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Save time and achieve better results with Smart campaigns in Google Ads

Key take-aways

Sometimes it can seem like the time pressures on small businesses are always increasing. Now however, business owners can take advantage of Smart campaigns in Google Ads. This new campaign type can help you improve the effectiveness of your online advertising and make your budget stretch further — without having to spend precious time mastering new skills or manually optimising each ad. Learn how using Smart campaigns can help you save time and achieve better results with Google Ads.

1. What are Smart campaigns in Google Ads?

2. How do Smart campaigns work in Google Ads?

3. How can Smart campaigns help my business?

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an advertising service by Google for businesses that want to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network.

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1. What are Smart campaigns in Google Ads?

Smart campaigns are a new campaign type in Google Ads that help businesses create and launch online ad campaigns in a matter of minutes. This simple solution for small businesses can help you connect with relevant potential customers across the internet and be discovered more effectively via Google straight from the search results page.

Powered by Google's advertising technology, a Smart campaign automatically matches your ad with what people are searching for, delivering real results while you spend time on what you love the most, running your business and building its future. Whatever your business goals, Smart campaigns works to constantly improve your ads, measure their performance and show you the results in a clear, easy-to-understand format.

A cheese emporium in Winchester, for example, might want to attract more phone enquiries from potential customers through its online ads. With this goal in mind, the shop’s owner can quickly and easily launch a Smart campaign in Google Ads and indicate "calls" as the desired outcome. While the owner is arranging displays or greeting visitors, their Smart campaign will work behind-the-scenes to show ads to potential customers. Knowing that the business is seeking more phone enquiries, Google's system will work to encourage potential customers to take this specific action.


A set of ad groups (ads, keywords, and bids) that share a budget, locations, and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organise categories of products or services that you offer.

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2. How do Smart campaigns work in Google Ads?

You just need to enter a few details about your business, like what products and services you offer, to get started with a Smart campaign. Once a campaign is launched, potential customers will see your ads across a range of platforms including Google Search, Google Maps, in their Gmail inbox, or across the more than two million websites that make up the Google Display Network.

When you sign up for Google Ads or create a new Smart campaign, you'll be asked to pick a business category — essentially the product or service you want to advertise — such as "Hair Salon", "Car Dealer" or "Dentist". The product or service you select helps determine the search phrases that cause your ad to appear, so it's important to ensure your answer is accurate and specific.

Based on the type of business you have, Google Ads automatically generates a list of search phrases that will trigger your ad. It also comes up with a list of related sites where your ads can appear on the Google Display Network. You can edit your business category at any time, though doing so will also change the search phrases used to determine when and where your ads appear.


When someone clicks on your ad, like on the blue headline of a text ad, Google Ads counts that as a click.

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3. How can Smart campaigns help my business?

Smart campaigns were designed with busy small business owners in mind, and there are various potential benefits on offer for those who engage.

Make the most of your advertising budget

There is no activation fee for Smart campaigns, and businesses only pay when a potential customer clicks on their ad. This is known as a cost-per-click (or CPC) advertising model. Click prices are dynamic, which means they change every time an auction for an ad spot takes place. The cost of each click depends on factors such as:

  • How much competing advertisers in your area are spending

  • How relevant your ad is to a person's Google search

  • How likely a person's search is to result in a sale

With Smart campaigns, you’re always in control of your spend and you will never exceed the maximum monthly budget that you’ve specified. To ensure the best possible return on your investment, the Google technology that powers your campaigns adjusts the amount you bid, within the budget you set, to achieve the results you’re seeking. This automatic process requires no input once the campaign is launched, meaning you can reap the rewards without investing time in optimising and monitoring your ads each day.

Increase the effectiveness of your online ads

The more relevant your ads are to potential customers, the more effective your overall ad campaign will be. Smart campaigns help you reach potential customers across desktop and mobile, connect with users in different languages, and highlight key selling points about your business — all of which increases the relevancy of your ads to users.

Your Google ad will be eligible to appear when prospective customers in the geographic area you serve search for phrases related to your business on Google or Google Maps, and when people include terms related to your business or its location in their search. By automatically displaying ads to qualified potential customers — meaning those most likely to take action — the relevancy and effectiveness of your campaign is improved. Google Ads gets to work once your campaign is set up, saving you time and always aiming for results that are as valuable as possible to your business.

Easily run multiple campaigns simultaneously

Creating a Smart campaign in Google Ads is straightforward, and it's just as quick and easy to launch multiple campaigns to showcase different products, services, offers or unique selling points too. You can create a single campaign for your whole business or a series of individual campaigns covering every item you sell or everything you want potential customers to know about your business.

If you want to check which ads are working best, your Smart campaigns dashboard gives you instant access to this information in a format that's visual and easy to understand. Through the dashboard, campaigns can also be paused, stopped or relaunched at any time with the click of a button. Thanks to Smart campaigns, more ads no longer means more work — or more time away from running your business.

If Google Ads has tempted you in the past, there's never been a better time to give it a try. Smart campaigns open up a world of opportunities for small businesses, and all it takes to get started is a few clicks or taps.


How closely the elements of your ad campaign match what a person seems to be looking for.

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