Google Ads Campaign Types – Search, Display, Shopping, Performance Max, Discover, Local & Smart

Choosing Campaign type

Google is a sophisticated advertising platform offering various advertising formats that suit different advertising goals. Your choice of campaign type will be determined by your marketing goals, brand strategy and how much time you have available to manage campaigns.

Campaign types include:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Video
  • Shopping
  • App
  • Local
  • Performance Max
  • Discovery

Search campaigns: text ads on search results

Search campaigns are text ads which appear on the Google results page that target users while they are searching on Google.

These campaigns are suitable for driving sales, leads or traffic to your website, as your ads are displayed to people when they are searching for products and services.

Benefits of Search Campaigns:

  • Sales. Drive traffic to your website. Generate sales or leads.
  • Easy setup. Simply write text ads and pick keywords. No imagery is required
  • Highly targeted. Reach people who are as they search for products and services

Display campaigns: image ads on websites

Display campaigns target a relevant audience with visual ads as they visit millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties, including YouTube. These campaigns are a great way to expand your reach beyond Google Search.

Display campaigns can also use your customer data to show ads to people who have visited your website or have used your app.

Benefits of Display Campaigns

  • Sales and leads. Use a visually engaging call to action to drive sales and sign-ups.
  • Awareness and consideration. Create striking ads to boost brand awareness.
  • Reach. Target customers outside the search results when they are browsing websites and apps.
  • Retargeting. Advertise to people who have previously viewed your ads or visited your site.

Video campaigns: video ads on YouTube

Video campaigns display video ads on YouTube and other domains. Some Video campaign types boost general awareness of your brand, whilst others drive conversions or traffic.

Benefits of video campaigns

  • Awareness and consideration. Build awareness of your brand.
  • Sales and leads. Use the drive conversions campaign subtype to create action-focused video ads.
  • Expand your reach. Target people while they are on YouTube.
  • Retargeting. Target users who have already seen your ads or visited your site.

Note: to create a video ad, you will need to create your video ad and upload it to YouTube.

Shopping campaigns: product listings on Google

Shopping campaigns are product listing ads. This format is ideal for retailers looking to sell product inventory. Shopping ads are shown on the Google search results page and the Shopping tab.

Note: IRW Shop owners can also use local inventory ads to advertise products at their high street store.

Benefits of shopping campaigns

  • Visual merchandising. Use engaging product listings to promote your retail products.
  • Generate sales. Drive traffic to your online shop.
  • Advertise your local shop. Sell your local shop inventory to local people.

Note: To create a Shopping campaign, you require a Merchant Center account where you can upload your product inventory.

App campaigns: promote your andriod app

App campaigns enable advertisers reach new app users and boost sales within your app. This campaign type uses data from your app to optimise adverts across Search, Play, YouTube, Discover and over 3 million sites and apps.

With App campaigns, you can promote your iOS or Android apps.

Benefits of App campaigns

  • App promotion. Boost installs, engagements and sign-ups for your app on mobile devices.
  • Multi-channel marketing. Promote your app on Search, Display, Play and YouTube under one campaign.
  • Easy setup and management. This campaign features automatic targeting, bidding and ad creation for optimal performance.

Local campaigns: promote locations on many channels

Local campaigns drive people to your local business. Ads appear on Search, Display, Google Maps and YouTube.

Benefits of local campaigns

  • IRW store sales. Promote your physical inventory and bring shoppers into your real-world shops.
  • Promote offers and events. Promote in-store events and local promotions.
  • Detailed location info. Help customers find your business address and opening hours.
  • Multi-channel marketing. Show ads on Search, Display, Maps and YouTube under one campaign.

Note: To create a  Local Campaign, you need to have active location extensions or affiliate location extensions in your account or a Business Profile connected to Google Ads.

Smart campaigns: automate your campaigns

Smart campaigns are a simple way to automate campaigns and get advertising. All you need to do is enter your business information and create a few ads, and Google uses machine learning to optimise targeting and maximise your return on investment.

Benefits of Smart campaigns

  • Sales and leads. Boost sales and sign-ups.
  • Simple setup. Enter your business information and create a few ads, and Google will automate your campaigns.
  • Advanced optimisation. Google will optimise your ads and targeting for you.

Performance Max

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type that allows advertisers to access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Performance Max helps drive performance based on your conversion goals, using Smart bidding to optimise performance in real-time.

Benefits of Performance max

  • Simple to set up, fully automated. Performance Max campaigns are easy to setup, and once your campaign is live, they will be optimised automatically.
  • Increase conversions and value. Automation optimises your budget and bids to help identify conversion opportunities in real-time.
  • Find new customers. Reach new audience segments with relevant ads based on real-time user intent, behaviour and search context analysis.
  • Insights. Performance Max campaigns ‘Insights’ page helps you understand how automation is working and how to improve your campaign.

Note: In late 2022, Smart Shopping campaigns will be replaced by Performance Max campaigns.

Discovery Campaigns

Discovery campaigns enable advertiser to reach up to 3 billion users across Google’s feeds. Using Google’s audience and customer intent signals, this Discovery campaigns delivera highly visual, personalised ad experiences to users who are ready to discover and engage with your brand.

Benefits of Discovery Campaigns

  • Use a single ad campaign to Reach more of Google. Reach up to 3 billion users monthly on the YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Discover and the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs
  • Drive engagement with rich, relevant ads. Google will use indicators of customer intent to display relevant ads to users when they are ready to engage with your brand.
  • Display visually rich ads displayed across Google’s properties. Discovery ads are designed to engage with consumers as they browse their favourite content. The ad layouts use machine learning to combine and display your assets seamlessly across devices,  helping spark customer interest and action.
  • Automated bidding. Discovery ads support maximise conversions bidding, Target CPA, or Target ROAS to optimise your campaign bids to meet your media marketing objectives.



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