What are campaigns in AdWords?

We are well-versed with keywords, ad copies, and bids. We did learn about Ad Groups in one of the previous blogs. In this blog, I want to explain what campaigns are in AdWords. We will learn about the different campaign types, best practices and more.

What is a Campaign?

A campaign, in general, is an organized way to achieve a goal. Similarly, a campaign is the first step of organizing an AdWords account. A campaign is a set of several Ad Groups. And the goal an advertiser sets to achieve is simple – To acquire as many customers as possible profitably. Google defines a campaign as a set of ad groups that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings.


The diagram above is a rough sketch of how an AdWords account is structured. You can see that one single AdWords account can hold multiple campaigns. And a single campaign can have more than one Ad Group.

A campaign in AdWords is more than just a set of Ad Groups. A campaign has a lot more to offer. Google allows adjustments to parameters like budget, target location, ad scheduling, ad rotation and bidding at the campaign level only. AdWords has different campaign types to suit the needs of various advertisers.


What are different types of campaigns in AdWords?

Campaign types are based on the advertising networks [Search, Display, and YouTube] Google provides. AdWords has six primary campaign types.

  • Search Network with Display Select
  • Search Network Only
  • Display Network Only
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal App

Advertisers can use each of these campaign types to achieve particular goals. But it is important to note, the basics of choosing a campaign type start from understanding the advertising networks better. Let’s see what each campaign type has to offer and what goals can be achieved.

Search Network with Display Select –

Advertisers who are promoting a new business can run a campaign using Search Network with Display Select type. This type of campaign supports text, image, rich media, and video ads. Google shows these ads on SERPs of search network and at appropriate places on the display network. The advertiser’s budget, therefore,  is shared across search and display network. At AdNabu, we don’t encourage our customers with search with display select. This is because conversion rates associated with this campaign type are low.

Search Network Only –

Search network only campaign helps advertisers target potential customers when they search for a product or service online. Google matches advertiser’s keywords to user search queries and displays relevant ads. Google supports only text ads on this of campaigns. Services like brokerage, advocacy, etc. use search network extensively.  Search network can influence a user when making a purchase as it targets them at the decision making stage at the end of buying cycle.

Display Network Only –

Google’s display network is spread almost all across the internet. And many websites partner with Google to display ads of advertisers using AdWords. Google supports text, image, rich media and video ads throughout the display network. Ads appear at selected places on partner websites and YouTube. Advertisers can also target their ads based on the content (“cnn.com,” “camping gear”) or according to their target audience (“young moms,” “people buying an apartment”) or based on the location and more.

Shopping –

Shopping campaigns are probably the best pick for most retailers. These campaigns help retailers bring their local inventories online, also reach broader customers. A shopping ad contains the image of the product, price, additional text and even a link to the landing page with relevant seller information. Retailers, first of all, need to upload their product feed to the Merchant Center. Google places ads on the SERPs of search network, on partner websites, and on Google Shopping in select countries.


Video –

Video campaigns let advertisers show their video ads. The ads can be standalone or can also be a part other video streaming on websites. Google offers three formats in video campaigns. TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and Bumper ads. Colorful animation can draw the attention of a lot of viewers. When done right, Video campaigns can be of an excellent benefit for advertisers. Since they have a potential to bring in new website visitors. Hence, they can also boost the sales.

Universal App –

Universal App campaigns are most effective in promoting app downloads. Promoters don’t need to fabricate ad copies. Instead, Google takes care of this. Google displays ads across different formats that are compatible with all the networks. These ads are shown on Google search network, Google Play, and relevant YouTube pages. At AdNabu we don’t recommend universal app campaigns. Because they lack optimization options and insights.

Campaign subtypes –

All of these campaign types come with further customization. Google calls them the campaign subtypes. Campaign subtypes let advertisers restrict or allow themselves from using advanced campaign options on AdWords. Two primary campaign subtypes are:

  • Standard: With standard campaign settings, advertisers can access prime location and language targeting. Bidding and budget settings, and standard ad extensions too.
  • All features: With all features campaign settings, advertisers get access to more advanced options, such as social and experimental settings, ad scheduling and ad delivery methods, and advanced location options.

AdWords also offers two more specific campaign subtype setting that advertisers can use to reach potential customers.

  • Remarketing: Advertisers can target people who already visited their website. Google shows text, image, or video ads to such targeted people when they browse other sites on the Display Network.
  • Ads in mobile apps: Advertisers can also reach people using mobile phones and tablets by showing your ads in apps. Google matches ads to apps through the Display Network.

In conclusion, Google aims at helping advertisers make the most of their spend on AdWords. Google does this using campaign type and subtype. However, for advertisers who have just started on AdWords, campaign creation might be a bit of a task. But worry not, AdNabu has a campaign creation tool to ease the effort. From finding the right keywords to structuring the campaigns using Single Keyword Ad Groups, AdNabu does it all. AdNabu also provides negative keyword tool and duplicate keyword tool to curb any internal competition. With AdNabu, you are ready to create the perfect AdWords campaign.

Hey Mr. Dentist! Don’t make these common mistakes while designing your campaigns


About the author

Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.