What Do Google Ads Look Like?

Aug 23, 2021

Google Ads are a great way to instantly show up in front of others, but we’ve noticed many of our clients are uncertain of how Google Ads work or what those ads look like. The following rundown explains the whole process and can help you determine whether you want to move forward with setting up Google Ads.

Google Search Ads

This is a very common type of ad that you often see, but may not always recognize as an ad. 

These are ads that trigger whenever a search you make matches up with what an advertiser tells Google they want to target. So for example, I’m hearing a funny noise in my car, so I’m looking up mechanics in my area:

Note at the very top there are two Ads from Google. They always will be marked as an Ad, which in this case is right at the top by each link’s URL. These ads were triggered when I typed in the word “mechanic.” The individuals above who show up for this search told Google they want to show up for anyone who types the word “mechanic.”

So search-related ads are useful for anyone who knows what their audience or customers are searching for. They are very effective for anyone who wants to specifically target individuals to quickly get more leads.

Now, how are ads chosen to show up? A bidding system is in place that combines how much you are willing to pay for 1 click with the quality of your ad. 

If you have more questions on how Google’s bidding system and the Google Ads ranking system work, check this video:


Google Display Ads

As it says in the title, these ads are image-based. There’s a chance you already know and have seen these ads, you just may not have been aware that these were actually Google Ads. These ads show up on many of the most popular websites you visit.

Big companies such as The Huffington Post and The New York Times have partnered with Google to help bring ads to many different sites. The nice part is, if you want to get really involved in the selection process, you can CHOOSE which sites you may show up on.

Here are a few examples I found when visiting The Huffington Post:

Huffinton Post Example

And another near the bottom of their website:

These ads show up often and can be “blink and you miss it” quick, which is why they tend to be much cheaper. Google usually charges by 1,000 views, so your ads can be seen often for just a couple of dollars.

That being said, these ads are much better for brand awareness or for something much sneakier: remarketing.

To describe how remarketing works, let’s first ask a question: 

Have you ever visited a site, then have ads from that website seem to follow you around?

If you have, you’ve experienced remarketing. Display ads become more powerful when someone who visits your website can continue to see your messaging and branding. 

Here’s how this works:

  • Someone visits your website, and a “cookie” or a temporary file (that is what a cookie is for online marketing) is placed on that person’s browser.
  • This file follows this person around, telling other sites that this potential customer has visited your site
  • When this person visits a site that partners with Google, it continues to show the ad you created!

This type of brand awareness allows you to stay in the spotlight much longer, which allows you to have stronger, more focused ads that are also cheaper in the long run.

YouTube (Video) Ads

Most people know exactly what YouTube ads are – and most find them as an interruption from enjoying the videos they wanted to watch. 

In case you don’t know what YouTube ads are, they are displayed on Google’s main video service. These video ads can last anywhere from 4 or 5 seconds to full minutes. (There have been full episodes of TV shows shown as ads  – wild, right?) 

Depending on its length and how much an advertiser wants to pay, you can also make an ad skippable or unskippable. 

The example below shows signs of a YouTube Ad. There is a yellow bar, it mentions that it is “Ad 1of 2”, and there is a little button on the side letting users know there are 4 seconds before the ad can be skipped.

YouTube Ad

Shopping Ads

It is relatively simple to see what Google Shopping ads look like. Just look for an item you want to purchase online.

Shopping Ad

I’ve been trying to build a home gym, so I just type in something I want to buy, and here are plenty of ads.

Google Shopping ads are a little more complicated in terms of actual setup – you need to have a Merchant Center account, make sure you set the correct geography of where your product is sold to, have the right language(s), potentially set up an inventory system, and more. It takes a lot of know-how, so make sure that whoever is doing this really knows their way around inventory systems and eCommerce sites to see the most value from these ads.

In-App Ads

As our smartphones become more and more sophisticated, these types of ads are becoming more and more prevalent. In-app ads are designed to help make sure people 1) download your app, or 2) engage better, creating ads for individuals who already have your app and directing them to your specific landing pages.

So these can be great for brand awareness or, if it’s your app you are advertising on, could be helpful for getting more sales for whatever you are working on. Both will be helpful in driving up your bottom line.

Should You Have Google Ads Running?

Deciding whether you should be running ads for your business can be difficult, and hopefully the above descriptions of Google Ads help you out. If you are still struggling after reading through all the different types, give us a call at (833) 622-0907 or fill out our form online to schedule an appointment.