All Types of Google Ads: How to Choose The Right Campaign Type

Are you confused by different types of Google Ads and unsure which suits your business? Follow our guides to receive expert insights on the pros and cons of each campaign type with practical tips. Whether you’re interested in Search, Display, or Shopping Ads, we will help you make decisions and optimize your advertising budget for maximum ROI.

How many types of Google Ads campaigns are there?

Google Ads has several similarities compared to many paid digital advertising networks. It operates on the pay-per-click (PPC) business model, so you only get charged when someone goes to your website. You may target audiences based on particular habits and demographics, create flexible budgets (beginning as little as $5), and get quick, quality feedback on campaign results. The fact that Google advertisements can reach customers in three different ways: Search, display, and video – makes them so appealing. With our guide, Mega Digital will show you a better view of 9 Google Ads types:

  1. Search ads: Ads that appear at the top or bottom of Google search results when users search for specific keywords.
  2. Display ads: Ads on websites, apps, and videos across the Google Display Network.
  3. Video ads: Ads that appear before, during, or after videos on YouTube and other websites and apps.
  4. Shopping ads: Product listings on Google Search and the Google Shopping tab.
  5. Smart ads: Ads automatically optimized by Google based on your business information and ad creatives.
  6. Performance Max ads: Ads that use machine learning to optimize across multiple Google ad networks automatically. 
  7. App ads: Ads that promote mobile apps on various Google channels, including search, display, and YouTube. 
  8. Discovery ads: Ads that appear in multiple Google feeds, including the Discover feed, YouTube Home feed, and Gmail Promotions tab. 
  9. Local Services Ads: Ads that promote local service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, and cleaners, on Google Search and Google Maps.
How many types of Google Ads campaigns are there

Different types of Google Ads

Search Campaigns

Search campaigns are text ads that appear on search engine results pages (SERP). This allows businesses to reach potential customers searching for products or services on Google.

Who should use: 

  • Businesses that want to drive sales, leads, or website traffic from people already searching for products or services they like.
  • Businesses with a shorter sales cycle or want immediate results from their advertising efforts.

Example: An online retailer that sells athletic apparel may use search ads to target people searching for terms like “workout clothes,” “running shoes,” or “athletic wear” to drive traffic to their website and increase sales.

Search Campaigns

Search ads types

There are different ad format options in this type of campaign: 

  • Responsive search ads: Expanded text advertising allows up to three headlines and two descriptions. Google provides additional possibilities for headlines (15) and descriptions (4), allowing for larger reach and A/B testing without the need for separate advertisements. Google will test several combinations of your headlines and descriptions until it finds the most successful one and reach potential consumers at the perfect moment.
Search ads types
  • Dynamic search ads (DSAs): Dynamically populate search ads with material from your website. These advertisements appear within search campaigns and target your ads to customers seeking comparable items or services based on the content on your website. This saves you much time during setup and guarantees you’re utilizing keywords you would have missed otherwise.
  • Call ads: Call advertising encourages customers to call your company and can only display on devices that can make phone calls. When a potential consumer clicks on your ad, it calls you from their device. When you enable call reporting, we’ll issue a Google forwarding phone number for your ad. You’ll be able to examine the specifics of your calls and count them as conversions this way.

Search ads pros & cons


  • Precise targeting: You can target your ads to people actively searching for your products or services, ensuring that your ads reach the most relevant audience. 
  • Easy setup: Writing text ads and picking keywords is relatively simple, so businesses can get their ads up and running quickly without needing files or assets. 
  • Sales and leads: Search campaigns are particularly effective for driving sales, leads, or website traffic because they allow businesses to reach people looking for products or services like theirs.


  • Limited space for ad copy
  • Expensive for competitive keywords 
  • Need to optimize and monitor for the best results continuously

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns are image ads that can appear on millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties like YouTube. They allow businesses to expand their reach beyond just Google search results and target a relevant audience with visually engaging ads.

Who should use: 

  • Businesses that want to increase brand awareness or consideration for their products or services. 
  • Businesses with a longer sales cycle or those wanting to reach potential customers may not be actively searching for products or services like theirs. 
  • Businesses that have already built up a website or app user base and want to follow up with those users through targeted ads.

Example: A home decor retailer may use display ads to target people who have recently visited their website with visually engaging ads featuring their latest products, to increase brand awareness and drive repeat visits and sales.

Type of Google Ads Display Campaigns

Display ads types

  • Uploaded image ads: If you have the creative resources to construct your own display advertising from scratch, go ahead and do so. JPG, PNG, and GIF images are supported by Google Display advertising. However, even if you qualify for a certain location, your ad will only be seen if it satisfies the size requirements for that placement. So it’s up to you to maximize your visibility by uploading many ad sizes.
  • Responsive display ads (RDA): Google created responsive display advertisements and later made them the default ad type for display campaigns. Simply provide your visual assets (pictures, logos, and videos) as well as some simple ad language. Google will then test various combinations to discover which versions perform well. The best part is that responsive display advertising automatically alters in size to match the needs of various websites.

Display ads pros & cons


  • Reach: Display campaigns can reach potential customers while browsing websites, apps, or YouTube videos, allowing businesses to expand their reach beyond just Google search results. 
  • Visually engaging: Display ads can be visually engaging, and help businesses create a memorable brand experience for potential customers. 
  • Data segments: Businesses can use their data segments to follow up with people who have already interacted with their website or app, increasing the chances of converting those users into customers.


  • Ad blindness and low click-through rates 
  • Difficulty in targeting specific audiences effectively 
  • Risk of appearing on low-quality or irrelevant websites

Video Campaigns

Video campaigns allow you to display video ads on YouTube and other websites to raise brand awareness or drive conversions.

Who should use: Businesses looking to promote their brand or products using visual storytelling.

Video Campaigns

Video ads types

  • Skippable in-stream ads: These video ads can appear before, during, or after streamed content, and viewers can skip them after 5 seconds. 
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads: These video ads can also appear before, during, or after streamed content, but viewers must watch the full ad (maximum of 15 seconds). 
  • In-feed video ads: These ads consist of a thumbnail image of your video with an accompanying text inviting viewers to click to watch more. They can appear on placements like YouTube search results and related videos. 
  • Bumper ads: These non-skippable ads are 6 seconds or less and play before, during, or after another video. 
  • Outstream ads: These mobile-only video ads appear on Google Video Partner sites but not YouTube. They play automatically for viewers with the sound off and invite viewers to watch the full version with the sound on. 
  • Masthead ads: These ads are only available by reservation through a Google sales representative. They auto-play without sound for up to 30 seconds and appear at the top of YouTube’s homepage feed. 

Video advertising is a powerful way to reach your target audience on various platforms. Understanding the different ad formats available can help you choose the most effectively aligned with your business goals.

Video ads pros & cons


  • Raise awareness and consideration: Use video ads to make people aware of your brand or consider buying your product. 
  • Drive sales and leads: Use the “Drive conversions” campaign subtype to set up action-focused video ads.
  • Expand your reach: Target people beyond search results on YouTube.
  • Leverage your data segments: Follow up with people who have viewed or visited your ads.


  • Produce high-quality video content at a high cost
  • Risk of being skipped by viewers

Shopping Campaigns

Google Shopping ads is a type of Google Ads campaign that allows retailers to promote their product inventory. These campaigns showcase product listings on search results and the Google Shopping tab. If you have a physical store, you can also use local inventory ads to promote products at your physical locations.

Who should use:

  • Retailers who want to showcase their products visually and promote their retail products. 
  • Those who want to drive online sales and leads.
  •  Physical store owners who want to sell their local store inventory to nearby people.
Shopping Campaigns

Shopping ads types

  • Product Shopping ads: Shopping advertising provides companies with various ways to promote their items in front of the relevant buyers. They can directly contain a product image, title, price, and the name of your store or business in the ad. Google Merchant Center generates them depending on the information in your product feed, so you don’t have to develop them yourself. Here’s how your Shopping advertising may seem on various screens:
Shopping ads types
  • Local inventory ads: 

The local inventory advertisements function lets you display your items and store details to nearby Google searchers. Customers are directed to your local storefront when they click on a local product ad. Shoppers utilize the local storefront to browse in-store inventory, store hours, and directions to your locations, among other things.

Local inventory ads 

Shopping ads pros & cons


  • Retail marketing: Create visually appealing product listings to sell your retail products
  • Sales and leads: Bring in customers to your online store or encourage them to sign up for more
  • Boost nearby storefronts: Sell your local store inventory to nearby people


  • Popular products competition 
  • Need to update product feed and optimize bids constantly 
  • Costly for small businesses

>>> Read more: How to create Google Shopping campaigns from A to Z in 2023

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Smart Campaigns

Google Smart campaigns are designed to make advertising simple and easy. By entering your business information and creating a few ads, Google automates your campaign to find the best targeting to achieve maximum results for your time and money.

Who should use: 

  • Businesses looking for a quick and easy way to get started with advertising
  • Small businesses with limited time or resources for managing campaigns 
  • Businesses looking for advanced optimization and automation of their campaigns
Smart Campaigns

Smart ads types

Smart campaign is an automated campaign that can serve both Search and Display ads like traditional campaigns. The main difference is that Smart campaigns are set up and optimized automatically by Google, whereas traditional campaigns require manual setup and management. Smart campaigns use machine learning algorithms to determine the best audience targeting, ad creatives, and bidding strategies to achieve the advertiser’s goals.

Smart ads pros & cons


  • Sales and leads: Increase sales and subscribers for your products and services. 
  • Easy setup: Google will automate your campaign when you enter your company’s details and produce a few ads.
  • Advanced optimization: Allow Google to optimize your ads and targeting for you.


  • Ad placement and targeting can be limited 
  • May not always align with business goals or brand image
  • Measure and optimize performance is difficult

Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign, optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding.

Who should use: Performance advertisers who want to maximize their conversions and value across multiple channels.

Performance Max ads types

Google Performance Max ads can use machine learning to automate ad placement across various channels, including Search, Display, YouTube, and Discover. This type of campaign can drive various objectives, such as website traffic, leads, or sales. It’s designed to maximize performance and reach across Google’s entire network.

Performance Max ads types

Performance Max pros & cons


  • Easy to set up and optimize: Performance Max campaigns are designed to be easy to launch. When your campaign is live, it’ll be optimized automatically to drive the best performance possible.
  • Increase conversions and value: Automatically optimizes your budget and bids across channels, helping capture new conversion opportunities in real-time. 
  • Find new customers: Unlock new audience segments with a real-time understanding of user intent, behavior, and context to show up at the right moments with more relevant ads.
  • Gain richer insights: Performance Max campaigns are now part of the “Insights” page. Help you understand how automation works and how to improve your campaign.


  • Limit the control over ad placement and targeting
  • Requires significant budget and data to see optimal results 
  • Complex and time-consuming to set up and manage

App Campaigns

App campaigns are designed to help you find new users for your mobile app and boost sales within the app. With this type of campaign, you can reach potential users across multiple channels, including Search, Play, YouTube, Discover, and over 3 million sites and apps. The campaign type uses your app’s information to optimize ads, bidding, targeting, and ad creation for optimal performance.

App Campaigns

Who should use:

  • Those who want to drive installs, engagements, and signups for their mobile app. 
  • Businesses that want to show their app on Search, Display, Play, and YouTube under one campaign. 
  • Those who want to automate targeting, bidding, and ad creation for optimal performance.

App Ads Types:

  • App Installs that allow users to download your app directly from the ad. 
  • App Engagement is designed to encourage existing users to engage with your app. 
  • App Pre-registration, only available for Android, helps build an audience for your app before it is released on Google Play.

App ads pros & cons


  • App promotion: App campaigns can help you drive app installs, engagements, and sign-ups on mobile devices.
  • Multi-channel marketing: With App campaigns, you can show your app on multiple channels, including Search, Display, Play, and YouTube, under one campaign.
  • Easy setup and management: App campaigns automate targeting, bidding, and ad creation for optimal performance, making it easy to set up and manage your campaigns.


  • Limited space for ad copy and visuals
  • Need to optimize and monitor for the best results continuously
  • Can be expensive for competitive app categories

Discovery Campaigns

Discovery campaigns are an automated Google Ads campaign type that allows businesses to show ads across all of Google’s feed placements, including Gmail, YouTube, and the Google app. According to it, this type of campaign helps increase brand awareness through media-rich ads. Discovery campaigns offer little control over placements and only have Smart Bidding options.

Who should use:

  • Those who want to reach new audiences and drive brand awareness through media-rich ads. 
  • Businesses looking to grow have yet to have a large audience.
  • Those who prefer automated campaigns and are comfortable with limited control over placements.

Discovery Campaign Types

Google produces text, picture, and video advertisements that appear in users’ feeds on YouTube, Gmail, and the Google app.

Discovery Campaign Types

Discovery Campaign pros & cons


  • Increased discovery of your products/services across
  • Google’s feed placements have a potential audience of up to 3 billion users
  • Smart Bidding options and full automation for optimal performance
  • Easy to set up and manage with Google taking care of ad placements


  • Limit the control over ad placement and targeting
  • May not always align with business goals or brand image
  • Measure and optimize performance is difficult

Local Services Ads

Local campaigns are designed to help businesses drive traffic to their physical stores and venues. These campaigns are automatically optimized to appear across different Google platforms such as Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube. In addition, they are distinguished by their Google Guarantee or Google Screened badge, which verifies that the business has met specific requirements and undergone a background check.

Who should use:

  • Businesses with physical stores or venues looking to drive in-person sales 
  • Businesses looking to promote offers and events in their local area 
  • Businesses looking to provide detailed location information to customers 
  • Businesses looking for multi-channel marketing under one campaign
Local Services Ads

Local Services Ads types 

  • Google guarantee: Mainly for home services like plumbing, housekeeping, and locksmiths, where Google provides a money-back guarantee of up to $2000 for unsatisfied customers.  
  • Google screened: More suitable for white-collar services like real estate agents, lawyers, and accountants, where businesses must pass a rigorous screening and background check. Other examples of businesses that can use Google Screened LSAs include financial planners, tax preparers, and marketing agencies.

Local Services Ads pros & cons


  • In-person store sales: Use online ads to bring shoppers into your physical stores.
  • Promote offers and events: Advertise in-store events and local promotions.
  • Detailed location info: Provide your business address and hours.


  • Limited to specific industries and service providers
  • Can be expensive for small businesses
  • Limit the control over ad placement and targeting

How to choose the best type of campaign

How to choose the best type of campaign

Choosing the best type of Google Ads campaign can be challenging, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, it’s essential to have a well-rounded PPC strategy and choose the campaign based on your purpose:

  • Search Ads: Target people actively searching for specific products or services related to your business. Use relevant keywords and compelling ad copy to attract potential customers. 
  • Display Ads: Increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Use eye-catching visuals and target specific demographics to maximize your results. 
  • Video Ads: Engage with your audience through storytelling and showcase your products or services in a creative way.
  • Shopping Ads: This can be highly effective if you’re an online retailer. Use high-quality images, product descriptions, and pricing information.
  • Smart Ads: Let Google do the work for you; based on your business information and ad creatives, Google will automatically optimize your ads for maximum results.
  • Performance Max Ads: Uses machine learning to optimize your ads across multiple Google ad networks automatically.
  • App Ads: Target specific audiences and showcase your app’s unique features to drive downloads.
  • Discovery Ads: Reach customers across multiple Google feeds, including the Discover feed, YouTube Home feed, and Gmail Promotions tab.
  • Local Services Ads: Use customer reviews and pricing information to help potential customers choose your services over competitors.


In conclusion, Google Ads offers businesses various advertising options to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals effectively. Mega Digital’s team of certified Google Ads professionals has years of experience creating and managing successful campaigns. By renting a Google Ads agency account from Mega Digital, businesses can tap into this expertise without investing in hiring an in-house marketing team.

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