AdWords vs. AdWords Express: What’s the Difference?

Google launched AdWords Express in 2011 as a simple, automated alternative to Google AdWords for managing local pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns on Google. Essentially, AdWords is designed for small, local businesses that don't want to invest a lot of time and effort into managing their Google PPC ads. Though easy to use, AdWords Express does have its disadvantages.

Oversimplication: Unlike Google AdWords, a Google AdWords Express campaign can be set up in just a few steps within a matter of minutes. With AdWords Express, there's no need for time-consuming keyword analysis or researching bid prices. However, without conducting these kinds of research, your PPC campaign isn't likely to have the same kind of finesse as a better researched campaign.

Local Targeting: Traditional AdWords allows you to literally draw the reach of your local campaign. With AdWords Express, Google automatically sets the local reach of your campaign based on your geographic location. As a result, your reach could be too broad or too narrow. Also, AdWords Express is only for local campaigns, as it will only allow you to show the ad to users within 25 miles of your location. If you want to run a national campaign, you'll need to use AdWords.

Bid Automation: AdWords Express automatically sets and adjusts bid prices depending on what categories you've chosen for your business. However, as AdWords Express categories aren't terribly specific, you could end up bidding more on a less targeted campaign.

Limited Tracking & Reporting: AdWords Express only tracks clicks and impressions. With AdWords, you get full reporting with clicks, impressions, phone number leads, contact forms leads and much more, providing you with much more insight into the performance of your campaign.

For more pros and cons of AdWords and AdWords Express, check out this infographic:

While it's understandable that a simple-to-use, automated, cookie-cutter online advertising solution would be attractive to many time-strapped small businesses, it simply does not offer the refinement options of traditional AdWords. This could make all the difference in your pay-per-click campaign.

If you're trying to decide which online advertising program is right for your business, please consult with CyberMark. Our PPC experts can further explain the advantages and disadvantages of each program and how they could potentially affect your business. Contact us for more information at

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