(Updated Feb. 8th, 2019) As of 2019, Google Ads (Adwords) allows you to choose between Five different campaign types. They are: Search Network, Display Network, Video (YouTube), Shopping, and Universal Apps. Choosing a campaign type is your first step in getting ads running, so study up. Each campaign type has secondary features that expand and contract the functionality in the campaign (e.g. Standard, All Features, Mobile app installs, Dynamic Search Ads, Call-only, Marketing Objectives, etc.). Fortunately, those features change on-page, as you select, for easy viewing.
1) Search Network
Search Network (SN) Only campaigns allow you to show text ads on the search engine result pages only. Campaign features are more extensive than SNDS, and besides “Standard” and “All Features” they include Mobile app installs, Mobile app engagement, Dynamic Search Ads, and Call-only. “Standard” features are a good bet for new Google Ads users in this case as well, as the features includes five extensions — two more than SNDS (Callout, Structured-Snippets). The Search Network is a great place to advertise for a wide range of businesses, and it’s particularly good for local businesses.
When should you use the SN?
- Any budget
- Appropriate choice for most businesses
- If you want to advertise on Google Maps
- If you want to pay to be #1 on Google
Search Network with Display Select (SNDS)
Containing the broadest reach of all campaign types, the SNDS places text ads on search result pages AND websites in the Google Display Network (GDN). In other words, SNDS re-purposes text ads in responsive banner ads and places them on websites. It’s not as pretty as creating your own image ads, but it is a quick effective way to get ads out there.
The SNDS contains only two campaign type feature selections: “Standard” and “All Features.” The “Standard” setting will enable the most commonly used ad extensions (Sitelinks, Location, Call), and hides advanced settings (Ad Scheduling, Ad Rotation, Dynamic Search Ads, Campaign URL Options). The striped down “Standard” features view is a little less intimidating and a good choice for new Adwords users.
When should you use SNDS?
- Medium to large budget
- Small industry niche
- Small geographic target area
- If your Search Network campaign isn’t reaching target budget and you’re optimized
2) Display Network
Known for displaying image ads, the Display Network (DN) contains over a million websites to show ads on (managed placements). The features are slightly different for the DN and start with “Marketing objectives” or “No marketing objective.” If you select “Marketing objectives,” you’ll be able to build your campaign based on awareness (impressions), influence (visits, engagement), or actions (buy, call, visit a location). As you select from one of these three boxes you will change the features on the page that relate best to building that type of campaign.
When should you use the DN?
- For building brand awareness
- If you have certain website you want to advertise on
- To create remarketing campaigns
- If you want to display ads on YouTube
3) Video (YouTube)
Advertise on YouTube with Video campaigns on Google Adwords. You can choose ad formats that serve with an option to skip the ad after five seconds or as a six second buffer between videos. Campaign features allow you to extend ads with shopping campaigns and with mobile app installs. Campaign setting are straight forward here, but there are a few options to select to get started.
When should you use Video campaigns?
- For creating placing your commercial video content on YouTube
- If you have video content you want to promote
Google Shopping ads don’t have much setup and there aren’t many features to select. If you want to show products from your eCommerce store in Google Shopping, then you’ll need to setup the Google Merchant Center. While the process is not difficult, there can be roadblocks depending on how your eCommerce store is setup. If Google Merchant Center is setup and receiving your store’s feed, hook it up to your new Shopping campaign and Google will do the rest — no need to target or create ads.
When should you use Google Shopping?
- If you have an eCommerce store
5) Universal App Campaign
Easily advertise your app across Search, Display, and Video Networks with the Universal App Campaign. This is the best place to setup advertising for your app because of Google’s reach. Setup is straight forward in this campaign as well, although you will need to add your app and modify your objectives.
When should you use Universal App Campaign?
- If you have a new or existing app
- If you want to drive in app sales