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5 Types of Google Ads Campaigns and Why to Combine Them

June 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

This is a Guest Post from Clever Ads.

Google Ads campaigns consist of ads (ads, keywords, and offers) that share a budget and geographic targeting among other configuration parameters. In a Google Ads account, you can have one or more active advertising campaigns and each campaign can contain one or more groups of ads.

Want to know more? Read on!

What is Google Ads

Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) is Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) platform. Initially consisting of text ads only, it now also includes image and video ads on Youtube.

It started in 2000 and generates over 90% of Google’s revenue annually.

Companies use Google Ads to place both text, image and video ads that generate more visitors to their website and potentially more customers for their business.

Search and Display Networks

  • Search network: when you make a Google search, for example, “Buy an apartment in Madrid”, you will see that the first 4 results on top are ads and the last three on the bottom as well. These ads in text format are part of the Adwords Search Network. In between, there are 10 organic or “natural” SEO results.
  • Display network: these are graphic ads better known as banners that are displayed on websites and applications when the selected keywords are related to the content on them.

Types of Google Ads campaigns

Search Network Campaigns

Search campaigns with text ads

The most well-known and used ads by small and medium advertisers. These ads include a title, a long description and the URL, as well as some optional extensions (telephone, additional links, physical address, Google+ followers, or reviews) and are shown in the search engine results for the search words and phrases that interest us - both in the upper left as well as on the side - and on smartphones also in the lower part of the results. Up to 11 ads can appear per page, and 5 if viewed on a phone.

Product card search campaigns (Google Shopping)

Product card ads are ads with the photo and product price that are imported directly from the Google Merchant Center product database. If you are promoting an online store, they are a good alternative. It is a prerequisite that you connect the store (programmatically) to the Google Merchant Center. It is also important that the titles and descriptions of the products in the store are clear because for this type of campaign we do not specify search keywords. It is Google that knows which product to display based on the search.

Search campaigns with dynamic text ads

For this type of campaign, there is no need to specify keywords either. Google indexes the whole website (as if it were the SEO positioning) and depending on the search made by the user, it shows semiautomatic ads oriented to that search. It is possible to customize the description of the ads, but the title is generated automatically. Dynamic ads are very similar to standard text ads but are generated from the website content. The landing pages are also automatically chosen. This type of campaign can be useful if you have a website with hundreds of pages and do not have time to create specific ads. For example, if we want to test to discover new keywords, establish low costs per visit. It is not recommended if your website has few pages or as a substitute for standard campaigns since they are not as well-oriented ads; therefore, the click rates are lower.

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns oriented contextually or by theme

This type of campaign allows you to create standard text ads and banner ads in many sizes and display our ads based on keywords we define or by website theme. For example, we could define the word “online marketing course” and choose to appear on multiple websites where that word appears, which would give us fairly broad coverage or restrict the segmentation to specific thematic portals, for example “Education.” With this option, we do not directly specify the sites where we want to appear, although it is possible to have some control in order to optimize the campaign. We can also combine this segmentation with others such as the age of the users.

Display campaigns oriented to specific websites

These allow you to direct the ads to web portals, sub-domains or specific pages of them. This is a more restrictive option where you can fine-tune your target audience, having more control. For example, imagine that you want your text or banner ads to appear only on YouTube (within the videos or in the ad zones). With this segmentation, we could create a campaign just to appear in this portal.

We could also create a campaign oriented exclusively to Gmail, through what is known as Gmail Ads.

Remarketing Display Campaigns

Google, according to the preferences set in each user’s account, can “tag” you according to the portals you visit and assign you to what is called “interests.” For example, if you spend time browsing travel portals, you will be labeled with the interest “travel.” With this type of campaign we can reach users based on their interests, even if the pages they are viewing have nothing to do with that interest.

Display campaigns in mobile applications

Remarketing consists of displaying ads to users who have already visited your website and who have behaved in a way that makes you think they are still potential customers. For example, let’s suppose that a user enters your online store and after spending several minutes there, adds a product to the cart. The customer ends up not making the purchase. That user has shown enough interest to think that you may have a second chance to capture his or her attention. Through this type of campaign, we can configure lists of users (anonymous, of course) with a certain behavior which you want to impact again when they browse other portals, with the advantage that you do not care much about the site they are browsing at that time, but they see your ad several times and decide to give you a second chance.

It is a type of campaign that, if carried out well, gives very positive results. Within this type of campaign there is also a subtype, which is called “dynamic remarketing.” This is when Google shows automated ads with the products that the user has already visited; therefore, it can only be done if you have linked the AdWords account and uploaded the product catalog to the Merchant Center.

Video Campaigns

As the name suggests, through this type of campaign you can promote and give visibility to your videos both on YouTube and on portals that show video ads. The most common are the so-called in-stream ads, which are shown before another video. The advantage of promoting videos is that you only pay for their reproduction and even in the case of in-stream ads, you only pay if the user views 30 seconds of the video (or the entire video if it is shorter). The costs at the moment are very economical and you can be paying between 0.03 and 0.10 cents per reproduction/visualization. The only requirement is that the videos must be uploaded to YouTube.

When creating a good SEM strategy on Google Ads, you have to have good knowledge about keyword search, and how to optimize campaigns within Google Ads. With this bunch of free Google Ads tools, you’ll find all the help you need: keyword planner, campaigns audit, campaigns creator, banner creator… and you’ve got that right, it’s FREE!

And if you are looking for Social Ads tips, don’t miss this another post: Facebook Ads Tips.


Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.