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What’s the difference between Google Search and Smart Campaigns?

Google Search is the platform where users input search queries to find relevant information on the internet. The platform primarily focuses on organic search results and displays a list of web pages, images, videos, and other content that best matches the user’s query. Smart Campaigns is a Google Ads product that specifically targets small businesses or individuals who want to create advertising campaigns without extensive knowledge of online advertising. It simplifies the advertising process by automatically optimizing ads and targeting audiences, making it easier for non-experts to run effective campaigns.

Automating bids with Google Ads can potentially deliver more informed bids while saving time. A smart bidding strategy could drive better results in Search campaigns. An automated bid strategy is often used as a standard strategy. According to Google Ads, dynamic bids tailored to each auction can lead to better results. Google Ads bidding algorithms evaluate billions of combinations of relevant contextual signals present at auction time to set bids. If you think about the scarcity of Google Ads/Search Marketing Experts with over 10+ years of bidding expertise, most marketers use automated bidding simply because they do not have the bandwidth to monitor each bid. They create a new campaign, do the settings, and then when creating a portfolio strategy from the shared library “bid strategies” page, all arrows somehow point to the magical “smart bidding” option. If you ask me, smart bidding is too good to be true.

Bidding is only a part of the Google Ads. About 20% of professional advertisers prefer to be in manual control of the bidding in their ad accounts. This bidding offers the same benefits of specific navigational precision as smart bidding, with better control over CPA, Stacked/Tiered Bidding strategies, controlling cost for low converting keywords and increasing Impression Share to name a few benefits. It is a tedious process in the first initial weeks, so it is important to focus on conversions, and not changing what works.

Smart Campaigns offer several targeting options, including geographic location, language, and device type. These campaigns automatically optimize the account bids to get the most conversions for the predefined budget. You can set a daily budget or a total budget for the duration of the campaign. They use Google’s machine learning technology to automatically create ads based on the information you provide, and also offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to track the campaign’s performance and adjust the campaign strategy as needed.

Who should be using Smart Campaigns?

Smart Campaigns are particularly valuable for local businesses that have a physical location and are associated with a Google My Business account. However, the benefits of Smart Campaigns extend to several other types of businesses as well. For instance, companies with a limited budget for online marketing can leverage Smart Campaigns to make the most of their resources. Additionally, businesses that lack marketing expertise or do not have dedicated marketing staff can greatly benefit from these campaigns. Smart Campaigns are also ideal for business owners who are not familiar with the intricacies of Google Search and would like a simplified approach to advertising. Furthermore, businesses that do not have experienced staff members proficient in Google Search can rely on Smart Campaigns to drive effective advertising campaigns.

What are the benefits of using Google Smart Campaigns?

Google Smart Campaigns offer several benefits, including ease of setup and launching campaigns, time-saving features, effective targeting options with the help of Google’s smart tools and AI, and suitability for businesses new to PPC or those with limited marketing experience or budget. These campaigns leverage Google’s machine-learning technology to optimize ads and targeting options, making them accessible and beneficial for small businesses looking to get started with online advertising.

But what are the cons?

There are limitations to the magical Smart Campaigns for now as they are not completely independent. For starters, as humans like all things AI, there is a lack of control with limited campaign goals. Marketers can view the keywords that Google has chosen for the pay-per-click campaign, but the campaign manager will be unable to adjust them. And the rest are pretty big cons:

  • Only a single ad type.
  • Controlled conversion tracking.
  • Limited access to data.
  • Machine automation doesn’t cover everything.

What are the limitations of Google Smart Campaigns?

Google Smart Campaigns have limitations, despite their advantages. These limitations include limited control over campaign goals and certain targeting options. While they provide simplicity, automation, and ease of use, advertisers who require more control and customization over their campaign goals or specific targeting options may find Smart Campaigns to be limiting. It is important to consider these limitations and evaluate if they align with your specific advertising needs before choosing to use Smart Campaigns.

For example, you can’t manually target the campaign audience based on interest. And you can’t use remarketing with a smart search campaign. Here are some of the additional “you can’t”:

  • You can’t edit match types manually. This may change in the future, but for now, it is handled and applied automatically by Google Ads as needed.
  • You can’t employ a negative keyword list for search phrases.
  • You can’t see which automated bid strategy Google will apply during ad rank.

If the marketer wants to duplicate campaigns and settings, it will start a fresh new account, so there’s no guarantee that it will replicate the same results to date. In summary, Google Ads Smart Campaigns are a great option for small businesses looking to get started with online advertising. They are easy to set up, require minimal technical expertise, and use Google’s machine-learning technology to optimize ads and targeting options. However, it’s important to note that Smart Campaigns may not be suitable for mid-market to large enterprises, especially if they are launching multi-tiered product pay-per-click campaigns. The limitations of Smart Campaigns should be considered, as they may not deliver the desired results for businesses with more complex advertising needs. In such cases, it may be more beneficial to explore alternative strategies, such as Search Campaigns. To determine the best approach for your specific business and to create effective Google ads that yield the results you deserve, we recommend reaching out to any experienced PPC experts or Google campaign professionals. They have the expertise to guide you through the decision-making process and help you devise a tailored advertising strategy that aligns with your business objectives.

Google Search metrics and Smart Campaigns campaigns’ metrics are two different sets of metrics used to evaluate the success of a marketing campaign and determine the return on investment for pay-per-click advertising. Google Search metrics provide detailed insights into the performance of a campaign on the Google Search network. These metrics include:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of users who clicked on the ad after seeing it in the search results.
  • Average position: The average rank of the ad in the search results.
  • Impressions: The number of times the ad was shown to users.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): The average amount paid for each click on the ad.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who completed a desired action on the website after clicking on the ad.

These metrics primarily focus on the performance of text-based ads displayed in search results and provide data related to ad visibility, user engagement, and conversion rates. They help in understanding the effectiveness of the ads in driving traffic and conversions from search engine users.

Smart Campaigns metrics are specific to Google’s Smart Campaigns feature, which is a simplified advertising solution aimed at small businesses. These metrics include:

  • Reach: The number of unique users who saw the ad.
  • Calls: The number of phone calls made directly from the ad.
  • Website actions: The number of clicks on specific call-to-action buttons on the ad (e.g., “Call Now” or “Get Directions”).
  • Store visits: The estimated number of physical store visits driven by the ad.
  • Cost-per-action (CPA): The average cost for each desired action, such as a call or store visit.

Smart Campaigns metrics are designed to provide a simplified overview of campaign performance, focusing on customer actions that are important to small businesses, such as calls and store visits. These metrics help evaluate the success of campaigns targeting local customers and driving offline conversions. when considering moving to a smart bidding strategy, you need to confirm that your traffic volume is enough for it.

There are a few other measurements that factor into a campaign’s success or failure. These include soft metrics, such as the general sentiment on your company or brand, the sharing of the brand’s voice online, social shares, the time spent on the website, user engagement, and more. Pre-click metrics help marketers understand what leads users to the site. This can help figure out where impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and cost per click (CPC) are coming from, and lead to better ad placements. Post-click metrics can be just as important.

When visitors to a website leave, where do they go? Placing ads where they go when they leave could lead to more conversions, better cost per lead of acquisitions, and better return on acquisition and return on ad spend (ROAs).

In summary, Google Search metrics provide comprehensive data on ad performance in search results, while Smart Campaigns metrics provide a simplified overview with a focus on local actions. Both sets of metrics are important for evaluating the success of marketing campaigns and determining the return on investment for pay-per-click advertising, but their focus and level of detail differ based on the advertising objectives and targeting strategies.

Compared to Google Search Campaigns, Google Smart Campaigns differ in the following ways:

  • Automation: Smart Campaigns leverage machine learning to automate various aspects of campaign management, such as ad creation, bidding, and targeting. This simplifies setup and ongoing optimization.
  • Ease of use: Smart Campaigns are designed to be more accessible and beginner-friendly. They require minimal manual intervention and are suitable for advertisers with limited experience or time.
  • Limited targeting options: Smart Campaigns focus on delivering ads to a broader audience rather than niche or specific targeting. Advertisers have less control over where their ads appear.
  • Simplified reporting: The reporting interface for Smart Campaigns is simplified, providing only essential performance metrics. This streamlines the monitoring and analysis process.

In summary, Smart Campaigns focus on simplicity, automation, and ease of use, while Search Campaigns provide more control, customization, and advanced targeting options.

If you execute a Smart Shopping campaign and a standard shopping campaign at the same time, will the Smart campaign take priority?

Yes, Smart Shopping campaigns take priority over Standard Shopping and display remarketing campaigns for the same product. This means that if you have both types of campaigns running for the same product, your Smart Shopping campaign will show up more often than your Standard Shopping campaign.

What are the metrics to measure the success of Google Smart Campaigns and how are they different then Google Search Campaigns?

The key metrics to measure the success of Google Smart Campaigns include Conversions: The number of desired actions completed on your websites or app, such as purchases, form submissions, or phone calls. Clicks: The total number of clicks on your ads, indicating the interest generated by your campaign. Impressions: The number of times your ads were shown to users. Cost-per-click (CPC): The average cost you pay for each click on your ads. Click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of users who clicked on your ads after seeing them. Conversion rate: The percentage of clicks that resulted in a desired conversion. Return on investment (ROI): The profitability or effectiveness of your campaign, calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the campaign.

Why should I use Google Smart Campaigns if I am not up to date on the latest Google algorithms or lack the know-how to conduct my Search Campaigns manually?

Google Smart Campaigns are a great option for small businesses looking to get started with online advertising. They are easy to set up, require minimal technical expertise, and use Google’s machine-learning technology to optimize ads and targeting options. These campaigns offer several targeting options, such as geographic location, language, and device type, and automatically optimize account bids to get the most conversions for the predefined budget. In addition to their simplicity and ease of use, Smart Campaigns provide a range of benefits that make them an attractive choice. They offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to track the campaign’s performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your advertising strategy. This means you can monitor the effectiveness of your ads, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustments as needed. Furthermore, Smart Campaigns leverage Google’s advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to help promote your campaign effectively. This is especially advantageous for businesses that may not have the most up-to-date knowledge of Google’s algorithms or lack experience in manually conducting Search Campaigns. By utilizing Smart Campaigns, you can tap into Google’s expertise and take advantage of their smart tools to reach your target audience more efficiently and maximize your advertising results. It is important to note that while Smart Campaigns offer many benefits, there are also limitations to consider. For instance, you may have limited control over campaign goals and certain targeting options. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to utilize Search Campaigns instead, especially if you require more precise control over your advertising strategy or have specific targeting needs. In summary, Google Smart Campaigns provide small businesses with a straightforward and efficient way to enter the world of online advertising. With their user-friendly setup, automated optimization features, and access to Google’s advanced algorithms and AI, Smart Campaigns offer simplicity, automation, and ease of use. While they may have some limitations, they are a valuable option for advertisers with limited experience or time, allowing them to reach their target audience and achieve their advertising goals effectively.

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