Graphic ads in Google Ads – formats, dimensions, sizes [2023]

The Google Ads system stands for words, but graphics and creation are no less important areas. Google gives us the opportunity to use various graphic formats in several variants – starting with the Google Display Network, which, according to research, reaches up to 90% of Internet users worldwide, through ad campaigns such as Google Discovery, which use Google’s extensive eco-system (YouTube, Gmail, Discover cards in smartphones – nearly 3 billion potential recipients) to reach users at the right time and place. In order to reach users with a message in graphic form, we need to know what formats are available to us in order to prepare appropriate creatives.

Google Display Network

Google’s advertising network reaches more than 90% of internet users, as it uses a variety of locations where internet users often spend their time. Using this network, we can display our display adverts to people browsing their favourite websites, watching a video on YouTube, checking Gmail or using mobile devices and apps. In addition, the ad network offers the possibility of contextualised ad targeting which ensures that our advertising message can reach the user at the right place and time.

Ad network ad types

  • flexible display advertising

This ad format is created from elements you prepare yourself. All you need to do is upload your own logo, photos (or use the image bank available within Google’s system), add advertising texts and Google’s systems will automatically put together different variants of your ad from these elements, adapted to the place where they will be displayed and, in time, also optimised for the most effective combinations of individual elements.

  • uploaded graphic advertisements

This advertising format gives us full control over how our advertising creations will look. In this case, we prepare the graphic banners ourselves, in the appropriate format and size.

In some cases, we can also use the HTML5 ad format option – this, however, requires the preparation of creatives according to strict guidelines and preferably using Google Web Designer, as well as certain requirements with respect to the ad account itself, which must have been in operation for at least 90 days, the total expenditure since the start of using the Google Ads system must be more than $9,000 (sometimes you can start when the expenditure exceeds $1,000), and the account’s compliance history and payments must not be objectionable. While all of this may present some difficulty in some cases, the advantage is the ability to create dynamic, animated creatives.

Currently in 2023, the vast majority of traffic (impressions and clicks) is generated by flexible display adverts, and it is these that we recommend focusing on the most. Uploaded display adverts are mostly static banners and can only complement the activities carried out in Google’s ad network, while they should not be expected to generate more than a few percent of the total pool of impressions and clicks. In addition, display adverts have far fewer opportunities in terms of reach and display in different locations and do not have many of the interactive advantages of flexible display adverts.

Flexible display ad specifications

  • images
    • square in the aspect ratio of 1:1, must have a minimum of 300 x 300 pixels, but it is better to prepare a larger file size; maximum file size is 5 MB, file format – JPG or PNG
    • rectangular with aspect ratio 1.91:1, horizontal layout, minimum size: 600 x 314; maximum file size is 5 MB, file format – JPG or PNG
    • the text on the photos may take up no more than 20% of the image area; however, we recommend using graphics and photos without advertising text
  • logo
    • square in the aspect ratio 1:1 with a minimum size of 128 x 128 pixels, but we recommend preparing a file with sides exceeding 1,000 pixels
    • rectangular, horizontal orientation, aspect ratio 4:1, minimum size 512 x 128 pixels, but we recommend that the longer side is more than 1,000 pixels
    • the maximum file size in both cases is 5 MB
  • texts
    • short headline – minimum 1, maximum 5, maximum 30 characters
    • long headline – minimum 1, maximum 90 characters
    • advertising texts – minimum 1, maximum 5, maximum 90 characters
  • company name

can be the name of your company or brand; maximum 25 characters; remember to spell it correctly and avoid unnecessary punctuation marks (like !)

  • logo

maximum of 5 files, two formats available: 1:1 and 4:1; maximum file size is 5 MB; recommended size is 512 x 128 pixels (4:1) and 1200 x 1200 pixels (1:1)

  • video (optional)

maximum of 5 clips; preferably material up to 30s in length; video should be uploaded to YouTube channel in advance

Dynamic flexible ads with data file

Flexible display adverts also show their possibilities and potential when used in remarketing campaigns, i.e. when they return with our advertising message to users who have already had contact with our website or online shop. In such a situation, we can create dynamic flexible adverts with a data file, which need all these components we have just mentioned and, in addition, link to our product feed from Google Merchant Center and thus access the range of, for example, our online shop. In this way, graphic advertisements will be created automatically, which will show users specific products with price and photo that they have seen before in our webshop, but have not yet bought.

Specifications for animated and non-animated graphic ads

File types: PNG, JPG, GIF

Maximum size: 150 kB

Sizes (in pixels):

Square and rectangular
200 x 200 Small square
240 x 400 Vertical rectangle
250 x 250 Square
250 x 360 Triple wide screen
300 x 250 Intra-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 advert
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
Ad sizes available regionally – Poland
750 x 100 Billboard PL
750 x 200 Double billboard EN
750 x 300 Triple billboard EN

We have marked in red in the table those banner ad formats that are most frequently used and the preparation of these variants is sufficient to present our adverts in the majority of available advertising network locations. We call this set of 6 formats (+ possibly 3 dedicated to the Polish market) the so-called minimum plan. This is important information when it is necessary to commission a graphic designer and we want to optimise the amount of work that will go into preparing the relevant creations.

Animated advertisements in GIF format:

  • the duration of the animation must not exceed 30 seconds
  • animations may be looped, but after 30 seconds their display must stop
  • animated GIF advertisements must be displayed at less than 5 frames per second

Discovery campaign ad formats

In Discovery-type campaigns, we can create adverts with single images or so-called carousels, which consist of up to 10 cards, each of which can contain different graphics and text. As a general rule, ads in Discovery-type campaigns consist of the following elements:

  • headline

is the first line of the ad, it may be up to 40 characters long and a maximum of 5 can be created

  • the text of the advertisement

complements the headline to encourage action, may be up to 90 characters long and here too you can create a maximum of 5

  • image

a maximum of 20 images can be used within one creative, the graphics must be in 3 variants:

  • aspect ratio 1:1, minimum size 300 x 300 pixels, recommended 1,200 x 1,200, maximum file size 5 MB, preferred formats – JPG or PNG
  • aspect ratio 1.91:1, minimum size 600 x 314 pixels, recommended 1,200 x 628, maximum file size 5 MB, preferred formats – JPG or PNG
  • aspect ratio 4:5, minimum size 480 x 600 pixels, recommended 90 x 1,200, maximum file size 5 MB, preferred formats – JPG or PNG
  • company name

can be up to 25 characters long and should correspond as closely as possible to your actual company or brand name you are promoting

  • logo

square, it should be in proportions 1:1, it may be rounded in the view and in some variants of advertisements, recommended dimensions are 1,200 × 1,200 pixels, minimum – 128 × 128; the best is a transparent background, as long as the logo is centred on it; preferred format – PNG, maximum file size is 5 MB

Ad formats for Performance Max campaigns

The newest type of ad campaigns that Google introduced in 2022 are Performance Max campaigns. These are campaigns that make the most of automation, machine learning and solutions based on algorithms and artificial intelligence. Despite these advanced solutions, they are not able to produce valuable ad creatives on their own to help achieve our business goals.

We deliberately say valuable creatives because Performance Max campaigns are able to generate advertising resources on their own, but past experience shows that they are usually of low quality and have poor effectiveness. Therefore, it is worth preparing the materials ourselves, from which Google’s algorithms will then be able to create meaningful and valuable adverts to promote our business. Performance Max campaigns operate in all areas of the Google Ads system, thus also in the ad network. The requirements of Performance Max campaigns in terms of the resources needed to create adverts in the ad network are very similar to those of flexible display ads, and will therefore be needed:

  • horizontal images (side ratio 1.91:1, size 1200 x 628 pixels, 3 units)
  • square images (aspect ratio 1:1, size 1200 x 1200 pixels, 3 images)
  • vertical images (side proportion 4:5, size 960 x 1200 pixels, 1 image)
  • logos (aspect ratio 1:1 and 1.91:1, size 1200 x 1200 and 1200 x 628 pixels, total max. 5 variants)
  • video (max. 5 pieces; the videos must be at least 10s long and must also be uploaded to YouTube beforehand; IMPORTANT – if we do not add our own videos, Google will automatically generate videos from other materials after some time, and these automatically created creations have so far usually turned out to be of low quality and I have no possibility of resigning from them, which is why it is so important to provide the system with own, valuable and attractive video creations)

The maximum file size is 5 MB. Recommended formats are JPG or PNG (we recommend PNG). In all cases, the minimum resolution is 300 pixels on one side of the image/graphic, but we recommend that you stick to the quality and recommended values rather than the minimum. It is also a good idea to ensure that the important content on the photo / graphic is placed in the central 80% of the image (in other words, to keep a small margin on each side).

Videos for Performance Max campaigns should be created in two format variants: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal are longer creatives (over 10s) with a 9:16 aspect ratio, while vertical (1:1) creatives can be shorter and will then display as YouTube Shorts. This is also a general point to bear in mind when creating graphic and video content, to remember to prepare it in different formats and layouts so that it can ultimately be used in as many locations as possible.

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