What Are Google Ads & How Do They Work?

Google Ads was launched just two years after the site became the most popular site in the world: The ad platform appeared in October 2000 as Google AdWords, but after rebranding in 2018 it was renamed Google Ads.

Google provides paid advertisements that appear in search results on through Google Ads, or ads that appear on other websites through the Display Network and the Google AdSense program.

There are 2.3 million searches performed on Google every second, and most of the search results pages contain Google ads. Google Ads paid by businesses can be an extremely effective way to drive relevant and qualified traffic to your website exactly when people are looking for the same types of products or services that your company provides.

While Google Ads may seem a little daunting at first, as if everything seems complicated, Google Ads will become much easier if you break the step-by-step process into parts.

How Google Ads work

Google Ads operates on the Pay-per-click (PPC) services model, which means that marketers target a specific keyword on Google and bid on that keyword, competing with others who also target that keyword.

The bid you make is the “maximum bid,” or the maximum amount you are willing to pay for your ad.

Google Ads shows your ads to potential customers or customers who are interested in your products or services. Advertisers place bids on search terms or keywords, and winners of that bid are placed at the top of the search results page, on YouTube videos, or on relevant websites, depending on the type of campaign. 

Sellers have three offer options:

Cost-per-click (CPC). The amount you pay when a user clicks on your ad.

Cost-per-mille (CPM). How much do you pay for 1000 ad impressions?

 Cost-per-engagement (CPE). The amount you pay when a user takes a specific action with an ad (subscribe to lists, watch videos, etc.).

Different types and goals of Google Ads campaigns

So, you’ve started setting up your Google Ads campaign. At this point, you will be asked to choose your goal. Google Ads then recommends the best available campaign types for each goal. One of the following will be offered:

  • Search network campaigns 
  • Display network campaigns 
  • Shopping campaigns 
  • Video campaigns 
  • App campaigns

Each campaign is designed to promote certain types of products or services. Google also offers guidelines for several types of business companies:

  • Sales: Display Ads, Search, Purchases 
  • Website Traffic: Display Ads, Search, Shopping, Videos 
  • Leads: Display Ads, Search, Shopping, Videos 
  • Brands and Products: Display Ads, Videos 
  • App Ads: Universal App 
  • Brand awareness and reach: Display, Video

Search Network Campaigns

Search ads are the most widely used campaign type in Google Ads. 

As part of a campaign, ads are launched to impress the search engines when a user searches for the keyword they bid on. 

Encourage users to take action by calling your company or clicking on your ad. Target people are likely to be actively looking for services or products that are similar to yours.

Display Network Campaigns

Placing ads on a large website may seem like a daunting and expensive task, but with the Google Display Network found in Google Adwords, it’s easier than you might think. 

With a powerful system reaching over 2 million websites and 90 percent of internet users, the Google Display Network can serve your ads to specific audiences around the world. 

Have your own Google websites like YouTube, Blogger, etc.; AdSense publisher sites where site administrators can register to participate; and sites participating in DoubleClick Ad Exchange, an online advertising marketplace. 

While you can advertise on the Google Display Network for each of these groups, it will not ultimately result in the maximum ROI. You will need to be more careful about which sites on the Google Display Network show your ads.

Shopping Campaign

Google Shopping ads are Shopping ads that display your products along with prices and images. To make your products available to impatient shoppers, you should consider starting a Google Shopping campaign. 

So what are Google Shopping campaigns and how can you get the most of your results? Google Shopping campaigns (also known as Shopping ads) have been the backbone of several successful retail advertising campaigns over the years.

Google Shopping ads appear before regular or paid search results. 

Google has made great strides in improving Google Shopping for consumers and has released new tools, ad formats, and more to help you reach your audience across all platforms. 

While Shopping ads are easy to set up, they are hard to master without the right strategy.


Video Campaigns

Some marketers get stuck trying to decide whether to run video ads, or wonder why they are doing it. Simply put, if you don’t use video as part of your marketing strategy, you will be falling behind.

Your customers are watching more videos. Statistics show that your target audience is watching a video; this is probably the only benefit they need to hear:

  • 92% of B2B leads use online video. 
  • 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day. 
  • About a third of buyers will buy the product after watching video ads.


People are sharing videos. People who watch a video ad and find it interesting or valuable will share it with their followers on social media. In fact, Twitter users post over 700 videos every minute. This phenomenon can exponentially increase the visibility of your video.

Search engines love videos. Major search companies prioritize video content when adjusting algorithms so that certain pages appear higher in the rankings. Spreading Videos on Social Media Blogging and embedding them on your website increases the likelihood that your target audience will find you when they search for relevant information.

App Campaigns 

Google App Campaigns can reach users across Search, Display, YouTube, and more by digital marketing method:

  • Google Search
  • Discover (in the Play Store)
  • In-app
  • Gmail
  • Google’s Display Network
  • YouTube