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Google Ad Types for Your SEM Campaign


Google provides an extensive range of advertising tools for businesses looking to expand their digital marketing presence. Each ad type comes with several features that can help to boost your brand visibility and direct relevant customers to your site. But out of all the options such as search ads, discovery ads, shopping ads, or video ads, which type is right for your needs? We go through the importance of integrating search engine marketing into your campaigns and descriptions of some of the most popular ad types.


The Importance of SEM

Search engine marketing techniques have become a staple of any good digital marketing campaign to maintain a robust online presence, raising brand awareness and product visibility. While organic traffic is recognised as an essential aspect of any good digital marketing plan, many businesses are scared off from using pay-per-click ad services, believing it is not worth it for the cost. But pay-per-click ads provide a host of benefits such as better placement of content, better brand information density, and faster return on investment compared to other SEO techniques. When done correctly, ideally with the guidance of a professional team that can track your SEM progress, ad services can become a significant driving force of leads and sales for a successful online business.

But which ad types are the best to run? We go through the main Google ad types available and their associated pros and cons:


Responsive Search Ads

The world of advertising technology is getting more intelligent and more effective by the day. This is exemplified by responsive search ads, which expand significantly upon how expanded text ads function (With expanded text ads being phased out in 2022). Responsive search ads provide the ability to use up to 15 headlines and four descriptions so that you can substantially expand your copy material. Google will then mix and match your headlines and descriptions to show the most successful combination for each user in line with the campaign goals depending on the time and the target customer base.


Display Ads

A picture can tell a thousand words, and display ads (also known as image ads) have become essential parts of any good SEM campaign. These ads are relatively simple in design, simply appearing as an image (or interactive graphic) on websites that your target customers are known to visit. This ad type is especially effective as a starting point of a campaign as they build brand awareness, introduces customers to your visual marketing language, and can promote specific products.


Discovery Ads

The SEM tools taking the image advertising approach further than display ads are discovery ads. Google uses machine learning to display discovery ads on their Google feeds on YouTube, Discover network, and Gmail when it believes your customers to be the most receptive to learning more about or discovering a product or service.

This is a potent tool for eCommerce businesses that may be looking to expand their customer base or introduce new products and services. The targeted and integrated nature of this ad type builds your advertising into the daily use of the Google Apps from your customers’ perspectives, connecting with them while they are most receptive. Unlike display ads, discovery ads are only usable for Google feeds, not the Google Display Network.


Video Ads

Video platforms, including Google’s own YouTube service, have become dominant aspects of the online media landscape. It is, therefore, crucial to capitalise on this high ROI ad format. Videos can help tell a more complete story than text or display ads and boosts visibility and brand awareness. Video action ads drive more conversions by expanding campaigns to run on more places on and off YouTube and drive more conversions while still optimising for the lowest CPA.


Shopping Ads

Product Shopping Ads gather all the information regarding your product, including title, price, and store link, straight from your Google Merchant Account. This type of ad will show up on Google Shopping, Google Images, and most importantly, at the top of the Google Search Engine Page results, giving you excellent ‘above the fold’ visibility. There are also ‘showcase shopping ads’ that show up less than standard product ads but allow the customer to browse a range of your products at once. This can give you greater reach for people searching for broader product topics.


App Ads

Mobile apps have become a seamless aspect of modern life, allowing people to reach their desired services conveniently on their different devices. App ads look to target three main types of customer interaction. Firstly, by looking to promote direct app installation by providing ‘download now’ prompts on targeted sites, and secondly, promoting app engagement for customers who already have your app downloaded. Last is pre-registration, looking to capture an audience before the app goes live on Google Play. These functions can help your business’s app become and stay relevant to your customer base allowing for more customer engagement and visibility.


Local Ads

Local ads help businesses achieve visibility through the local results on Google, displaying location, hours, reviews, and more to people searching for what you offer when they’re in your area. The goal of local ads is to drive offline conversions and store visits by combining users’ physical location with their search intent. Local ads are set to merge with Performance Max, giving you more sophisticated ways to reach potential customers in your area.


What Ad Types are Right for You?

Choosing the right ad types for your digital marketing campaign depends entirely upon the business or cause that you intend to promote. An eCommerce business will need different tools to reach their audience than a not-for-profit or a small local business. Using multiple different ad types in combination is typically an excellent approach to maximise the potential audience you can reach. Ultimately, creating a digital marketing campaign that provides results is best achieved using professional guidance from an SEM provider.

Jack Rapson

Jack is a copywriter with Pure SEO. He has lived in New Zealand all his life and loves strategy games, cooking, and multi-day hikes. Jack is also a massive Charlotte Hornets basketball fan and will talk your ear off about them any chance he gets.

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