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Understanding Google AdWords Express

Google AdWords Express is a streamlined, albeit stripped-down, version of Google AdWords. According to Google, “AdWords Express is an advertising option for businesses that want to get started quickly. It’s ideal for business owners who don’t have a lot of time to manage their online advertising.”

If you need to maximize your limited time as a small business owner, this may sound like a lifesaver. You can quickly set up a campaign, write a brief description of your business, and let Google run the rest. There are some tradeoffs of course, and they may be worth it to you. However, it’s best to go into AdWords Express understanding what those tradeoffs are.

Google AdWords Express – No Experience Necessary

When first introduced, Google sold it on no previous marketing experience was necessary for success. However, Google no longer promotes that angle heavily, and it now focuses on how quickly you will have your advertising campaign launched.

Even so, it is essentially the same. You can do precisely what Google assures – that you can create and launch an online ad campaign in about 15 minutes. But, does it actually work? Will the ROI meet your expectations?

If you have never researched the stock market or traded stocks, would you make a large investment using a new trading platform because the account is quick and easy to set up? Probably not. AdWords Express can pay off if you take a little time to learn about the fundamentals. You will need compelling ad content, an attractive offer, and a well-designed landing page to drive conversions, which is the number of visitors who purchase your product or service.

The essential fundamentals of a successful ad campaign are the same regardless of the platform you use.

No Customization

If you need the ability to customize your ad campaign, then the full version of AdWords may be more suited to your business. AdWords Express has some inherent limitations, and you may not be able to create and manage your keyword universe, adjust your bids for specific keywords, organize your ads and keywords into coherent themes, and create custom landing pages to optimize the conversion rates.

In addition, AdWords offers a wider array of targeting options, multiple ad types, and retargeting capabilities. These factors work together to increase conversions, so you may want to keep control rather than hand them over to the automation process.

Conversion Tracking

Another reason you may want AdWords versus AdWords Express is the ability to track conversions. AdWords provides tools that track conversions such as contact form submission, phone calls, online sales, and offline sales that you import into AdWords. This allows you to calculate more accurately your ROI from your advertising investment.

AdWords Express does not offer conversion tracking tools, although it will report on ad clicks and impressions. There is no way to calculate conversion rates from this information.

Campaign Migration

It may be tempting to begin an AdWords Express campaign first, especially if you have very little spare time. You might expect to transfer to the full version of AdWords in the future. However, Google offers no way to switch between either of the services. You will be forced to build an AdWords campaign from scratch without the ability to migrate data from the Express version.

Optimizing your conversions with either advertising platform will require the same learning curve. AdWords offers more robust tracking and customization features, but AdWords Express is a worthwhile product too. As long as you understand the difference, you can make the appropriate choice for your business.

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