Smart Display Campaigns for Google Ads & How They Work

This guide explains Smart Display Campaigns.

Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know about Google Smart Display Ads, including what they are, how they work, their benefits, and the advertising features you have to give up when using Smart Display Google Ads to market your business online.

As you’ll discover, Smart Display Campaigns in Google Ads (formerly AdWords) are a good digital marketing strategy to take advantage of for display ad automation, remarketing, and smart bidding that can lead to higher conversions.

Smart Display Campaigns

What Are Smart Display Campaigns?

Smart Display Campaigns automate and optimize campaign targeting, bidding, and ads for Google’s Display Network. A Smart Display Campaign is an effective way to manage the complex variables of display advertising to reach an audience across millions of sites and apps to increase brand awareness and conversions.

How Google Smart Display Ads Work

Google Smart Display Ads work by using automated targeting, bidding, and ad creation to optimize the best-performing display ads for your Google Smart Campaigns. The machine learning process of Google Smart Display Ads automatically finds customers, sets the right bids, and creates responsive ads to attract people to your business.

  • Automated Targeting: Customer targeting continues to optimize during your Smart Display Campaign so that your ads are shown more on sites and apps where they’re most likely to convert and less on the non-converting properties.
  • Automated Bidding: Using your target cost-per-action (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS) as a basis for your budget. Google Smart Display Ads will then use smart bidding to give you the best value for your budget by setting your bids for each ad auction according to the possibility of a conversion.
  • Automated Ad Creation: Display Ads are automatically created for you from the headlines, descriptions, logos, and images you provide to fit responsively across Google’s Display Network.

Benefits of Smart Display Campaigns

There are five key benefits of using Smart Display Campaigns:

  • Minimal input is required to create an effective Display Ad Campaign.
  • Automatic targeting and bidding deliver a higher return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Top-performing Display Ads can be created in minutes; not hours.
  • Smart Display Campaigns reach people who are most likely to convert.
  • Automatic remarketing is available to target anyone who has previously visited your website.
  • You can broaden your customer base without having to manually adjust the targeting details in your Google Ads.
  • You can increase brand awareness across all stages of the buying cycle with the people who are most likely to convert.
  • You can use conversion tracking to find out what happens after a customer interacts with your Smart Display Ads.
  • You can test multiple ad creatives in the smartest and budget-friendly way to determine which combination of assets generates the highest ROAS.

Disadvantages of Smart Display Ads

  • You cannot set manual ad targeting.
  • You cannot set manual bids.
  • You cannot change Display Ad settings like delivery method or device.
  • You cannot target only desktop or mobile devices in Smart Display Campaigns.
  • You cannot manually create a Display Ad; it’s done for you automatically.
  • You cannot change a Smart Display Campaign into a different type of campaign; a new campaign must be created.
Google Smart Display Ads: Optimization Graphic

Optimizing Google Smart Display Campaigns

Add 15 Display Ad Images

The first way to optimize Google Smart Display campaigns is to add 15 images for Google’s algorithm to test for your ads, which is the maximum limit. You can crop a single image to the landscape format (1.91:1) and square format (1:1) or use separate images for each aspect ratio. Also, avoid putting text on your images. Sales copy should be inserted in the Display Ad headlines and descriptions (mentioned next).

Include 5 Short Headlines

Google recommends that you include up to 5 short headlines to test for your responsive Smart Display Campaigns. The short headline appears as the first line of your Display Ad on placements where the long headline cannot fit.

Include 5 Descriptions

Google also recommends that you include up to 5 descriptions for testing purposes. The description adds context to the headline and should encourage people to take action by clicking on your Smart Display Ad.

Use the Advanced URL Option

The advanced URL field allows you to add tracking or custom parameters to your URL. This helps you measure the success of your Google Ads by tracking the customer journey from ad click to final conversion.

Give the Algorithm Time to Work

Smart Display Campaigns use a machine learning algorithm to test and identify which ad variations generate the best results for your business. And this learning process is continuous throughout the Display Ad Campaign. Therefore, you should give your campaigns at least 14 days to gather user data before making any changes.

Review Asset Reports

After you’ve given your campaigns enough time to collect data, you can further optimize your Display Ads by clicking on the “View Asset Details” link and looking at the performance column. Google Ads will show you how every element of your Smart Display Ad is performing (e.g., headline, description, and image). If any element has a low performance rating, you should replace it with something else to test. The goal is to strip away any assets that are not delivering good results for your business so only the best-of-the-best ad content is being tested for your Display Campaigns.

More Resources On Advertising

Smart Display Campaigns Summary

I hope you enjoyed this guide on Smart Display Campaigns.

As you discovered, Google Smart Display Ads automate and optimize campaign targeting, bidding, and ad setup for Google’s Display Network. And a Smart Display Campaign is an effective way to manage the complex variables of display advertising to reach an audience across millions of sites and apps that’s more likely to convert for a higher return on ad spend.