Selecting the Right Type of Campaign in AdWords

Selecting the Right Type of Campaign in AdWords
Selecting the Right Campaign Type in AdWords

Selecting the right type of campaign in AdWords is important as each campaign type is designed to satisfy different marketing objectives.

Selecting the Right Campaign Type in AdWords
Selecting the Right Campaign Type in AdWords

When setting out  to complete any task, you must understand the tools available . You can’t pound in a nail without a hammer, and you need a jack to change a tire. This is also the case when planning for a new campaign in AdWords. Google’s cost-per-click advertising service has a myriad of tools at your disposal to help spread your message, reach new customers and increase sales. How are you supposed to know which to use? Let’s have a look.

The Search and Display Networks

When deciding which type of campaign you want to run in AdWords, one must first have a basic understanding of the two advertising networks Google uses to show your ads, as well as clearly defined objectives for your campaign.

The key to deciding which type of campaign to run is matching the strengths of the various options with what you are hoping to accomplish. You wouldn’t want to use your hammer when replacing that tire.

The Google AdWords Search Network is Great for Connecting with Those in Market
The Google AdWords Search Network is Great for Demand Fulfillment

The first network Google possesses is its search network. Search is what Google is known for. When we don’t know something, we “Google” it, after all. This network is best used by advertisers who are hoping to attract potential customers who are already in market. This makes sense. If someone is already actively searching for your product or service, you’ll definitely want your business to be one of the first they find.

The Google AdWords Display Network is Great for Connecting with New Customers
The Google AdWords Display Network is Great for Creating Demand

The other network Google controls is its display network known as the Google Display Network. This option is more geared toward building brand awareness and loyalty. By taking your creative and placing it across millions of popular websites and before, during and after YouTube videos, the display network enables your business to be discovered by users who were not previously searching for what you offer, but have shown interest in similar topics.

Selecting An AdWords Campaign Type

The first step in creating an AdWords campaign is to select a campaign type. This will be based largely on your advertising and business objectives.

Selecting an AdWords Campaign Type During Campaign Creation
Selecting an AdWords Campaign Type During Campaign Creation

Primary Campaign Types

Bearing in mind the search and display networks, we must decide how to best use them. AdWords offers three primary campaigns types:

  • Search Network with Display Select,
  • Search Network Only,
  • Display Network Only.

As their names suggest, the latter two utilize only one network each while the former combines the two. Why would you want to use one over the other? Which of the three should you select?

As mentioned above, the search network caters to people who are already looking for whatever it is you’re offering. It specializes in fulfilling demand that already exists from potential customers. Because of this, it is the foundational building block for future AdWords success. If people want your product, but haven’t heard of you, you’re missing out on business!

The display network on the other hand, is geared toward demand creation. A user might be carrying out any number of daily activities when they see your ad. Perhaps you own a pizzeria. The user might have been working on something and had no intention of ordering pizza. Suddenly they see your display ad, with an enticing shot of your best pie on it, and now they desire pizza for dinner. Boom. You’ve just created a new customer.

Specialized Campaign Types

The Google Shopping Ads campaign is the best way to creating shopping ads. This type is used by online merchants and require a Google Merchant Center Account.

The Google Video campaign type enables advertisers to show video ads on YouTube and across the web.

When to Use One Campaign Type Vs. Another

By now, you should have decided what the business objective of your campaign will be. This will be the key determining factor in selecting the right type of campaign in AdWords. Do you want to increase brand awareness, and spread the word about your business? Or do you want to drive sales? Perhaps you want someone to download your mobile app, and that’s it. Whatever the case, each of the three campaign types is good at some things and not as useful at others.

The remainder of this post will focus on the primary campaign types.

Search Network with Display Select is the recommended campaign type for most AdWords users, especially beginners. It, in theory, combines the best aspects of both networks, enabling you to both create and fulfill demand without too much micromanagement.

If you are only interested specifically in driving sales, calls to your business, or otherwise tapping into existing demand, it might be best for you to use Search Network Only. On the other hand, if you just want to create demand while reaching new customers, Display Network Only might be your best bet.

More Settings

In addition to evaluating an advertising objective, then selecting the right campaign type in AdWords, advertisers must also consider settings. The campaign settings available are defined by by what are called campaign “sub-types.”

There are two  “sub-types”  offered in AdWords:

  1. “Standard
  2. All features”.

Once again, making this decision comes down to your priorities. If you are new to AdWords, or don’t want to spend much time micromanaging your new campaign, it is recommended you select “standard.” Though Google recommends this setting, it is important to note that choosing “standard” requires your campaign to be flexible, as some of AdWords more complex features are not available if it is chosen.

All features” on the other hand, enables the advertiser much more control over their campaign. Perhaps your business has limited hours and you only want your ad to show during those parts of the day. If that is the case, only campaigns with “all features” enabled can you achieve this. You can also take advantage of AdWords’ advanced targeting capabilities to make sure the right types of people are seeing your ads, rather than just anyone.


Just like changing a tire or building a birdhouse, or any other project you have, knowing what tools you have to work with is an essential step to achieving success with Google AdWords campaigns. Both the search and display networks have their uses for businesses, depending on their objectives. Next time you set up an AdWords campaign, you’ll now be equipped to decide what works best for you and your goals.

Happy Marketing!

Help Videos with More Information

Still not sure about selecting the right type of campaign in AdWords? The following overview video followed by tutorial playlist will definitely help.

Video on Selecting the Right Campaign Type in AdWords

Tutorial – Create an AdWords Campaign That Reaches New Customers


Ricky Noel is a Google AdWords Certified AdWords Professional, a proud employee of eBiz, ROI. as well as a full-time student at SUNY Geneseo, where he studies English, Education, and Theater. Ricky got into the internet marketing industry when his father, Rick, introduced him to Google AdWords and showed him the possibilities online advertising represented for business owners and web-users alike. Ricky began working with eBiz in the summer of 2016, between senior year of highschool and shipping off to college. Since then, he has worked remotely from school thanks to the wonders of Google Hangouts and high speed internet connectivity. His passions include reading, writing creatively and analytically, and performing in plays and musicals. He is also an experienced Dungeons and Dragons aficionado, holds Abraham Lincoln and George R.R. Martin among his personal heroes, and is really excited to help businesses grow and spread their message online.

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