Compare Smart campaigns with other Google Ads campaign types

With Smart campaigns or other Google Ads campaign types, you can show your ads on Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Google partner websites. With all campaign types, you can craft specific messaging in your ads to attract and engage potential customers. Google Ads campaign types can help you reach potential customers at the right moment.


Below, we describe the Google Ads campaign types to help you find the best option for your business. Click a heading to read an overview.

Smart campaigns

Smart campaigns overview

Smart campaigns are Google's efficient, easy solution for small businesses and helps your business get discovered on Google in those relevant moments. Powered by the best of Google's advertising technology, Smart campaigns bring you results based on your campaign goal, whether that be customer calls, visits to your location, increasing brand awareness through video, or actions on your website.

Smart campaigns can be set up in just 15 minutes, and then work to constantly improve your ad around your goal, measure its performance, and show you clear, understandable results. That way, you can feel confident your advertising is delivering real results on your investment while you spend time doing what you love most—running your business.


  • Pay only when someone clicks your ad or watches 30 seconds of your video ad (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds), whichever comes first.
  • Minimal ongoing management necessary
  • Advertise on Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google partner websites
  • Reach customers in any geographic location that you choose

How it works

You can use Smart campaigns to advertise your website on Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google partner websites. You'll write your own ad, and when someone searches for phrases related to your business, your ad can show above or below the search results.

To get started with Smart campaigns, you’ll set up a budget, choose your demographics and location preferences, give us a few keyword themes, and based on the type of business you have, Google Ads shows your ad to people looking for the products and services you offer. Your search terms will be maintained and updated over time. Minimal ongoing management is needed, and you pay only for clicks that your ad actually receives.

Other Google Ads campaign types

Other campaign types overview

With other Google Ads campaign types, you can have full control over your ad campaigns. You'll also have access to other specialized campaigns, settings, and features. You can create Search campaigns, Display campaigns, Video campaigns, App campaigns, Shopping campaigns, and Performance Max campaigns.


  • Pay only when someone clicks your ad.
  • You choose your own keywords, set bid prices, and structure your account.
  • Reach customers in any location that you choose.
  • Advertise with special ad formats and detailed reporting.

How it works

When someone searches for your keywords on, Google Maps, and Google's partner sites, your ad can appear above or below the search results. With Search campaigns in Google Ads, you are responsible for all aspects of your advertising campaign. You choose the keywords that help decide when your ads show. You also determine a daily budget, how much to spend on each click, and where your ads can show. You’ll pay only when someone clicks your ad.

Google Ads also offers other ad formats, such as Video ads and Shopping ads.

Compare in-depth

Smart campaigns vs. Search campaigns

  Smart Campaigns Search Campaigns
Bidding Manages bidding for you to drive the most value (for example: clicks, calls, etc.) within your campaign budget Requires you to select a bid strategy of your choosing (for example: max clicks, target CPA, etc.)
Assets Google AI creates ad assets (sitelinks, callouts, location, call). No opt-in required. Requires some manual set up of ad assets
Keyword creation Google AI generates keywords based on your keyword themes Requires that keywords, match types, and their corresponding ad groups be set up manually
Keyword editing Allows for keyword themes, which are used to match ads with searches on Google Allows for individual keywords and match types to be edited and managed manually
Reporting Uses simplified, easy-to-use dashboard designed to highlight the most important stats in campaign Contains detailed reports at campaign, ad group, ad, keyword, and search term level
Where ads show Shows your ads automatically across Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Google partner websites Contains settings to choose if your ads show across Google search, search partners, and Google display ads
Landing pages Supports max one landing page per campaign Supports multiple landing pages per campaign


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