Best Practices on How to Use GIFs in Google Display Ads

Learn the best practices for using GIFs in Google Display Ads! Explore the benefits, tips, and case studies for creating compelling and engaging ads.
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Are you struggling to create engaging and effective Google Display Ads that capture your audience’s attention? Adding GIFs to your ads can be a game-changer. However, creating and using GIFs in Google Display Ads can be daunting without the right knowledge and guidance. That’s where this post comes in. This guide will explore the best practices on how to use GIFs in Google Display Ads, including the benefits, tips, and best practices for creating engaging and compelling ads. With these tips and case studies, you can create GIFs that grab attention, increase engagement, and drive results for your business. So let’s dive in and discover how to use GIFs in Google Display Ads like a pro.

How GIFs revolutionized image display: a brief history

The creation of the GIF can be attributed to Steve Wilhite at CompuServe, who developed it to conserve memory when displaying images. Wilhite’s team employed a compression algorithm to achieve this and restricted the number of colors used. This technique involved identifying repetitive patterns, making GIFs capable of generating high-performance photorealistic images. Including multiple image versions in a single file made it possible to create a looping video by sequencing them together.

Are GIFs allowed in Google Display Ads?

GIFs are allowed in Google Display Ads. They can be an effective way to capture attention and convey a message quickly. However, it’s important to follow Google’s guidelines and best practices. Additionally, it’s vital to ensure that the GIF doesn’t violate copyright or intellectual property laws.

You can find the Google Ads policy on image ad formats, including GIFs, on this page:

Animated and non-animated image ads

Below are the available ad sizes and file types that you can utilize for your Google Display Ads:

File types

  • Formats GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Max. size 150KB

Ad sizes

Square and rectangle  

  • 200 × 200 Small square
  • 240 × 400 Vertical rectangle
  • 250 × 250 Square
  • 250 × 360 Triple widescreen
  • 300 × 250 Inline rectangle
  • 336 × 280 Large rectangle
  • 580 × 400 Netboard


  • 120 × 600 Skyscraper
  • 160 × 600 Wide skyscraper
  • 300 × 600 Half-page ad
  • 300 × 1050 Portrait


  • 468 × 60 Banner
  • 728 × 90 Leaderboard
  • 930 × 180 Top banner
  • 970 × 90 Large leaderboard
  • 970 × 250 Billboard
  • 980 × 120 Panorama


  • 300 × 50 Mobile banner
  • 320 × 50 Mobile banner
  • 320 × 100 Large mobile banner

GIFs animation length 

The animation length must be 30 seconds or shorter. You can loop the animations, but they must stop after 30 seconds.

GIFs animation speed

Animated GIF ads must be slower than 5 FPS.

According to this policy, GIFs are allowed in Google Display Ads as long as they comply with the ad format requirements and policies. However, checking the policy for the most up-to-date information on acceptable ad formats is always a good idea.

Benefits of using GIFs in Google Display Ads

GIFs are a powerful tool for marketers because they offer a range of benefits that can help improve the effectiveness of display ads. 

First, GIFs are highly effective at capturing attention.

Because they’re animated, they’re more likely to catch people’s eyes and stand out in a crowded advertising space. This can increase the visibility of your ads and improve the chances of people clicking on them.

Second, GIFs are very good at conveying messages quickly and easily.

They can effectively tell a story, demonstrate product features, or explain complex ideas in a way that static images simply can’t. This is because they can quickly cycle through a sequence of images. This makes them a highly versatile tool for creating engaging and informative ads.

Third, GIFs are highly engaging, which can help increase user engagement with your ads.

When people engage with an ad, they’re more likely to spend time with it, click on it, and ultimately convert. Using GIFs in your display ads can make your ads more interesting and engaging, which can help drive higher click-through rates and more conversions.

Fourth, GIFs can add personality and character to your brand.

By incorporating fun, creative, and humorous GIFs into your ads, you can showcase the personality and values of your brand, making it more relatable to your target audience. Furthermore, it helps build a stronger emotional connection between your brand and your customers, ultimately driving more sales and customer loyalty.

Fifth, boost conversions with GIFs.

Show how your product/service helps and motivates potential customers to act.

Finally, GIFs are a cost-effective way to add visual interest to your ads.

GIFs are typically less expensive and require fewer resources than other forms of rich media, such as videos. Therefore, even smaller businesses with limited budgets can create compelling, engaging display ads that stand out.

Ready to take your Google Display Ads to the next level? It’s time to learn the tips and best practices for creating killer GIFs that grab attention and drive results. Let’s dive into creating effective GIFs for Google Display Ads!

Tips and best practices for creating effective GIFs for Google Display Ads

Creating effective GIFs for Google Display Ads requires careful attention to detail and a focus on best practices.

This section provides advice on creating effective GIFs for Google Display Ads. It discusses length, file size, branding, and calls to action. Also, it provides additional best practices beyond just creating effective GIFs. 

To ensure that your GIFs in Google Display Ads are effective, follow and keep in mind these best practices:

Keep your GIFs short and sweet

The optimal length for a GIF is between 3-7 seconds, even if Google allows you to create 30-second GIFs. This best practice is long enough to convey a message or idea but short enough to keep people’s attention.

Have a clear call to action

Include a clear and concise call to action that tells people what you want them to do, such as “Shop Now” or “Learn More.” Make your CTA prominent and use clear, action-oriented language.

Understand the importance of branding

Use clear branding to ensure your logo or message is prominently displayed so people know who the ad is from.

Additionally, make sure that the colors and fonts used in your GIF are consistent with your brand identity. Use fonts, colors, and imagery that align with your brand, and ensure that your logo is prominently displayed. This technique will help increase brand recognition and awareness.

Make your GIFs visually engaging or attention-grabbing

Ensure that your GIF is high-quality and visually appealing. Use high-quality images or video clips to provide a smooth and seamless animation. 

Keep the file size of your GIFs small

Large file sizes can slow down the loading time of your ad, which can lead to a negative user experience. Aim to keep your GIFs under 150 KB in size.

Use text overlays to reinforce your message

Adding short, snappy text to your GIFs can help reinforce your message and make your ad more memorable.

Get familiar with your target audience

Consider your target audience when choosing the type of GIF to use. Your GIF should be relevant to your target audience and the message you’re trying to convey. Identifying your target audience is crucial in marketing, and at Twibi, we have been emphasizing and reiterating this necessity. For example, if you’re targeting a younger audience, you might use a humorous GIF that resonates with them. 

Use contrast

Ensure the animation is smooth and seamless. Use contrasting colors to make your GIFs stand out and catch people’s attention. Using contrasting colors is important because it can help your GIFs stand out from the surrounding content and attract people’s attention.

Optimize GIFs for mobile devices

Most online activity now takes place on mobile devices, so it’s essential to ensure that your ads are optimized for these devices. Use small file sizes to ensure fast load times, and test your GIFs on different devices to ensure they display correctly.

Make your GIFs more SEO-friendly

Suppose you’re wondering how Google crawls GIFs. The process is similar to how it treats other images, focusing on enhancing the g searchability and shareability of Google Images. To ensure your GIFs receive optimal exposure, it’s crucial to employ Google Image optimization techniques, which facilitate the crawling, parsing, and indexing of your GIF content.

Can GIFs boost SEO? 

Absolutely. As with other well-crafted images, GIFs can attract clicks and boost engagement on a webpage. Moreover, shareable and well-branded GIFs can have an extended life cycle in the meme ecosystem, expanding their reach further. Adding GIFs to your content can also break up lengthy articles and add a relatable touch that keeps readers engaged. So if you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to spice up your content, incorporating GIFs can be a great place to start.

To make your GIFs SEO-friendly, do the following:

1. Start by customizing their filenames, choosing unique ones, and crafting descriptive alt-texts that’ll appeal to users and search engines. 

2. Consider adding GIFs to your website’s image sitemap, using image tags to ensure that Google knows their exact location. 

3. Optimize the placement of your GIFs near relevant text and toward the top of the page to maximize visibility in Google Images. 

4. Ensure your GIFs have good URL structures, are responsive, and load quickly to provide the best user experience possible. 

By following these best practices, you can increase the chances of your GIFs being discovered and shared, boosting your SEO efforts.

Test and optimize your GIFs

Use A/B testing to experiment with different versions of your GIFs, including different lengths, imagery, and messaging. Analyze the results of your tests and make changes as needed to improve the effectiveness of your ads. You can try to ask this question: “What resonates best with my target audience?”

Creating effective GIFs for Google Display Ads requires regular practice, focus on best practices, and attention to detail. 

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GIFs’ popularity: a statistical overview on social media and beyond

GIFs in social media messaging have grown exponentially in recent years, with platforms like GIPHY, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp having reported staggering numbers.

  • GIPHY has a monthly user base of over 250 million and provides over 2 billion GIFs daily, according to Wikipedia.
  • In 2015, Facebook introduced the option to send GIFs on Messenger, resulting in a daily sending rate of 5 million GIFs.
  • By 2017, the daily rate of GIFs sent on Messenger had surged to 36 million, with users sending 25,000 GIFs per minute.
  • WhatsApp added the same feature in November 2016, leading to a remarkable 70 million GIFs sent daily via WhatsApp chats.
  • Approximately 22.3% of all websites use GIFs.

Top 8 tools for creating engaging marketing GIFs

Here are eight tools to create marketing GIFs that are popular and widely used by professionals and beginners alike:


Canva is an online design tool that offers a wide range of customizable templates and graphics, including GIFs.


GIPHY is an online platform that allows users to create and share GIFs for marketing purposes, with a library of pre-existing GIFs that can be customized.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a popular graphics editing software that can be used to create and edit GIFs.


EZGIF is a free online tool that enables users to create and edit GIFs from existing images and videos.


GIFMaker is a free online tool that lets users create GIFs from existing videos and customize their speed and size.


Imgflip is another free online tool that allows users to create custom GIFs from images and videos and add text and captions.


Filmora is a video editing software with a built-in GIF creator, allowing users to create high-quality GIFs from their videos.


PhotoVibrance enables anyone to turn static images into captivating moving images. The tool can transform ordinary images into moving masterpieces with customizable presets and user-friendly controls.

These tools provide users with various options for creating eye-catching and engaging marketing GIFs that can help enhance their online presence and promotional efforts.


GIFs have become a popular and effective tool for marketers to engage their audiences and promote their brands. With various tools for creating eye-catching marketing GIFs, businesses can easily incorporate this format into their social media, email marketing, and display ad campaigns. By following the best practices and tips for using GIFs in these contexts, brands can create compelling and engaging content that resonates with their target audience. For those looking to use GIFs in Google Display Ads specifically, it’s important to understand this platform’s unique opportunities, limitations, and best practices for optimizing GIFs for ad performance. With the right approach, GIFs can be a powerful asset for any brand looking to capture its audience’s attention and drive engagement.
For those interested in leveraging the power of GIFs for their Google Display Ads campaigns, consulting with a marketing professional may be helpful to ensure optimal results. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you create compelling and effective ads that resonate with your target audience.

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