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The Different Types of Google Ads

Which ones could benefit your business most?

If you are thinking of learning how to create Google Ads, it’s good to start with a really good overview. Even if you plan to hire someone to create Google Ad campaigns for your business, your overall knowledge of the process will help make your advertising dollars more effective.

If you are already using Google Ads, you should know that the company has just relaunched its Academy of Ads learning center under a new name: Skillshop. There are several new tutorials and certifications available to increase your knowledge in each campaign type.

Below are the different Google Ads campaign types and a few definitions, followed by some tips to get started.

Types of Google Ads
With Google Ads, it may be a good idea to start with plain text Search Network ads, especially if your goal is to have your business or product rate higher in search results. Other types include graphical Display ads, Video ads, App campaigns, and Shopping ads. Each one has myriad options.

In addition to the text ad, you may want to consider display ads with words, graphics and pictures. Launched in 2017, Google’s smart display campaigns allow advertisers to target their ads to audiences and placements that are most likely to drive conversions for their business without requiring any set targeting. This makes it a much simpler process for people wanting to get started with display campaigns. Ads can be set up in 15 minutes. All advertisers need to do is select a budget goal and upload some ad images and then Google handles the rest.

Google Ad Terms
If you are going to set up ads yourself, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the jargon.

Campaign
A campaign is a set of ad groups (ads, keywords, and bids) that share a budget, the location you are targeting, and other settings. Campaigns are helpful to organize products or services of your business into categories.

According to Google:

+ Your Google Ads account can have one or many ad campaigns running
+ Each campaign consists of one or more ad groups
+ Settings that you can set at the campaign level include budget, language, location, distribution for the Google Network, and more
+ You can create separate ad campaigns to run ads in different locations or using different budgets

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Keywords
Keywords are not just words or phrases describing your product or service, they are also the terms potential customers will type into a Google search to find your product. Keywords are attached to your ads and help determine when and where your ad can appear. When someone types words into the Google search bar, your ad could appear depending on how close a match it is for the search words typed.

Keep in mind: Common keywords can be expensive, such as “Minnesota.” There will also be a lot of competition for common words, so your ad may be many pages down in search results. Try to find a balance by creating a short phrase that describes your product or service without being too narrow. For example, “handmade soaps Minnesota” returns over 5 million results on a Google search, while “handcrafted soaps Minnesota” returns just 625,000. You may want to consider spending more of your budget on the more narrowly defined search term. Make sure also to include the important keywords that describe your business in your website titles, tags and text content.

Bids
To run your ads on Google, you’ll need to decide how much you want to spend in your overall budget, and the most you are willing to pay (your bid) when someone clicks on your ad. Though structuring bidding can take different forms (bidding options), they generally involve someone clicking on your ad or taking the desired action. Do you want someone to click on your website, see your ad in various search results to reinforce your brand, fill out a form, buy a product or watch a video? These are all actions that can be set up and tracked through bidding goals such as clicks, impressions, conversions, or views, which are explained more in the next section.

Bidding Goals
Here are the different types of bidding goals to choose from.

+ Focus on clicks (for Search and Display ads).
Use this goal if your main objective is to get people to visit your website. Using cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, you’ll pay only when someone actually clicks on your ad and comes to your site.

+ Focus on impressions.
For general brand visibility getting your name or logo recognized by as many people possible, you can choose Target Impression Share on either the Search or Display Network. Cost is calculated on the percentage your ad appears at the top of searches or the number of times your ad is viewably shown on the display network. The latter is called cost-per-thousand-viewable impressions.

+ Focus on conversions (for Search and Display ads).
With this advanced bidding method, you tell Google Ads the amount you’re willing to pay for a conversion, or cost per action (CPA) taken on your website.

+ Focus on views (for video ads only)

Similar to cost per click, video ads can be established with a cost per view to evaluate how engaged viewers are with your video content.

Flexible Bid Strategies
You can also use Flexible Bid Strategies, which automatically set bids according to your campaign goals. Once you have created a strategy, it will be saved in your Shared Library in Google ads, and be available across campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

This chart from Wordstream outlines when and where to apply Flexible Bid Strategies.

Getting Started
Take the time to study the different terminology of Google Advertising. From there, Google provides good step by step instructions. If you get stuck, you can ask a question or look up information in the community forum. Chances are others have had the same question as you. You can also reach out directly to Google. They are surprisingly responsive to advertisers, no matter what your budget.

You can try different ad strategies to see how much traffic your ads generate or affect the Return on Investment (ROI). Spend too little or only advertise sporadically and your ads may not have much of an effect. Conversely, if you oversaturate the size of your market you may be spending extra money without increased results.

You must also give your ads a fair chance to work. Don’t expect to advertise your coffee shop today, and having crowds rushing in next week.

Benefits of Google Advertising
One of the great things about digital advertising is it is so trackable. You can define audiences and track which type of ads appeal to which demographics. See detailed reporting on people that take the action you request, such as clicking a button to land on your website or purchase a product. You pay only when someone clicks on your ad and are able to instantly measure the return on investment by measuring the cost per click.

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