You probably already know that an image can make anything online more engaging. That’s why it’s recommended you use images on social posts, throughout website blogs, and in downloadable documents. Images break down text, draw the eye, and add a whole new dimension to any content.
So do you know that you can bring all these benefits to your ads with Google Ads Image Extensions? Read on to learn exactly what Image Extensions are, how to set them up, and how they can boost your ad results.
If you’re completely new to Google Ads, I would recommend reading my beginner’s guide first.
- What are Image Extensions?
- Why Should You Use Image Extensions?
- Image requirements
- How to use Image Extensions in Google Ads
- Dynamic Image Extensions
Google Ads Image Extensions allow you to include images in your Google digital adverts instead of just text. They are optional but, if you have good imagery, are well worth using.
You will see image extensions on the Ads at the top of Google Search. They are not the same as Product Ads, where images are a requirement rather than an option.
If you use an image in your advert, you’re taking up more space. Although the allotted area you receive with image extensions isn’t any larger than a regular text ad, the image fills in blank white space, so it seems as if you’re taking up more room.
2. Stand out from the competition
Despite image extensions having been around for a while now, many advertisers aren’t using them. That means anyone who is making use of the extension stands out from the crowd with an eye-popping image that will draw the audience’s eye from the competition.
3. Engage your audience
Humans process visual content better than they do text, so images help grab attention and keep it. In fact, people process images 60,000 times quicker than other content, meaning that you can say more with an image, and say it much more quickly.
Even if a user scrolls right past your ad, with an image you are likely to have made more of an impression. And ads that make an impression are more likely to be remembered.
4. Say more than words
Ad copy, when written well, can tell users a lot about your product or service in a very small amount of space. Images will add to that by providing an even more descriptive ad without having to include an excessive amount of text.
Imagine you’re advertising a wedding venue for hire. You can describe in the ad copy how beautiful the venue is, but without an image you can’t really demonstrate the truth of your words.
Image Extensions cannot be used on every Google Ads account. There are certain eligibility criteria you must meet before this option will become available for you:
- Your account must have been open for more than 90 days.
- Any historical ads must have a good record of compliance with Google’s advertising terms.
- The account must have active campaigns.
- There must be text ads active on the account, and they must have had an active budget for at least the last 28 days.
- If your account is in a niche industry, it must not fall into one of the restricted niches, such as gambling, healthcare or alcohol.
You will be required to upload a square image of at least 300px by 300px, and can also upload an additional landscape image with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 and a minimum size of 600px by 314px. However, the recommended size is a minimum width of 1,200px to ensure the best quality ads.
Google has a handy cropping tool so you don’t even have to edit the images before uploading. Just make sure that the image size is less than 5,120KB when uploaded.
Google requires that all images used are of a suitable quality to be displayed. This means that low-quality pictures such as those that are blurred, distorted or excessively cropped cannot be used.
Any images should also be free of text or graphic overlays. You are not allowed to use company logos or watermarks, and text-only graphics will be rejected. Text is, however, allowed if it is minimal and part of a genuine image. For example, writing on a t-shirt.
As well as the restrictions on niche industries mentioned above, you should be aware that there are further limitations on specific images. You might expect some of these: for example, nudity and sexually suggestive images are prohibited. However, other rules may be less evident: for example, lingerie, including items like bikinis, cannot be shown as worn by real people. They must either be displayed on a mannequin or laid flat.
After logging on to your account, navigate to the left menu, and select Ads & extensions > Extensions. There will be a large plus sign that you select to create a new kind of extension. Choose the Image extension option to proceed.
Choose the campaign(s) you would like to add the extension to and then follow the instructions to upload up to 20 images. Google gives you the option to upload your own images, browse stock photos, or scan your website and social media sites to extract images.
Don’t feel that you need to use all 20 slots, but it’s a good idea to have at least a few different images. This will allow you to see how users respond to different photos and combinations. What you think is a fantastic picture may not resonate quite as well with your audience. It’s worth experimenting to find what works best.
Remember that the images you upload here will be seen across all the ads in the selected campaign(s). You should ensure the chosen images will make sense whichever ad they’re displayed against.
There are also advanced options that you can use to restrict when this set of images is displayed. For example, if you have seasonal images, you can set them to display during the appropriate months. You can also select the time of day that your images are shown.
Remember that these settings apply to all the pictures you have just uploaded. If you want to add different settings to different images, you will have to create multiple image extensions.
Google Ads also has a function where it automatically extracts images from your landing page to use in your ads. This is known as Dynamic Image Extensions.
You have to opt into this function by going to Ads & extensions > Extensions and then scrolling to the Dynamic Image option from the list of extensions. Google will then choose the best image from your landing page to match the search query.
Some things to be aware of when it comes to Dynamic Image Extensions are:
- If you have no suitable images on your landing page, then images won’t be served with the ad.
- If you have manually set up non-dynamic Image Extensions, these will always take priority of Dynamic Image Extensions.
- Dynamic Images will only be used if Google thinks they will improve your ad’s performance.
Image Extensions are a reasonably easy way of improving your Google Ads results and engaging your target audience. Though the process of adding them is straightforward, your account needs to have been active for some time in order to qualify for the option.