Display campaigns can show ads on millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties (such as YouTube). Ads show based on audience targeting rather than in response to a search query typed by a user.

Upload up to 15 images, videos, up to 5 headlines (30 characters); a long headline (90 characters); up to 5 descriptions and a long headline.

Display campaigns use responsive display ads.

Responsive display ads automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit just about any available ad space.

Your ads can be shown on Google Display Network (GDN) or Google-owned properties such as YouTube or Gmail. GDN is a group of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps.

Example Display ad formats for websites and apps:


Example Display Ads on YouTube and Gmail:


Dynamic remarketing campaigns show customers personalized content (including ads of products they’ve viewed on your website or app) from a product feed you control and attach to your campaign.

You can create responsive display ads that are crafted for dynamic remarketing campaigns. If you’d like to have more control over your creatives, you can upload a display ad instead.

Select Dynamic Ads from the ‘More settings’ option and connect a product feed.

Other options:

  • You can add promotion text.
  • You can separately upload your own image ads.



Create an Audience to target and/or use Optimized targeting which uses information such as keywords on your landing page to help you reach new and relevant audiences that are likely to convert.

Optimized targeting is set as the default targeting method for your Display campaigns. If you prefer not to use optimized targeting, you can select a different form of targeting.



Select whether to pay based on conversions, interactions or impressions.

Smart bidding options include: Maximize conversions; Target CPA; Target ROAS; Enhanced CPC.

You can ‘pay for conversions’ if you have recorded 100 conversions in the previous 30 days and 90% of conversions converted within 7 days of someone clicking on your ad.



Discovery ads show in Google’s ‘feeds’.

The ads are shown to people who might be interested in your product or service (Google targets relevant audiences) but not in response to search terms they have typed into Google search.

Run ads on Gmail; YouTube (not computers) and Discover (Discover is only available on the mobile Google App. The home screen of the App contains a feed of articles that Google thinks will be of interest to the user).

Two options:

  • Standard Discovery
  • Discovery with product feed from merchant centre (beta)

You can only run a smart bidding strategy (no manual bidding). Select the audiences you want to target. Google by default additionally turns on ‘Optimized targeting’ which lets Google target other audiences you haven’t specified. We recommend turning this off initially and then trying at a later date to see if there is an uplift.

Create different Ad Groups for different audiences

Assets: uses images, headlines, descriptions, logo

YouTube and Discover example ads (mobile only):


Gmail example ads:


Discovery campaign reporting

There are some specific Discovery campaign metrics:

  • Engagements: The first click on your ad in Gmail, for which you are charged.
  • Engagement rate: Reflects the number of times that people first clicked your ad in Gmail, divided by the number of times that your ad was shown.
  • Interactions: The combination of all paid clicks on your Discovery ad. This reflects clicks directly on your ads within YouTube and Discover, and the first click on your ad in Gmail.
  • Interaction rate: Reflects the number of interactions with your ad divided by the number of times that your ad was shown. For Gmail, this column reflects the first click on your ad.


  • There is no Target ROAS bid simulator available.
  • Optimise the campaign by reviewing the performance of individual audiences.



Video campaigns offer a range of ad formats that show on YouTube or Google video partner sites.

Ad formats

There are 6 ad formats:

Here is how the ads may look on YouTube and Google video partner sites (mobile & computer):



How will I be charged?

With CPV bidding, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the full duration of the video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first.

With Target CPM, Target CPA, and Maximize conversions bidding, you pay based on impressions.


Frequency capping

You can frequency cap on impressions (An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on YouTube or Google video partners on the Google Display Network.) or view (A view is counted when someone watches 30 seconds of your video ad (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the ad, whichever comes first.)


To get started you need to select the Campaign Goal

Each goal has one or more campaign subtypes to then select:


Each campaign subtype permits only certain ad formats and bid strategies:

You then set target audiences for each campaign or ad group to show the video ad to.


Optimising video campaigns

Run experiments – both to try and find the optimal Target CPA and frequency cap.

We are not experts on video campaigns but we suspect that Target CPM has the same issues as Target Impression share.

As discussed in the article ‘how Google Ads bids‘ Google will bid more for the users it thinks are more valuable. Setting a low Target CPM means Google will show your ads to the people least likely to convert (in your target audience) – which makes it important to define your target audiences carefully to try and get audiences with consistent quality.

Optional settings

  • Add site links.
  • Option to exclude remarketing lists.
  • Mark a moment in a video and see what % of users viewed that moment.


Performance Max campaigns

Performance max lets you advertise across search, shopping, Gmail, display, Discover, maps and YouTube using a single campaign using assets (images, text, video) that you have added.

Performance Max is a super automated campaign type: you cannot set target audiences, keywords, negative keywords (through the interface) or inventory.

You can:

  • bid on new customers only;
  • Apply a new customer conversion value premium;
  • use conversion value rules;
  • inform Google’s machine learning of the most relevant audiences for your asset group using Audience Signals.
  • Control the landing page with URL expansion

Performance Max can be used for the campaign objectives of: Sales; Leads; Website Visits; and Local store visits and promotions.

You can use the following bid strategies:

  • Maximise conversions
  • Maximise conversion value
  • Target CPA
  • Target ROAS
  • Performance Max with other campaign types


How Performance Max works with other campaign types

You can run other campaign types in conjunction with Performance Max. However, there are strict rules for which campaign will take precedence and be entered into the auction:

  • PMax will take precedence over:
    • Shopping campaigns on search/Shopping/search partners.
    • Display campaigns: Dynamic remarketing.
  • Search will take precedence over Performance Max if the exact keyword matches the user query.
  • Otherwise the campaign with the higher ad rank will be entered into the auction.


Asset groups

Performance Max is easy to set up.

You upload your assets (vidoes, images, text) as an asset group.

Start by creating an asset group with assets that are all related to a single theme or audience. You can create multiple asset groups per campaign.

Google will automatically assemble your assets into all applicable ad formats for your goal (including video) and show the most relevant creative to each user.

If you have a product feed then you can use listing groups (which are part of the asset group) to group products together. Only products in the listing groups associated with the asset group will be shown in ads.


Final URL expansion: if there are certain pages you don’t want to be included as landing pages then use the exclusion URL option.

If you have unique insights on which segments of users are more likely to convert, you can use Audience signals to help jumpstart Google’s machine learning algorithms.

You can set Audience signals by asset group – giving Google a nudge that certain assets appeal to different audienes (this is only a nudge though).

If you have unique insights on which users/personas are of higher value to your business, you can use Conversion value rules on Google audience lists to steer automated bidding towards the customers that you value most (thiugh we recommend not doing this).

Things to think about before using Performance Max:

  • You can’t add negative keywords via the Google Ads interface which means that Performance Max will bid on your brand terms (such as your company name or own-brand products). Google says that if you ask your Google rep then they can add your brand terms as negative keywords behind the scenes. Failing that make sure you have a brand search campaign – this should trigger for search ads if there is an keyword match rather than the PMax campaign (PMax will still show shopping ads for brand term searches).
  • PMax over-rides any shopping or display campaigns – making those campaigns redundant
  • There is very limited reporting detail on PMax campaigns
  • Read more tips in this article on dos and don’ts for optimising Google Ads
  • Read about how to track performance of PMax campaigns and take action 


Search Ads are text ads that show in Google search results in response to a user search query.

Read how to think about campaigns vs ad groups

Read an Example of how to build your Google Ads search campaigns


Ad Extensions

You can add extensions to your ads at no cost. This additional information on your ad should improve click-through rate and credibility with the user (and therefore also ad rank ==> potentially lower CPC).

Most helpful is the ability to flag live promotions.

To add an extension go to: Ads & extensions > Extensions. Click on ‘+’ to add a new extension. You can select which campaigns to activate each extension on.

Here is an example of an ad with multiple extensions:

There are many different types of ad extensions:

  • Promotion Extensions;
  • Sitelinks;
  • Callouts;
  • Structured Snippet Extensions;
  • Price Extensions;
  • Call Extensions;
  • Lead Form Extensions; and
  • Location Extensions


Promotion Extensions:

You can use this extension type to describe the type of promotion, promo code, date range of the promotion [note shopping ad promotions are controlled via google merchant center].


Image/Dynamic Image:

An image appears with your ad (and can be dynamic if you upload images linked to keywords):



Lead form extension

Collect email addresses via a form directly from an ad:


Price extension



Affiliate location extension

If your product is available to purchase at nearby stores then you can add an extension highlighting that:


Structured snippet extension

Add a list of amenities; brands; types; courses; shows:


>>> Read the next article: Appendix 4: Example Search campaign structure

>>> Back to main menu


The interactive video below highlights some of the analyses we cover:


Please be really careful making changes to your Google Ads account

  • Google doesn’t always respond how you (or we) think it will. The way we think about Google Ads may not be the best set-up for your account.
  • Only change one thing at a time.
  • If possible, always use an experiment to test a change – particularly for significant changes such as moving bidding strategy to Maximize conversion value (Target ROAS).
  • Protect your financial downside by testing with limited spend in the experiment/change. Note that moving to a smart bidding strategy requires a learning phase where Google may not be efficient.
  • Be careful if adding/removing primary conversion actions – changing what Google is converting to can radically change what and who Google targets and how much it’s willing to spend.
  • Remember, all changes to your account are at your own risk. Mapflo shall not be liable for any damages; losses; lost revenue or lost profit.


Glossary of Terms

AOV = Average Order Value

CM1 = Contribution Margin 1 = revenue minus COGS (cost of goods sold) in an order.

CM2 = Contribution Margin 2 = margin on an order after all costs directly attributable to that order such as COGS, shipping, payment fees, customer service etc. (except for marketing).

CM3 = Contribution Margin 3 = CM2 less marketing spend. An ‘Estimated CM3’ value uses an assumed CM2 %.

CPA = Cost Per Action. In this report taken to mean cost per conversion or cost per order.

Keywords = words or phrases (assigned to an ad group) that match a user’s search term and trigger Google to bid to show an ad.

Lifetime CM3 = CM3 from all orders (or subscription payments) for a customer.

Profit = CM3 less all fixed overheads (such as salaries and office rent). Hence Optimising CM3 also optimises profit at the same cost base

ROAS = ‘Return On Ad Spend’ = conversion value divided by cost. A ROAS of 400% means you get four pounds of revenue back for every pound of ad spend.

Search term = the word or phrase that a user searches for on Google.