As an Account Manager, I field many questions from clients about the services I manage, along with digital marketing questions in general. Recently a client has asked me about Google AdWords Express and I had to do some investigating to find out more about this scaled back version of the standard Google AdWords offering. More importantly, I was interested in seeing if this was, in fact, a good option and fit for the client and their online goals.
Google AdWords Express is an offering from Google that makes creating advertising easy. It automates everything for you and requires very little information from the user, a definite plus if you are a busy small business owner or you find the standard AdWords platform a little overwhelming and don’t have time to monitor daily.
However, there are many, many limitations to using AdWords Express. With everything being automated, there is a lack of customization and the results will differ widely from customized Google AdWords campaigns.
Let’s break down the benefits and disadvantages of AdWords Express.
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Unique Benefits of AdWords Express
1) Used Mainly for Local Area Advertising.
This service was mainly created to offer local advertising options and only allow users to advertise on a local scale. Ads will show up based on your physical location (IP address and GPS) or if the city was included in the search (Ex. Pizza Hamilton).
2) Wait a Minute…You Don’t Even Require a Website?
Although most small businesses have a website to fuel their online presence, not all businesses have one. Because AdWords Express is specifically for localized advertising, you can drive traffic to your local business listing instead of your business’ website.
Limitations that Impact Business and ROI
Having had the standard AdWords experience, the Express version definitely has a lot of shortcomings and disadvantages. There are some major differences in the two and to why I’d prefer standard AdWords.
1) Automation is not Always a Good Thing
You know your business and target market better than anyone…even Google. Not being able to choose the keywords you want to bid on that will capture the right people just seems like a head scratcher.
2) Local and Only Local
As mentioned in the benefits above, Express is only great if you have one business location. If you have multiple locations or wanted to target a customer beyond your neighbourhood, AdWords Express would not allow you to do so. Therefore, you’d be limiting the sales you can generate online.
3) Fewer Metrics & Reporting
Express will show you impressions, clicks, the average cost per click, and click-through rate, but what it doesn’t show you is the number of conversions that resulted from the ad. Knowing how many people actually converted (oppose to just click on the ad) is what you REALLY want to know. You have ultimately signed up for paid advertising to drive business and sales! AdWords Express does not track conversions so you can’t see how effective your campaigns are.
4) Tools and Research
The standard AdWords platform, unlike the AdWords Express, has a number of tools and research options that can aid in optimizing and continuously improving your campaigns and hello?! our business! These AdWords tools are extremely valuable in providing you insights on your performance. This way, you can remove any keywords that aren’t performing or put more efforts into those that are.
Advertising online is a great way to increase visibility, drive traffic and increase sales for businesses of all sizes. Other than it’s quick set up, Google Adwords Express isn’t the best option especially when you’re spending money to get results. Express won’t be able to give you the performance and tailored options you’d get from a standard Google campaign. So if you’re considering online advertising for your business, spend your money wisely and carefully decide on which option is best for you.