Digital Marketing

Types Of Google Ads Campaigns: Which is Right For You?

October 12, 2023

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Online advertising is essential for any business that wants to reach its target audience and grow. But with so many options, determining the right marketing strategy can feel overwhelming. The most famous advertising platform, Google Ads, offers several campaign types tailored to different business needs. Understanding the differences between Search, Display, Video, and Shopping campaigns will help you craft a comprehensive digital marketing plan to achieve your goals.

Whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or boost traffic to your website, the ideal campaign for you depends on your key objectives and target audience. This guide will outline the various Google Ads options so you can choose the best approach to connect with customers and propel your business forward.

What Are The Three Levels of Google Ads?

Google Ads organize into three layers – account, campaign, and ad group. Keeping your account structure clean and organized at these three levels significantly determines the success with Google Ads. Subsequently you can define your objectives, choose the suitable campaign types, and group similar keywords and ads, and you’ll be running optimized Google Ads campaigns in no time.

Account Level: You have your Google Ads account at the top level. This contains all your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords. You can have multiple accounts for different business needs.

Campaign Level: The campaign level allows you to organize your account into separate campaigns based on objectives like branding, sales, lead generation, or customer retention. You can choose from search network only, display network only, or search and display network campaigns. Search network campaigns appear on Google Search and other Google search partners. They are best for driving direct response and traffic. Display network campaigns appear on websites, videos, and apps. They work well for brand awareness and reaching new audiences.

Ad Group Level: Ad groups sit within campaigns and contain your ads and keywords. Ad groups allow you to organize similar keywords and ads together. For example, you may have an ad group for “men’s shoes” and another for “women’s shoes” within the same campaign.

Types of Google Ad Campaigns & Best Practices

First thing to remember is selecting the right Google Ads campaign type to reach your target audience. This will help you meet your marketing goals. Google offers several options for businesses to promote their products and services.

Here are the 8 Google Ads Campaign Types:

  • Search Campaign
  • Shopping Campaign
  • Discovery Campaign
  • Display Campaign
  • Performance Max Campaign
  • Video Campaign
  • App Campaign
  • Smart Campaign

Google Search Campaign

Google Search Campaigns are displayed as a text ad in response to search queries. They, also known as search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, appear at the top of Google search engine results pages. They are a popular choice for many businesses. To get started, determine a list of relevant keywords and set a budget for your ad spend. With Search Ads, you only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Best practices:

  • Choose the right keywords: This is the most important step in creating effective Search Ads. Your keywords should be relevant to your business and your products or services. It would be best to consider each keyword’s search volume and competition. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to help you research keywords.
  • Use relevant ad copy: Your ad copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive. It should also be relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. Include a call to action in your ad copy, such as “Shop now” or “Learn more.”
  • Set budget and track results: It’s important to set a budget for your Search Ads campaigns and track your results to see what’s working and what’s not. Google Ads provides a variety of reports that you can use to track your performance.
  • Use ad extensions: Ad extensions allow you to add additional information to your ads, such as your phone number, address, and website links. Ad extensions can make your ads more informative and engaging, leading to more clicks and conversions.
  • Test and optimize campaigns: Testing different keywords, ad copy, and landing pages is essential to see what works best for your business. You should also monitor your results and adjust your campaigns as needed.
  • Optimize landing page: Ensure your Google Ads landing page is compelling, as it’s your primary chance to boost conversions. Whether you aim for increased sales or more leads, high-quality, relevant landing pages are key to optimizing conversion rates while reducing costs.

Google Shopping Campaign

When people search for products on Google, your Shopping Campaign will appear at the top of the search results page as ads. If someone clicks on your ad, they’ll be taken to your website, where they can learn more about your product and make a purchase.

For eCommerce businesses, Google Shopping Ads, formerly known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are an excellent option. They showcase your products in Google search results, on Google Images, and across the Google Display Network. With a Shopping campaign, you only pay when someone clicks your ad. You can get the best results by providing detailed product data like images, price, brand, and item type. You’ll need to create a product feed in Google Merchant Centre to get started. This feed will include all the information about your products, such as their titles, descriptions, images, and prices. Once you’ve created your product feed, you can link it to your Google Ads account and create Shopping campaigns.

Best Practices:

  • High-quality product images: Use clear and attractive product images to entice potential customers.
  • Detailed product information: Provide accurate and comprehensive product details, including price, size, colour, and availability.
  • Structured product feed: Organize your product feed with a consistent and organized structure to enhance ad relevance.
  • Negative keywords: Carefully select negative keywords to filter out irrelevant traffic and focus on high-converting users.
  • Regular monitoring and optimization: Monitor your ad performance, make data-driven adjustments, and optimize your campaigns to maximize ROI.

Google Discovery Campaign

Google Discovery Ads promote your business in Google’s Discover feed and on partner sites. They reach people when they’re exploring new topics and content. Discovery Ads are an excellent option to raise brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. You pay based on impressions and clicks.

 Best Practices:

  • Use high-quality images and videos: Your images and videos should be visually appealing and relevant to your target audience. Make sure your images are high-resolution, and your videos are well-produced.
  • Write clear and concise ad copy: Your ad copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive. It should highlight the benefits of your product or service and include a call to action.
  • Use ad extensions: Ad extensions can provide additional information about your business and offer users more ways to interact with your ads.
  • Use responsive display ads: Responsive display ads automatically adjust their size and format to fit the available space on any device or screen size. This helps ensure your ads are always displayed in the best possible light.

Google Display Campaign

These are visual ads, including banner ads, appearing on over 3 million partner websites, blogs, and apps on the Google Display Network. They are ideal for increasing brand exposure and visibility. Also, you can target specific audiences based on their interests and past behaviour. Payment is based on impressions, clicks, or conversion. These ads are often called “native” ads because they seamlessly blend into the websites they’re placed on, creating a more natural and less disruptive appearance.

 Best practices:

  • Eye-catching visuals: Use high-quality images and graphics to create visually appealing ads that grab the audience’s attention.
  • Clear and concise messaging: Craft concise and compelling ad copy that conveys your message, benefits, and call to action.
  • Targeted audience segmentation: Utilize audience targeting to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviour, ensuring your ads are shown to the right people.
  • Responsive and adaptive design: Create ads that adapt to various display formats and sizes, making them look great on desktops, mobile devices, and websites.
  • Ongoing optimization: Regularly analyze your campaign performance, make data-driven adjustments, and experiment with different creatives and targeting options to improve results over time.

Performance Max Campaign

Performance Max campaigns drive results across Google Ads and the Display Network using automation powered by machine learning. They are suitable for maximizing conversion value and achieving a high return on investment (ROI). You set a budget, and Google Ads will automatically optimize your ad spend to maximize your selected performance metrics like sales, leads, or impressions.

Best practices:

  • Set clear goals and objectives: What do you want to achieve with your PMax campaign? Do you want to drive sales, leads, or website traffic? Once you know your goals, you can optimize your campaign accordingly.
  • Use all available asset types: PMax campaigns use various assets, including images, videos, and text. The more asset types you provide, the more creative combinations Google Ads has to work with, which can lead to better performance.
  • Provide relevant audience signals: PMax campaigns use machine learning to match your ads to the right people. You can help this process by providing appropriate audience signals, such as remarketing lists, customer lists, and interests.

Google Video Campaign

Google Video and Display campaigns work similarly, allowing you to target specific audiences and locations within the vast Google Ads Network. However, video ads have the advantage of conveying complex brand messages, making them ideal when you need more creative space to showcase your offerings.

Not all products or services can be adequately conveyed through a single image. This is where the power of Google Video ad campaigns comes in. Additionally, video campaigns are a great way to increase brand awareness, as marketers can tap into large viewing audiences through global platforms like YouTube.

There are six main types of Google video ads:

  1. Skippable in-stream ads: These are the most common type of video ad. They play before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and other websites. Viewers can skip these ads after 5 seconds.
  2. Non-skippable in-stream ads: These ads cannot be skipped and must be watched fully before the viewer can continue watching the video they were trying to watch. Non-skippable in-stream ads are typically shorter than skippable in-stream ads and are usually only used for important messages or announcements.
  3. In-feed video ads: These appear in the results feed on YouTube and other websites. They look like regular videos but have a small ad label indicating they are sponsored. In-feed video ads can be played with the sound on or off, and viewers can click on them to watch the entire ad.
  4. Bumper ads: These are short, non-skippable video ads that are typically 6 seconds long. Being that, bumper ads are often used to create brand awareness or to promote new products or services.
  5. Outstream ads: These appear on websites and apps outside of YouTube. They can be in various formats, including banners, interstitials, and native ads. Outstream ads are typically shorter than other types of video ads and are often interactive.
  6. Masthead ads: Large video ads appear at the top of the YouTube homepage. Masthead ads are typically reserved for major brands and advertisers.

Which type of Google video ad is best depends on your advertising goals and budget. If you want to reach a large audience and generate awareness for your brand, then skippable in-stream ads are a good option. If you have a specific message that you want to deliver to your target audience, then non-skippable in-stream ads or bumper ads may be a better choice. And if you are looking to drive traffic to your website or landing page, then in-feed video ads or out-stream ads may be the best option for you.

 Best Practices: 

  • Compelling Storytelling: Craft engaging and memorable narratives in your video ads to capture viewers’ attention and convey your message effectively.
  • Clear Call to Action: Include a clear and concise call to action to guide viewers on the next steps, whether it’s visiting your website, making a purchase, or subscribing.
  • Targeted Audiences: Use audience targeting options to reach suitable viewers based on demographics, interests, and online behaviour, ensuring your content is relevant.
  • Mobile Optimization: Optimize your video ads for mobile devices, as many users watch videos on smartphones and tablets, and ensure they load quickly and look great on smaller screens.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously test different video ad variations, such as visuals, messages, and targeting, to discover what resonates most with your audience and refine your campaign for better results.

Google App Campaigns

Google App Campaigns was formerly known as Universal App Campaigns. By and large, they are a powerful way to promote mobile apps across Google’s vast network of platforms, including Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. Therefore, these campaigns are designed to streamline the app promotion process and reach a wider audience. 

 Best Practices:

  • Set clear goals: Define your campaign objectives, whether driving installations, increasing in-app actions or achieving a specific ROI. Setting clear goals will guide your campaign optimization.
  • Leverage automation: Google App Campaigns use machine learning to optimize ad placements, targeting, and bidding automatically. So allow the system to learn and adjust for the best results.
  • Diverse creative assets: Provide a range of ad creatives, including images, videos, and text, to enable the campaign to experiment and find the most effective combinations.
  • Regular monitoring and adjustments: Continuously monitor the campaign’s performance and adjust based on data insights. To list, this may include changing budgets, targeting, or creative elements. 
  • Conversion tracking: Implement conversion tracking to measure the app’s performance and understand which parts of your campaign drive desired actions. Consequently, this data is invaluable for fine-tuning your campaign for success.

Google Smart Campaign

Google smart campaigns are a user-friendly, automated advertising solution for small businesses. They streamline the advertising process using Google’s machine learning to optimize campaigns. Basically, smart campaigns work by simplifying the ad creation process, targeting the right audience, and maximizing ROI. These campaigns utilize data such as location, search queries, and user behaviour to display ads on Google Search, Google Display Network, and Google Maps.

Best practices:

  • Clear business goals: Define specific campaign goals, whether driving website visits, phone calls, or in-store visits, to align your campaign with your business objectives.
  • High-quality imagery: Use compelling images that accurately represent your business, products, or services to make a strong visual impact.
  • Ad extension utilization: Take advantage of ad extensions like callouts and location extensions to provide additional information and encourage users to take action.
  • Conversion tracking: Implement conversion tracking to measure results and understand which aspects of your campaign are driving desired outcomes.
  • Regular monitoring and adjustments: Furthermore, continuously analyze performance data and adjust your campaign, including budgets, keywords, and targeting, to ensure optimal results. 

Also read, The New Settings Variable For GA4 In Google Tag Manager


With so many options, determining the proper Google Ads campaign for your business goals can seem overwhelming. However, by evaluating your key priorities, target audience, and budget, you can identify the campaign type that will drive the greatest return on your investment. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, generate high-quality leads, or boost sales, Google Ads offers a solution to meet your needs. The key is starting with a strategic plan, choosing a campaign that aligns with your objectives, monitoring its performance, and optimizing it over time to achieve maximum results. In summary, with the right campaign and consistent management, Google Ads can be an extremely effective tool for growing your business.

Thanks For Reading !

Author - Athira Balan


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