Types of Google Ads

Types of Google Ads

Promotions Social Media Marketing

If you are looking to grow your business, the Google Ads platform is a critical advertising venue to seriously consider. 80% of global businesses already use Google ads.

Google has about 5 billion search queries per day, and it seems clear that Google Ads work. People are four times more likely to click on their search ads than any other ad or display network. Google Search ads have a click-through rate of roughly 7.94% — if the business is placed in the first position — and they lead to about 65% of clicks. 43% of customers buy something they’ve seen on a YouTube ad. Even without active clicks, Google advertising is successful in increasing brand and product awareness; Google Display ads yield 180 million impressions each month.

Most people are familiar with the ads on this paid online advertising platform, which used to be called Google AdWords, but you may not be as familiar with all the Google Ads campaign types, or know which ad types may be best for your business needs.

Know Your Goals

Before you decide what marketing format to use, you need to know what your goals are. Do you have a strong existing client base, but are wanting to break into a new market? Do you have a new niche product people don’t know exists? Are you into a highly competitive market and need to differentiate against several other brands?

The campaign type you choose depends on your marketing goals such as lead generation, brand awareness, promoting an app, or generally increasing website traffic.

Depending on the types of Google Ads, you pay per click, per 1000 ad impressions when your ad is displayed to a user, or per engagement when a user performs a specific action, such as watching a video. For search advertising, businesses identify target keywords on Google and bid on the relevant keywords, while competing against others. Your bids are the maximum you’re willing to pay.

Google assesses the bid amount and quality of the ad for their quality score, which is “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” Quality score and bid amount affect your ad rank or how far up on the page your ad will show.

There are several different types of campaigns for Google Ads, each with its own benefits.

Search Campaigns

You will have seen Google Search ads all the time. These ads tie into the Google Search network; since people use their search engines specifically to find answers, solutions, products or services, this a good targeted way to reach potential customers.

When you search keywords, you see the results on the search engine results page. At the top of this, the results that are shown are paid spots that businesses have paid for, to be presented first. The ads look the same as all regular search results, other than a bold “Ad” at the top of their section.

The purpose of paying to be at the top of search results is that people are more likely to click on these first results, which get the majority of traffic for search queries. You are more likely to be seen, be clicked on, and get business. If your business is buried at the bottom of several in the results list, potential clients won’t find you.

You’re targeting people already interested in your product or service, at least indirectly. A Search Google ad works for services, brands, products, and categories that people already know and are looking for. If your product or service is highly unique, this may not be the optimal ad, since people don’t know to look for it.

In a Search campaign, since the searcher is generally actively looking to to buy and just researching options, this increased visibility and facilitating the searcher to easily click through to your site means improved chances of a sale.‌

You can even target well known competitor names, as a way of highlighting your product as an ideal alternative when people search by that other business’s name or brand name, to place in front of your competitors and get their clicks.

The best Search ads make sure to include the brand or product name, repeat the keyword in the text ads, and clearly explains what the product is, to make sure that people know if your product is relevant to them, as you don’t want to pay for clicks that are not likely to result in a sale.

Types of Search ads

Responsive Search ads

For these, you have variations of headlines and descriptions, so Google can test different combinations for the most successful format.

Branded Search campaigns

Bidding on branded words is good for increasing brand awareness. For a branded Search campaign, you can bid on your own or other names. Bidding on your own name lets you control information like leading clicks to your optimal landing page, and stops competitors from bidding on your branded words to jump to the top of the searches. It also doubles the opportunities for searchers to be led to your webpage.

Call-Only ads

Physical location businesses or services use these to generate leads or sales by encouraging phone calls for quotes or appointments.

Text ads with extensions

Ad extensions are add-ons that display with Search ads to give more information and increase the ad space and visibility of your ad.

Dynamic Search ads

Google pulls content directly from your website to generate dynamic search ads whenever someone does a relevant search. Google Ads automatically does the headline and ad creation from your webpage. These work best for simpler websites that don’t change much.

Display Campaigns

Google partners with over two million third party websites, in many industries with a variety of audiences, as part of the Google Display Network. A Google Display ad is usually an image or animation with a link at the top or bottom of a webpage or app. There are also Gmail versions.

These interrupt users’ activities, but it does increase brand and product familiarity for later. You may not get clicks right away, but they can still spark interest; viewers may search your name afterwards for more information. Its ability to reach wide audiences through a variety of channels is its main appeal.

The Google Display ad types that work best are memorable ones with attractive visuals, like eye-catching physical products.

When placing ads in a Display campaign, you can use contextual display advertising which shows your ads on webpages with keywords, or managed placement, where you actively choose the perfect site.

Responsive Display ads

For these, you set a variety of images, videos, headlines, and descriptions for Google to find the optimal combinations, although sometimes the format can appear awkward.

Static Display ads

Static ads are fixed images with no ad text. They can only fit in spots of the same size and will show in fewer places. However, they can have video or audio, and can float. You can control the look of these more precisely as opposed to relying on algorithms. They do require more work manually creating them and including text directly within the image.

Dynamic Display ads

Dynamic ads include static and responsive ads, and are good for showing multiple products.

You connect your ad group, feeding lists of your products along with details like price, description, images, etc. into Google, which creates ads from the details. You can add highlight text to encourage more interest. These are best for product groups with variety in appearance.

Video Ads Campaigns

Video ad campaigns show your video ads before, during or after YouTube videos. Since YouTube uses a search engine, the right keywords can put your video ads in the right video to allow controlled targeting.

The visual aspect of video ad formats can make them impactful, which is good for brand awareness, marketing, and increasing prominence of visually appealing products. However, quality video campaigns are expensive and complicated to do well. You pay per 1,000 impressions.

For in-stream ads, there are skippable ones which run up to 6 minutes long, but can be skipped after 5 seconds. You’re only charged if a viewer watches for 30 seconds or interacts with the ad. Non-skippable Google ads run up to 20 seconds.

There are also masthead ads that show banner advertising at the top. They are more expensive, but more noticeable since they show throughout the main video content.

Bumper ads are six-second, non-skippable Google ads at the start of YouTube videos. Care and creativity is needed to make sure they have impact and are informative enough despite the short time.

Video Discovery ads don’t interrupt other videos, so won’t irritate viewers. They look like regular videos on YouTube, but have an ad tag.

Shopping Campaign

Google Shopping ad campaigns, through Google Merchant Center, show your physical product images in Google Search results, alongside paid and regular results, to highlight products and lines.

Google Shopping campaigns make for inviting product ads; when you click on products within Google shopping ads, you’re taken to the relevant product page.

Google Shopping ads are only for online sales of physical products and single purchase software. If you have an appealing-looking tangible product, shopping campaigns can successfully form the majority of your marketing focus and budget.

These Google ads are effective because researchers with strong buying intent are targeted. Shopping ads target the right intent keywords to capitalize on this, and just give more product information like price, ratings, etc. Viewers are strongly interested if they’re clicking; if they aren’t interested, they don’t click, and you don’t pay for clicks that don’t lead to sales.

Showcase Shopping ads group products together in one ad, which may be a good way to introduce a new brand or line.

App Campaigns

These simple automated ads promote apps, using Google Play, Search, Display, YouTube, Discover, and partnered websites and apps. These aim to encourage new users to install your app for the first time, or existing users to download updates, purchase items, or otherwise re-engage.

Since they’re automated, you don’t have to create ads in Google app campaigns. Google pulls the name, logo, description and other details from your app to do this, in different formats depending on the targeted network.

For an app ad campaign for new installs, you pay per install, while for a reengagement campaign, you pay per app action.

You can set up conversion tracking beforehand so Google will optimize for your goals and determine the best ad combinations. App campaigns are quick and easy to run. You’re unable to control targeting and placement, but this is optimized through Google anyways. Understandably, Apple apps can’t be included.

Performance Max Campaigns

As of July 2022, Performance Max replaces the obsolete Local and Smart campaigns. The former Local campaigns would target people searching locally to highlight local businesses or services and physical shops for in-person shopping. The smart campaigns were simple ones where you set a budget and goals, and Google would set up the ads and keywords. Both are now integrated into Performance Max.

This is the newest Google Ads campaign type. It has massive channel and inventory coverage and is driven by Google analytics and algorithms for convenience. Like some other campaigns, Google generates ads dynamically, testing and optimizing ad combinations. You input details like text, images, and product feeds, for Google to use.

Your Google ads will show up across all of Google’s ad inventory and formats, including websites, Search placements, Google Maps, YouTube, Discover, and Gmail.

Performance Max predicts through Google analytics which internet users are most likely to actually engage and buy your products. It also introduced an audience signal or lookalike audience feature to help Google find more of your existing customers and determine new audiences to target. Some results statistics are generated for you.

Discovery Ads

Discovery campaigns are similar to Display ads. They’re designed to show visually engaging ads using the standard audience targeting. They appear across the Google Display Network, YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Gmail, and Discover in the Google Search Mobile App.

Rather than showing relevant ads when a user actively searches for something, Google uses user behaviour analytics to predict interests and show appropriate ads. These are similar to Display ads but show up in different locations.

Since these interrupt the audience, make sure these ads are impactful and visually appealing to attract interest. These Google ads tend to work well for remarketing goals or when other campaigns are not working as well as expected; they may also be a cheaper alternative to Display ads.

They can show as carousel or single image ads.

Google Ad Campaigns

Contact Barker Social Media Marketing for a free marketing consultation on how we can help you to determine which Google Ad campaign type and ad format is most effective for meeting your goals.

We can help you set up your Google Ads account, and avoid broad keyword terms and other such common errors that could mean your Google ads end up showing to the wrong audience. We will help you improve your Quality Score, to increase successful click throughs for sales and lower your cost-per-click rates.

We review what’s working and adjust strategies to best match your Google ads with your target audience so you get successful clicks for the best ad spend. We can help ensure your headline and ad copy match your keywords bids to optimize the effectiveness of your campaign.

We also help you with other aspects of your overall marketing strategies, including reaching other social media marketing like Facebook and Instagram. Our other services include video production, content creation, landing page optimization, search engine optimization, and more.

We work hard to be your one source for marketing advice and services, to get you the highest return on investment. 

Todd Foster

As a dedicated Digital Marketing Strategist at Barker Social, I am passionate about helping businesses unlock their full potential online. With a focus on results-driven strategies, I aim to deliver measurable success for our clients.