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 Maps, and relevant websites within the Google Display Network. With all campaign types, you can use targeted 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


A Smart campaign can be set up in just 15 minutes. It works to improve your ad performance for your goal over time, measuring its performance and showing 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
  • Minimal ongoing management necessary
  • Advertise on Google Search, 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 or Google My Business profile. You'll write your own ad, and when someone searches for phrases related to your business, your ad can appear above or below the search results.

To get started with Smart campaigns, you’ll set up a budget, and based on the type of business you have, Google Ads will come up with a list of search phrases that will trigger your ad and potential related sites where your ad can appear. Your search phrases 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


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


  • 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 can trigger your ads. You also determine an average daily budget, how much to spend on each click, and where your ads can appear. 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 (e.g. clicks, calls, etc) within your campaign budget Requires you to select a bid strategy of your choosing (e.g. max clicks, target CPA, etc)
Extensions Automates creation of ad extensions (sitelinks, callouts, location, call). No opt-in required Requires some manual set up of ad extensions
Keyword creation Generates keywords automatically based on your business's products and services Requires that keywords, match types, and their corresponding ad group(s) be set up manually
Keyword editing Allows for search phrases, which are groupings of auto-managed keywords, to be toggled on/off 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, search partners, and Google display ads to achieve optimal performance 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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