What is Google Ads?
For many years known as Google AdWords, it has been Google’s self-managing digital advertising platform, used by millions of advertisers worldwide. Using this powerful tool, any person or company that wants to promote their brand, page, application, video, product or service, can reach their right audience and get visibility, traffic, business opportunities, or sales, choosing between paying for clicks—produced in the ad, by the impressions that are shown or even in some instances by the conversions that are achieved.
It is probably the complete online advertising platform that exists, thanks to its large number of options, and therefore it adapts to a large majority of businesses. However, it does not have to be the best for your business. Other digital advertising platforms such as social or affiliate platforms may sometimes be more convenient and will be addressed in other articles.
In this article, I will comment on the different types of Google Ads campaigns with which we can work from mid-2021 so that you know a little more about its segmentation possibilities and choose the kind of campaign that best suits you and the chances of this tool.
Search and display networks
When we advertise with Google Ads, we can advertise on two major networks, search and display:
The search network
So-called because it integrates both the Google search engine and its search partners, which are portals that integrate its search engine, or properties such as Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google images, or YouTube where ads appear when you search. We can also put the mobile application platform Google Play within this network because we can also advertise our app for people looking for a mobile application.
In summary, we can reach users when they perform a search, which is more direct since when searching for something, they are more receptive to advertising than when browsing. We will see that we have different types of Google Ads campaigns for the search engine.
The display network
It includes more than 2 million websites, applications, and videos where we can place our ads. In addition to third-party sites (news portals, blogs, forums, media sites, mobile applications, etc.), Gmail and YouTube, two of Google’s leading properties and with the highest traffic volume, stand out within this network.
We can impact users who do not know about our products or services and who are not looking for us through the display. Still, we can also reach, using remarketing techniques, users who have previously visited us (performing or not doing some practical activities for us), that our application has been downloaded or that they have seen any of our videos, thereby generating new recruitment opportunities.
Types of Google Ads campaigns
Next, I will comment on the different types of Google Ads campaigns that we have. Choose for your project the ones that best meet your business objectives and, if you have a sufficient budget, don’t stop trying different types of campaigns. The result may surprise you.
Search campaigns (standard) with text ads in search results
They are probably the best-known and most-used Google Ads campaigns around the world.
- Multipurpose, although we recommend them to get sales and leads (sales opportunities), as they are the most direct response.
- For local businesses, they should be the primary option.
- They can also generate some moderately qualified traffic but will generally be expensive to do so.
- And, of course, valuable and necessary to protect or strengthen our brand against competitors who dare to advertise for it.
Through text ads of several lines and with different formats, we show our products and services in the Google search engine,
a network of search partners (web pages where there are Google search engines), and properties such as Google Maps when users search with words or phrases that we indicate.
The ads can include various titles and descriptions, a visual URL that indicates the domain to which we are going to reach, and very different extensions or additions to the ad, such as the physical address of the business, promotions, list of services, prices, telephone … Even on mobile phones today can display a featured image alongside the ad text.
Up to 7 ads of this type may appear in the Google search engine, 4 in the upper area, and 3 in the lower area.
There is also a variant of the ad type. Starting from the web and specifying an overview, the ad title is automatically generated according to the search and the landing page. They are what is known as dynamic search ads, but they do fit into this campaign category.
You pay for each click received on the ad through a bidding system.
Direct response, higher conversion rates
High competition, in general, can result in increased prices per click. Thorough knowledge of this type of campaign is recommended, or refer management to an agency or professional.
Some advertisements were found in the Google search engine when searching for “hotels in Madrid.”
Product file search campaigns ( Google Shopping )
High average. Although these Google Ads campaigns are exclusive to online stores, they have become quite popular.
Sale of physical products.
Through product file ads, we can advertise some or all the physical products of our online store, from a catalog that we must upload to Google Merchant Center (if we use a content manager or commercial solution, it is possible that we have a module or plugin to automate this task, otherwise, this catalog file will have to be programmed). The ads are shown in the Google search engine, in Google Images, and Google Shopping.
Depending on the place and device in which they are displayed, many ads may appear. Several from the same store may even be displayed if, for example, there are different variants of the same or similar product.
The ads contain the name of the store and some information about the product (image, price, reviews, status, original price…).
You pay for each click received on the ad. Google decides, based on our products and the bid, for which searches we go out, so it will not be necessary to specify keywords or search phrases, except to block searches in which we do not want to go out.
Specific ads for online stores. Direct response. In general, a store usually does better with these ads than with standard search ads because the prices per click are lower, so they should be the first option.
The primary differential value of an ad from one store over another is the price. However, the reviews, the popularity of the store, or the shipping costs also influence the final conversion. If the same product is in several stores, the user will tend to visit the cheaper one first, so the promoted products must have a competitive price.
Some ads are found in the Google search engine when searching for “iPhone 12”.
Display campaigns with image ads
Half. Immensely popular, although less than search, as small advertisers often do without them.
Generate brand impact and notoriety
Expand reach beyond search
Get leads and sales Carry out remarketing actions on almost any type of portal (except sensitive or restricted products and services).
We can impact users through ads with a mix of image and text, video and text, only video or only print. At the same time, they browse millions of websites and applications (mainly those registered on the Google AdSense or DoubleClick platforms ), as well as by Gmail.
There are many ad formats (including ads with native advertising format), so it is convenient to supply the platform with various titles, descriptions, and images so that you can have the best coverage in the advertising spaces enabled by the publishers.
You can pay per click (the most common) and, depending on the objective, per impression or conversion.
There are currently three display campaign subtypes:
- Standard: The advertiser precisely defines targeting, bids, budgets, and ads.
- Smart: The configuration is simplified, but we leave a lot to Google. We recommend testing them and verifying the results.
- Discovery: They replace the current Gmail campaigns. They allow showing ads in the feeds of the main page of YouTube, Gmail, and Discover, with more attractive ads.
They allow you to expand the scope significantly, have good segmentation capacity, and reach users through remarketing (very useful for all types of businesses). Sometimes search alone is not enough, or what we promote is not explored. If they can find the point, they can be a high source of conversions, which otherwise would not be achieved.
In general, they require a budget, time, a lot of control, and knowledge. They are a “trial and error.” In addition, we must count on the high fraud that exists in these ads (fraudulent clicks, portals whose sole objective is to generate income from ads), except for Discovery campaigns, which, being on Google properties, are more reliable.
We see some ads from Google Ads display campaigns appearing on portals.
Come down. By this, I mean that these Google Ads campaigns are much less popular than search or display ones since they are only used by advertisers who have promotional video content.
Generate brand impact and notoriety
To a lesser extent, they were getting traffic, leads, or sales, although there are options since Google has realized that many advertisers with direct response objectives dispense with them.
It consists of promoting videos that we have previously uploaded to YouTube. The videos may appear as broadcast on this network and other videos, on YouTube within other videos (at the beginning or in the middle of the video, with the addition that a complementary banner will also appear in the side area), or on websites that show YouTube content.
Depending on where our ad will appear, there are different ad formats, and you usually pay for video viewing. It is considered a visualization of the video to see it in its entirety if it lasts less than 30 seconds, watches it for 30 seconds if it lasts longer, or clicks on the video to see if it appears together with other videos.
Visibility and meager costs per display (from € 0.01). It is mainly used to enhance the brand, publicize new products, or add to other significant campaigns.
Although Google tries to improve this, this advertising format is inherently not geared towards conversion on the web, although this strategy can sometimes work as well. If you are looking for leads or sales, there are other better campaigns, although you can consider a small game within a budget.
We see a video ad that appears just before the video we want to see, and next to it, a complementary promotional banner.
Mobile application campaigns
Come down. They are much less popular than search or display campaigns since advertisers only use them for Android mobile applications.
Get users to install a mobile app
Get an already installed app to be used
Through different types of ads, we can advertise our mobile application both in the Google search engine and in the Google display network, Google Play Store, and YouTube, with any of the two objectives mentioned.
- It is bid for installation, interaction, or conversion, depending on the case.
- Currently, there are three subtypes of application campaigns:
- Focus on getting downloads.
- Focus on encouraging actions in the application.
- Focus on fostering share value in the app.
They allow both to publicize our mobile app and to promote its use using the full potential of Google’s search and display network.
We do not see any particular drawback, apart from the fact that if you do not have an Android mobile application, this type of campaign will not use it.
We see an example of an application ad on the Google Play Store.
Come down. All are for particular goals and businesses.
- Take users to the store or physical premises
- Advertise events in local stores and promotions
- Help the user to locate the address and hours of your business
- Get out of search, display, Maps, and YouTube with a single campaign
Unlike other campaigns in which the objective is to get users to go to the web, this type of Google Ads campaign aims to help owners of physical stores or premises. Its main aim is to get people to buy or consume the business or stores where the products are sold. The most typical example would be a restaurant.
Through a single type of campaign, Google will disseminate the business, product, schedule, or location both in the search engine and through display ads, including properties such as Google Maps and YouTube, and in a specific geographical area that must be configured.
The bidding is done by conversion, and the modifications that can be measured are visits to the store, clicks on the phone, or directions to the business.
Valid for local business owners with physical headquarters and that do not have a website, or to encourage customers who have near a physical store of the brand or local, to have the option of going physically as an alternative to buying online.
We do not see problems since they are campaigns with a particular objective and little used.
We see two local ads that show up when doing a restaurant search on Google Maps.
Come down. It is a type of campaign designed for advertisers with little knowledge and that offers few options.
Get leads or sales
Through a single campaign in which we enter a few data, Google distributes our ad to get visits to the web or the Google Maps tab.
Quick and straightforward campaign creation with little maintenance. It is also used for advertisers who do not have a website and only have a tab on Google Maps.
Practically everything is left to Google. Few configuration options. In this article, you have more details on how to create them.
Summary and recommendations on the types of Google Ads campaigns
The Google Ads platform (old AdWords) offers us seven different types of campaigns, and a few subtypes, with which we have numerous alternatives to reach our audience, whether or not we have a web portal. However, it is advisable to have a site because it provides more options for any online recruitment.
For E-commerce, it is advisable to start with Shopping and dynamic remarketing display campaigns, complementing the capture with standard search campaigns.
The main option is usually a standard search campaign for a service business, complemented by a remarketing display campaign.
From there, we can expand our coverage with the display or video campaigns focused on prospecting for new customers (within these, we recommend testing the Discovery campaigns if our account has a specific conversion history).
And, for other types of business or objectives, we have specific campaigns such as mobile, local, or intelligent applications.
In any case, let’s not forget that it may be interesting to complement our Google Ads campaign strategy with another type of recruitment (Social Ads, SEO, email, affiliation, influencers …).
We hope you will be more explicit about the different options with this article, as far as Google Ads is concerned.