The Ultimate List Of Google Ads Campaign Types

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Running campaigns on Google AdWords is a great way to reach the customers. Learn about the AdWords campaign types and choose the best one for your business.

Table of Contents

Google is a company that needs no introduction at all. Most of us who go online can’t live without it, and Google Search is an indispensable tool that we turn to whenever we need to find any information. With an average of over 40,000 search queries happening on Google every second (which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day), one of the best ways for every business to become visible to their past, present and future customers is to gain prominent visibility by running at least one Google Ads campaign.

Google Ads is Google’s Search Engine Marketing (SEM) platform, through which you can advertise not only on Google Search and the other websites owned by Google but also on millions of other third-party websites and mobile apps as well.

Running a Google Ads campaign can bring many benefits to your business. It is certainly a digital marketing effort that you cannot ignore if you want to stay in business for a long time. If you need a quick rundown of these benefits then read this article.

SEM or PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising using Google Ads is a surefire way to get noticed by your customers and to get them to perform actions that are beneficial for your business. These actions may include the purchase of a product, filling up a lead form or even downloading any book or white paper that you want them to read.

There are various Google Ads types available. When it comes to choosing the right Google Ads Types, many entrepreneurs often get confused with the technicalities involved. In this article, I will tell you about the different Google Ads types that are you can choose from, and also talk about the objectives that you can fulfil with each.

To get the best results from your Google Ads campaigns, you can assign the task of creating and managing your Google Ads campaign to experts. However, having a basic idea about the Google Ads types will certainly help you to discuss your requirements with them and also sound smarter and well informed.

Where Will Your Ads Appear?

Before we get into a discussion about the various Google Ads Types, it is important that we first understand the reach of Google Ads. The platform puts you in total control of the processes of creating and optimising the ads. Where the ads will ultimately show up will completely depend on what geographical, demographic and placement targeting that you have selected, and the ad format that you have chosen.

Broadly, the ads can appear on:

  • Google Search
  • Google Search Partners Network
  • Google display network

 A. Google Search

The largest website where Search (Text) based advertisements appear is the Google Search Engine. But that is not all. There are many other places where these advertisements can appear.

B. Google Search Partners Network

Google has partnered with thousands of third-party websites that publish search, display and video advertisements. These websites are collectively known as the “Google Search Partners Network”.

Google Maps, Google videos and Google shopping are some of the other important places where your advertisements can appear.

C. Google Display Network

Just like the Search Partners Network, Google also has a Google Display Network which is a group of thousands of websites that publish display advertisements sourced from Google Ads.

Many of Google’s websites also support display ads. These include Blogger, Google Finance and YouTube, which is the world’s second-largest search engine (the first being Google Search itself).

Another large network where display ads may appear is Gmail. The ads that you see on the promotions tab on the free version of Gmail is placed through Google Ads.

Your ads can also appear on Google Play and millions of mobile apps that support advertisements.

The Main Google Ads Types:

Google offers 6  campaign types that you can choose from. These are:

  1. Search Network Campaigns With Display Opt-In
  2. Search Network Campaigns
  3. Display Network Only
  4. Video Campaigns
  5. Shopping Campaigns And Shopping Ads
  6. Universal App Campaigns

Let us now look at each of these in detail:

1. Search Network Campaigns With Display Opt-In

This campaign type was earlier known as Search Network With Display Select. In the new version of Google Ads that Google is about to release in 2017, the name has been changed.

This Google Ads campaign includes both the text and display ad formats. Many advertisers prefer this format, as they can reach out to websites in the Google Search Network as well as Google Display Network, without having to set up separate text and display campaigns.

The ads get triggered whenever the user searches for a keyword that the ad campaign contains. This campaign type gives you the best of both worlds: Your ad can show up on various search engine queries as well as on various websites that support graphical and text ad formats.

For whom:

This ad campaign type is right for advertisers who want their ads to appear alongside search results as well as reach out to customers who are visiting different websites on the internet. If you want your ads to be visible to people who are searching for your products or services, as well as build some brand recall, then go ahead and choose this ad type.

2. Search Network Campaigns

In the earlier version of Google Ads, the name of this campaign was Search Network Only. These are text-based ads that are shown along with the other results on Google Search. If you want to have a presence on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), then you need to select this campaign type.

If you choose to get an even wider reach, then you can choose to run ads on the Google Search Partners Network along with Google Search. Your ads will then also show on the various websites which have the Google Custom Search embedded in them or run the Google ads on their pages.

Text ads in the Search Network Campaigns contain:

  • 2 headlines of up to 30 characters each
  • A line of description of up to 80 characters
  • An URL which takes the customers to your website or landing page when they click on the ad.
How is this Google Ads campaign different from Search Network Campaigns With Display Opt-in?

Search network campaigns do not appear on the Google display network. It only gives you reach on Google and the Google Search Partners Network.

For whom: These are ideal for businesses that want to get noticed as soon as the customer search is for keywords that relate to their business. It is also ideal for anyone who wants their products all services to show up even when the customers are searching for a solution.

Understand this with the help of an example. Say, if you are a manufacturer of safety razors or hair trimmers for men, then you can use this Google Ads campaign format to show up in the search result when the user searches for a broad-based search term (keyword) like “men’s grooming solutions” or a closely related one like “best men’s trimmers”.

3. Display Network Only

This Google Ads campaign is ideal for advertisers who want to reach out vast audience, even when they are not actively searching for the product or service that the business has to offer.

Display Network Only campaigns are highly suited for establishing and enhancing brands since it allows the advertisers to grab the eyeballs of their potential customers when they are browsing the internet. It is also a very powerful tool to reach out to customers who might be interested in your products but are not searching for them on any search engine.

There are various ad formats available, which make these ads suitable for display on various screen sizes like desktops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.

How is this Google Ads campaign different from search network campaigns with display opt-in?

Display network campaigns do not appear on the Google search engine or the Search Partners Network and are shown only on the Google Display Network.

For whom:

This campaign type is suitable for more experienced advertisers as it requires detailed targeting and placement to yield the desired results. It also allows the advertiser to do Display Remarketing, which is a super way to stay on the top of the mind of the customers, even when they have browsed away from the website or landing page of the business without completing the action desired by the advertiser.

4. Video Ads

The future belongs to video, so you cannot be left behind when it comes to advertising to the viewers. By placing video ads on Google Ads, you can reach out to customers on YouTube and the Google display network.

Several formats of video ads are available, starting from ads that are less than 6 seconds long to longer ones that viewers can skip after 5 seconds. There is another format wherein you can also display a thumbnail of your video or a text ad to the viewers instead of directly showing them the ad. In that case, the video advertisement will play on the advertiser’s channel only if the viewer chooses to click on the thumbnail or text ad.

You can use video ads to spread awareness about your brand, to promote your products or services, a limited period promotion, and to get quick sales by giving the customers some irresistible discounts.

For whom:

Considering the universal appeal of videos, this Google Ads campaign type has become very popular among businesses of all types nowadays. Video ads can work wonders for most businesses and is considered to be a very powerful and cost-effective replacement for television ads.

5. Shopping Campaigns And Shopping Ads

This Google Ads campaign type is excellent for generating online sales as well as getting leads for offline sales. If you have an e-commerce and retail business and want to boost online sales, then this is for you. Even if you own a physical store, then you can use shopping ads to drive footfall into the store.

Shopping ads are extensively used by merchants who have products to sell. These ads see a significant surge in volumes before the festive seasons when the buyers are expected to look for great items that they can purchase for themselves as well as their near and dear ones.

Shopping ads can appear on the search engine result pages alongside search results, Google Shopping, YouTube and the search partner network. However, these ads are not available in every country across the world.

For whom:

As mentioned earlier these ads are ideal if you have a product to sell. Shopping ads can give you a vast reach both in local and international markets, so if your business has the capability of catering to customers from different countries then you cannot ignore these ads. Millions of businesses have already used shopping ads to go global and have accelerated their growth by leaps and bounds using these.

Even if you cannot serve global customers, you can still benefit from shopping ads. You can simply target your ads for the local customers in the locations that you can deliver the products to, and increase your business through online sales in these territories.

6. Universal App Campaigns

If you have an Android or iOS app then you can promote it with the help of a Universal App Campaign. This Google Ads campaign format is ideal for increasing the downloads of the app or to get its users to perform some in-app actions like purchases or filling up a lead form.

Universal App Campaigns target potential customers based on their interests. Anyone interested in the topic that your app caters to can potentially see your ad if the other targeting specifications match.

These ads appear in Google search, Google display network, Google Play, and YouTube.

For whom:

Universal app campaigns are right for you if you have an Android or iOS app and want to increase its downloads. If you are looking for more customers who might be willing to pay for the app or for the services that you offer, then you can use this Google Ads campaign type to grow your business.


Here is a short video by Google on the various Google Ads Types:

Which Google Ads Types Is Right For Me (In English)

Here is the same video in Hindi:

Which Google Ads Types Is Right For Me (In Hindi)

Why Do I Need So Many Google Ads Types?

All of these Google Ads Types can be customised and targeted to show only in the specific geographies where you want to do business and reach the customers who matter to your business. Google Ads also gives you the power to decide on the placements (i.e. Where the ads appear), the budgets that you want to allocate to each campaign and also decide on what actions you want the customers to take once they click on these ads.

Be Careful About The Google Ads Types You Choose

You must have heard the old English saying “with great power comes great responsibility“. That is exactly the reason why you have to be very careful about the Google Ads types you choose.

Choosing the wrong Google Ads types will not only waste your money unnecessarily but can also result in loss of business and valuable time especially when you are running a limited period offer or promotion.

Be choosy, and always go for the best campaign that helps you to achieve your marketing goals.

Additional things you can do with these Google Ads Types

These 6 Google Ads types provide you with various sophisticated features like Display Remarketing, Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSA), Dynamic Search Ads, Dynamic Display Ads, etc. that you can use for creating razor-sharp campaigns to reach out to your customers. Depending on your business goals, these features can be used in a very targeted manner to enable you to reach out to your target customers for growing your business quickly.

Since Google Ads campaigns are very sophisticated, These Google Ads types are highly sophisticated and technical, so you can get in touch with a digital marketing agency with Google Ads Certified Professionals like us.

Reach out to us by posting a comment below with your thoughts and questions, and we will be happy to help you out.

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