2. 1. 2024

Google Ads vs. Search Ads 360

Analytics, Case study, Google Ads

With Google offering extended functionality options on most of their services, not all of them get the same level of needed understanding. Because if the Google Analytics 360 suite has more features and utilisation, is Search Ads 360 just a premium version of Google Ads?

Well, not really. Let me explain.

Google Ads is a platform to interact with auctions that happen only in the Google advertising environment. That includes Google SERP and Google Display Network. It manages ads down to a granular level. It can be easily integrated with other Google products, such as Analytics, Firebase or Google Play Console. But that is as far as Google Ads can extend its reach. Large advertisers have a need to manage large advertisement campaigns across multiple platforms, with every possible information provided in both reporting and advanced bidding strategies. This is where Search Ads 360 comes in.

Search Ads 360 is a part of an advanced suite of tools provided by the Google Marketing Platform. Along with Campaign Manager 360 and Display and Video 360, they play a key role in large-scale marketing campaigns, spanning multiple platforms and often even countries. 

There is no fair comparison between Google Ads and Search Ads 360, because they don’t act as a replacement for one another. You need a Google Ads account to utilise the Search Ads 360 components. 

Search Ads can additionally publish ads in Microsoft Ads, Yahoo! and Baidu networks. Just like in the case of Google Ads, you will first need advertising accounts in these networks to link them to your Search Ads 360 account. 

And while Google Ads allows users to access the Google Display Network to publish Ads, Search Ads 360 does not. 

Now, what added value does Search Ads bring to the table? Firstly, efficiency and ease of use in managing large campaigns. With the use of Search Ads 360, marketing teams can make big adjustments very quickly and deploy the same campaigns on multiple platforms at once. 

In terms of performance, there is no rule of thumb that “SA 360 ads just perform better.”. But, with Search Ads 360 integration with other Google Marketing Platform tools, its bidding algorithms will often have much more data to learn from, making them more effective at predicting conversions and, as a result, better at managing campaign budgets. Additionally, Search Ads 360 has access to more bidding strategies, like setting maximum and minimum return values for a campaign.

Since Search Ads 360 is a part of Google Marketing Suite, more data will be collected, and more data will be reported. Search Ads 360 also uses Floodlight tags to track customers and conversions. From there, Search Ads 360 provides much more detailed reports of customer journeys, channel effectiveness, and the like.

Google Ads uses several key automation tools to monitor spending and exhaust opportunities in set situations. Search Ads 360 expands this toolset, much further, in both scope and detail. Automation can be set for all enabled search engines, but also down to a keyword level, instead of ad set level. 

What is the conclusion?

Search Ads 360 is a system above the system. Its first major benefit is its wide reach. Whether you have campaigns running in multiple search engines, or just in one, but with numerous campaigns, you will get the benefit of using Search Ads 360. And if you are the right person to start using this system, Search Ads 360 will give you a couple of additional functionalities as well: Improved data measuring capabilities, better conversion predictions and detailed automation options.

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