April 18

Types of Google Ads Campaigns

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a small business just getting into digital marketing, Google Ads campaigns offer huge value for money.

Google has digital ads down to a fine science, and they power the whole thing with advanced AI and more data than you can poke a stick at. For advertisers it means one thing: Google Ads can be used to create profitable marketing campaigns. With the right targeting, clever copy and beautiful creatives, you can run a Google Ads campaign that helps your business achieve its goals, whatever they are.

To kick those goals, Google Ads is broken up into 7 different campaign types. The one you choose depends on your marketing goals, budget, brand strategy and how much time you can invest into the project. Some campaign types are good for low budgets and people just starting out, others have better returns in the hands of a seasoned marketer. In this article we’re going to cover the 7 different types of Google Ads campaigns and how your business can use them.

Search campaigns.

Google Search campaigns are the original. Search ads are the text ads that show up as part of the search results on Google and Google’s Search partners. These ads have powerful targeting tools, are easy to set up and they’re cost-effective for most marketing goals.

You can use a Search campaign to achieve goals like:

  • Creating awareness and driving consideration. Search ads only show up when people are looking for products, services and brands like yours. That means they’re a good way to get your ads in front of people who are interested in your business.
  • Attracting new leads. Search campaigns are great for middle of funnel marketing activities that are designed to capture leads.
  • Generating sales. 46% of all product searches begin on Google. Search ads are in the right place to catch the attention of people who are ready to make their next purchase!

Display campaigns.

By partnering with millions of websites all over the world, Google has created a huge Display Network. Display ads are the rich media ads (pictures, videos and interactive ads) that show up when you’re browsing other sites. They often show products, but they’re also a good way to show off branding and reach people who don’t know anything about you.

Display campaigns come with powerful targeting tools. Because the Display Network is made up of sites all over the world, you can use Google’s targeting and Affinity Audiences to get your ads in front of people who are interested in related topics and websites.

Display campaigns can be used to achieve marketing goals like:

  • Create awareness and consideration. Display campaigns can reach huge audiences wherever they’re browsing. It makes them ideal for creating awareness and catching the attention of potential customers.
  • Generate sales and leads. Rich media ads are a good way to invite people to click through to your website where you can capture the lead or generate a sale. 
  • Remarketing campaigns. About 70% of all transactions end with the shopper abandoning their cart. Remarketing uses a clever bit of code on your site to show ads directly to people who’ve already visited your website, enticing them to come back for a closer look.

Video campaigns.

Youtube is now the world’s second most-visited website, pulling more than 13.3 billion views in 2021. And, even though they take a bit of effort to create, Video campaigns pull in about 27 times higher click-through rates than standard Display ads.

Running Video campaigns can help with:

  • Awareness and consideration. Youtube has a huge reach beyond Google Search. Video ads are a great way to catch the eye and show off your branding and products to people who know little or nothing about you.
  • Generating sales and leads. Video ads can be set up to drive a certain action, like bringing people to your website to generate leads and make sales.
  • Remarketing campaigns. Target your Video ads at people who’ve previously viewed your ads or visited your website, bringing them back for a second bite.

Shopping campaigns.

Shopping Ads are the product listings that show up at the top of Google’s search results. They get your product listings front and centre at moments when customers are deciding what they want to buy. Don’t worry though – you don’t need to write specific ads for each product. Instead, Google Shopping takes a database with your products and creates ads that show images, prices and descriptions to searchers.

You can use Shopping campaigns to:

  • Promote specific products. With Shopping campaigns, your products are integrated into Google’s search results and on the Shopping tab, so you don’t need to convince people to visit your online store.
  • Make sales. By giving customers pictures, pricing and info on your products up front, you can weed out tyre kickers and improve your conversion rates.

App campaigns.

App campaigns are designed specifically for businesses that have published Android and iOS apps. Whether the app itself is your business or just an add-on, App campaigns can help you find new users and increase in-app engagement (such as in-app sales). Unlike other Google campaign types, you don’t need to design individual ads for App campaigns. Instead, Google takes your ideas for text, images, videos and other assets, then uses AI to build the most effective ads. App campaigns appear in lots of different places, including the Search and Display Networks, Google Play and Youtube.

Local campaigns.

Designed specially for local brick and mortar businesses, Local campaigns are designed to send people to your physical venues. Local campaigns use your text, assets and location information to build ads with Google’s AI. The AI will also place the ads in the most effective places, like Google Maps, Youtube, Gmail, Business Profiles, as well as the Display and Search Networks.

Local campaigns are a great choice for local venues that want to:

  • Make in-person sales
  • Promote events
  • Promote offers
  • Direct people into the store with detailed location info

Smart campaigns.

One of Google’s newest offerings, Smart campaigns are designed to make it easier for small businesses to get into Google Ads. Smart campaigns use Google’s AI to do most of the heavy lifting. All you need to do is tell Google about your business, select the keywords you want to target, set a budget, then provide some text and assets to use for ads. With that info in hand, Google will automatically run and optimise ads that show up on Search, Youtube, Gmail, Maps and Search partner sites. 

Smart campaigns are perfect for small businesses that want to run Google Ads but don’t have the time or the know-how to dive into more complex campaigns. Smart campaigns make it significantly easier to create ads and get into digital marketing. They’re best suited to businesses that want to find new leads and make sales.

Not sure which Google campaign is right for your business? Let Gordon Digital help!

The Gordon Digital team has been working on Google Ads campaigns for as long as we’ve been around! Our dedicated Google Ads team can design effective campaigns of any type. As a long-term member of Google’s Partners program, we’ve got access to the tools, information and feedback we need to deliver high-performing Google campaigns for any industry. We’ll work with your business to learn more about who you are and what you do, then design campaigns that help you kick your goals.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more or are ready to make a start on your Google Ads campaigns!

about the author

Jessica Gordon