How To Create Google Display Ads an Ultimate Guide

Display Advertising is push advertising, majority of the advertisers are using display as a key channel to create brand awareness, engagement and sales.

In my last article we had seen an introduction to Display Advertising, you can refer the same here – What is Display Advertising!

As compared to search campaigns, display campaigns are quite easy to create, in this blog, I will help you to create display campaigns to achieve maximum ROI. Google Display ads will only run on Google Display Network

So What is Google Display Network?

Google Display Network is a network of millions of third party publishing sites, apps, video’s etc, where you can show your ads through Google Ads platform.

Different Types of Google Display Ads

There are 4 types of Google Display Ads as below

Banner Ads

Banner Ads are ads which are graphics ads with text on it, these ads you can run on any publisher site which is under Google Display Network. Banner ads are the most popular format of ads in display

Responsive Display Ads

In responsive display ads, Google automatically generates ads basis the assets you upload including Images, logo’s, descriptions, headlines etc. Responsive ads are good if you want to use multiple ad sizes and create display ads within seconds. The issue with this format is that, you won’t be able to change the design layout as these design layouts are fixed by Google, it’s like an automated design tool for display

Gmail Ads

Gmail ads appear in your gmail box, that show up towards the top of your gmail inbox. There are maximum two gmail ads shown at a time, if user clicks on the ad, the ad expands with graphics/text or event HTML

App Ads

App ads are mobile banner ads with smaller ad sizes for mobile devices. As the content consumption on mobile devices have increased, the need for mobile display advertising has increased.

Display Ads Bidding Strategies

There are different types of display ads bidding strategies in Google ads which you can use basis the objectives you are looking to achieve. Below are the three key bidding strategies which most of the advertisers go with basis their objectives, let’s understand each of them.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)

CPM is the amount which advertiser will pay for thousand impressions, irrespective of the no of clicks on the ad. CPM strategy is used when your key objective of the campaign is brand awareness and reach

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC bidding strategy is a strategy where you pay, only if user’s click on your ad irrespective of the no of impressions served for your ad. This type of bidding strategy is good if you are trying to drive users who are interested in your brand/product/service.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

Cost per acquisition bidding strategy is a strategy which you can use to define a cost for one acquisition. In order to activate CPA strategy, you need to fulfill two conditions as below

First, you should have the conversion tracking setup done for your Google Ads account

To know more about conversion tracking setup – Refer article Google Adwords Conversion Tracking Guide

Second, your adwords account should show at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days. This helps Google to define the best possible conversion for the product/service you are marketing.

So How To Create Display Ads in Google Ads?

Let’s take an example and create display ad for a real estate business which has a product in a location called as Balewadi, Pune (India). The key objective of the campaign is to generate leads from display ads

Let’s get started!

Step 1:

Login to your Google Ads account – Login

Step 2:

Click on the plus blue button and say new campaign

New Display Campaign

Step 3:

The next step is to select the goal for your campaign, below are different goals from which you can choose from

Display Campaign Goals


Here if your objective to generate sales from the display ads campaign, in that case you can move ahead with this goal, but make sure that sales is only applicable for website which have payment gateway integration or purchase option on the site


If your objective is to generate leads, in that case you can select this as the option. This can be used for form fill websites or signup websites. In our case for the real estate campaign, our objective is to generate leads, so I am going to go with leads option.

Website Traffic

If your goal is to drive visitors to website, in that case you can go ahead with this goal type. If a brand is new in the market and wants to drive visitors, this is a good option to go with, also If you want to promote your blog, you can select website traffic

Product & Brand Consideration

If your goal is to educate users or you want to differentiate from other advertisers or if you want users to explore your products/services, in that case you can go with this option.

Brand Awareness & Reach

If your product is new in the market or if you are expanding your business in new geographies or if you are introducing your business in new category, in that case you can go with brand awareness & reach. This will help users to know your brand.


This goal type is only applicable for apps promotion, in this goal type, if your objective is app installs or app interactions, then you can go with this goal type.

Selecting the right goal type is important for your display campaign because the performance of the campaign will depend on your goal type.

Step 4:

The next step is to select the campaign type, as we are creating display campaign, we would be selecting display as below

Creating Display Ads

Step 5:

The next step is to select the campaign subtype, there are two types of campaign subtype as below

  • Standard Display Campaign
  • Gmail Campaign

Creating Standard Display Campaign

As we are planning to create display campaign, we would go with standard display campaign. Do remember that, you can’t change the campaign subtype once the campaign is created, so if you are looking for gmail campaign, select subtype accordingly.

Step 6:

The next step is to define campaign name, so I am defining the campaign name as below.

Defining Display Campaign Name

Step 7:

The next step is to define the location in which the ad has to be shown, so my campaign is targeted to Pune audience, so I am selecting Pune. You can select the location basis the location you want to target users in.

Display Ads Location Setting

Step 8:

The next step is languages. English is the default language but if you want to target other language than English, you need to select accordingly.

My current campaign is targeted to English users, so I am keeping English as the language only.

Google Display Ads Language Setting

Step 9:

The next step is to select bidding strategy, there are different bidding in Google ads as below.

Display Ads Bidding Strategies

To know more about different bidding strategies in Google & which one to select – Refer article – An Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Bidding Strategies

For Display campaigns only, we have an additional bidding strategy called as viewable CPM. This strategy is basically a strategy for CPM model, which can be used when your objective is to reach your target audience and create awareness.

For our lead generation campaign, I can go with any of the bidding strategies above, apart from Target ROAS & Viewable CPM. So I am going with Target CPA model as my objective is to generate leads.

Target CPA Option in Google Ads

Once I select Target CPA, Google automatically suggests CPA amount, which I can go with for this campaign. Google has suggested me Rs. 454.57 (in INR), so I can keep my target CPA amount anything above Rs. 454.57, so I have kept my CPA as 455.

Step 10:

The next step is to define budget, you can start with Rs. 500 or $10 or anything above this.

Budget Option in Google Ads

Step 11:

The next step is to define delivery method. There are two types of delivery method, standard and accelerated.

Delivery Method Option

Standard Delivery Method – In this method you spend your budget evenly over the day, for eg: if you budget is Rs. 500, Google will use that budget evenly throughout the day

Accelerated Delivery Method –  In this method you end up spending budget as quickly as possible, this is good if you are running offers for few hours.

Our campaign is a lead generation campaign, so I am going with standard delivery method.

Step 12:

The next step is to define ad rotation, there are two types of ad rotation

Optimize: Prefer best performing Ads

In this ad rotation type when you are using multiple ad copies, Google will rotate them evenly and show only those which perform best

Do Not Optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely

In this ad rotation type, Google will rotate non performing ads also evenly compared to performing ads for an indefinite period of time. This option is not recommended as we don’t want non performing ads to be shown to the users.

Ad Rotation in Google Ads

So I am going with Optimize: Prefer best performing ads, as I want to rotate performing ads frequently.

Step 13:

Next is ad scheduling, you can schedule the ads to different day slots for different days in the week.

Ad Scheduling in Google Ads

Step 14:

The next step is to select devices, as my campaign is related to Real Estate, users can be on desktop and mobile, so I am selecting as show on all devices. If you want to create specific campaigns for mobiles, operating system or specific devices, you can go ahead and select the second option.

Devices Option in Google Ads

Step 15:

The next step is to select start date & end date, you can select the start date and end date as per your requirement.

Google Ads Start Date Option

Step 16:

The next step is to select frequency capping. Frequency capping is limiting impressions to a particular users in a day, a week or a month. I usually go with per day frequency capping, as showing ads to a particular user multiple times could make him least interested in your brand.

Google Ads Frequency Capping

Step 17:

The next step is selecting content exclusions. Content exclusions means, opting out of content on which you don’t want to show your ads.

I have opted out of below content types, as I don’t want my ad to show in these types of content pieces. You can select below options basis your requirement.

Google Ads Content Exclusions

Step 18:

Next step is to define campaign URL options and dynamic ads. To know more about URL Options – Refer article – UTM Parameters Setup

To know more about Dynamic Ads – Refer article Dynamic Display Ads

Google Ads Campaign URL Option

Step 19:

Next step is to define audiences. Audiences are groups of people with specific interests, demographics, intents etc. You can use audiences to show your ads to your target customers.

There are 3 types of audiences

  1. Affinity and Custom Affinity
  2. In Market & Custom Intent
  3. Remarketing and Similar Audiences

Google Ads Audiences

Let’s understand each one of them

  1. Affinity & Custom Affinity

Affinity audience is the audience which you can target basis their interests and habits including food & dining, sports & fitness etc. You can select from different interest categories as shown below  

Affinity Audiences in Google Ads

Post selecting the interest categories, you can also select Custom Affinity Audience, which is at the bottom of the above screenshot. Once you click on it, you will see the below screen

Create Display Ads in Google

Here, the first step is to define the audience name so that if you have multiple affinity audiences, it’s not difficult to check and use it in your campaigns.

The next thing is adding the description. You can describe in detail what this list is all about, so it’s easy for people, with your accounts access to understand about the list. You can define custom affinity audience by Interest, URL, Place or App

Let’s understand each one of them:


Interest can be entered as key phrases, it’s similar to the one which we saw above, but the difference here is that you can manually add the interest, whereas in the above affinity option, you have to select from the available options. As I am marketing a real estate product, I can enter interest as real estate, residential apartments, residential projects etc. You can similarly enter the interest key phrase as per your requirement.


Here you can enter a URL which has content related to your product. For Eg: I can enter URL’s which have project in balewadi mentioned in their content and keep that as the targeting methodology through URL.


Next custom affinity audience is selecting place. Place custom affinity audience means selecting a place the user might be interested in. For Eg: As my product is into real estate, so once I enter real estate, I can see below options. This basically tells us where your users are interested in different places, I can then suggest which is relevant to my business.

I won’t recommend to select place, as selecting place will limit your audience reach

Creating Google Display Ads


In this custom affinity audience, you can select different mobile applications on which you would like to show your ads. As we are running real estate campaign, I have typed in common floor which is a real estate listing portal, I can then go ahead and select different apps which I would like to target.

Google Display Ad Creation

  1. In Market & Custom Intent

How to Create Google Display Ads

In-market audience is the audience who are in the market, where they are searching for products/services and are actively considering to buy a product/service that you offer. You can use in-market audience if you are looking for conversions as the key objective of your campaigns.

Custom Intent Audience

In this again you can add keywords, URL’s and apps related to products & services which your customers are searching on Google

  1. Remarketing & Similar Audiences

Remarketing In Display Ads

This includes remarketing to users who have visited your website. To know more about remarketing. Refer Article – Remarketing in Display Advertising

Right now, we are looking to target new users for lead generation, so we won’t be using remarketing option for our campaign.

Step 20

The next step is to select demographics. As my campaign is for a real estate luxury project, I am targeting male and female who are above 34+ years, assuming that their income size would be higher.

Household income column is not applicable in India so if I keep it the way it is, it won’t make any difference. Household income option is available in countries including the US, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia

Unknown option in all the options means that Google is not able to identify the age, gender, parental status or household income  

Google Ads Demographics
Step 21:

The next step is content targeting. In content targeting, the first method of targeting is keyword targeting.

Keyword targeting is a method to target users basis keywords which are available on different webpages. For Eg: If I use keyword as “3 bhk in balewadi”, my ad is eligible to trigger on those pages where “3 bhk in balewadi” keyword is present (provided the publishing website is under Google display network)

I have added 4 keywords as below as the targeting method, you can add as many keywords as you can, you just need to make sure the keywords you are using are relevant to your product/service.

How to Create Display Ads in Google

Step 22

The next step is to define another content targeting method which is Topics. Topics helps you to target different webpages which talk about a specific topic which you have selected.

For Eg: I have selected New Homes & Custom Homes, which means that my ad will be triggered on webpages which talk about new homes & custom homes

There are different topics to choose from, you can select these topics basis your audience.

Step 23

Another content targeting method available for targeting in Google display ads is called as placements. Placements are different websites, youtube channels, youtube videos, apps, app categories etc you can target specifically to show your ads.

You can target a combination of website plus youtube channels or individual youtube videos to show your add

How To Create Google Display Ads in Adwords

As my campaign is a real estate campaign, I have added 4 websites as below. You can add as many websites you want to target. So users on these four websites will be in a position to see my ads.

Google Ads Placements Option

After you have selected the content targeting options, you can see reach on the right hand side, which in my targeting case is 140k, this is basis location, languages, topics, Placements & keywords which I have selected.

Note: I have selected minimum placements, topics & keywords, as I am trying to show you how to create display campaigns. You can select as many topics, placements & keywords, which are relevant to your business

Estimated Reach in Display Ads

Step 24

Once the targeting of the campaign is done, we move towards the next step which is “Targeting Expansion”. Targeting expansion is used to increase your reach based on the targeting options you have selected above.

You don’t need to do anything here if you have selected the right targeting in the content targeting settings. You can leave this as it is.

Targeting Expansion in Gogle Ads

Step 25

The next step is to create an ad

Google Display Ads Creating

This is basically a banner ad, you can upload an ad from your system or create responsive display ads or copy an existing ad.

Create Display Ads in Google Adwords

Right now I am going to upload a display ad, as I already have a banner ad created for the campaign. Once you have added the banner ad, define the landing page and say create campaign as below

Google Display Banner Ads

The display ad which you have uploaded the campaign will be go in review (which is an automated review system of Google), post that the campaign will be live!


Display ads are an effective way to create awareness, leads and generate sales. The campaign targeting methods play an important role in the success of the campaign. An effective strategy should include different combinations of targeting methods in display campaign to achieve higher ROI

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