Designing Adwords Banners

Pay per click advertising, (commonly referred to as PPC), has become one of the most common forms of advertising on the internet. In brief, PPC allows you to display ads, either alongside search engine results, or on sites which are part of Google’s Display Network.

In contrast to the Search Network, which displays small text advertisements with search engine results on a pay per click basis, (the adverts are triggered by the use of certain keywords in search terms), the Display Network shows ads alongside content on a variety of sites. These ads are triggered by the content of the sites, and allow your ads to be seen by a targeted audience.

Different Types of Ads

Like the Search Network, the Display Network allows the display of small text adverts. Unlike the Search Network however, the display Network also allows you to display banner adverts on the participating sites.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at Google’s guidelines for banner adverts, to help you get the most out of your Display Network advertising.

Valid File Types

Banner ads for the Display Network may be either static, or animated, and the following file types are acceptable:

* .gif
* Animated .gif
* .jpg
* .png

No matter what type of file, or what type of banner, you use, there is a strict 50kb size limit on all files used for banner display ads.

Banner Dimensions

There are a variety of pre-determined banner sizes which are available. It’s usually up to the site owner to decide what size banners will be displayed on his site, but below, you’ll find the different sizes that are acceptable.

Please Note: It’s important to remember though that Google will automatically resize your static banner by either 11, or 22 vertical pixels, depending on the size of the banner.

Google does this in order to add the line “Ads by Google” at the bottom of each banner. If you’d like to create your static banners in such a way that they won’t be resized, you can use the pixel dimensions in brackets to create it at the size that won’t be affected by the automatic resizing.

* Banner: 468 x 60 pixels (468 x 49)
* Square: 250 x 250 pixels (250 x 239)
* Small Square: 200 x 200 pixels (200 x 189)
* Leaderboard: 728 x 90 pixels (728 x 79)
* Medium Rectangle: 300 x 250 pixels (300 x 239)
* Large Rectangle: 336 x 280 pixels (336 x 269)
* Skyscraper: 120 x 600 pixels (120 x 578)
* Wide Skyscraper: 160 x 600 pixels (160 x 578)

Please Note: Animated banners, and banners for display on mobile devices, will not be resized, and must be submitted in the full standard sizes. The numbers in brackets apply only to static banners.

Google Banner Ad Guidelines

Google has published a number of guidelines relating to banner advertisements for the Display Network. You can check out Google’s Advertising Policies here for the full list of their policies, but the most important ones are covered below.

All banner ads are subject to approval by Google, before they will be displayed, and all of the following guidelines must be adhered to, in order for the banner to be approved.

* The advertisement must take up the full image size you’ve chosen.
* The banner cannot appear upside down, sideways or back to front.
* The banner cannot contain, or appear to contain, more than one advertisement.
* Images and text but be clearly legible.
* Advertisements may not mimic system or site warnings, or resemble operating systems dialogue boxes or error messages.
* Banners may not contain mock functionality, such as tick boxes or drop-down menus unless they actually function.
* Banner ads may not look like news articles or features, and may not simulate an Adwords text advertisement in any way.
* Animated banners may not exceed 30 seconds in duration.
* Ads with flashing backgrounds, or which can be considered distracting, will not be approved.
* Banner ads may not contain a simulation of the “Ads by Google” line. This line will be added automatically.
* Banner ads may not contain adult content.

Designing the Perfect Adwords Banner

If you stick to these guidelines, you shouldn’t have any problem getting your banner ads approved by Google Adwords. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to design your own banner ads, Net Age offers banner design as an integral part of our PPC services, for clients who would like to advertise on the Google Display Network.

Contact us to find out more about PPC advertising.