How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert

Graph_LI-532x266 How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert
Photo: Carlos Muza

No matter when your busy season is, consider adding graphical advertisements to your text ad rotation to gain access to new prospects, leads, and clients. They don’t cost any more than a text ad, and they run on relevant websites where your clients are spending time.

Using Google Ads (previously Google AdWords), log in to your account. If you don’t have an account, you must have a Gmail account and credit card to begin this process.

From there follow these step-by-step instructions to see your ad come to life.

  1. Go to the home screen (click the Google Ads logo)
  2. Click Campaigns, then the (+) icon
  3. New Campaign > Website Traffic
  4. Click the Display box at the bottom
  5. Choose Standard display campaign
  6. Enter your business website > Continue
  7. Change the campaign name to Display [add a keyword phrase like Busy Season 19]
  8. Click the radio button Enter another location, you can enter states, cities, or even a zip code. Keep this limited to maximize your ad campaign results.
  9. Choose location options > People in your targeted location
  10. Language = English
  11. Change Bidding to Maximize Clicks
  12. Enter Maximum CPC of $1.00
  13. Budget = $10.00 per day
  14. Click Additional Settings > Ad Schedule
  15. Change this to Monday – Friday 7:15 AM to 20:15 PM or choose whatever days and times you’d like based on your budget.
  16. Start /End Date [enter a starting and ending date for your campaign]
  17. Change Devices > Set Specific Devices > check Computers and Mobile web only
  18. Scroll down, enter an Ad Group name like an industry name, such as Small Business Owners
  19. For Audiences, enter accounting below the Browse link, pick the topics from the list that appears, like payroll services, tax services, accounting services, bookkeeping services, and CPA. Click Done.
  20. Click Demographics, uncheck 18-24 and 65+ and household income below top 21-30% [choose the right options for your audience]
  21. Click Content Targeting > choose Placements
  22. Enter Small Business, click Websites that align with your target
  23. Choose the top 2-4 websites where you’d like to place the ad, such as and > click Done
  24. Scroll down to Create your ads. Click New Ad > Responsive display ad
  25. Create the Ad
    1. Enter the full URL for the landing page on your website, such as a services page, or specific page created for busy season.
    2. Add image assets, such as your logo and images from their stock catalog > Click Save.
    3. Write a Headline (up to 30 characters), like “Increase Business Efficiency”
    4. Enter a long headline, up to 90 characters, such as “Payroll is hard. It doesn’t have to be with our cloud-based services.”
    5. Add a Description (up to 90 characters), like “Wasting your time with payroll? Let us help so you can focus on what you love … your biz.
    6. Add your business name.
    7. Click More Options > Call to action text. Click the arrow next to Automated and choose the appropriate call to action, such as Contact Us.
  26. Click Create Campaign.

Create additional ads (start with at least three different ads) to entice leads. Try different copy and images to see which ad(s) perform the best.

Also consider different ad groups to separate target markets, for example, geographically you might use two different states or towns. If choosing gender, you’d have ads with men or women in the photographs, etc.


  • A/B split testing just an image change can help you determine what your audience responds to. In this case, two ads were created, one with a woman and one with a man.
  • If you plan to use all the headlines and description fields, notice that the text rotates and combines a variety of options from both. Be sure the copy makes sense no matter what headline goes with a description, and vice versa.

Organizing Campaigns

Think of your ad campaigns as a file folder where you’d keep subfolders. The main folder is a topic, for example, Payroll Leads. The subfolders might be by industry, such as construction, retail, nonprofit, etc. Then you’d create ads for each specific ad group under a campaign. It would look something like this:

Paryoll-ad-campaign How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert
Sample Campaign Organization Chart
Increase-Biz-woman-mobile-72-dpi How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert
Sample Graphical Ad – Mobile
Increase-Biz-woman-desktop-72dpi How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert
Graphical Ad for Retail Websites
Increase-Biz-Man-Desktop-1024x728 How to Create Google Display Ads That Convert
Same Campaign – Construction Ads for Websites

How do you know if your ad is successful?

The easiest way will be to tell is with clicks to your website’s landing page form, as well as calls to your office. Additionally, you can tell through the Google Ads reporting. Some of the key metrics to be watching include impressions, cost, clicks, average cost per click, and click through rate.

According to WordStream, for the B2B industry, a good display ad click-thru rate would be 0.22%.

Now that you know how to reach leads via relevant websites; how to create graphical ads; and how to measure campaign success, will you add graphical ads to your online ad buying plan during busy season?

This post originally appeared in the CPA Client Bulletin Resource Guide, © 2019 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Reprinted by permission.

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