Posted on 2/14/2018 in Digital Marketing

By Ryan MacQuarrie

Not all paid ads are created equal. The number of platforms in which you can pay for advertisements seems to be continuously growing. Between Google Ads, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others, the options for running paid ads are certainly abundant and may even be overwhelming at times. In Google Ads alone you have the availability to create text, image, shopping, Gmail ads and more. In this post we are going to focus on some of the major differences in the paid ad options available in Google Ads. Let’s get started.

Text Ads

Google text ads

Text ads are the most common type of ad in the Google Ads platform. They are easy to setup and have very specific requirements. You are given the opportunity to create two headlines with up to thirty characters each, one description line with up to eighty characters and two paths with up to fifteen characters each. The purpose of these ads to try and entice people searching Google for keywords relevant to your business, to click on your ad and then perform a specific task on your site. Text ads should include the keywords you are bidding on in the text and also send the user to a relevant landing page. The average CTR for text ads is right around 2% and the clicks typically cost about 4x as much as display image ad clicks. They usually have a higher conversion rate due to their targeted relevance.

Image Ads

Google image ads

In Google Ads, image ads are typically used on Google’s Display network. There are about 20 different image sizes available to use on the GDN network. When using static image ads here at Wakefly we typically create image ads in each of the sizes. This allows us to have creative available for all of the potential inventory on the GDN. Google Ads also now gives you the ability to create responsive image ads. These responsive ads automatically adjust their size, appearance and format to fit available ad spaces. Image ads are typically best used for branding purposes. They have low CTRs around 0.3% and lower conversion rates around 0.8%, but they also have lower average CPCs around $0.50 and generate tons of impressions. You can think of them as billboards for your brand on the internet. They are great for raising awareness, but not necessarily driving specific results.

Shopping Ads

Google shopping ads

Shopping ads are only relevant if you have an ecommerce business. They show users a photo of your product, a title, a price, your store name and some additional details about the product. Most businesses experience higher CTRs with shopping ads compared to text ads when it comes to shopping related searches. Shopping ads also typically provide better qualified leads since users can see the product right away and decide if it fits their needs before clicking through to the site.  They typically have lower CPCs then regular search ads. Usually average around $0.40 so they can also be cheaper than display image ads.

Gmail Ads

gmail ads

Gmail ads show at the top of people’s inbox tabs. You are able to create interactive ads that expand when you click on them just like a normal email. They can include, images, videos and even embedded forms. You want to make sure these ads are optimized for mobile because most users are checking their emails on their phones.  They typically have high CTRs because a click is counted as any interaction with your ad and not necessarily a click to your website. These are great for generating awareness similar to display image ads, but they are more like to convert than display. Cost per clicks can be as low as $0.10.

Closing Thoughts

Obviously we didn’t touch on all the ad types Google Ads has available, but with any ad type on Google Ads or any other platform, it’s important to remember that your optimizations can help you out perform the norms. Your marketing goals should help you determine which ad types to start with, but you should not automatically exclude any type of ad without doing some testing first. In fact, you should probably be running some combination of each type in your overall marketing strategy. If you need help deciding which types of ads to run or how to potentially improve your current results please contact us today.

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