That’s kind of a loaded question, but if you’re just starting out with Adwords how do you know which Adwords campaign type is right for you?

Google Adwords

When advertising using Google Adwords, one of the many decisions you’ll have to make is choosing a campaign type. There are several different campaign types available from which to choose, each with its own unique characteristics.


Search Network

The most commonly used Adwords campaign type is the Search Network. When launching campaigns on the Search Network, your ads will be displayed on Google Search, AOL search, and other “search partners.” The great thing about choosing this campaign type is that you can specify keywords to trigger ad impressions. If you operate an e-commerce store that sells used cellphones, for instance, you can target keywords like “buy used phone,” “buy used smartphone,” “online phone store,” etc. Anytime someone searches for one of these keywords, your ad will be displayed.

google search

Display Network

On the other side of the fence is the Display Network (also known as the Content Network). The Display Network is an ongoing collection of more than one million websites and applications, many of which are affiliated with Google’s Adsense program. Ads are automatically matched to Display Network sites based on your specified keywords, although you can manually target websites as well.


The advantage advertising on the Display Network is the near-limitless amount of traffic it offers. The disadvantage, however, is that most advertisers will discover the Display Network to yield lower quality traffic when compared to the Search Network. This is why it’s a good idea to separate Display and Search Network traffic, creating a separate campaign for each.


Search w/ Display Select

Google began offering Search With Display Select as an Adwords campaign type back in 2014. As the name suggests, this is a combination of both the Search Network and Display Select, allowing advertisers to reach and ever greater audience with their ads. Google claims that Search Network with Display Select will increase advertisers’ click-through-rates (CTR) by roughly 35% on average, which is pretty impressive to say the least.


Other Campaign Types

In addition to Search, Display, and Search With Display Select, Google offers two other campaign types for Adwords advertisers: Video, which consists of video ads displayed on YouTube, and Shopping, which are Product Listing Ads PLA displayed on Google Shopping, Google Search, and other affiliated websites.


So, Which Adwords Campaign Type Should You Be Using?

First, let me say that running successful Adwords campaigns can be fairly complex with many factors that you will want to take into consideration. That being said, if you’re looking to delve into the world of PPC, I look at a couple very basic and essential factors to help choose the right method.


  1. Budget – If you have a limited budget or are focused on driving qualified traffic for sales then search is the right choice for you. Search is more likely to put your product or services in front of your customers when they are searching for them making it easier to measure and track ROI on your marketing dollars.


  • Special Note: If you do run an ecommerce store, selling products online, then I would recommend trying Google Shopping before any other method. Google Shopping tends to have a higher conversion rate than the search network and typically the work that you put in perfecting your product feed works to your benefit in organic search as well.


  1. Branding – The Google Display Network is perfect for companies focused on brand building. The Display network is such a massive network filled with opportunity to build your audience and the ability to target your specific demographic. This can be a real benefit for companies that sell good with a long purchase cycle by keeping your brand in the forefront of your consumer’s mind when they are ready to pull the trigger.


You can learn more about the different Adwords campaign types by visiting the Google help page at