AdWords Express is a “lite” version of Google’s AdWords that is intended to help business owners boost their online visibility at a low cost and with next to no maintenance needed.
That sales pitch may sound appealing, but the “set it and forget it” nature of AdWords Express compared to regular AdWords makes it far less powerful or versatile.
With normal AdWords, businesses have far more options to control your campaigns. You can change a campaign’s settings once its been activated, create individualized campaigns based on keywords, control who your ad is targeted towards, and more.
Best of all, you can use the data generated from AdWords to improve your digital marketing over time. For instance, you can find out who your most valuable customer segments are based on demographics. This information can improve your marketing all around.
All that said, not everyone has the time, knowledge, budget or willpower to set up AdWords and give it the attention it deserves. In that case, AdWords Express can make sense, especially as a temporary solution.
To help you decide with more clarity whether or not AdWords vs AdWords Express is the right platform for your business, consider the major differences detailed below.
AdWords Express Can Be Set Up and Running Within a Few Minutes and a Few Clicks
The main elevator pitch for AdWords is that you can have your visibility boosted on search with next to no effort. With just a handful of clicks and as little as five minutes, you can set up an campaign for ads that will appear alongside Google Search and Google Maps results.
That way, when people search for terms related to your business your ad appears alongside the other results. You won’t be charged for your ad displaying unless someone clicks on your ad.
This functionality is the exact same as Google AdWords but with far less inputs needed and lower overall complexity. You can control your budget, select a business category, create the text your ad uses, and control where a click will lead the search user. That’s it.
For this reason, many marketers refer to AdWords Express as “AdWords on training wheels.” You get to feel like you’re doing the same thing as the big kids, but in reality you have less control and fewer advantages when it comes to finding campaign success.
At the same time, AdWords Express can work great for a self-managed business where the choice is between minimal paid search advertising and none. For instance, doctor’s offices, local businesses, and locally based service providers can all potentially benefit from the simplicity and ease of use AdWords Express offers.
Regular AdWords (Not Express) Can Act Like a Digital Marketing Powerhouse
The biggest differentiator between AdWords Express and regular AdWords isn’t how simple Express is as a product but how astoundingly powerful normal AdWords is.
With regular AdWords, you can create campaign groups based around multiple keywords. You can also filter out keywords that hurt your campaign performance. So, if for instance you run an arcade machine rental service and want to target “basketball arcade game” but filter out “basketball video game,” you can do that.
You can also select specific regions you want to target or people. For instance, if you wanted to choose high-income women who live in a wealthy neighborhood known for throwing lavish birthday parties, you can do that.
With this level of targeting, you filter out people who are likely to see your ad and click on it but not buy. That way, a higher percentage of the clicks you pay for come from likely customers.
Additionally, AdWords campaigns can be expanded across Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick network. With the exact same campaign tools, you can run ads simultaneously across thousands of Google searches and millions of websites.
Why Choosing Between AdWords vs AdWords Express Is Like Choosing What Cheese Sandwich You Want
Yes, all of the possibilities for regular AdWords vs AdWords Express lead to complexity, but the end result is one of your own making.
Think of AdWords Express as putting a slice of American cheese on white bread and popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Now, you have a “grilled cheese sandwich” only by the largest stretch of the imagination.
But AdWords regular let’s you choose whatever bread or cheese or cooking method you want. You can have a simple sharp cheddar and whole wheat sandwich cooked in butter on a frying pan, which would be the AdWords equivalent of a few simple text-based campaigns run well.
Or, you could have gruyere and brie cheese mixed together on artisanal bread that has been baked in a woodfired oven and then finished in a hot press. This sandwich is the equivalent of complex multichannel sales campaigns that start from AdWords appearances alongside selective Google searches and AdSense partners.
Not everyone wants this level of complexity nor do they have an astounding vision for a final product, though. Sometimes all you want is a quick snack.
And if all you want is a few ads on a controlled budget to augment your existing Google My Business search appearances, then go ahead and give AdWords Express a try. You can always use the same account to set up more complex regular regular AdWords campaigns later.
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