9 Types of Google Ads – Which Is Right for You?

You’ve seen the standard text ad that shows at the top of the Google results page when you type a query into the search bar. These are called “text ads” and are the cornerstone of the Google Search Network. They can be very effective and are essential to many businesses’ marketing mix. However, what about all the other ad formats Google offers? What if you’re a retailer marketing your inventory? What if you’re trying to get customers to download your app?

Which type of ad is best to maximize your marketing efforts? Let’s find out.

Ad Type #1: Standard Text Ads – Now Called “Expanded Text Ads” (ETAs)

Standard text ads used to be very basic, with a strict character limit and not much room to get creative with copywriting or include top keywords for higher rankings. A few years ago, Google expanded these ads into what are now called expanded text ads (ETAs). ETAs offer room for up to three headlines and two descriptions, along with “extensions” that allow you to add things like phone numbers and opportunities to link to different pages of your website. ETAs are a tried-and-true paid search tactic that all marketers should consider.

Image credit: Google

Ad Type #2: Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)

RSAs are like ETAs on steroids. They offer more options for headlines (14) and descriptions (5) to allow greater reach and allow A/B testing without having to create separate ads. Google will try different combinations of your headlines and descriptions until it identifies the most effective combination, effectively reaching potential customers with the most engaging copy at the right time. These ad types have a drawback in that each headline must work well with all the others, delivering a clear message no matter what order they appear. You can pin some headlines – say, if you want to always show the brand name in Headline 1 – but these options are limited. Ultimately, Google recommends including one RSA in a standard ad group along with two ETAs.

Image credit: Google

Ad Type #3: Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)

Dynamic search ads offer an automated ad type in that they populate search ads automatically with content from your website. These ads are meant to be used with well-developed websites that have clear categories of content and a large inventory of products. DSAs use the content housed on your website to target your ads to users searching for similar products or services. This saves you a lot of time in setup and ensures you are using keywords you may otherwise have missed. However, the automation factor means you have little control over what exactly your ad will say. Google does its best to keep the content relevant to the pages you specify. If you’re selling different product lines or even just one range of products, you can upload a product feed for Google to create these ad types.

Ad Type #4: Image Ads

Image ads run on the Google Display Network, which means they can show on websites that partner with Google to provide ad space; Google will choose to show them on websites your target audience visits often. Also known as display ads, image ads can be static or interactive graphics and are recommended for brand awareness campaigns, whereas text ads are geared more toward users further down the marketing funnel.

Ad Type #5: App Promotion Ads

App promotion ads do exactly what they sound like: promote app downloads. These ads are mostly run on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, but can also run on platforms with the Google Search and Display Networks, including Google Play, YouTube and Google Discover.

Ad Type #6: Video Ads

Several different video ad formats allow you to deliver a more engaging experience to users, reaching customers on Google Partner sites and platforms including YouTube. Video advertising is a lucrative ad format with high ROI, highly recommended for companies who have the budget to invest in video assets. Fun facts: In a single day, more than 500 million hours of video content are watched on YouTube alone, and one-third of all online activity is video consumption.

Image credit: Google

“Video advertising is a lucrative ad format with high ROI, highly recommended for companies who have the budget to invest in video assets.”

Ad Type #7: Product Shopping Ads

Product shopping ads show items for sale with a product image, title, price and a link to the store. All this information is pulled from your Google Merchant Center account through the product feed you provide. Your product shopping ad campaign will show on Google Shopping, Images, search partner websites – and at the very top of the search engine results page (SERP). 

Ad Type #8: Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase shopping ads differ from product shopping ads in that they group a specified range of products together, allowing you to promote a variety of products. These ad types show less often than product shopping ads, but allow users to browse products before clicking and have a greater reach because they will be shown to users who search for more general things, such as “phone cases.” 

Ad Type #9: Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads run on mobile devices and allow you to promote phone calls. These can be set to run only during operating hours or at all times. When a user clicks the ad, the ad places a call to you directly from the SERP. These ad types still offer headlines and descriptions and will resemble regular text ads. However, these ad types are different than call extensions in that they run as their own ad, prompting a user to call your business directly, whereas text ads send the user to a landing page.

Now that you know all the options, are you excited to find the most effective mix for your brand? Drop us a message.

Tags: Media Planning & Buying, Web & Digital

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