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Ajala Digital Blog: The 5 Main Campaign Types of Google Ads

Welcome to Part 4 of our series. In Part 1 we have set our goals. In part 2 we got to set up the Google Ads Account itself. Part 3 helped us speak the same language. Now we will introduce you to the different types of Google Ads Campaigns. Let’s get started.

The Fundamentals Of Google Ads Campaigns

The first thing you need to know is that different types of ad campaigns determine where your ads will appear and what format they can be displayed in. This could be, for example, in text or video format.

This is because Google targets different types of campaigns to different networks. Therefore, it’s very important to have a clear idea of what these different networks are and to select those where you are most likely to reach your target and achieve your business objectives.

Different networks are essentially different groups of websites, pages, blogs, channels, or anything that is owned by Google or partnering with Google. 

Now, depending on the campaign format you choose, you will be able to reach one or more of these networks. A Video Ad, for instance (which is literally a video), will be shown within other videos. Therefore, it will reach all those pages and websites that have videos on them. As such, if your target audience is watching a lot of videos you are most likely going to be interested in those types of ads.

So, what are the different types of Google Ads that you can use for your campaigns?

Search Ads

These are ads that appear when someone searches for a product or service by typing specific key words or phrases. Since they are mainly based on text, they’re also known as Text Ads.  Generally speaking, this type of ad is good for targeting people who are actively searching for specific products. 

Naturally, a campaign that uses these ads target search networks. A Search Ad Campaign is, perhaps, the most commonly used type of ad campaign. It is usually combined with one or more of the other types of campaigns.

Where do we  normally see Search Ads? For the most part, they appear in Google searches and in other search websites that partner with Google. 

Example: Text ad for an online flower shop.

Display Ads

There are only a very limited number of situations that will require ONLY this type of campaign. Generally Display Ads are used in tandem with Search Ads. 

There are a number of reasons why these two campaigns are often combined. For starters, both rely on the text description of a product or service. The only difference is that Display Ads use images.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can add an interesting image to your Ad’s description to attract more potential customers. Another important feature of Display Ads is their partial automatic responsiveness. This means that their format, font, and feel partially adapt to the host site — which could be a partner website, video, blog, and so on.

The target network of Display Ads is broader than that of Search Campaigns. The ads are able to explore different potential targets instead of limiting your campaign to Google searches that focus on very specific customer demographics. As such, they are very useful for expanding your audience reach and raising overall brand awareness. 

When you work with Display Ads, you can choose the topic or category of the website, blogs, posts, or YouTube videos where you want them to run. This means that there are over two million websites and apps where your ads could be displayed. 

Example: Desktop Display ad for an online store of school supplies.

Display Ad Example: All You Need For School

Shopping Ads

As its name indicates, this type of Ad is a great option for someone selling one particular product or several different products. Essentially, you need the following to create a Shopping Ad:

  • product
  • picture
  • store name
  • specific information, etc. 


If you need to increase sales of a specific product, you have the option to target people who are actively looking for the product.

Shopping Ads are seen in the following platforms:

  • Google Shopping – This applies in selected countries.
  • Google Searches – They appear above or next to search results and separate from Text Ads. By the way, Text Ads can appear as well if you are also running that type of campaign, thereby doubling your chances to make a sale. 
  • Google Search Partners – They appear in the websites of Google’s search partners.
  • YouTube and Image Searches – This only applies in some countries. 

Many businesses experience significantly higher click-through rates with Shopping Ads compared to Text Ads. The fact that Shopping Ads provide so many details about a product increases the quality of leads. This is because interested shoppers can easily find out more about the product at a first glance, which increases the likelihood of them purchasing the item.

Shopping Ad Example

Source: Unsplash

Video Ads

These are ads that contain video. These campaigns work on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis. 

You can opt for a longer video and allow users to skip the ad after a few seconds. If the user skips the ad, then you don’t have to pay for it. 

You can also go for “Bumper Ads” which last for six seconds or less and are usually memorable videos that users cannot skip. In this case, you pay any time the video is displayed. Since you can be very specific in audience selection — based on age, gender, location, interests, and so on — you can explore and test different target groups. 

These types of ads can be found on YouTube. They are also seen in YouTube videos that are embedded in other websites and pages.

Example: Video Ad for an online pet supply store on desktop.

App Ads

This type of campaign is designed to increase the downloads of an App. This has limited customisation options available. You provide Google with your App, a few lines of text, some images, and the authorisation to use any other material that can be found about your app online. The Google system itself will then run the best ad campaign targeting potential customers.

These campaigns run on the entire Google network, giving it considerable reach.

As such, your App Ad may appear in YouTube ads, Google Searches, blogs, posts, articles, or shopping pages related to the subject that the app tackles. These ads are seen mainly by those using mobiles and tablets.

Example: App ads showing on the Apple App Store.

Various App Ad Examples

What's Next?

We’ve reached the midpoint of our series. You now are equipped with your goals, an account, the most important terms and know which types of campaigns exist and how they work. Next we will look into the factors that make your ad rank higher or lower. See you next week in part 5.