Choose the right campaign type

Google Ads begins with a goal and a campaign.

You'll choose a campaign type based on your marketing goals, brand strategy, and how much time you can invest.

This article helps you select the right campaign type for your advertising needs.

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Performance Max campaigns: Access all channels from a single campaign with Google AI optimization

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding.

Why choose Performance Max campaigns

  • Simple to set up, with AI optimization: Performance Max campaigns are designed to be easy to launch, and when your campaign is live, it'll be optimized by Google AI to drive the best performance possible. You can steer your results by providing high-quality creative assets and sharing your expertise about which audiences are most likely to convert.
  • Increase conversions and value: Google AI optimizes your budget and bids across channels to help capture new conversion opportunities in real time.
  • Find new customers: Unlock new audience segments by using real-time understanding of user intent, behavior, and context to show up in the right moments with more relevant ads.
  • Gain richer insights: Performance Max campaigns are now part of the “Insights” page to help you understand how AI is currently working and how you can improve your campaign. Using the “Combinations” report, you can learn how your top-performing assets are being combined to build creatives.
Tip: Performance Max will show as a campaign type selection if your advertising objective is “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Local store visits and promotions”.


Search campaigns: Text ads on search results

Search campaigns are text ads on search results that let you reach people while they’re searching on Google for the products and services you offer.

It's great for driving sales, leads, or traffic to your website, as you can show your ads to people actively searching for your products and services.

Why choose Search campaigns

Sales and leads:

  • Boost your online sales and signups.
  • Consider using leads if you have a longer sales cycle.

Easy setup:

  • Write text ads and pick keywords.
  • Skip special files or assets.
  • Try Smart campaigns for an even easier setup.
  • Highly specific targeting: Reach people actively searching for what you offer.


Display campaigns: Image ads on websites

Display campaigns let you reach a relevant audience with visually engaging ads as they browse millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties, such as YouTube, to achieve your marketing objectives. Display campaigns are a great way to expand your reach and stay top of mind with an audience beyond just Google Search.

You can also create a Display campaign that uses your data segments to show ads to people who’ve visited your website or have used your app.

Why choose Display campaigns

  • Sales and leads: Use visually engaging call-to-actions to drive sales and signups.
  • Awareness and consideration: Create memorable ads to make people aware of your brand or consider your product.
  • Reach: Target people beyond search results while they’re browsing websites and apps.
  • Your data segments: Follow up with people who’ve already viewed your ads or visited your site.

Types of Display campaigns

  • Standard Display: Pick your campaign settings and targeting, and automate some aspects of your Display campaign.
  • Smart Display: Simplify your campaign setup to save time and optimize for conversions.

Tip: It's helpful to use an image editing tool to create square and landscape versions of your display ad in the right dimensions and file size.


Video campaigns: Video ads on YouTube

Video campaigns let you show video ads on YouTube and other websites.

Some Video campaign types can help you boost general awareness of your brand. Others are designed to drive conversions or get people to shop on your website.

Why choose Video campaigns

  • Awareness and consideration: Use video ads to make people aware of your brand or consider buying your product.
  • Sales and leads: Use the “Drive conversions” campaign subtype to set up action-focused video ads.
  • Expand your reach: Target people beyond search results while they’re on YouTube.
  • Your data segments: Follow up with people who've already viewed your ads or visited your site.

Types of Video campaigns

Choose from 6 types of Video campaigns:

  • Drive conversions: Drive sales and leads with action-focused ads and targeting (also known as Video action campaigns).
  • Custom video campaign: Customize your settings with different ad types.
  • Video reach campaigns: Get the most reach for your budget, either by reaching more unique users (through the use of bumper ads, skippable in-stream ads, or an optional mix of the 2 formats) or by reaching users with your entire message (through the use of non-skippable in-stream ads).
  • Outstream: Show mobile-only video ads on websites and apps outside of YouTube, playing within content on the page or in an app.
  • Get views: Get people to consider your product with skippable in-stream or in-feed video ads.
  • Ad sequence: Tell a story with a series of video ads in a sequence.

Soon, “Custom video campaign” will no longer be available. The campaign subtype is being split into “Get views” and “Efficient reach”.

“Get views” is recommended for video advertisers who want more engagement with their campaigns. With a maximum cost-per-view bid strategy (Maximum CPV), you can set the amount you want to spend when someone watches one of your video ads.

“Efficient reach” is recommended for video advertisers who want to reach as many people as possible. With a target cost-per-thousand-impressions bid strategy (Target CPM), you set the amount you want to spend for every 1,000 times your video ads are shown.

Tip: You'll first need to create your video ad and upload it to YouTube.


App campaigns: Promote your app on many channels

App campaigns help you find new app users and increase sales within your app.

This campaign type uses information from your app to automatically optimize ads across Search, Play, YouTube, Discover, and over 3 million sites and apps.

Why choose App campaigns

  • App promotion: Drive installs, engagements, and signups for your app on mobile devices.
  • Multi-channel marketing: Show your app on Search, Display, Play, and YouTube under one campaign.
  • Easy setup and management: App campaigns use Google AI-powered targeting, bidding, and ad creation for optimal performance.

Types of App campaigns

If your account is eligible, you may notice 3 App campaign subtypes:


Local campaigns: Promote locations on many channels

Local campaigns began automatically upgrading to Performance Max in August 2022. All new campaigns optimizing to store goals should be created in Performance Max. With the upcoming completion of the upgrade, new Local campaigns creation will no longer be supported. You can find more information on creating Performance Max campaigns for store goals in the Help Center.

Local campaigns help you bring people to your physical stores and venues.

Your ads will be optimized by Google AI to appear across Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Why choose Local campaigns

  • In-person store sales: Use online ads to promote your inventory and bring shoppers into your physical stores.
  • Promote offers and events: Advertise in-store events and local promotions.
  • Detailed location info: Help people find your business address and hours.
  • Multi-channel marketing: Show your ads on Search, Display, Maps, and YouTube under one campaign.

Tip: To access Local campaigns, you’ll need to have active location assets or affiliate location assets in your account or have a Business Profile connected to Google Ads.


Smart campaigns: Set up and automate campaigns with Google AI

Smart campaigns are the easiest way to get your campaigns and ads up and running.

Enter your business information and create a few ads, and Google AI will find the best targeting to help get you the most for your time and money.

Why choose Smart campaigns

  • Sales and leads: Increase sales and signups for your products and services.
  • Easy setup: Enter your business information, create a few ads, and let Google AI set up your campaign.
  • Advanced optimization: Google optimizes your ads and targeting for you.

Tip: If you recently created a new Google Ads account, you’ll likely be using the Smart Mode version of Google Ads and all your campaigns will be Smart campaigns.


Shopping campaigns or Performance Max with Merchant Center feed: Product listings on Google

Shopping campaigns are product listings that are ideal if you’re a retailer looking to sell your product inventory. Shopping ads appear on search results and the Google Shopping tab.

Store owners can also use local inventory ads to promote products available at their physical locations.

Why choose Shopping campaigns

  • Retail marketing: Use visually engaging product listings to promote your retail products.
  • Sales and leads: Get people to buy on your online store or sign up for more.
  • Boost a nearby storefront: Sell your local store inventory to nearby people.

Tip: To create a Shopping campaign, you'll first need to have a Merchant Center account where you can upload your product inventory.


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