critical part of your overall PPC campaign.”

Google Display Optimization tip #10:

Make sure your ads are optimized for mobile devices.

Your ads need to be readable and responsive on mobile devices. Adwords says that “the average user spends less than 1 second on a mobile ad, so it’s important to let your ads be as efficient as possible.”

Responsive ad formats may include pop-ups, carousels, and pull-to-refresh. You must also account for 16 different mobile devices, as different devices have different sizes, ratios, and functions.

Using a very wide format for computer ads, such as an obnoxiously huge button that might look fine on desktop but awful on mobile.


Google Display ads are different from conventional AdWords ads. They offer a great opportunity for you to target your users.

Unfortunately, many advertisers have trouble finding the right ad copy, keywords, and landing pages. They don’t know how to create ads that users enjoy, and how to make sure they appear high in search results.

If your business is having a hard time finding profitability with their display ads, give us a call and we’ll let you know how we can help! We can take care of all your sourcing, keyword management, and ad optimization for you. We’ll then give you a comprehensive report on all your AdWords campaigns, and the conversion rate of each campaign.

To get started with a free consultation with our AdWords expert, just click here, or call us at +1 (800) 581-1766

If you enjoyed this story, read “20 Tips To Master The Google Display Network"

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