Adwords VS Adwords Express

Google’s online advertising system Adwords is a ‘multi headed hydra’.

By Peter Cornish | October 11th, 2016

Adwords Hydra

It’s a monster if you don’t know your way around.

It's a Novice-Devouring Monster

A deceptively easy to use system, Adwords can quickly overwhelm the inexperienced. The usual outcome is a very poor ROI for your campaign. You’ll spend money but won’t get leads.

Adwords Express - The Lesser Known Cousin

Google’s lesser known cousin, ‘Adwords Express’ is an unabashedly simplified version of Adwords. Its designed to allow ‘advertising innocents’ to create and launch an online campaign relatively pain free. That sounds like a great idea – I’m all for simplification – but there is a cost…

Setting Up Adwords Express

Enter a couple of search terms; feed in your credit card and voila! – there’s an instant online advertising campaign. Sit back and wait for the sales leads to roll in.

Tuning Adwords Express

That’s great if it works. But if it doesn’t, you simply don’t have adequate reporting and campaign controls to analyze what’s going wrong – let alone re-tune the campaign to try to get a result.

Where Do Adwords Express Ads Appear?

In Google searches and Google Maps results.

Where Don't Adwords Express Ads Appear?

Unfortunately they don’t appear in websites that choose to show Google ads – the ‘Display Network’ and this is an issue for you as an advertiser. Display Network advertising is a very powerful capability that allows you to:

Adwords Express ads also don’t appear in Google Shopping results. Those nifty product thumbnails with pricing that appears in your Google search is a great way to sell online – but not with Adwords Express Adwords Express also doesn’t support video ads and other advanced ad formats either.

What Searches Do I Want to Advertise For?

One of the universal Adwords mistakes is not selecting the optimal search terms to trigger the display of your ads. Unfortunately Adwords Express doesn’t help with this either. Adwords and Adwords Express make guesstimates about searches that are close to yours, but sometimes the subtleties of language means your ads show for searches you’d prefer they didn’t. That’s wasted clicks. Money spent with no leads.

Negative Keywords to Bring Adwords Under Control

‘Negative keywords’ help you to temper Adwords’ matching enthusiasm, and prevents future wasted clicks. But to use this feature you need to see know the ‘search terms’ – the actual searches that triggered your ads – sadly you can’t see this in Adwords Express.

When Should I Use Adwords Express?

Adwords Express is OK if you don’t want to learn Adword’s subtleties and don’t mind the reduced ROI – probably when your campaign has a lower click cost.

When to Not Use Adwords Express

When you have a larger click budget or your click costs are higher. This typically happens in more competitive online markets. Don’t do it. You’ll do your dough and won’t get an outcome. Usually a service provider’s fee to setup and manage your Adwords campaign(s) is a small fraction of the click budget, and a well designed and managed campaign will get much better outcomes for your click budget. Your Adwords Service Provider will save you the money many time over that you thought you saved by going down the Adwords Express route.