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What are the 9 Types of Google Ads Campaigns?

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Types of Google Ads Campaigns: woman sitting in front of a computer, wearing a white shirt, holding a pen and a cell phone to her ear.

To get the best results from your ads, it's essential to know the types of campaigns in Google Ads to choose the one that best suits your marketing objective and market niche. 

This way, you can target your investment more efficiently and get better results in terms of conversions and sales.

In this article, you'll find out everything you need to know about the features of campaigns and their functionalities in order to maximize the tool's potential and achieve your business goals. 

Learn about the following types of campaigns available on Google Ads:

  1. Research Network;
  2. Display Network;
  3. Video campaigns;
  4. Campaigns for Apps;
  5. Local campaigns;
  6. Smart Campaigns;
  7. Max Performance Campaigns;
  8. Mall Campaigns or Performance Max with Merchant Center Feed
  9. Discovery.

banner advertising Pareto's AI Paid Media Management service

1. Search Campaigns: Text Ads in Search Results

This is one of the most widely used campaigns and is applicable to all types of companies. It's one of the first ad ideas that comes to mind when you think of advertising on Google.

In Search Network campaigns, the ads are displayed in the search made through the Google search engine. These ads will appear according to the search term searched by the user.

Here's an example of a Search Network ad when you search for "Pareto" on Google. Note that a label appears indicating that this is a sponsored link.

In addition to appearing in Google's search results, it is possible to appear on Google partner sites when your keywords are relevant to the user's search and your site is related to them. Enabling the Google Partner Network is optional.

Another possible option is to display your ads on the Google Display Network (partner sites and YouTube) when a person performs a search related to a keyword in your campaign.

Why Choose Search Campaigns?

Search campaigns are one of the most popular and effective options available on Google Ads.

This is because they allow companies to reach their potential customers at the very moment when they are actively searching for specific products or services on the internet.

In standard Search Network campaigns, you need to define keywords that direct customers to the ads.

This is because the combination of the search term searched by the user with the keywords defined in the campaign is essential for them to match.

Search Campaign Specifications

  • Search campaigns are segmented on the basis of keywords, i.e. the words and phrases that users type into Google searches;
  • It is crucial to select relevant and specific keywords so that ads are only shown to users interested in your products or services;
  • It is essential that keywords are selected carefully so that your ad appears at the right time for the user, in order to increase the click-through rate and, consequently, conversion on your site;
  • Another way to advertise on the Search Network is through Dynamic Search Network Campaigns. With these, you don't need to define keywords, but rather set up categories or URLs from your company's website.

Tips and Best Practices for Search Campaigns

Here are some good practices to ensure that your campaigns get the best results on Google's search network.

  • Define the stage of the funnel for your campaign: this separation will allow you to communicate with potential customers in the right way, understanding those who are most active;
  • Define the ideal keywordsThis step is fundamental to good performance, as it will allow your ads to be shown to the right people;
  • Work with negative termsIt's virtually certain that some unqualified searches will trigger your ads. Therefore, analyze search terms frequently and include them as negative keywords;
  • Think about the ideal copyUnderstanding your persona and the stage of the funnel they are in, establish the best communication in your text ads (titles, descriptions, etc.);
  • Use your keyword in the ad: to make your text ad relevant, include your keyword whenever possible;
  • Use ad extensionsExtensions allow your ad space to be increased on the results screen, as well as enabling better communication with the user and increasing the CTR (click-through rate);
  • Analyze partners and display networkIt is recommended that you analyze the performance of the Partner and Display Networks, if they are activated. That way, you can exclude one of them if the performance is not satisfactory;
  • Use responsive adsthey allow automatic optimization by Google's algorithm, displaying the titles and descriptions that bring the best results.

Learn more about the Google Ads Privacy Policy at this link.

2. Display Campaigns: Graphic Ads on Websites

In this type of campaign, the ads will be images (graphic or responsive display ads) that will be shown on Google's partner sites.

The ads appear while people are browsing these sites, watching YouTube videos or using apps on mobile devices.

Why Choose Display Campaigns?

A Google Display Network allows your marketing to be more proactive, since it doesn't depend on the user searching for your products or services.

That's why it's important to keep in mind what your company's objectives are with the Display Network. This campaign is widely used for more Top of Funnelstages, or to re-impact remarketing users.

You know that banner that keeps chasing you after you've visited a site and seen a product? Well, that's possible with Display Network remarketing!

Display Campaign Specifications

To define where the ads will be displayed, there are several possible target audience segmentations, or even the automatic segmentation of Smart Display campaigns. 

Thus, people who are accessing a partner site and are within this established segmentation will be impacted by your ad and may click on it.

Some examples of segmentation: Topics, Personalized Affinity, Channels (sites), Locations, Demographic Information, Remarketing and others. It is also possible to combine different types of segmentation.

Check out the main rules relating to image dimensions that must be followed for Display Campaigns at this link.

🚨 Warning: Display ads are shown on a partner network of more than 2 million websites and apps, and some of these channels are set up to take advantage by generating multiple false clicks on your banner.

As there are millions of sites, we have developed an automation system capable of identifying fraudulent clicks and avoiding wastage on this network that promotes the denial of channels.

See how this preventive automation works and avoid Fraud in Google Ads Display Campaigns.

Below is an example of an ad (top right) from a Google Display Network Campaign, which is displayed on a partner site:

9 types of Google Ads campaigns: example of an ad for a Google Display Network campaign.Tips and Best Practices for Display Campaigns

  • Use responsive ads: these extend the reach of your campaign, as they adapt to the different spaces available for advertising on partner sites;
  • Good creativeshave images that allow you to convey the ideal communication to your target audience;
  • Define a good audience segmentation: The good performance of your campaign will depend on this segmentation. So tailor this segmentation to your ideal persona;
  • Deny inappropriate channelseither with Pareto Automation or carrying out the process manually, it is important to check which sites your campaign is being shown on, in order to negate those that are not suitable for promotion;
  • Align expectationsA campaign that doesn't convert isn't always a bad thing, as it could be helping these users to convert further down the line through other campaigns;
  • Follow Google's advertising policiesIt is essential that your images and text comply with Google Ads' privacy policies.

Learn more about Google Ads Display Network Campaigns at this link.

3. Video Campaigns: Video Ads on YouTube

With video campaigns, your ads will be shown on YouTube or partner sites, before, during or after the video the user is watching. 

It's important to note that the video to be used as an ad must be published on your YouTube channel.

Video campaigns are very interesting for those who want to strengthen their brand identity. They are a type of advertising best suited to the top of the funnel, although they can also be used to focus on sales.

Why Choose Video Campaigns?

To focus on conversion, Google Ads offers some effective bidding strategies, such as Maximize Conversions or Desired CPA. 

To create ads with this objective, Trueview for Action is suitable for getting the user to take action on your website, while Trueview for Shopping is recommended for promoting products from the feed and directing the user to convert on your site.

Video campaigns are an excellent option for reaching your target audience and can be segmented based on the ad groups created.

As with the Display Network, segmentation allows you to define the target audience criteria for your video campaign. Segmentation includes defining a list of specific YouTube channels for promotion.

With video campaigns, you can take advantage of all the targeting options available, except website targeting, since the ads now only appear on YouTube.

Video Campaign Specifications

Campaign Specifications deals with the different options available for video campaigns in Google Ads. The options include:

  • Trueview In-Stream: video ads displayed before, during or after other YouTube videos;
  • Trueview Out-Stream: video ads displayed on Google partner sites and applications;
  • Trueview Video Discovery: video ads displayed as search results on YouTube or on the YouTube homepage on mobile devices;
  • Bumper: short video ads lasting up to six seconds, shown before other YouTube videos.

Each option has its own specifications and ad creation requirements.

With the right choice of option and proper use of specifications, you can create effective video campaigns that increase your brand's visibility, engage your audience and generate conversions.

Tips and Best Practices for Video Campaigns

  • Give a clear messageUse videos that can convey the desired message in a short time. If you use the In-Stream format, avoid videos longer than 30 seconds, as it is more difficult to hold the user's attention for longer.

In addition, if the video has no interaction or is not viewed in its entirety (up to 30 seconds), there will be no charge

  • Optimal targetingLike the display network, video campaigns depend on target audience segmentation for your ad to be shown to the right person, so it's essential to configure this segmentation well.
  • Video sequencesIt is possible to set up campaigns with sequential videos, so that only those who watched the first video are impacted by the second. In this way, you can follow a script (or story) told through the videos.

Learn more about video campaigns (YouTube) at this link.

4. Campaigns for Apps: Promote your App on Various Channels

Although less common, another type of Google Ads campaign is the Universal Campaign for Apps.

If your company has an app, it's important to make it available to more paying users. But how do you reach these people?

App campaigns simplify the promotion process, making it easy to promote your apps on Google's biggest properties, including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discovery and the Display Network. 

Why Choose App Campaigns?

App campaigns simplify the promotion process, making it easy to promote your apps on Google's biggest properties, including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discovery and the Display Network.

Here's an example of where your ads can be displayed (in Google search results):

9 types of Google Ads campaigns: example of an ad for a Google Display Network campaign.Campaign Specifications for Apps

To create the ad, you don't need to add much information, as Google will use your ad materials and text ideas, including the resources on the "App details" page to create various ads in various formats and networks.

You then need to provide a few lines of text, a bid to download the app and an initial budget, as well as indicating the languages and location in which the campaign will be targeted.

It is recommended to provide at least one image in landscape mode, one video in portrait mode and one video in landscape mode. 

If you wish, you can also insert creatives in HTML5 format. The Google Ads algorithm will test different combinations of resources and will display the ads that perform best more often.

Campaigns can be created for apps on the Android or IOS operating systems. These campaigns must be created separately. 

App campaigns can be integrated with the Google Play Store, allowing users to install the app directly from the store. This simplifies the app installation process and can increase conversion rates.

App campaigns allow you to segment users based on different criteria, such as age, gender, geographical location, interests and online behavior.

This helps to ensure that your ads are only shown to relevant users who are more likely to install your application.

Tips and Best Practices for App Campaigns

  • Set up conversion trackingTrack installs and activities in the Android and iOS app.

This data is fundamental for optimizing the campaign, as well as helping Google Ads to identify patterns, finding new users with similar behavior.

  • Define a goalwhat type of user you want to find based on your app's current goals.

For example: new users downloading the app or encouraging people to perform actions within the app. 

Focus on the metrics that align with your marketing objective, allowing you to monitor and optimize them.

  • Add images, videos and textThe more information and resources you make available in your campaign, the more options Google will have to combine them and bring better results.

5. Local Campaigns: Promote Locations on Various Channels

The aim of local campaigns is to help companies give potential customers the information they need to decide when and how to visit their stores. 

These campaigns optimize the process for you, making it easier to promote your stores on our main services, including search and display networks, Google Maps and YouTube. 

Just add a few lines of text, a budget and some resources, and the rest will be optimized for people to find you.

Why Choose Local Campaigns?

Local campaigns focus on simplicity and achieving your company's offline goals. You tell our company the store locations, the campaign budget and the ad resources.

With this data, Google's machine learning technology automatically optimizes bids, ad placements and combinations of resources. 

The aim of the campaign is to maximize in-store conversion value (with store visits, call clicks and/or clicks to view routes) and promote your physical stores on Google networks and Services.

Local Campaign Specifications

9 types of Google Ads campaigns: example of an ad for a Google Display Network campaign.Use local campaigns to interact with customers as they plan to visit different destinations. 

In the example above, the navigation ads show relevant information about your company in relation to items they may need or be interested in.

It can also be displayed on Google's other main services.

Tips and Good Practices for Local Campaigns

O Campaign Report is a useful tool for those working with local Google Ads campaigns. With it, you can view each resource used in a campaign and compare the performance of each one.

Based on this information, strategic decisions can be made about which resources should be replaced or removed, as well as identifying those that are most effective in achieving the campaign's local goals.

The report also offers suggestions for creating new features based on others that have performed well, helping to further optimize the campaign. 

Over time, this tool becomes essential to ensure that your local Google Ads campaigns are always achieving the best possible performance.

banner advertising a free e-book on optimizing Google Ads and Meta Ads campaigns6. Smart Campaigns: Automate your campaigns

Smart campaigns highlight your company's advantages and help attract customers. 

You can create a single campaign for your company or display several campaigns to show the different products or services you offer, each with a set of keywords.

Why Choose Smart Campaigns?

Smart campaigns use the best of Google's advertising technology and can be set up in just 15 minutes. They measure performance and generate results based on the campaign goal.

Although all campaigns in Smart mode are intelligent, you can also use Expert mode to create campaigns of this type.

Smart Campaign Specifications

Your ad is made up of the following parts:

  • Title: can contain 30 characters or 15 characters in double-width languages. You can create between 3 and 15 titles;
  • Description: can contain 90 characters or 45 for double-width languages. You can create 2 to 4 descriptions for your ad;
  • Target URL (link): Google shows the URL of your company's website or Company Profile on Google;
  • Company name: call announcements have a limit of 25 characters for the company name;
  • Sitelinks: Sitelinks are automatically generated links that appear below the text of the ad;
  • Map marker: a marker can be displayed in the ad for customers who are close to your company;
  • Phone number: by including the phone number, it will appear in search network ads for desktop, mobile devices and the Google Display Network and Maps ads;
  • Address: if you want to show the company's address, your Google Ads account must be linked to a Company Profile in the account in question.

Tips and Best Practices for Smart Campaigns

If you want to advertise different aspects of your company, create several smart campaigns and specify different budgets and keyword themes for each one.

For example, a bakery could create a general campaign for "bakery" and another for "wedding cakes". Each can have different keyword themes, budgets and targeting.

To help attract more customers to your ad and receive more clicks, the information provided about the company and the content of the site is used to create and test alternative ads. 

In some cases, this information is used to test different combinations of titles, descriptions and landing pages. Another possible use is to add sitelinks or replace titles with company name, phone number or address.

Google Ads runs the original ad and the new ones to compare which performs best. Over time, the advertisement with the best results is shown more often, ensuring that the campaign is increasingly effective.

7. Top Performing Campaigns: Access All Channels with a Single Campaign

The highest performing campaign or Google Performance Max is a new type of goal-based campaign. With it, performance advertisers can access the entire Google Ads inventory in one place.

It complements keyword-based search campaigns and helps you find more customers who generate conversions on all Google channels, such as YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.

This feature boosts performance based on specified conversion goals, as well as generating more conversions and value with real-time optimization across all channels using Smart Bidding.

The highest performing campaign combines Google's automation technologies in bidding, budget optimization, target audiences, creatives, attribution and much more.

It also takes into account your advertising objective (e.g. based on CPA or ROAS) and the creative's resources, audience indicators and optional data feeds provided.

Why Choose Performance Max Campaigns?

Google Ads automation uses machine learning to grow your business. You define what is important to measure in your strategy, such as budget, commercial goals and conversions.

Google Ads automation then finds potential customers based on this information and serves the most appropriate ad with the best bid to maximize the campaign's performance.

With the combination of Smart Bidding and attribution technology, you can find the best options for your campaign in Google's inventory and set auction bids that are more likely to achieve your business goals in real time.

It's worth noting that machine learning works best when you add audience indicators to the Performance Max campaign.

Automatically generated resources are a campaign-level setting that helps generate additional resources. 

Tips and Best Practices for Performance Max Campaigns

The highest performing campaigns are the best option in the following situations:

  • When there are specific advertising and conversion targets (e.g. online sales, lead generation, etc.);
  • It aims to maximize campaign performance and does not limit the number of channels on which ads can be shown;
  • You want easy access to all of Google's advertising channels in a single campaign;
  • You want to have more reach and a higher conversion value than keyword-based search campaigns.

8. Shopping Mall Campaigns or Performance Max with Merchant Center Feed

If you have an e-commerce business, this type of campaign is made for your company!

With it, your product ads will appear in Google's "Shopping" results, or on the side of Google's search results page with the product image, name and price.

Here are some examples of Shopping Campaigns when we type "Samsung" into Google:

9 types of Google Ads campaigns: example of an ad for a Google Display Network campaign.9 types of Google Ads campaigns: example of an ad for a Google Display Network campaign.

Why Choose Shopping Campaigns?

These campaigns allow advertisers to display their products directly in Google search results, along with images, prices and other relevant information.

One of the main advantages of Google Shopping campaigns is that they offer a more visual and attractive shopping experience for users.

This is because Shopping ads display product images directly in the search results, which helps to attract users' attention and encourages them to click on the ad to find out more about the product.

In addition, Google Shopping campaigns are highly effective for targeting users with high purchase intent. 

This is because Shopping ads usually appear when users are searching for specific products, which means they are already looking for something to buy. 

Making Shopping campaigns an ideal option for companies that want to reach highly targeted consumers with great conversion potential.

Another advantage of Google Shopping campaigns is that they offer advertisers great flexibility and control. 

You can target your ads based on criteria such as geographical location, language, device and time of day. 

What's more, you can set bids for different products and categories, which allows you to optimize your campaign to get the best possible ROI.

Requirements for Shopping Campaigns

In order for a Shopping Campaign to be created, you must have a Google Merchant Center account.

This account must be linked to the Google Ads account (through which the campaign will be created). There, in the Merchant Center, you will register the product feed of your e-commerce platform.

This way, all the products available for sale, as well as relevant information such as price, title, description, image, destination url, availability will appear there.

Tips and Best Practices for Shopping Campaigns

Here are some important tips for your Google Shopping campaigns:

  • Well-configured product feedHave products with a good description and title set up in your Merchant Center so that user searches can find your products;
  • Set a feed update scheduleIt is essential to keep your feed updated in the Merchant Center so that it always displays the correct prices and availability;
  • Use good product images; as the images will be displayed in your ads, use images that allow you to see your product well;

See more about Google Shopping at this link.

9. Discovery campaigns

Discovery campaigns, like the Display Network, allow the advertiser to show banner ads to potential customers targeted in their ad group. However, the difference between them lies in the channels on which they are displayed.

While the Display Network has more than 2 million sites, Discovery allows ads to be concentrated on YouTube and Gmail.

Why Choose Discovery Campaigns?

You can reach up to 2.9 billion people a month on YouTube's "Home" and "Watch Next" feeds, Gmail's "Promotions" and "Social" tabs and Discover.

You can attract potential customers while they are searching for something related to your targeting on Google Services.

This type of campaign is very suitable for promoting brand awareness and strengthening brand identity, as it is targeted at highly accessed and relevant channels.

Discovery Campaign Specifications

When using Discovery campaigns, it will not be possible to adjust the following settings:

  • Manual bidding strategies;
  • Display method;
  • Segmentation by device;
  • Segmentation by channel (including exclusions);
  • Frequency limit;
  • Ad rotation;
  • Contextual segmentation.

The other target audience segmentations used on the Display Network will be available, as well as Remarketing, which is widely used to contact potential customers.

Discovery ads can be graphic (single image) or carousel (sequence of images).

Here are the resource specifications for Discovery ads:

  • Title: can contain up to 40 characters, and you can enter up to 5 titles;
  • Description: Can contain up to 90 characters, and you can enter up to 5 descriptions;
  • Images: For maximum reach, upload several images with a 1.91:1 aspect ratio and in landscape mode. You can send up to 20 marketing images to a single creative;
  • If it is a Carousel adonly images with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 and square format are allowed (from 2 to 10 images);
  • Company name;
  • Final URL: Directs your ad to the website;
  • Call-to-Action: Call-to-action button ("Buy Now", "Learn More").

Tips and Best Practices for Discovery Campaigns

The tips and best practices are very similar to those applicable to the Display Network, with the exceptions relating to the impossibility of deactivating channels.

Remember that it is essential that your images and texts comply with the Google Ads Privacy Policy.


In this article we present the different types of campaigns available for creating ads on Google Ads. 

As you can see, the choice of campaign type is directly related to your marketing objective.

That's why it's essential to think about your business strategy before choosing the most suitable campaigns.

By adding this information to your media plan, you can more clearly visualize the ideal types of campaigns, including keyword choices, audience segmentation and other data.

Not sure how to take the next step? Check out our article Paid Media Plan: How to Set Up and Track Its Effectiveness.

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