Types of Paid Ads – Complete Guide

PPC marketing is statistically one of the most effective marketing strategies for online business and it can yield excellent conversions. Platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow you to create customized campaigns using keywords to target potential or existing customers effectively while also controlling your spending.

You may already be aware of the potential power paid advertising has, but did you know that ads come in many forms? There are 8 common types of PPC ads that your business can utilize and I explain them below together with their benefits.

1. Display Ads


Display ads are like your bread and butter – they are widely used and can form the backbone of your PPC campaign. These ads are displayed on websites in varying pre-defined positions such as banners, or at the side of content.

Google display ads are distributed on their vast display network which includes thousands of websites so the potential exposure and CTR can be fantastic. The ads are typically made with a combination of images and text and can be customized to target specific audiences through the use of keywords.

2. Search Ads

Like display ads, search ads are some of the most common and most businesses will have a variety of search ads as part of their PPC campaign. You have probably seen plenty of search ads without realizing it when using Google search.

These are the search results that appear at the top of SERPs and you can identify them as they have the words “Ad” next to the link URL. Search ads are text only but are incredibly effective when the right keywords and copy are used.

3. Social Ads

Due to the prevalence of social media in today’s society, it stands to reason that social ads are highly effective and widely used. Simply put, these are ads displayed on your social media feeds such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

You can really target your ideal audience via social media ads and the flexibility is excellent. If you want to make use of these ads you must first consider your customer demographic and think about which social media platforms they are likely to use.

4. Video Ads

Did you know that around 85% of businesses use video in their marketing campaigns? It’s easy to see why this is the case due to the prevalence of platforms like YouTube and TikTok. As a result, video ads are widely used and Google allows you to create ads that are displayed on YouTube.

These could be mid-roll ads or the ad banners you see pop up at the bottom of videos. Either way, as YouTube has an estimated user base of 2 billion, these types of paid ads are definitely worth considering.

5. Remarketing Ads

As part of Google Ads services an SEO agency will also help you target existing customers. This can be done via paid advertising too in the form of remarketing ads. These ads are specifically designed to remind past customers that you still exist.

Google Ads has a brilliant remarketing campaign that allows you to target existing customers based on different interactions like those who have made a purchase, signed up to your email newsletter, or spent X amount of time on your website.

6. Gmail Sponsored Ads

Many people don’t realize the connection between Google and Gmail and Google Ads includes Gmail Sponsored Ads which allows you to send ads directly to customers’ inboxes. 

These ads can be highly customized and you can target specific people based on factors like demographics, customer match, and affinity audiences. Gmail ads offer another outlet and a way to diversify your offering to potentially reach more people.

7. Shopping Ads

Shopping ads are a type of search ad but they offer more detail and are tailored for specific products and customers who are actively wanting to make a purchase.

You may have seen a shopping ad when looking for something on Google – they typically appear at the top of search results for products and include a product photo, its price, and its name. These ads can be highly effective for retail businesses and they have an advantage over standard search ads because the customer can immediately see the product photo and price.

8. Local Service Ads

Local service ads can be highly useful but they are limited in their scope as they are only available to particular businesses. These include plumbers, electricians, garage door companies, locksmiths, and HVAC companies.

If you run one of these businesses, fantastic – you can utilize this type of highly targeted advertising. To make these ads you have to register as a service provider on Google first. The local service ads show a little more detail compared to search ads as they include a star rating, opening times, and your contact number.

Diversify Your Marketing Strategy With PPC Ads

With the wide variety of PPC ads available, you can easily create a paid ad campaign that matches your marketing goals and attracts the right audience. Google Ads is the best option due to the vast Google Display Network, but social media ads on Facebook and Instagram can be highly effective too.

Before you choose an ad type or start developing strategies around them, it’s important to assess which types of paid ads are the most appropriate. Not every industry or business might benefit from video ads for example depending on your customer demographics and if you are B2B or B2C.