Google’s Smart Display Banners





You might have spotted some banner ads online which nostalgically remind of the times when Google AdWords was new. These were the dark ages when AdWords was the tool of mostly scammy internet marketers. Yes, the basic design and poorly matching colour schemes are back. However, they have evolved in something more complicated and effective.


The main reason why Google is starting to recommend these types of ads is because they are converting more than any custom-built banner. They might not look pretty, but the amount of work which happens behind the scenes is astonishing.

Smart Display Campaigns

Google’s smart display campaigns are almost entirely powered by artificial intelligence. To start with the settings, you must use Target CPA as a bidding strategy. They algorithm will automatically bid and adjust the spend according to the cost per conversion you would like to achieve. The only catch is that to have a functioning Smart display campaign your daily budget must be 10 times your target CPA. If your target CPA is for example 14 dollars, the daily budget must be at least 140$.



The best part of this new campaign type is the creative. You get to upload several variations of text titles and descriptions, two logos and up to 15 images. All images have to be with a high resolution and minimum size of 1200X300 px. Then Google automatically mixes and matches your images, logos and text to create unique banners. It rotates and tests all possible combinations to find the optimum converting variation.

Responsive Ads

This type of banner automatically adjusts itself to the placements available on the websites which prove to give you most conversions for your CPA goal. This means that you no longer must create 10-15 size variations for every campaign to make sure you have all the sizes supported by Google. The algorithm does the whole testing and tweaking of the creative for you.


A tip for those of you stressed about not having any control on the design of your banners. You can always see previews of the ad variations Google would use and even choose your two-colour scheme and call to action.


If this is not enough you can run a normal display campaign with your designed banners and include some responsive ads in the campaign. Google will rotate and optimize for the setting you have chosen – conversions, clicks or CPA.


Artificial intelligence is the direction to where marketing is taking course. Early adopters tend to get the best out of a product while it’s new and competition is sleeping. So, go ahead and experiment – this is how success happens.