The Pros and Cons of Different Google Ad Campaigns

There are various types of Google Ad campaigns and choosing the correct type is vital to a successful marketing strategy. But with so many options, how should you decide which campaign type to use? This blog will explore the pros and cons of the different types of Google Ad Campaigns. 

Where do they show up, what are they, and what's so great (or not so great) about each?

Search Ads: Expanded Text Ad

This go-to campaign type is actually on the way out the door. By June of 2022, you will no longer be able to edit or create Expanded text ads. Google is recommending a switch to Responsive Search Ads as a primary text ad mostly because of the ease of automation. Read more about this change here

Search Ads: Responsive Search Ad

Responsive Search Ads are made up of multiple headlines and descriptions that you write for your ad copy. You can provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google’s AI will optimize these ad copy combinations to show the most effective ads to the best potential audiences.

Example of Responsive Search Ad- GoogleAds
  • Pros:
    • The optimization is done exclusively by Google’s algorithm so once setup is finished, these ads require little maintenance
    • Generally, search ads (responsive and dynamic) are an easy, quick, and effective way to get your ads in front of a specific target audience
  • Cons:
    • Each headline and description must go relatively well with all of the others that you provide. You have an option to pin some headlines, but other than that, your scope of control is relatively limited. 

Search Ads: Dynamic Search Ad

Dynamic search ads take content directly from your website to auto-populate effective ads. The difference here is that you provide the landing pages that you’d like to expose to your audience and Google will use the content from these pages to populate the ad.

  • Pros:
    • Reliance on Google's AI to create your ads allows you to rely on data driven results continuously being curated by Google
    • Ability to target very specific audiences
    • You save time on setup and ensure all relevant keywords are used in your ad copy
  • Cons:
    • Complete reliance on Google to create ad copy takes away your control of the content creation. If you want to tailor your ads and have certain keyword focuses, Responsive Search ads may better suit your needs

Display Ads: Image Ads

These types of ads will be showcased in advertising space on Google sites and other websites that are part of the Google Display Network. Google shows these ads on sites that your audience may visit often. 

Google Display Network- Google Ads
  • Pros:
    • Advertisers can reach an audience that align with their brand and content 
    • Reach is broad, as your ads may show up across the whole Google Display Network
    • Uses machine-learning to optimize ad bidding, targeting, and format/location, allowing you to be hands-off in maintenance
  • Cons:
    • You don’t have much, if any, control over where and when your ads show. You can target certain audiences but that is the extent of your control. 
    • Depending on your goal, these ads are great for top funnel advertising so if you are looking to target audiences farther down the funnel, opt for a different ad type 

Display Ads: Video Ads

We’ve all hopped on YouTube to watch a quick video and been presented with a video ad right before, after, or even in the middle of our video. These types of ad campaigns are known as Video Ads. Being the second largest search engine behind Google, YouTube advertising can be a powerful marketing tool. 

Example of a Youtube Display Ad- Google Ads

  • Pros: 
    • Disrupt the viewer with an ad that captures their attention, and you’ve easily created some brand awareness, and perhaps a click to your website.
    • This type of ad is easy to maintain and the reach is very broad
    • You, as an advertiser, are able to target specific demographics so that your ads are shown to relevant audiences.
  • Cons
    • Ad skipping: It’s an option for users of YouTube to skip an ad after a 5 second window passes. That creates a hurdle for advertisers to jump over. It’s vital to make your ad grab the attention of the user before they decide to skip through your ad. (There are different types of Video ads you can choose to advertise with, depending on budget, ie. skippable vs non-skippable ads.)

Shopping Ads

We see Shopping Ads, or Product Listing Ads, presented on the home search page of Google. These Google ads include an image, the price, and brand of the product being showcased. These ads are placed at the top of SERP, often even above organic results or to the side. 

Example of Shopping Ads- Google Ads

  • Pros:
    • Your product is being shown to people who often are searching with a shopping-related keyword, meaning they are often very close to buying a product.
    • You can include extra product details to these ads such as reviews, shipping information, and promotions or sales
    • Consumers are often low in the marketing funnel and very ready to buy, so your ads may have a higher probability of creating a conversion
  • Cons:
    • You’re not able to market your whole brand so if you have a strong brand, these product snippets don’t convey it well
    • Your ads show up right next to your competition’s products. Consumers may be quick to opt for a lower price, free shipping, or a sale that your competitors may boast on their shopping ad. 

Shopping Ads: Smart Shopping

Essentially, the format of Smart shopping ads are equivalent to regular Shopping ads. Smart Shopping ads have the added benefit of being shown across the Google Search Network, Display Network, and Youtube. The greatest difference is that Google’s machine-learning process streamlines the bidding process for an advertiser, showing ads to the most relevant audiences across multiple ad spaces.

Shopping ads on Youtube- Google ads
  • Pros:
    • Automation allows for streamlined set up and bidding process, in other words, easy implementation
    • The machine learning process is always optimizing your campaign to achieve your specific campaign goals
    • Broad reach across the Search and Display Network increases your potential audience size
  • Cons:
    • There is a lack of control that is inevitable with allowing automated bidding processes
    • There is a learning curve necessary for the machine-learning process; the longer the campaign runs, the better the performance will be

Local Ads Campaign

In order to use local Google ad campaigns, location extensions or a Google Business Profile are required. These campaigns are utilized to drive foot traffic to your physical store and show off your local inventory. These ads show up across Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube. 

Local Google campaign example

  • Pros:
    • Your store's product inventory automatically updates through Merchant Center and shows in stock products to your audience
    • Your business will appear in a map view, targeting an audience that is low in the marketing funnel and very ready to buy a product
    • The map view can attract foot traffic to a brick and mortar store
  • Cons:
    • Local optimization must be kept up with and can end up being time consuming. It's vital to keep your Business Profile updated, optimize for which products are resonating with your audience, and track your conversions. 

We now offer a Google Listing Package for clients who want to advertise locally.

Choosing A Campaign

Each type of Google ad campaign comes with its opportunities and challenges. While deciding which campaign may be best for your business' brand and goals, keep these questions in mind. 

  • What are my marketing goals? 
  • What do I hope to accomplish with this campaign?
    • Sales, Leads, Clicks, Brand Awareness?
  • How much time can I invest in optimization?
  • What is my target audience?

Be cautious of the audiences and keywords you target, and monitor your ads frequently. Google Ad campaigns can be a fantastic tool in your marketing arsenal when used correctly.


eComIntegrate is a Google Partner certified in the optimization of Google Ad campaigns. If you are new to Google Ads or simply need some direction, set up a free 30 minute consult with us today!


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