How to Create Display Ads

Creating attractive & high-performing display ads has never been easier. In this lesson, we’ll teach you step-by-step, how to create beautiful display ads from scratch using free tools.

17 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Creating Display Ads

Understand the elements and options available to create display ads. 

Google Responsive Display

Learn how Google Responsive Display Ads can be utilized.

Mastering the Process

Obtain working knowledge of how to build display ads from template to launch.

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.
Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

In this lesson, we’ll be walking through how to build display images ads and responsive display ads for your display campaigns

What Are Display Ads?

Display ads (banners) are ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) comprised of both images and copy. 

Why is this important?

This ad format allows you to get creative and really grab a user’s attention with a combination of copy and visuals. Because display campaigns do not require a user to search for you, but instead are dependent on the audience you utilize, this ad format generally gets much more exposure than a search ad.  

What you’ll need:

The Process:

Option 1: Creating Your Own Ads

For this example, we’ve chosen Bannersnack. However, there are multiple banner ad editors out there such as Crello ,Canva, and many others. Before getting started, make sure you know what font your website uses, as well as your brand colors/color codes. You’ll want your ads to match whatever styling you’re using on your website/landing page. If you are unsure about these things, download a free Chrome Add-On, Fontface Ninja, that will let you find out your sites font and color code: 

Using the add-on, you can see the font name and color code for the text on your website. Now that you have all you need, let’s get started. 

1. Navigate to the Bannersnack free trial page and sign-up using the credentials of your choice: 


2. Once you’ve created your free account, you’ll be given 2 choices. With your free trial, you’ll only be able to create single banners, so select this option:

  • The free trial includes the ability to create up to 10 free banners 

3. Then, using the top navigation bar, select the “Display” option:

4. Now, you’ll be able to select which size ad you want to create. For an efficient display campaign, you’ll want an ad in each size. This gives your campaign more flexibility as you’ll be able to get your ads in multiple placements and formats across the GDN. Only having one or a few sizes really limits the number of places your ad will be eligible to show in. We’ll start off with the Medium Rectangle (300 x 250 px) size.

5. Start off by setting up the background. Using the left-hand navigation panel, click the top option:

    • From here, we can decide what we want to do with our background, whether it be a solid color, a gradient, texture, or an image (stock or upload). 
    • We’re going to upload our image by clicking on “images”, then “my images”, then “Upload image(s)”:
      • For our example, we’ve already picked out a Directive background image that aligns with our main website styling.

    • Once the image is uploaded, you’ll have the option to go to “image settings” to choose how the image fits into your ad size (scale mode) as well as choose the alignment of the image (align). We’re going to use “scale crop” and align it in the center:

6. Now that the background is set up, let’s navigate to the “Text” section to fill in some copy: 

    • Here we can choose the type of text. Because we are trying to get someone’s attention, let’s use “Heading Text.” For inspiration on what to write, think of a statement that relates to what you are offering, and does a good job communicating the value someone will get by clicking. You also want to make sure what you are saying here, resonates with wherever you planning on sending the user after they click. 
      • For our example, we took copy from our PPC Services page to utilize as a headline which communicates the potential benefit a client could experience from working with us. We chose “Increase Paid Leads by 84%”.
    • Once you select the type of text you’d like, a new window will pop up with some more options. Here, you can choose your desired font, text color, size, alignment, and more. This is where the font that you chose earlier will come in handy. Additionally, you can rearrange the text and change the size of your text window using the white, perforated box outlined in the image below:

    • You can repeat this process for subheading text if you choose to include that as well. We decided to add a subheading, to provide a bit more context to our ad, and give the user more of a reason to click through to our landing page. Note that in certain ad sizes that are smaller, a full subheadline may be too cramped to include in that ad.
      • For our example, we chose “PPC performance that exceeds expectations, with the results to prove it” to highlight a core value prop and bold statement that we hope to induce clicks from relevant audiences.

7. Now that we have our ad copy chosen and placed, let’s add a “Call to Action” which inspires the user to click on the ad and lets them know what you are offering them. To do this navigate to the “button” section of the left-hand navigation panel:

    • Choose whichever style button you’d like. Just like the text, you’ll be able to edit the font, color, position, and size of the button. Adjust it to your liking and we’re almost done with our ad:
      • For our example, we’ve chosen “Get a Custom Proposal” as the CTA, as that is the main offer we want to promote with this display ad. 

8. Finally, we need to add our company logo. All ads are required to have a company logo so the user knows they are seeing an ad from another company. To do this, navigate to the “Add image” image on the left-hand side. Then, click on “My Images” and “Upload image(s)”:

  • Once uploaded, you’ll have the same options as you did for the ad text and call-to-action button. Resize, reposition, and adjust your logo to your liking and you’ve completed your first ad!

9. Now that you’ve made your first ad, make sure to save your finished product at the top of the page, on the right-hand side: 

10. A new window will pop-up where you can name your ad and save: 

Related lessons.

Get full access to all lessons
today for only $99.