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Google Advertising – Not Just Search Ads


When people think of Google Advertising, they usually think about the ads that are displayed at the top of a Google search. But you can advertise through the Google network on a lot of other websites. Google’s Display Network serves up ads to over 2 million sites through its AdSense network. This provides an opportunity for those sites to earn revenue, but also an opportunity for advertisers to reach huge numbers of people. Video ads play before almost every YouTube video. Shopping ads almost always come up when you search for a product.

Display Ads

Display Ads are images that are displayed on partner websites, usually surrounding content. They give more freedom than search ads, because your whole ad is a graphic, instead of being confined to just text. The banner ad seen here at the top of this page is a perfect example of a display ad. Not all of those are served up by Google, there are many different ad networks, but many site owners use Google’s AdSense platform to place ads. The Google Display Network (Part of AdWords) gives you access to all of these 2 million+ AdSense sites to potentially place your ads on. You also can use the Google Display Network to create remarketing campaigns, which could also appear on almost any of those 2 million sites. Remarketing also works in search campaigns, read my blog post on it here for some more detail.

Shopping Ads

Another ad type worth mentioning is shopping ads. Shopping ads are placed at the top or side of Google when someone searches for a product. Here I searched for a computer bag, and the shopping ads appeared to the side. The layout can vary based on the number of advertisers for a product, but here I am being shown 9 different sponsored computer bags. It is worth noting that all 4 search ads still appeared in their normal spot in addition to the shopping ads.

Video Ads

In addition to Display and Shopping ads, we have video ads, which are either in video or banner format. The video format is usually 15 to 30 second clips that you have to watch before the video will play. Google has a feature, seen here, that allows users to skip many ads after 5 seconds. Advertisers can decide if they want to buy an unskippable ad, which comes in 15 and 20 second formats. Of course that comes with additional cost, and possibly also annoying users. In addition to those, a “Bumper ad”, which is a 6 second short ad, was recently added to Youtube. Google considers these compliments, not replacements, for longer video ads. 6 seconds is a tight restriction, but the short format can result in better user engagement. The other format is banner ads, which can appear inside the video itself, or off to the side like a typical banner ad. Campaigns for both of these types of YouTube ads are managed in the AdWords Platform.

Search Ads

Google’s search ads have been around almost since Google itself started being a search engine. Despite how old the concept is, they are still an important part of any PPC campaign today. As shown in the picture above, search ads are text ads, with a headline text, a link to your website (Hopefully a landing page), and a subtext. But, you might be thinking, “No One ever actually clicks on those Google Search Ads!” Well, for keywords with high commercial intent, (Where someone is looking to buy a product or service), search ads account for 65% of all clicks. Organic clicks only made up 35% on the same keywords. What that means, is that if you are selling a product or service and not using search ads, you are likely missing out on sales to competitors. A large number of Google searches are totally taken up with ads “above the fold”. That means that without scrolling down, users will initially only see sponsored results. Due to these factors, search ads are one of the best ways to get visibility in Google searches.
Google’s AdWords platform provides so many opportunities for advertising. At Ten Golden Rules, we often start with AdWords search ads, because when people do a search, they have predefined what they are looking for. Next, you could expand your reach with Google’s other advertising methods. If you are selling a physical product, you would probably test shopping ads. If you have a visual product, and a great video, you could test video ads. Display ads are a great way to give your campaign more reach