Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Uncategorized | July 11, 2014

Advertising on Different Networks

I’ve previously discussed how to set up an AdWords campaign using the AdWords Editor. However, there are several different types of campaigns that you can configure within the editor. Let’s review which one(s) are most effective for your online advertising campaign.

You can set up a new campaign in either the AdWords web platform or within the AdWords editor. I highly recommend using the editor, as it was built specifically to make editing campaigns easier. There are four different types of campaigns that you can create within AdWords: search network, search network with display select, display network, and shopping.


editor campaign

Selecting your campaign types for AdWords browser (above) and AdWords editor (below)

Search Network Only

Search network ads will show when someone searches for your product or service using one of your keywords. Whenever you type something into Google and you see text ads come up (see example image below), these ads that are run on Google’s Search Network.

search ad

Example Search Network Ad

I recommend starting all of your advertising campaigns on the search network. Once you’ve optimized your search network campaign, then it’s time to branch off to some of the other campaign types.

Display Network Only (Text & Remarketing)

The Google display network is a collection of websites that have partnered with Google, Youtube, and specific Google properties.  They’ve agreed to display AdWords advertisements. Your ads are automatically matched to websites when your keywords are related to the content on the website, then they’re displayed as banners or sidebar ads on those sites. One of the biggest drawbacks to the display network is that there can be a lot of keyword overlap within industries that can cause Google’s robots to match your ads with irrelevant websites. Unfortunately, the Google display network is often too liberal about which kinds of sites are relevant to your products (this is why they ended up creating the search network with display select). For example, if you sold Tupperware containers for kitchens and homes, you wouldn’t want your ads showing up on a website for freight containers because of the overlapping keyword “containers.”


Example Text Display Ads

You can also set up remarketing campaigns using the display network. These campaigns allow you to upload image ads (rather than just text ads like in the previous examples). These image ads will be displayed to a customer list that’s configured when creating your remarketing campaign (I’ll write a more in-depth article on how to set up a remarketing campaigns in the future). If your search campaign is already running successfully, then I highly recommend trying out remarketing ads. I would estimate that these campaigns end up being profitable for ~70% of my clients.


Example Remarketing Ads

Search Network with Display Select

Fortunately, Google recently released search network with display select.  Running search ads on Google’s original display network often hemorrhages money (given how liberal Google’s robots can be with your keywords). With the search network with display select, you can feel more comfortable running your ads on the search network while more selectively placing your ads on the display network. If you’re looking to expand and generate higher quantities of PPC traffic, I’d highly recommend switching your traditional search network campaign to the search network with display select. You can easily change your search that setting with your AdWords editor (see below).

edit selected campaigns

Shopping Campaign

These were originally known as product listing ads (PLA’s), but Google has recently replaced those with shopping campaigns (Google will be retiring PLA’s in late August). Before you create a shopping campaign you will need to link your Google Merchant Center account to your Adwords account. Once you’ve configured your product feed in the merchant center, you’ll be able to create your shopping campaign within AdWords (more information here). I have yet to work with an e-commerce client who didn’t have success using a shopping campaign. If you’re selling merchandise online, then I highly recommend setting up a product feed within the Google Merchant Center.


Example Shopping Campaign Ad

The truth is, there’s no one campaign type that works for everyone. There are certainly campaigns that generally work better for some industries rather than others (for example, shopping campaigns are great for e-commerce, but not so good for service-related businesses). As I mentioned above, I always recommend that people start off on the search network since you’re simply bidding on Google searches that are relevant to your products. It’s simple, you can easily control the budget and analyze campaign performance by configuring conversions within AdWords or Analytics.

Happy online advertising!


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