What types of ads are available on Google?
Google is a driving force that supports the marketing efforts (and growth) of businesses worldwide. With more than 95% of people starting their search for new products and services online, there is no doubt that Google can play a role in connecting your business with potential customers.
If you’re looking to boost brand recognition, grow your customer base, nurture current clients, or increase sales, there is a good chance you can benefit from Google Ads. Google Ads offers a powerful marketing option that boosts your visibility in the online space and attracts potential customers to your business!
Just like the many different types of businesses and stages of business development, there are many ad types – one to meet any need you may have! With some experimentation (or the help of a professional team), you will find a type of ad that fits your business, audience, and budget.
Internet marketing may feel intimidating and overwhelming, to say the least, especially if you are new to the game. However, the following guide to the types of Google ads available is designed to help you, whether you’re a brand-new entrepreneur to the most seasoned business owner!
What Types of Online Ads Are There?
Generally speaking, there are two types of paid online ads you may be familiar with, pay-per-click and pay-per-lead.
With pay-per-click ads, you only pay for the ad each time someone clicks on it, regardless if they reach out to your business. Pay-per-lead ads only cost you when someone contacts you via phone, text, direct message, etc. While pay-per-lead may sound more appealing, only certain businesses can participate in Google’s version.
Google’s main pay-per-lead ad service is called local service ads, now a type of performance max campaign (more on this below). Businesses eligible for these ads fall under the following categories:
Home: Examples of these businesses include movers, plumbers, or contracting services.
Business: These companies practice law, real estate, or accounting, to name a few.
Health: This category includes primary care practices, dentists, and more.
Learning: This includes preschools, CPR training facilities, and tutoring services.
Care: These are services such as pet training or childcare.
Wellness: Yoga, massage, and personal training are prime examples of businesses in this category.
Google Ad Campaign Types
In addition to ad types, Google has a robust list of ad options. Since each business is unique and has different marketing needs, having this variety is extremely useful when you are looking to boost your visibility and sales.
It’s important to know that Google ad types are categorized by “campaign.” Within each campaign, there are a few different options that will help you appropriately target your desired audience. Each of the following Google ad campaigns has specific pros and cons and caters to different types of businesses. Keep reading to see which one(s) might work best for you!
These types of Google ads are the original ad campaign. They work by associating a bid with a certain keyword that is relevant to the service or product you are offering. When people search for that keyword (if you win the Google Ads auction), your ad will show as the first entry on the results page.
While anyone can benefit from this type of ad, it depends on keywords and is driven by consumer intent, so it is particularly beneficial for people wanting to increase leads and sales.
Search Campaign Types
Call ads are useful when you want people to call your business number directly. You provide the headline, description, and phone number, and then Google will filter through various combinations of this information to catch people’s attention and prompt them to call your business.
With responsive search ads, you give Google up to 15 headlines and four descriptions, and the system cycles through them based on specific search requests.
If you have a large inventory and a well-developed website, the search campaign you might be interested in is dynamic search ads. This ad campaign pulls content directly from your website and creates advertisements for you; it even optimizes these ads with appropriate keywords. This option aids in creating unique advertisements while saving you time.
The benefits of using search campaigns include its easy setup. Another advantage is that it targets people who are looking specifically for a relevant keyword your business uses, which typically equates to a high return on investment (ROI).
Unfortunately, this type of campaign can be quite competitive, and if you don’t use the proper keywords, you could be spending money with little return. It’s also text-based, so it’s not the best for showcasing your brand identity.
If you need increased brand recognition, are in a niche market, or are experiencing poor results with search campaigns, you might find a display campaign to be a better option!
These campaigns rely on images and focus more on target placement and audience than keywords. These ads are showcased on websites linked to the Google Display Network.
Display ads are highly customizable and are usually kinder to your budget! They work well in conjunction with search campaigns as they fuel greater brand recognition, which can, in turn, lead to future searches.
Because this type of ad is mainly helpful with brand recognition and works best with other Google ad types, it can take time or be difficult to judge its success.
Display Campaign Types
There are two types of Display ads. With single-image ads, you upload a design of your own creation for Google to use. Because it’s a single image, Google can’t do much in terms of automation and creativity. You simply upload the image, and Google displays said image.
Alternatively, responsive delay ads create dynamic ads curated for different locations based on a mix-and-match set of images and descriptions you provide.
With both search and display campaigns, there is the option to run a smart campaign.
Google completely automates smart campaigns. You input the images, text, and video, and Google takes over. This option is great for saving time, but you’ll need to be comfortable with not being able to do any customization outside of which resources you share. You’ll also want to keep in mind that sometimes it may take Google’s machine learning a little while to optimize your ad content and placement fully.
While smart campaigns make it easy to run ads, we always recommend utilizing an experienced ads agency partner, if possible, who can take a hands-on approach to use the various options Google offers.
Performance Max Campaigns
Google Ads has undergone many significant updates recently, and one of the most interesting changes is the addition of Performance Max campaigns.
This type of campaign has only been around since 2021, and it’s an innovative way to promote your services across all channels within the Google network. You set your goals, feed it “assets” (think: photos, product or business details, text description, etc.), and then Performance Max gets to work creating, optimizing, and publishing ads for your business.
This campaign is wonderful because it’s automated, but you still have some control over your ad content as you teach Google which direction to go based on your creative input and what you tell it about your audience.
What’s really beneficial with this campaign is that it also gives you feedback about your audience’s behavior. It allows you to discover which parts of the automation work and which could be improved. You can even see which creative assets are put together and how they are being used!
These ads are best suited for experienced marketers with a significant marketing budget or those working with a professional ads agency. Because the system optimizes over time as it learns about your audience, it can cost upwards of $50-$100/day, and you may not see results immediately.
Note: Shopping Campaigns and Local Services Ads (Google’s Pay-per-Lead service) are now part of Performance Max.
Unless someone is willing to pay a premium, there’s no YouTube without video ads, making video campaigns an excellent way to connect to your target audience! If you have the budget, the time, and the competitive spirit, this type of Google ad can give your internet marketing the edge it needs.
Video Campaigns are particularly helpful if it’s hard to describe what you offer, and they’re great at fueling brand recognition in your ideal markets. Videos are also a simple way to make an emotional connection between the viewer and the product or service you offer. This gives video ads a unique advantage over other ads that rely more heavily on text or static images.
There are several different types of Google Video Ads.
Skippable In-Stream Ads play before, during, or after streaming, and viewers can typically skip the ads after 5 seconds.
Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads also play before, during, or after streaming, but viewers are not able to skip the ad.
In-Feed Video Ads show thumbnails of your video with text inviting people to click to learn more. These ads show up in YouTube search results, next to related videos, and other places where viewers are searching for content.
Bumper Ads are short, 6-second video ads that play before, during, or after streaming and are not skippable.
Outstream Ads are mobile-only ads displayed on other Google video partners outside of YouTube. Your video automatically plays silently and invites viewers to click to watch the complete video with sound.
Finally, Masthead Ads are ads displayed in a special advertising space – appearing at the top of YouTube’s homepage feed. They auto-play (without sound) for up to 30 seconds. This feature’s placement and auto-play design make them very powerful advertisements.
There are two types of masthead ads. Cost-per-hour ads are charged based on the hour you reserve for showcasing your video ad. Cost-per-impression ads provide a pre-set and reserved volume of impressions delivered throughout your campaign.
As the name implies, these Google ads help people discover your business. They are excellent for reaching and growing a new audience and are published across all Google platforms, including Gmail, YouTube, and on the Google app under the Discover feed.
Discovery campaigns work best for people confident that they have everything in order and are ready for what mass marketing can do, as there’s little opportunity to oversee the campaign once it’s started. It works by automating an ad with the assets you provide, but as with Smart Campaigns, Google has complete control over which type of ad is used (text, image, or video) and where these ads are shown.
Basically, these ad campaigns are great for brand growth and visibility as long as you don’t mind being hands-off once you set the campaign in motion.
Does your company have an app that it wants to promote? Google App campaigns are specifically designed for this purpose. These ads appear in search, Google Play, YouTube, and throughout the Google Display Network. It uses the text and images from your app store listing to create ads to display in customizable locations.
There are three subtypes of Google App Ads.
App Installs focus on increasing the number of downloads by providing a download button for your target audience to click on.
App Engagement ads are useful for drawing your current app users over to a specific landing page.
Finally, on Android devices, you can build the hype for a new app before it is even released on Google Play with App Pre-Registration ads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have more questions about using online directories to support your marketing strategies?
View our frequently asked questions below or call (954) 833-7365 for a free consultation.
How to do directory submissions?
To begin with directory submission, identify the directories most relevant to your business and industry. Next, review the directory’s domain authority and start creating listings on those that have the highest.
Most directories offer a profile that includes your name, address, and phone (NAP), and you must enter these details on all directories consistently. If a directory allows you to share additional information or upload photos, etc., complete all available fields. Doing so can help boost your visibility and search engine optimization.
To get the most out of online directories, continue to add new ones (and keep old ones updated).
What is online directory submission?
Online directory submission is when you submit your business information, including website URL, to directories. Typically, the purpose is to improve your own website’s credibility and search engine optimization.
To successfully utilize online directories, look for highly relevant options for your company type and industry. Avoid submitting details to a real estate directory, for example, if you own a daycare business, as it could lead to consumer confusion (and lower SEO).
Once you have a list of directory options, review the authority of the websites and start with the highest ones. You can use a free resource like Moz or Semrush to investigate!
Lastly, your online directory submissions should be consistent to ensure the best results. Whether entering basic NAP information (name, address, and phone) or adding more, consistency will help you maximize your efforts!
What is the difference between directories, citations and listings?
Directories, citations, and listings are all important (and similar)! Directories are essentially a digital version of the yellow pages. They list relevant business information in one particular place. Good examples of online directories include the Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
A citation is where your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are listed. And a listing is when that information (and potentially more) is included in a directory. If your business is listed on Yelp, you have a listing that includes citation details.
Regardless of which directories you choose to participate in, listings (and citations) are great ways to improve your search engine optimization and overall visibility online!
How do I get listed on an online directory?
The first step to joining an online directory is identifying appropriate opportunities for your business. Start with industry-specific options or those relevant to your business type, location, etc. Focusing on quality options will help you get the best results. This means if you’re in the real estate industry, don’t waste time joining directories focused on local dentists. Not only will your potential customers be confused (and annoyed), but you can lose authority on your own website if you aren’t sticking to relevant directories.
After identifying your business’s best (and most relevant) options, use free resources like Moz or Semrush to get an idea of the directories’ domain authority. Domain authority is the equivalent of online credibility, so the more, the better.
When you start adding online listings in directories, you’ll follow the prescribed process for adding information and/or creating an account. Be sure to stay consistent when you add details like the business name, address, phone and more. Consistency is key to success and will help you get the best results.
Do people still use online directories?
Yes! According to some reports, over 90% of consumers have used an online directory in the past year. Online directories often have valuable domain authority (and invest in advertising), which means they are more visible than an independent business website.
If you search for a local Italian restaurant in your area, the top results are often websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and OpenTable. And since consumers don’t typically scroll through page after page before clicking on a result, they’ll quickly end up in an online directory over any given restaurant website. By participating in an online directory, you can increase your chances of being found. And if your website and your name appear in a directory, even better (because the more you are seen, the more likely you’ll hear from that person searching)!
How does an online directory work?
An online directory works like the old yellow pages. It combines various businesses and provides information for a potential customer looking for a new product or service. Online directories typically include companies that have similarities. Good examples include Angi (formerly Angie’s List), which focuses on home service providers and contractors, or OpenTable, which features restaurants.
If you’re a business owner with a website, participating in online directories can benefit your marketing efforts. That’s because you can boost your site’s credibility when other credible sites reference or “vouch” for you.
To get started with online directories, we recommend creating an initial list of options relevant to your industry, location, etc. Don’t buy into the “quantity over quality” idea when using directories. Instead, look for those options that are highly relevant and would be a natural introduction to potential customers.
After you’ve compiled an initial list, review each directory’s domain authority with a free tool like Semrush or Moz. While not an exact science, utilizing directories with higher rankings can be helpful as their credibility improves yours.
Once you have decided on the directories you will join first, you can follow each process to create a listing or profile. Some directories offer the basic NAP information, which is the business name, address, and phone number. Others will include opportunities to add business and service details, photos, and more. Regardless of what’s available, focus on adding your information consistently. Inconsistencies can break “trust” from search engines and lead to lower traffic and rankings.
Lastly, keep adding to your directories over time. And if anything in your business changes (such as the address, primary phone number, or website URL) keep those old listings current!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use our step-by-step guide to Google Ads above, but keep reading if you have additional questions.
If you don’t see the answers you need, contact our team at bullseyeinternetmarketing.com for more information!
What types of Google Ads are there?
There are several different types of Google Ads. These include search, display, Performance Max, video, discovery, and app ads.
Search ads include call ads, responsive search ads, and dynamic search ads as subtypes.
Display ads include single-image ads and responsive display ads. Both search and display ads have the option to be run as a Smart Campaign.
Performance Max ads are incredibly versatile across most markets and integrated with shopping ads and Google Local Services Ads.
Video ads include skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, in-feed video ads, bumper ads, out-stream ads, and masthead ads.
App ads include app Install ads, app engagement ads, and app pre-registration ads.
What are the Different Types of Google Ads, And When to Use Them?
Google Ad types include search, display, Performance Max, video, discovery, and app ads.
Search ads are easy to set up and best used to drive traffic and sales based on targeted keywords.
Display ads are excellent for those companies that need increased brand recognition, are in a niche market, or are finding poor results with Search Campaigns.
Performance Max ads are best suited for experienced marketers with a significant budget and are extremely useful when wanting to work with Google automations to meet specific, pre-set objectives.
Video ads are great for engaging viewers and creating emotional responses to advertisements. They are also useful when you need to show your audience what you provide instead of telling them.
Discovery ads are most helpful in building brand recognition and are ideal for when you want to be largely hands-off with your ad campaign.
App ads are specifically designed to promote an app. App install ads are for prompting people to download an app. App engagement ads are for guiding users to a specific landing page, and app pre-registration ads are for building hype and having Android users pre-register for an app before it launches.
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