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It’s not that I didn’t like Responsive Display Ads (in fact, I use them a lot). It’s just that I thought that given the choice, it would be better to have professionally designed banner ads created in popular sizes, rather than use Responsive Display Ads.

Responsive Display Ads are just that, responsive, and as such sometimes the actual ad doesn’t look as compelling, or as on-brand, as an ad that had been put together by a graphic designer. Partly because it is more text based, and partly because Google combines elements algorithmically rather than according to a specified branding requirement. For some of my high-end clients that is a big deal because their brand is so important to them.

So if the client said professionally designed “banner ads only!”, I didn’t argue. I was a bit meh on the Responsive Display Ads anyway, and figured if the client had the banners those would be fine.

But my thoughts on this were re-evaluated when a member of my team pointed out that we really should be running both banner ads and RDA ads at the same time.

“Why?” I asked. It hadn’t really occurred to me to do that. (By the way, this is a good reason why its important to have top-notch people on your team who aren’t afraid to share their opinions!)

She explained to me that because there are so many different banner sizes on the Google Display Network and because the size of the banner being used is the design choice of the hosting website, its not really possible to get all the impressions you might like if you only stick to popular banner sizes.

Furthermore, not many clients have budgets for all the banner sizes. Afterall, creating 10-15 different banner ads is expensive in both graphic design labour and advertising labour, so many clients will only elect for the most popular, or only the sizes they think look the nicest.

Search for “best banner sizes” and you’ll see many blogs espousing a limited set to use. The trouble is, these sizes are the same sizes that the majority of other advertisers go for, so there is a supply / demand disparity for these sizes. An unusual size may cost much less for an impression.

So we added both Responsive Display and fixed-size ads to our own display ad groups, to compare them side-by-side. we have our ads set to “rotate indefinitely” rather than to show more impressions of the better performing ad. Despite that, you can see the responsive ad got way more clicks and impressions than the fixed size ads in the supposedly “best performing” sizes.

Here’s an example of one where we included both – note 4X more impressions to the responsive ad than the fixed size ads.

Responsive Display Ads

Here’s another example. In this case the difference between the responsive ad and the fixed size ads were very significant in impressions, clicks, CPC and conversion rates.

Responsive Display Ads

Now to be fair, most of our clients are already using Responsive Display Ads rather than fixed sizes, just due to the ease of setting up the responsive ones if their graphic designer hadn’t supplied fixed sizes. But moving forward, we’ll be suggesting to our clients who insist on giving fixed sizes that we give the responsive ads a go, alongside the fixed sizes, so that we can see how they compare.

Then the client just has to choose what is more important to them – perfect branding, or performance?


brett leggett

Hi Petra, Hope you are well, I checked out the Google Analytics and all I can say is AWESOME. You have essentially doubled her revenue in a month and the Google Ads seem to be popping off!

Brett Leggett Brett Leggett ✪ eCommerce Growth Specialist Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020

Michelle Bridger

Petra's detailed reports and her personal assistance has been helping us to know where to concentrate our efforts and even showed us technical issues we needed to fix. Our Audience Engagement Report identified several key interests of our buying audience. We tried targeting one of those interests and it brought in two sales almost immediately! I highly recommend working with Petra and accessing her brilliance to scale your business.

Michelle Bridger Michelle Bridger, Facebook Advertising Specialist Ecommerce Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics & Google Data Studio Configuration April 23, 2020

Sophie Abnett

Here at 1834 Hotels we centralise the marketing for many different hotels. It can be an enormous undertaking to monitor and track the performance of each one, especially when they are all on separate webpages.

Petra helped to resolve this difficulty by creating a central hub in Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics with Cross-domain tracking and Ecommerce as well. She created many valuable analytics dashboards and reports that draw from the centralized source. Now that we have all the analytics tracking working it has improved the accuracy of our reporting and the insights have helped develop better marketing strategies.

Petra’s skills and wealth of knowledge is fantastic. I would recommend Petra without hesitation.

Sophie Abnett Digital Marketing Project Manager at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager & Google Data Studio Integration April 23, 2020

Kiley Hay Baby Carriers Australia

I have been working with Petra for over a year now after changing from a much larger digital marketing provider and I could not be more pleased with the service and results my business is achieving.

With my previous providers I felt disconnected with limited communication. Petra on the other hand provides me with knowledge and information in a language I can understand that helps me make informed decisions not just about digital marketing but also my e-commerce business as a whole.

Petra has helped me navigate seasonal drops in trade creating a strategy that helped us grow and establish a healthy position in the market. It is an absolute joy to work with someone who loves what they do. I have complete confidence in recommending Petra to anyone considering e-commerce digital marketing, she is efficient, trusted and a true professional.

Kiley Hay CEO of Baby Carriers Australia Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020

Nadia Rossi

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Petra over the last year and a half. 1834 Hotels centralises marketing for over 20 hotels around Australia, all with different branding and websites. On an analytics level Petra’s skills have allowed us to monitor and track our marketing efforts in the digital space. Bringing Petra onboard to manage our Google Ads was one of the best marketing decisions we have made. Her thoroughness and attention to detail is incredible, her insights have helped develop better marketing strategies and demonstrate to shareholders return on investment. I would highly recommend working with Petra.

Nadia Rossi Digital Marketing at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Ads April 23, 2020