Your 2022 Google Ads Cheat Sheet

  Many small business owners and marketers are unfamiliar with Google display ads. It’s a great…

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Many small business owners and marketers are unfamiliar with Google display ads. It’s a great system with, unfortunately, a lot of complicated parts that need time and attention to fully master.

For businesses who cannot determine whether Google display ads are something they can manage on their own or something to hand over to the experts, this article might be of help.

What Is a Google Display Ad?

Pro Tip: Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that can help you reach new customers and grow your business. However, Google Ads can be complex and overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the platform. That’s where business tools can come in handy. Business tools can help you create and manage your Google Ads campaigns, track your results, and troubleshoot any issues you may encounter. If you want to grow your business with Google Ads, consider using some business tools. You can consult top business tools review sites to see which tools are best for your needs.

Most people are already familiar with display ads — they just don’t know it. So what exactly are Google ads?

Google display ads are image-based banners or virtual billboards one typically sees as one browses through a website, watches a YouTube video, or uses an app. It’s common to see these ads at the top of the page, on the sidebar, or even between a text’s body.


Here are some examples of what a Google display ad looks like.

A Google display ad appears under the navigation bar of the popular tech website WIRED


A Google display ad appears on the sidebar of TechCrunch


A Google display ad appears on a YouTube video

Uses of Google Display Ads

Advertisers commonly opt to use Google ads for branding. Giving any type of business owner the reach they need is what Google does best. Utilizing its wide conglomerate of over 35 million websites and apps, also called Google Display Network, Google gives advertisers the opportunity to introduce their products and services to 90% of Internet users worldwide.

If the goal is to reach as many people as possible and lead them to the business’ landing page or simply gain maximum exposure for a newly launched product, then Google ads are the perfect investment.

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The other reason most marketers use Google display ads is retargeting. Suffice to say, most people don’t purchase an item or sign up on a website on their first visit. In fact, 92% of consumers who visit an e-commerce website for the first time are not there to buy.

The purpose, then, of a Google display ad, is to keep the brand recognizable and keep it on top of consumers’ minds to eventually entice them to visit, revisit, and convert.

Different Types of Display Ads

The first display ad appeared in 1994, and since then, there have been various iterations of these image-based advertising boards to fit different advertising needs.

In general, there are only two types of Google display ads: (1) unresponsive or traditional display ads, and (2) responsive display ads. 

As of 2022, responsive ads are the default for advertisers where they can simply upload their brand assets and Google will be the one to configure the size specifications for them.

For the sake of clarification, the following explains the most common display ad formats business owners will encounter.

Traditional display ads. Often seen on websites, they usually consist of an image with text and a CTA designed in either banner, square, landscape, or skyscraper formats.

Responsive display ads. With this ad type, businesses simply upload their image, desired headlines, logos, videos, and descriptions, and Google’s algorithm will automatically create a number of ad combinations that will fit the platform where the ad will be shown.

Retargeting or remarketing display ads. These types of display ads are shown to consumers after they leave the website without completing the desired action

Uploaded image ads. Businesses can create and upload their own ad as images in different sizes or HTML5 format.

Businesses can design their own ad for their brand; however, they have to make sure they adhere to size specifications for each environment. Sometimes, this will mean recalibrating the design and size of the ad. 

Your Guide to 2022 Google Display Ads Sizes 

For businesses who prefer to customize their design ads, the following size guide for Google display ads might come in handy.

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Google Display Ads Cost

There’s no fixed cost for running display ads through the Google Display Network. Instead, how much a business needs to pay is dependent on the following factors:

  • Type of industry. Some industries are more competitive than others and are, therefore, more expensive.
  • Current events and trends. Demand for a product or service can be artificially increased by what’s going on both locally and globally.

The good thing about running Google display ads is it runs on an auction model, which means that a good ad running on a tight budget can still compete with advertisers who have unlimited cash reserves.

This auction will determine the ad placement (adposition) and the cost for every click (cost-per-click or CPC). All in all, this will be determined by the Ad Rank.

The Ad Rank can be calculated by multiplying how much a business is willing to pay for each click (maximum bid) by the ad’s quality score (QS). The quality score measures how relevant the ad is to the target audience.

Maximum Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank

The quality score evens the playing field and prevents big players from hogging all the premium real estate on the webspace.

Say a business is willing to bid $2 for every click on their ad and gains a QS of 8. The resulting Ad Rank will be 16 (2 x 8). In comes another advertiser who’s willing to pay $6 for each click but only gets a QS of 2 (6 x 2 = 12). Even if they offered to pay more money, they still won’t win the bid.

So how is the actual CPC cost calculated?

To calculate the actual cost for every click on the ad, the following formula is used:

[The rank figure below the business / Business’ quality score] + $0.01 = Ad CPC

Take the example above and try to calculate the CPC for both advertisers.

Bidder Maximum Bid Quality Score Ad Rank CPC
You $2 8 16 [12/8] + 0.01 = 1.51
Sammy $6 2 12 [8/2] + 0.01 = 4.01
Leno $4 2 8
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Based on the table, higher bids do not win the auction. Advertisers need to create ads that are highly relevant to their audience in order to guarantee a good rank position and get their money’s worth.

The Best Practices for Running Google Display Ads in 2022

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating and executing display ads for maximum results.

  • Have a system for your campaigns. Use a logical structure for logging in, creating, and naming campaigns. This will make it easier to remember, especially if running multiple campaigns simultaneously.
  • Don’t mix remarketing campaigns with standard display campaigns.
  • Do not rely on Google to monitor ad performance. Always check performance regularly.
  • Refine audiences using layers to gain the most impressions and clicks. Here’s a quick summary of what each person’s targeting option means:
    • Audience. Reach targets based on interests and behaviors
    • Demographics. Reach targets based on age, gender, and parental status
    • Affinity audience. Reach targets based on habits and interests
    • In-market audience. Reach targets who are already interested in the product or service
    • Remarketing audience. Reach targets who have already interacted with the brand in the past
  • Have no idea where to start on audience targeting? Head over to Google Analytics and have a look at the Referral traffic.
  • Explore contextual targeting, using keywords or zooming in on a specific topic.
  • Create ads that stand out. Pay careful attention to the ad copy.
  • Explore the possibility of using video or rich media on the ads and do some A/B tests.
  • Always make sure the landing page is effective and relevant.
  • Adjust bids over time, based on data after running ads for a while, but don’t adjust spending just because of Google’s suggestions.

Final Word

Starting an online business takes time and dedication. Thankfully, Google display ads make brand promotion and remarketing easier even for those who have just started on their marketing journey. Businesses should not be afraid to test and experiment with their campaigns to see which strategies work. It takes time, but the payoff is worth it.

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