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Google Ads Campaign Types Explained by a PPC Expert

Google Ads Campaign Types Explained by a PPC Expert

As the digital world expands, digital marketing grows with it. Between video content, social media applications, and the rest of the internet, the opportunities for digital marketing are endless.

Google Ads is no exception. It used to be limited to the advertisements in the search results. These were solely ads with headlines and descriptions.

Now, Google Ads includes Search, Display, Shopping, and Video (YouTube) Ads. Its name was even changed from Google AdWords in 2018 to better fit the expansion of marketing options.

With more possibilities comes more dilemmas. Should you invest in all types of campaigns? Is one campaign better than the other? Which will give your business the best results?

Join us live Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern to get all your questions answered. Or keep reading below.

Each campaign type has its own positive and negative aspects, so it can be confusing when trying to start a Google Ads account. In this article, I will go over all the campaign types and explain when you should use each.

Search Campaigns

When you think of Google Ads, your mind probably goes to what is known as a Search campaign. Search ads appear at the top of the search results with an ad symbol. Google Ads Campaign TypesSearch campaigns involve bidding on keywords, researching search terms, writing ad copy (headlines and descriptions), and creating a negative keyword list.

Search Pros

  • If you run your search campaign well, then your ad can be one of the first links in the Google search results.
  • When your ad ranks high in the search results, more people will see it and be more likely to click on it.

The best part about search campaigns is people have intent behind their search term. When people type into the Google search bar, they are looking for an answer to their question, a product to buy, or a service they need.

  • Since people have motives behind what they type into the Google search bar, Search ads are more likely to generate conversions than other campaigns.
    • For example, if someone searches “personal trainer near me,” they want to hire a personal trainer.
    • When they click on the ad, they have the intention of hiring a personal trainer.
  • Another benefit of search campaigns is it gives you the ability to target a specific audience. You can even narrow down your audience to location and demographic.
  • Search campaigns give you control over your keyword list. You have direct control over how much to bid on each keyword and can create negative keywords.

Search Cons

  • Search clearly has many benefits, which makes it very competitive. There can only be so many results on the first page of Google, and everyone wants to be on it.
  • With more competition comes higher bids on keywords. This means search campaigns are a bit more expensive than the others.
    • Depending on your industry, the cost of search campaigns can be alarmingly high:
    • For example, a lawyer may have to pay upwards of $50 per click.
  • A bad search campaign can eat away at your marketing budget.
  • Your Pay Per Click (PPC) price will be lower if there is little to no search volume for the terms related to your business; but your campaigns may receive little to no traffic.
  • Google Ads on Search consist of headlines and descriptions. You can be creative with your words but Display and Video Ads provide more opportunities to be engaging and imaginative.

When to Use a Search Campaign

All companies should consider running search campaigns because the pros heavily outweigh the cons.

New businesses can benefit from search campaigns because they likely work faster than SEO and can increase your overall results.

If your product or service has defined searches that are already seeing high volume, search campaigns can also be great for you.

You can increase your ranking in Google’s search results with Google Ads because you already know which search terms and keywords perform well.

Search campaigns may not work as well if you need to increase your brand awareness or are introducing a new product because there are no images or graphics. If this is the case, a different campaign type may be a better option for your business.

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns are ads with text, images, and/or graphics.

Display ads campaigns do not involve keywords and are not ranked in Google’s search results. Instead, they appear in your social media feed, pop-up on your screen, or are placed on web pages.

Display Pros

  • Display ads are great because they’re visually engaging and people tend to click on them more.
  • It’s also easier for people to remember ads with images and graphics. A display campaign can strengthen brand awareness because remembering an interesting and engaging ad means people remain aware of your business.
    • For example, someone may not need a dress when they see a Display advertisement for your dress store.
    • When an event comes along and they need a dress, they’ll remember your ad and go directly to your website.
  • Display campaigns can also be used for remarketing purposes. If someone has visited your website before, you can place your Display ads on other websites or social media apps they visit. This can help remind them of your business.
  • A display campaign is also much cheaper than Search. The reasons why it’s less expensive brings us to the cons of a display campaign.

Display Cons

  • The biggest con of Display ads is there is no direct intent behind the audience. People aren’t looking to buy anything; they’re just seeing an advertisement on their screen.
    • So, while there may be more clicks on display ads, there are less direct conversions.
    • Lower conversion rates are why it’s cheaper to run a display campaign.
  • Display campaigns can also be harder to track than search campaigns. Monitoring metrics for a search campaign is simpler. And it is a bit easier to track the direct impact.
  • Just because display campaigns are cheaper doesn’t mean you won’t have to worry about the cost. There’s a potential to spend quickly on Display ads without getting any results.

When to Use a Display Campaign

If you are driving a significant amount of traffic to your website already, use Display ads to remarket. You can remind previous customers of your business and boost sales.

Display campaigns are great if you can create visually appealing ads easily. If you can hire a graphic designer or photographer to create Display ads, you may want to use a display campaign.

You can also use Display ads if you want to target audiences and not specific keywords. You can place your ads on specific sites relevant to your business, which helps you reach potential customers.

If you do your research and run a display campaign correctly, you’ll stay within budget and increase your ROI.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping ads appear in Google Shopping results, Google Search results, and the Google Display Network. They include a picture of the product, the store name, the product name, and the price.

Shopping Pros

  • A shopping campaign can help rank your products at the top of Google’s search and shopping results.
  • It can also show your product in banner ads and other formats which can help build brand awareness.
  • A great aspect of Shopping ads is they provide all the needed information within the ad. The audience can see:
    • A picture of the product.
    • Read how much it costs.
    • Check the brand before even clicking on the ad.
  • The information shown on a Shopping ad boosts the conversion rate. This means shopping ads also prevent dead-end clicks, which saves you money.

Shopping Cons

  • Shopping campaigns do not use keywords directly to match your products like search campaigns. There are benefits to this, but ultimately, it can be harder to find the correct audience.
  • There’s also less control with Shopping ads, especially with Smart Shopping Campaigns. You cannot see search terms or many other options available in standard campaigns.
  • Another issue is maintenance of the Shopping feed can be tricky.
    • Disapproved products are common.
    • You may have to submit your product multiple times to finally be approved.
    • Images, landing pages, and headlines can also cause problems.
  • Overall, shopping campaigns require trial and error to finally get it right.

When to Use a Shopping Campaign

All eCommerce stores should set up a shopping campaign. Retailers can advertise their products and boost traffic to their website and stores with Shopping ads.

If your business provides a service, a shopping campaign may not be the best fit for you. Shopping ads are better for businesses selling products because there is a set price and an image for the ad.

Track the results carefully and know your ROI numbers. This way, you’ll know if you’re earning a profit or just wasting your marketing budget.

If your shopping campaign isn’t working, consider taking a break to determine how to fix it. You can edit the aspects of your feed like titles and descriptions in Shopping ads and improve performance.

Video Campaign

Video campaigns involve ads on YouTube, which is owned by Google. The ads are formatted as skippable or non-skippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, and video discovery ads.

In-stream ads play before, during, or after other YouTube videos. Bumper ads play before the video and are not skippable.

Video discovery ads can appear in the YouTube search results, YouTube’s mobile homepage, or in the related YouTube videos section.

Video Pros

  • YouTube is used by 2 billion people every day. YouTube’s popularity can help you build your brand awareness.
  • Engaging and memorable ads will help you build a customer base and may generate clicks and conversions.
  • Video marketing is on the rise as your competitors are most likely using video campaigns and your potential customers are consuming video content.
  • Using a video campaign can help you stay relevant, expand your audience, and get ahead of your competition.
  • Video discovery ads can target an audience that’s already interested in similar content or products. This can lead to clicks and conversions.

Video Cons

  • Just like display campaigns, tracking video campaigns is difficult. Someone may watch your video and search for your business later, but you can’t easily track where that customer came from.
  • It’s also a lot harder to create Video ads. Not only do you need to be creative when making a Video ad, you also need to film it well.
  • If hiring film equipment or a videographer isn’t within your budget, it’s going to take more time, imagination, and energy to create an ad.
  • Even if you figure out how to make a Video ad on your own, the audience’s trust in your brand can suffer and you probably won’t receive many clicks.

When to Use a Video Campaign

Video campaigns are great for businesses with a new product. Since Video ads increase brand awareness, they can help new businesses generate customers faster.

If you already have a decent amount of web traffic, Video campaigns are a great place to start remarketing. Previous customers can be reminded of your business with a video and can click on the advertisement to revisit your site.

Popular YouTubers are some of the most influential micro-celebrities. If you can partner with a YouTuber, they can promote your brand or product on their channel. This is an effective way to reach a large and relevant audience.

Want to Start a Google Ads Campaign?

When launching a new Google Ads campaign, the best thing you can do is spend time researching.

Research potential keywords, how to rank higher and ad copy tips. Try to learn as much as possible before you create your Google Ads account.

Most importantly, understand the differences between each of the campaign types to determine which is the best fit for you.

Search, Display, Shopping, and Video all have great benefits. Start with one or two campaigns that fit your business.

If you do your homework, your campaign can help increase your ROI, boost your conversion rates, and strengthen your brand.

It all comes down to gauging the pros and cons and deciding which campaign will help you achieve your marketing goals.

Live Webinar Wed. 7/14/21 Noon Central: Demystifying Google Ads: PPC Fundamentals for Small Businesses

Have questions? Want to know more? Join us Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern to find out how you can increase your profitability and return on investment (ROI) using Google Ads (also known as Google AdWords).

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