AdWords Display creative checklist: building direct response ads

If you’re designing display ads and have direct response goals, your ads need to catch the user’s eye, convey key information, and encourage them to click and explore your website. To get you started, we’ve
put together the top ten tips learned through the collective experience of hundreds of Google AdWords account teams. These ten tips will help drive effective direct response marketing campaigns.

1. Call-to-Action
A call-to-action phrase or button encourages users to click on your ad and clearly lets them know what is coming next. While direct call-to-actions such as “Buy Now!“ may be common, they can also be too insistent. Using indirect call-to-actions like “Explore Now“ or short phrases such as “Travel Your Dream“ help encourage action without demanding a strong commitment.

2. Call-to-Action in Every Frame
Include a call-to-action & key message in every frame of your ad – especially the final frame. This ensures that you get across these two very important points no matter when the user's attention is drawn to your ad. When your animation stops, your ad will continue to compel action from users.

3. Company or Brand logo
Keep your brand or product logo in front of users in all frames. This will highlight your brand and can heighten credibility and increase your click-through rate. If this isn’t possible, include your logo in the final frame of animated ads to ensure your brand shows after animation has ended.

4. Pricing and Promotion 
The more information on pricing that a user can gain from your display ad, the better. Consider providing promotional pricing to the audiences your ad is reaching. Discount offers supported by discount codes can help attract attention. If users don’t like the price or terms of your offer, they won’t click on your ad. Pre-qualifying users can save you the cost of that click.

5. Clear Value Proposition
Include a clear, compelling message highlighting the benefit of your product or service. If your ad is animated,
consider presenting a value proposition in each frame. Users should feel as though they are missing out on something by not clicking.

6. Sense of Urgency
Create a sense of urgency in your ad. Referring to deadlines or limits in quantity and availability can persuade users to give your message consideration right away.

7. Coordinate Colors & Images 
Customize the color scheme of your ad to match your image or logo, and use easy-to-view colors for backgrounds and fonts. Extremely bright colors can be unpleasant and difficult to read. Using transparent PNG-format images can greatly improve aesthetics within your ad.

8. Balance Text & Images
Take advantage of both text and images to convey your message. Text and images are processed by different parts of the brain. Integrating both into your ad – harmoniously – can help you influence viewers cognitively and emotionally. Complementary text and images may help viewers remember your ad long after they have seen it.

9. Relevant Landing Page
Direct users to the most relevant landing page where the product or service is described in detail. The message on the page should match the message or promotion in your ad. This can have a positive impact on your users, conversion rate, and quality score. Remember to match the look & feel of your ad to the landing page.
Display Ad

Landing Page

10. Cast a Wide Net
Create your ad in every standard size or format to ensure that it reaches all of the highest performing corners of the Google Display Network. Some sites only accommodate specific formats and ad sizes. A full suite of ad sizes will improve your ad’s chances of appearing on those sites.

You can find these ten tips on the Display Creative Checklist website here.