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Home Blog 9 Key PPC Ad Types: Common Paid Ad Types in Marketing

9 Key PPC Ad Types: Common Paid Ad Types in Marketing

Discover the nine key types of PPC ads that can revolutionize your digital marketing strategy. From search ads that capture intent-driven traffic to dynamic video ads that engage viewers, each type of PPC ad offers unique advantages for driving traffic and conversions. Dive into the details to learn how to optimize your campaigns, tailor your landing pages, and maximize your advertising budget for the best possible outcomes.
PPC ad types

PPC ads boost traffic and conversions, working on a pay-for-click model within an auction-based setting. This model ensures ads are displayed based on relevance and the bid amount. This type of paid advertising encompasses several types, including search, display, and social media ads, each aimed at fulfilling specific marketing objectives and effectively reaching target audiences.

If your goal is to create a successful campaign (and I assume it is), you, as an advertiser, should start with crafting “ad groups that target shared sets of keywords and are organized by common themes,” as advised by Daniel Gilbert. Then, determine the ad type that best suits your marketing strategy. This guide is designed to assist you by outlining nine essential PPC ad types and offering strategies to enhance your advertising approach for improved reach and engagement.

What is a PPC Ad?

A PPC ad, or Pay-Per-Click ad, is a model of digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. The PPC model revolves around an auction-based system where advertisers bid on relevant keywords, and ads are displayed based on the highest bids and their relevance to the user’s search query. Google Ads is a prime example of a platform that utilizes this model, allowing businesses to create text ads, image ads, and video ads that appear in search results and across the web.

What are The Key Types of PPC in Digital Marketing?

The key types of PPC in digital marketing are Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Social Media Advertising, Shopping Ads, Video Advertising, and Remarketing. Additionally, Amazon Ads and In-app Ads are also commonly used.

Digital marketing encompasses many strategies to engage online audiences, with PPC advertising being notably effective for driving traffic and conversion. The core of PPC meaning lies in a pay-per-click model, where advertisers pay when their ads are clicked. This strategy enables targeted campaigns that are adaptable in real-time. It’s important to understand different PPC types. Each serves unique purposes and can greatly impact your strategy and goals. Knowing these differences can help optimize your campaigns for the best possible outcomes.

So, take the time to read through the descriptions of each type of PPC to make the most of their unique benefits:

1. Search Ads

Search ads are perhaps the most recognizable form of PPC advertising. They appear at the top and bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs) when users enter specific keywords into search engines like Google or Bing. These text ads are highly effective for capturing intent-driven traffic because they target users who are actively seeking information related to the keywords.

This targeting capability is crucial, especially considering that over 80% of buying journeys begin on search engines, according to Susie Marino from Wordstream. It’s no surprise that many businesses leverage search ads to engage searchers and convert them into customers.

The effectiveness of search ads lies in their ability to present your ad copy directly to users who have a high likelihood of converting.

Imagine a local bakery specializing in wedding cakes that wants to increase its customer base in Boston. To achieve this, the bakery decides to use a Google search ad. They target keywords such as “wedding cakes Boston” and “best wedding cakes.” When people in their area search for these terms on Google Search, the bakery’s ad appears at the top of the SERP, making it highly visible to potential customers actively seeking wedding cakes. By clicking on the PPC search ad, users are directed to the bakery’s website or landing page, where they can learn more about the wedding cakes, their location, and how to place an order. This targeted approach allows the bakery to connect with users who have a high intent to purchase, thereby increasing the chances of converting them into customers.

2. Display Ads

Display ads involve placing visual-based advertisements on websites across the Google Display Network or other ad networks. These ads can be in the form of images, videos, or banners and are designed to capture the audience’s attention as they browse various sites. The visual nature of display advertising allows for creative and engaging ad formats that can enhance brand recognition and recall.

A display ad is excellent for brand awareness and can be highly effective for remarketing campaigns.

One classic example of display ads is the banner ads you see on the sides of many websites. Imagine visiting a financial planning blog to find tips on saving for the future. At the top of the page, you notice a banner ad from a well-known life insurance company showcasing their latest policy options. The ad is visually appealing and includes a call-to-action (CTA) button saying, “Get a Quote” or “Get Started,” encouraging you to click and learn more about their insurance plans. It’s a smart placement because you’re already in a mindset focused on financial security, making it more likely that you’ll be interested in the ad. Additionally, if you had previously visited the insurance company’s website but didn’t make a purchase, this ad could be part of a remarketing campaign, aimed at bringing you back to their site to reconsider getting a life insurance policy.

3. Social Media Ads

Social media ads are displayed on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. These PPC advertising platforms allow for highly targeted campaigns based on user demographics, interests, and behaviors. Social media ads come in various formats, including images, videos, carousels, and sponsored posts. This versatility makes them suitable for a wide range of marketing objectives, from increasing brand awareness to driving direct conversions.

An example of a social media ad would be a sponsored Instagram post by a fitness apparel brand targeting women aged 18-35 who are interested in yoga and wellness. The ad could feature a high-quality video showcasing their newest leggings collection, with engaging copy that highlights the product’s unique features, such as moisture-wicking fabric and eco-friendly materials. The ad would be set to appear in the feeds of users who fit the targeted demographic and have shown interest in similar products, based on their past online behavior and engagement with related content. This targeted approach ensures that the ad reaches potential customers who are more likely to be interested in the product, thereby increasing the chances of driving direct conversions.


4. Shopping Ads

Shopping ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are specifically designed for e-commerce businesses. These ads display product images, prices, and details directly in the search results, making them highly effective for driving online sales. When users search for specific products on Google Search or other search engines, shopping ads show relevant product listings that allow users to compare products quickly and make informed purchasing decisions.

According to Store Growers, the average cost per click on a Google Shopping ad is $0.66. This may provide a baseline for initiating your own bidding; however, the cost differs by industry. It can be as low as $0.34 for the Art & Music industry, or as high as $1.09 for the Office & Business Needs industry.

This form of paid search advertising is particularly effective for retailers looking to boost their online sales.

Imagine you’re browsing online for a new gaming laptop. You head over to Google, type in “gaming laptops”, and the search results page comes to life with a section prominently featuring various gaming laptops. This area, populated with vivid images of each model, alongside their prices and brand names, is the direct result of a Google shopping campaign.

Each listing in this special section is a shopping ad. By clicking on one, you’re taken directly to the retailer’s website, where you can learn more about the laptop or proceed to purchase it. This efficient process streamlines your shopping experience, allowing you to quickly compare different options based on visual and price information, even before visiting the retailer’s site.

5. Video Ads

Video ads are a dynamic form of online advertising that appears on platforms like YouTube and across the Google Display Network. These ads can be placed as pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll videos, meaning they can play before, during, or after the main video content. Video ads are engaging and can convey a lot of information in a short amount of time, making them powerful tools for branding and user engagement. They are especially effective for storytelling and creating an emotional connection with the audience.

YouTube video ads can be categorized into various types: instream ads, skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, outstream ads, and masthead ads.

A classic example of a video ad is a short promotional clip for a new jewelry collection that plays before a YouTube video tutorial on fashion styling. In this ad, stunning features of the jewelry, such as its intricate design, high-quality materials, and versatility, are highlighted through vibrant visuals and compelling narration. This engages viewers by showing them how these pieces could enhance their personal style, creating a desire for the product while they are already engaged in a related activity.

6. Remarketing Ads/Retargeting Ads

Remarketing ads, also known as retargeting ads, are designed to re-engage users who have previously visited your website but did not complete a desired action, such as making a purchase. These ads follow users across different websites and remind them of your product or service, encouraging them to return and convert.

Remarketing ads are highly effective because they target users who have already shown interest in your brand, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Let’s say you run an online store that sells women’s shoes. A customer visits your site, browses through several styles, and even adds a pair of shoes to their shopping cart. However, they get distracted and leave the site without completing the purchase.

By using remarketing ads, you can display ads for women’s shoes (and potentially other styles they viewed or related products) on other websites they visit afterward, across social media platforms they use, or even in their email. For example, after leaving your site, the customer goes to read news on a different site, and there, they see an ad for the women’s shoes they were interested in. This prompts them to remember their initial interest, reconsider the purchase, and potentially return to complete it. These targeted reminders effectively bring former visitors back, potentially increasing sales and conversion rates.

7. Gmail Sponsored Promotions (Gmail Ads)

Gmail ads are a unique form of PPC advertising that appears in the Promotions tab of Gmail inboxes. These ads look like regular emails but are marked as ads. When opened, they can contain images, videos, and other interactive elements. This format allows for a highly engaging user experience, as the ad content can be tailored to resemble a personalized email.

Gmail ads are effective for reaching users in a more personal environment and can be used for various marketing goals, from brand awareness to direct response.

Imagine a travel agency utilizing Gmail Sponsored Promotions to connect with potential travelers. They craft a campaign focused on promoting their latest European tour package. When Gmail users open their Promotions tab, they find an email-like ad from the agency. The subject line entices with: “Unlock the Secrets of Europe with Our Exclusive Tour!” Upon opening, the ad reveals a captivating video showcasing stunning European landmarks, vibrant street scenes, and testimonials from delighted travelers. Alongside the video, interactive elements like a photo gallery of the tour highlights, a clickable map of the tour route, and a special early bird booking offer are presented, making it feel like a personalized invitation to embark on a European adventure. This format not only captures the attention in a personal environment but also encourages direct engagement with the ad’s content, significantly enhancing the appeal of the agency’s travel package.

8. Amazon Ads

Amazon ads are a form of paid advertising that appears on the Amazon platform. These ads can be sponsored products, sponsored brands, or display ads, targeting shoppers based on their search queries and purchase behaviors. Amazon ads are highly effective for e-commerce businesses looking to increase product visibility and sales on Amazon.

For example, a company selling organic tea can use Amazon ads to increase their product’s visibility. They might set up a Sponsored Products ad targeting keywords like “organic green tea” or “herbal tea”. When Amazon users search for these terms, the company’s organic tea product could appear at the top of the search results, labeled as “Sponsored.” This placement can lead to more clicks from customers specifically interested in organic tea, potentially increasing sales and product rankings on Amazon.

9. In-app Ads

In-app ads are advertisements that are specifically designed to appear within mobile applications, catering to various formats such as banners, videos, interstitials, or playable ads. These ads are particularly effective at targeting users who are actively using their mobile devices, thus ensuring higher visibility. The strategic placement and interactive nature of these ads can significantly drive engagement with the content or services offered by the app. Given the widespread use of smartphones, in-app advertising represents a valuable opportunity for marketers to connect with their audience in a direct and impactful way.

Imagine you’re playing a mobile game, like a popular puzzle or action game, and after completing a level, an ad suddenly pops up on your screen. This ad could be a short video promoting another game or a product, asking you to swipe or interact with it in some way. Perhaps it offers you a reward, like game currency or an extra life, if you watch the entire ad. This scenario is a classic example of an in-app ad, specifically an interstitial ad, which utilizes the pause between levels to engage users with promotional content.


How do PPC Ad Types Affect Landing Page Design?

PPC ad types directly influence landing page design by determining the layout, content, and user experience tailored to the specific ad format.

For instance, search ads typically lead to landing pages optimized for conversions with clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and concise, persuasive content. In contrast, display ads may require more visually engaging landing pages that align with the ad’s creative elements to maintain consistency and capture the user’s interest. Video ads might necessitate landing pages that can host or link to video content, ensuring a seamless user experience.

The ad copy used in your PPC ads should be mirrored on the landing page to create a cohesive message and enhance the user’s journey within the PPC campaign.

Below, you can find specific ways to adjust your landing page design to match the different needs of various PPC ads:

  • Conversion Optimization: Ensure landing pages are optimized for conversions with clear calls-to-action (CTAs), concise and persuasive content, and fast-loading times. This is crucial for paid search ads, which aim to provide a seamless transition from the ad to the landing page.
  • Visual Appeal: Create visually appealing landing pages that align with the creative elements of display ads. Consistency in color schemes, fonts, and imagery helps maintain a cohesive user experience.
  • Reflect Platform Tone: Design landing pages that reflect the tone and style of the social media platform where the ad was displayed. Ensure these pages are mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of social media traffic comes from mobile devices. Incorporate social proof elements like testimonials and user reviews to build trust and engagement.
  • Product Showcase: For shopping ads, highlight product features, benefits, and pricing. Include high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and customer reviews. Use clear and prominent CTAs like “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” to drive conversions.
  • Video Integration: For video ads, prominently feature the video content on the landing page. Provide supporting information and CTAs that encourage users to watch the video and take further action.
  • Personalization: Use personalized messaging and dynamic content for remarketing ads to address objections or questions from the initial visit. Provide clear incentives to convert, such as special offers or discounts, to encourage return visits and conversions.
  • Relevance and Speed: For Gmail sponsored ads, ensure the landing page content is highly relevant to the ad content and provides clear, compelling reasons for the user to engage further. Optimize these pages for mobile devices and ensure quick loading times.
  • Trust and Detail: For Amazon ads, provide detailed product information, high-quality images, and customer reviews. Use trust signals like secure payment icons and return policies to build credibility and encourage purchases.

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What are The Two Types of Targeting That Can Be Done With PPC Advertising?

PPC advertising has two main types of targeting: keyword targeting and audience targeting. Keyword targeting is about reaching people based on the search terms they use, so it is great for search ads and shopping ads. Audience targeting is about reaching people based on demographics, interests, and online behavior. This is used for social media ads, display ads, and remarketing campaigns. By combining both, you can create highly personalized and effective PPC campaigns.

How Many Types of PPC Ads Are There?

There are many types of PPC ads, but the 9 main ones are search ads, display ads, social media ads, shopping ads, video ads, remarketing ads, Gmail-sponsored promotions, Amazon ads, and in-app ads. These cover the most common PPC strategies in digital marketing, each with its own benefits and uses.

What are The Types of PPC?

The main types of PPC are search ads, display ads, social media ads, shopping ads, video ads, remarketing ads, and Gmail ads. Each has its own features and benefits, for different marketing objectives and platforms. Knowing these types allows you to choose the right PPC strategy for your business.

What is The Most Common PPC Type?

The most common type of PPC is the search ad. These ads appear on search engine results pages and are great for capturing users with high intent, making them a popular choice for many businesses. Search ads use relevant keywords so they appear when users are actively looking for related products or services, increasing the chances of conversion.

What are The Key PPC Platform Types?

The main PPC platform types are search engines (Google and Bing), social media platforms (Meta, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest), e-commerce platforms (Amazon), and email platforms (Gmail). Each platform has its own ad formats and targeting options to help you reach your audience.

To determine the best platform for your campaigns, you’ll want to conduct thorough research on your audience to understand which platforms they frequent. For example, Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising are popular choices for managing PPC campaigns across search engine platforms, offering a range of tools to create and manage your ads. However, if your audience is more active on social media sites, you may find better engagement through ad platforms like Meta or LinkedIn.


Understanding the different types of PPC ads is important for creating effective marketing campaigns. Each type of ad serves a different purpose and can help achieve various goals. Choosing the right type of PPC ad for your business can help you make the most of your advertising budget, improve your targeting, and ultimately get better results for your PPC marketing efforts. Platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising provide tools to help you manage and track your campaign performance, so you can make informed decisions to improve your return on investment.

Landingi, as a comprehensive landing page platform, empowers advertisers to craft impactful landing pages tailored to their PPC ad types. For example, search ads should direct users to landing pages optimized for conversions with clear calls-to-action and persuasive content, while display ads might require visually engaging pages to maintain consistency and interest. By matching the landing page design to the specific ad format and utilizing features like Smart Sections and EventTracker, advertisers can improve user experience and increase conversion rates. Landingi’s intuitive builder makes it easy to create landing pages that reflect the ad copy and visual elements, ensuring a cohesive message and a smooth user journey within PPC campaigns.

The key to significantly enhancing the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns lies in selecting the optimal PPC ad type and designing tailored landing pages – discover how by trying Landingi for free today.

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Magdalena Dejnak

Content Writer

Magdalena Dejnak is a marketing content expert with more than 4 years of experience in digital marketing. Her expertise lies in creating landing pages, managing social media, branding, and optimizing conversion rates. She has been a significant contributor to Landingi platform since the year 2020. Magdalena holds a Postgraduate Degree in E-marketing from the Akademia Górnośląska im. Wojciecha Korfantego. Currently, she is under the mentorship of Błażej Abel, CEO of Landingi, a leading company in landing page technology.
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