Google AdWords: Text vs. Image

Say you’re looking to start an AdWords campaign. AdWords gives you the option to create both text-based ads and image-based ads. Which ones work best? While results may vary per situation, here’s what I found through experience: (based off of my Wed-Sat Technically Heroic Promotion Week results)

Images place higher than text

When it comes to Cost-Per-Click (CPC) advertising, your ads will compete with others in their category, and the resulting placement rating varies, with 1 being the highest.  Ad placement ratings are in part decided by competition, budget, and keywords.  Overall, during the campaign, the two graphical ads placed higher (1) than the three textual ads (2.7-3.8).

Text gets more impressions

An impression is when your ad is actually displayed on a website, and the frequency is often determined by the keywords you choose and the keyword content of the ad itself.  In my opinion, the fact that you can include keywords in text ads is what gives text-based ads the advantage.  My results show that my top two textual ads got over 44,600 impressions, while my two image ads combined got over 29,300 impressions.

Images get more clicks

Here’s my theory: People see a text ad, and think ‘Dull, black and white’ and maybe ‘sounds interesting.’  Then people see a good-looking image ad and think ‘Wow, that looks cool!  I’ll check it out (click).’  My proof?  My best image ad got twice as many clicks as my best text ad.  The theory doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it?


Text ads vs. Image ads, which wins? Image ads. While they may not get quite as many impressions as text ads, they still get plenty and on relevant sites, leading to a higher click-through rate, implying that those who click an image ad are more likely to purchase what you’re selling.  But don’t just take my word for it!  Try it yourself and see what results you get, then let me know what you think!