Google Ads is an online advertising platform provided by Google that allows businesses and advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), websites within the Google Display Network, YouTube, and various other Google partner sites. It is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system where advertisers bid on keywords and pay for their ads when users click on them.

Why Google Ads is Important:

  • Reach – Google is one of the most widely used search engines globally, so Google Ads provides access to a massive and diverse audience.
  • Targeting – Google Ads offers comprehensive targeting options. Advertisers can reach specific demographics, locations, devices, and even audiences with particular interests.
  • Immediate Results – Unlike organic search engine optimization (SEO), which can take time to show results, Google Ads can drive traffic to your website almost immediately.
  • Budget Control – Advertisers have control over their budgets, allowing them to set daily or monthly spending limits, ensuring they don’t overspend.
  • Measurable Results – Google Ads provides detailed analytics and reporting, making it easy to track ad performance.

Main types of Google Ads:

Responsive Search Ads

Google Ad
Example responsive Google Ad

Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more relevant messages to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads automatically tests different combinations and learns which combinations perform best.

Performance Max Ads

Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.

Discovery Ads

Example Discovery Ad showing on the YouTube app

Discovery ads appear in places where people are most likely researching products or watching product reviews including the YouTube homepage for example. Google users can opt out of the data that’s tracked to put together targeted Discovery Ads, but most people don’t and Google claims it can reach up to 3 billion users. Google does this by tracking users:

  • Web and app activity
  • App info from their device (e.g. phone, tablet, computer)
  • Contacts
  • Location history
  • Location settings

Display Ads

A display ad is a type of online advertisement that displays images or videos that appear across millions of websites worldwide that are part of Google’s Display Network, e.g YouTube, appearing on third-party websites.

Shopping Ads

Example Google Shopping ad

Shopping ads use your product catalogue to showcase e-commerce optimised ads across the Google Search and Display networks. Google’s automatic targeting shows what it thinks is the most relevant product for a user’s search Google shows product listings – both ads & organic results in an e-commerce inspired layout that’s easy to browse, click through, and buy. Example:

This article is part of our blog series, Websites 101, lightly introducing and explaining important topics on everything to do with websites, including design, digital marketing, software, infrastructure and beyond.

If you have a question you want answered as part of the Websites 101 blog series? Get in touch to let us know. 

Author: Will Ridd

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