AdWords Campaign Types

This post is an overview of AdWords campaign types and how to connect with the right audience for growing your business online. Evolve Digital Labs, a Google Premier Partner, is one of the leading AdWords Labs in the world.

AdWords campaign types determine where your ads show and how customers can interact with those ads.  

There are several factors to consider before launching an AdWords campaign.

  1. First, know your goals. Do you want to increase calls to your business or increase brand awareness?  Goals should dictate the campaign tactics you use.
  2. Next, don’t start a display, shopping, or video campaign if you have limited AdWords knowledge. Make sure you know the basics of search before getting into more advanced digital tactics.


AdWords Campaign Types Explained

The different AdWords campaign types are:

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

There are also three different AdWords campaign subtypes:

  • Standard (Search Network Only)
  • All Features
  • Marketing Objectives


“Search Network Only” is exactly how it sounds. Ads are served through Google search results and other Google sites when people search for terms similar to your ad’s keywords.


Let’s say you are a contractor and provide home construction services.  When someone searches “home contractor” in the Google search bar, your ad is served.

These campaigns are typically used when you want immediate results – like a person to visit your website or call your business.

  • Search Network Only campaigns include:
    • Basic location targeting
    • Basic bidding and budget settings
    • Ad Extensions for phone numbers, location, site URLs, and social links
    • Language targeting
  • However, Search Network Only does have limitations including not being able to use: 
    • Social and experimental settings
    • Ad scheduling 
    • Advanced location options
    • Mobile app extensions
    • IP exclusions and others

Display Network Only

Display Network Only campaigns are not for beginner AdWords advertisers. Deploying Display Only tactics is best left to advertisers who want to build brand awareness for a large audience and connect with prospective targets across a wide variety of websites and apps.

Advertising on the Display Network works by matching your ads with websites and mobile apps where your target audience may be browsing. Google calls these sites and apps “placements.”

AdWords gives you the ability to target display ads in several different ways including:

  • Contextual –  Reach users by targeting:
    • Interests
    • Geographies
    • Past purchase behavior
  • Keywords  – Show ads to people who search for:
    • Phrases related to your products
    • Phrases related to your services
  • Topics –  Serve ads to people who want more info about:
    • Specialty topics
    • Subjects

A few more specialized Display Network Only campaigns include remarketing, engagement campaigns, and mobile app promotions.

Search Network with Display Select

Search Network with Display Select is an Adwords campaign type that is not much different from “Search Network Only”. The biggest differences are that ads are served across the Google Display network and that you can use static images or animated GIFs.

Unlike “search only” with manual and automated bidding options, display select bidding is only automated.

According to Google, using Search with Display Select increases potential ad reach by as much as 15%.


Shopping campaigns help retailers drive better leads, sell more products online, and drive traffic to brick and mortar stores.

Shopping ads are more detailed than other Adwords campaign types and usually include pictures, product information, price points, ratings, and special offers.

Setting up shopping ads can also help boost your opportunity to connect with prospective customers as both your text ads and shopping ad may show up on the same Search Engine Results Page.

For instance, if you own a soccer store and run a text ad for soccer equipment and a shopping ad for soccer shoes, a customer may see both ads on the same SERP.

Launching shopping ads can be a bit more complex than your standard Search or Display campaign. We’re happy to assist just contact Evolve Digital Labs: 1-844-Go-Evolve.


Video is one of the fastest ways get your message to thousands of potential customers. Google video ads are served on both the Google Display Network and YouTube.

Targeting options include

  • Demographic Groups
  • Interests
  • “In-Market Audiences”
  • Topics
  • Keywords

There are three YouTube ad formats to choose from:

  • TrueView In-Stream
    • Viewers have the option to skip the ad after watching for 5-seconds. Ads run before or after other videos on YouTube.
  • TrueView Video Discovery Ad
    • Formats may vary depending, on where the ad is served, across different publisher sites. Think of discovery ads like display ads they’ll appear across relevant sites when a viewer clicks the thumbnail of your ad the video will play.
  • Bumper Ads
    • These are six-second videos that users can’t skip.  Short, attention-grabbing messages should be used to raise awareness and a brand’s profile.

If you have questions about starting digital advertising or AdWords campaigns, reach out to Evolve Digital Labs.

We’re happy to advise on AdWords campaign types, setup, and strategies to make the most of your AdWords investment. We’re proud to be recognized as one of the premier Google AdWords Labs in the US.

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