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Different Types of Google Ads

July 22, 2020

Different Types of Google Ads | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

We’re a long way from the beginning of Google Adwords where you could only run text ads on the search engine. Right now, Google Ads is a powerful marketing tool with a lot of different types of ads available.

Understanding what each type is and how they unfold is crucial for online businesses who want to use pay per click advertising on Google. And if you’re looking for a quick rundown through all of them, you’ve come to the right place.

Google Ad Types 101

Google offers plenty of options when it comes to paid online advertising. Each type of campaign comes with its own benefits, different ad format, and even specific goals it helps businesses achieve. Here’s a list of all types of Google Ads and who they’re perfect for.

1. Google Search Network Ads

Google Search Network Ads are what people most likely think about when they hear the words Google and ads. These ads leverage the search engine and show your ads on top of the result page, just before the organic results.

Search Networks ads can also appear on:

  • Google Play
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Images
  • Google Maps, including the app

The most common types of search ads are:

  • Text ads, to which you can also include ad extensions, such as business address or phone numbers;
  • Dynamic Search Ads – they use website content to target users and add to your keywords for you;
  • Call-only ads – they appear only on devices that can make phone calls

Certain search partners can also host image and video ads as well.

2. Display Network Ads

Display ads appear on the Google Display Network, a group of over 2 million websites and apps with the potential of reaching around 90% of all internet users.

These are banner ads that need to catch a user’s attention and get them to click while they are technically focused on other content. However, display ads have a more comprehensive targeting procedure, allowing you to target even based on website topic as opposed to just keywords.

Google Display Network ads also come in different formats:

  • Responsive display ads – a partially automated way to create ads for GDN;
  • Uploaded image ads;
  • Engagement ads, which can be image or video;
  • Gmail ads – expandable ads in the Gmail inbox.

3. Shopping Campaign

Shopping campaigns are specifically designed to help retailers promote their business online. These ads can appear even in search engines, but unlike text ads, they will also contain photos of the products you are trying to sell.

Shopping campaigns use Merchant Center product data and not keywords to know where to deliver your ads. You submit the data yourself through Merchant Center and set up an account with all the information required for all your products, and then Google will match a user’s search term to your ads.

There are three types of shopping ad formats:

  • Product shopping ads – created based on the product data from the Merchant Center;
  • Showcase Shopping ads – a form of ad groups, as you’ll group multiple related products together;
  • Local inventory ads – these ads appear in the Google Display Network.

Other places where these ads can appear include:

  • The Shopping tab on Google Search (feature only available in certain countries);
  • Google search partner websites

4. Video Campaigns

You may want to promote your product or service through video content. Well, Google can accommodate that. Video ads are only available for YouTube and across the Google Display Networks. The ad format for video ads is quite diverse and includes:

  • Skippable in-stream ads – they run before, during, or after the video for 5 seconds, and then the user can skip it;
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads – run the same way, but for 15 seconds maximum and the user cannot skip them;
  • Video discovery ads – only appear on YouTube and reach people in places where they are looking for content, such as the suggestion section;
  • Outstream ads – appear on partner sites, and are only available on mobile and tablets;
  • Bumper ads – short, 6 seconds, or fewer ads that are unskippable. They are designed for increasing brand awareness.

5. App Campaign

If you have a mobile app you want to promote, you can advertise on Google using its campaign types exclusively designed to help your app reach the right users.

App campaigns promote apps across the Search network, Google Play, YouTube, Discover tab, and the Google Display Network. Unlike most Google campaign types, you don’t create individual ads for your campaign. Google will use any text and assets you provide, as well as take inspiration from the store listing to create several ads, with several ad formats.

Important campaign settings are still up to you, of course, like what is your maximum bid, or what budget are you working with, but for the most part, Google handles the bulk of it.

Which Campaign Type Is for You?

As you can see, there are plenty of ad campaign types to choose from, some with very specific goals in mind (like the app campaigns), others for broader purposes.

It’s important to first consider what your business goals are, and where you’re more likely to get closer to your ideal target audience. Google helps facilitate certain activities, such as phone calls or app downloads, but for the most part, the rest of the gaps have to be filled in by the advertisers.

You may also want to run different campaign types at the same time, which is obviously also an option. But if you’re newer to Google Ads, we’d recommend focusing one effort on one type of ad, then slowly branching out.

We can help you get started. Schedule a free appointment with one of our Google Ads Experts at Australian Internet Advertising to find out more.

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