How to Choose the Right Google Ad Campaign

How to Choose the Right Google Ad Campaign

9 min
28 Jun 2024

Search Campaign 

Search ads are the most commonly used Google campaign type. They allow you to connect with your audience through the Google search result page. The main benefit of search ads is that they often appear above organic search results, increasing clickability. The four types of search ads include: 

  • Responsive Search Ads: Responsive search ads (RSA) involve incorporating multiple headlines and descriptions into your ad. Google analyzes and compares various combinations to select the most effective assets to achieve your campaign goals.
  • Dynamic: These ads streamline the ad creation process by allowing you to designate a landing page. Google then automatically pulls relevant content from this page to create ad copy. The content displayed in the ad dynamically adapts based on the user’s search query.
  • Call-only: These search ads allow your audience to initiate a call directly from the search results page. Call-only ads are particularly effective for businesses operating physical locations or offering services.
The Google Search Campaign option on Google ads.

When to Use Search Ads

Since they are widely used, search ads benefit most brands and services. If your business aims to achieve the following goals, search ads may be right for you:

  • You want to retarget potential or existing customers who have already engaged with your brand.
  • You’re looking to create more leads and sales through transactional keywords. 
  • You want to create ads with keywords related to your product or service.

Display Campaign

Google ads appear on the Google Display Network, consisting of over 2 million websites, videos, and apps. These ads are pleasing to the eye because they often contain animations or videos. The types of display ads include: 

  • Responsive: These ads are flexible, and you can adjust their appearance and format based on placement. You can also create a headline with an image with this type, but the rest is left up to Google. 
  • Static: This static ad type features images in JPG and PNG formats and animated GIFs. There is a strict 140kb upload limit with static display ads. 
  • Dynamic: These automated ads work most effectively for ecommerce stores that sell many products. Google uses your feed to create dynamic display ads that match user intent and interest. 
  • HTML5:  HTML5 banner ads are ideal for their rich multimedia capabilities. HTML5 ads are vector-based, allowing them to scale without losing quality. Investing in HTML5 ads is highly recommended for maximizing visual impact and campaign effectiveness.
An infographic showing Google display ads.

When to Use Display Ads

You may want to use display ads for your brand if you want to: 

  • Increase brand awareness and generate interest in your products.
  • Retarget existing customers and engage with previous business interactors.
  • Widen your audience reach beyond search engines.

Video Campaign

If you’re looking to run campaigns on YouTube, video ads are the right choice. YouTube has a massive audience to increase reach. These ads include interactive elements within your video but have tracking restrictions. The types of video ads include: 

  • In-stream: In-stream video ads come in two types: Skippable ads allow viewers to skip after 5 seconds, appearing before, during, or after the video. Non-skippable ads require viewers to watch the entire 15-second ad without the option to skip.
  • In-feed: These video ads are displayed within the YouTube feed, requiring your target audience to click or tap to initiate playback. They appear across YouTube search results, suggested videos, and the home feed.
  • Bumper: A bumper ad is a concise version of skippable in-stream ads, lasting no longer than 6 seconds. Unlike longer ads, viewers cannot skip bumpers.
  • Outstream: Outstream ads do not appear on YouTube but are featured across Google’s network and approved video partner sites and apps. These ads appear in banners, in-feed placements, and native formats.
  • Masthead: Masthead ads require booking through a Google sales agent and are not widely accessible. They appear prominently at the top of the YouTube home feed on mobile, desktop, and TV.

When to Use Video Ads

Video ads may be best for your brand for the following reasons: 

  • You’re looking to promote interactive products that benefit from visual demonstration.
  • Your target demographic spends a lot of time on YouTube.
  • You want to retarget those who have abandoned your website without a purchase.
  • You want to boost brand awareness.

App Campaign 

If your business wants to promote Android or iOS apps, app campaigns are the way to go. You must provide assets when creating an app campaign so Google can manage and test different ad types to optimize your campaign.  The kinds of app ads include images, text, and video. 

When to Use App Campaigns

If you have the following goals, app campaigns may work for your campaign: 

  • You want more app installs on Android and iOS apps.
  • You want to promote your Android app before it is released to get pre-registration.
  • You have at least 250K app installs and want to increase app engagement.
An infographic displaying app campaigns.

Performance Max

Performance Max (PMax) consolidates advertising efforts by leveraging AI and machine learning to optimize ads for various channels. Advertisers provide assets and goals, which Google uses to create ads that reach relevant users. 

PMax includes various ad types within search, display, Demand Gen, and video campaigns. Ultimately, Google decides what kind of ad is served and what placements are available. 

When to Use Performance Max

If the following factors are essential to your campaign or brand, PMax may be the best option: 

  • New advertisers can simplify ad management by letting Google handle their campaigns seamlessly.
  • Performance Max supports omnichannel marketing by displaying ads across diverse formats and channels, enhancing customer engagement.
  • With PMax, ads are optimized for performance and prioritize conversion goals.

Shopping Campaign

Shopping campaigns display essential product details like images, titles, prices, and store names directly in Google search results. You must integrate detailed product data into Google Merchant Center to launch these campaigns. These ads appear prominently to users actively searching for your product or related items. The types of shopping ads include:  

  • Product shopping ads: These ads enable online retailers and ecommerce stores to promote products. It’s a seamless process where your product feed is transformed into ads automatically, eliminating the need for manual ad creation.
  • Local inventory ads: Local inventory ads can help you target nearby or specific location-based audiences and drive foot traffic to your physical store. Store details, such as address and phone number, are displayed when users click the shopping ad.

When to Use Shopping Ads

Shopping ads work best if your business has a sale and you want to generate sales. They are also helpful for ecommerce businesses and those with physical locations.

A shopping ad featuring Adspace.

Demand Gen Campaigns 

As of late 2023, Demand Gen campaigns have replaced Discovery campaigns entirely. These campaigns enable ads across YouTube (including Shorts), Discover, and Gmail. Google manages these campaigns, which are automatically placed based on performance and expected results. You have limited control over bidding, device targeting, and placements. The two types of Demand Gen ads include:

  • Single image ads: Demand Gen ads feature a single image paired with headlines and descriptions. You must upload images, headlines, descriptions, and other assets. Then, Google will generate relevant combinations in various sizes and formats.
  • Carousel ads: These ads can include up to 10 images. Clicking one opens a separate window showing the carousel. You provide the images and assets, and Google handles the ad creation automatically.

When to Use Demand Gen Campaigns

Here are ideal uses for Demand Gen ads:

  • You want to enhance brand visibility and reach a broader audience that’s harder to engage.
  • You’re looking to reconnect with users who recently interacted with your site but didn’t convert.
  • You are focusing on driving conversions and sales because Demand Gen campaigns are specifically designed to achieve conversions tied to specific actions.

Choosing the Right Google Ad Campaign

Choosing the right Google Ad campaign is pivotal for effectively achieving your business objectives. Here’s a short guide on how to navigate this process.

Identify Business Goals

To begin, clearly define your business goals. Whether you aim to boost sales, enhance brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads, your campaign objectives should directly tie into your goals. For instance, campaigns focused on Product Shopping Ads or Performance Max could be ideal if your primary goal is to increase online sales. On the other hand, if you’re looking to raise brand awareness, Display Ads or Video Ads might be more suitable.

A customer journey mapping infographic

Understanding Audience Targeting

You must take the time to analyze your target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors. This data will help you refine your targeting strategy across different campaign types. For instance, if your audience consists of tech-savvy millennials, targeting them with engaging YouTube video ads might yield better results than traditional search ads. Tailoring your ads to resonate with specific audience segments ensures higher conversion rates.

Budgeting and Cost Considerations

When setting budgets for Google Ad campaigns, it’s essential to consider your campaign objectives and the pricing model that aligns with your goals. Cost-per-click (CPC) is suitable if your aim is to drive traffic to your website or generate leads through direct user interaction. Cost-per-impression (CPM) works well for campaigns focused on brand awareness. Understanding these cost structures will enable you to allocate your budget across different campaigns.

Tracking and Analytics

Utilizing tracking tools like Google Analytics is critical for measuring campaign performance. If you want to track your campaigns successfully, monitor key metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on ad spend. Analyzing these insights lets you identify what’s working well and where adjustments are needed.

With the help of real-time data and a trusted Google Ads agency, you can ensure your campaigns stay on track. By following these comprehensive steps, you can strategically execute Google Ad campaigns that align with your business goals.

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