If you want to place paid ads in Google search results or on Google Maps, you can use the Google Ads tool. Google’s advertising system offers numerous options for creating and optimizing campaigns, such as different advertising goals, bid strategies, tracking variants and much more.
Keeping track of all of this and knowing what is best for which advertising goal and budget can take a lot of time. In short: the advertiser needs a lot of knowledge. With Smart Campaigns , however, Google offers a way to place paid ads in the Google search results, even without expert knowledge and with little time.
What are Smart Campaigns?
Smart Campaigns are a specific type of Google Ads campaign. They are designed to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to serve ads for Google Search and Google Maps. Smart Campaigns are suitable for new advertisers who want to place Google ads without a lot of effort to address customers in their immediate vicinity.
How do I create Smart Campaigns?
According to Google, advertisers can create Smart Campaigns in minutes. Google does a lot of work for advertisers. For example, no extensive keyword research is necessary to find out what users are looking for in connection with the advertised product or service.
Thanks to machine learning, suitable search phrase groups are automatically determined. Even with the ongoing campaign, Google does a lot of work for the advertiser and automatically optimizes the Smart Campaign.
Instructions for Smart Campaigns:
The prerequisite for creating Smart Campaigns is a Google Account, which the advertiser uses to log in to Google Ads. He can then create his Smart Campaign in just a few steps:
- The first step is about the advertising goal of the Google campaign. Depending on the goal, the advertiser can choose between calls, conversions (e.g. sales or filling out a contact form) or visits to the store.
- The advertiser then needs to fill in basic information about the company, such as the name and the link to the website. Google’s Smart Campaigns offer a special feature here: Ads can also be placed without their own website, then the Smart Campaigns link to Google My Business entry.
- Now the definition of the target group follows. In this step, the advertiser determines where the Smart Campaign should be delivered. The advertiser can define a radius around a specific location, such as the company headquarters, or specific areas, regions and countries.
- Now the products or services to be advertised are defined. Google is already making its own suggestions. Based on this information, Google determines suitable search phrase groups for the Smart Campaign.
- From the information entered in the previous steps, Google will automatically create ads that can still be customized. In this step, advertisers can create additional ads.
- The determination of the advertising budget follows this. Here, too, Google is already making suggestions about the budget for a successful campaign. The amount of the budget depends, among other things, on the industry and the competition.
- In the end, Google summarizes all the information again. Changes can be adjusted directly.
- In the last step, the advertiser has to provide some company data and payment information.
The advantages and disadvantages of Google’s Smart Campaigns at a glance:
Advantages of Smart Campaigns:
- Fast ad creation, little effort
- Automatic optimization by Google
- CPC model (cost per click)
- Ads in Google Search, Google Maps and mobile
- Also possible without a website with a link to Google My Business entry
Disadvantages of Smart Campaigns:
- No custom campaign management possible
- No additional ad formats such as video, responsive ads, etc. possible
- Only ETA ads possible (ETA stands for “Extended Text Ads” and are the standard format for Google ads in search results. They consist of up to three headlines, a URL and two lines of descriptive text. They are mobile-optimized and structured like the organic search results, and only to be distinguished from them by the little word “display”.)
- Less detailed reports and less campaign control
Conclusion: Little effort, but also few customization options
Although the Smart Campaigns relieve advertisers of a lot of work, they only offer very limited options for creating Google ads. Google chooses the keywords itself and creates the ads automatically. That does not just have advantages. When it comes to optimizing, adjusting or changing Google ads, Smart Campaigns offer few options. In addition, the advertiser has to rely on Google managing the Smart Campaigns successfully and using the budget optimally.
Manually created Google Ads offer the possibility to customize the strategy and content of the ads. Settings can be adjusted at any time. However, the advertiser must optimize his campaign independently and monitor it regularly.
Whether Google’s Smart Campaigns are the right type of campaign for your company depends on how much time and energy the advertiser wants to invest in Google advertising and how important online advertising is in the company.
Smart Campaigns are a good way to slowly get started with the topic of Google Ads and to design your own ads without much effort. Google’s Smart Campaigns are a good place to start. In order to successfully place Google ads in the long term, Google Ads is the better choice with its many options, different formats, optimization measures and detailed reports.