Google Search Ads Formats: A Complete Guide


With Pay Per Click (PPC) ad formats changing frequently, and so many to choose from, it can be difficult to keep up with every ad format available across Google Adwords. To ensure you don’t get confused, here’s a guide to six Google search ads formats you need to master.


Text Ads


There would be no PPC without the good old text ads. These are the ads with two headlines and one 90-character description. At times the ads are displayed with a third headline, which is usually the URL itself and ad extensions below. Google and Bing both moved away from the old version of standard text ads. Text ads are now bigger with a more varied alignment of extensions unlike what we saw in years past.


Responsive Text Ads


Responsive text ads have the same appearance as standard text ads, however, they allow you to enter multiple headlines and descriptions. By automatically testing different combinations, Google decides which headlines and descriptions to display when a search is made. By optimising the content in your ad to closely match the search terms your potential customers use, responsive text ads can improve the performance of your campaign. They also make it possible for you to compete in more auctions as they attract more clicks and conversions.


Local Service Ads


Local Service Ads were only recently introduced and are only available for garage door services, electricians, plumbers and locksmiths. It is however expected that many more household services will be able to advertise using this ad format over the next year. This type of ad allows you to advertise your business on Google where you can receive leads directly from potential customers. Among the benefits of local service ads, is that your ad appears at the top of Google’s search results page and you are only charged for leads related to your business and your services.


App Download Ads


Through App Download Ads you can display your app to tablet or mobile users. These types of ads can be showcased in a number of places including on Google Play, YouTube, AdMob, the Google Display Network and several other publishers who host app ads. You simply need to add a few lines of text and everything else is optimised to help your audience find you. 


Call-Only Ads


The purpose of call-only ads is to encourage potential customers to call your business, and thus these types of ads can only be displayed on devices that can make phone calls. When someone clicks on your ad, they are able to call you from their device. 


Dynamic Remarketing Ads


Through dynamic remarketing, you can display ads to people who have visited your website before or used your mobile app. With messages personalised for your audience, you can use dynamic remarketing ads to build leads and sales by drawing previous visitors back to your site to complete an activity. There are a few other ad formats which we did not cover in this guide, such as TrueView Discovery Ads, which are a video-driven version of Responsive Display Ads, and Bumper Ads which are only six seconds long but receive high engagement and view rates. These, however, are the basic Google search ads formats to be familiar with.