Google AdWords vs AdWords Express

3 min

Here’s why:

74.17 billion hits registered on Google’s domain in February 2020, making it the most popular domain

Google Ads is the largest search advertising provider in the market.

65% of Google Ads people click on contain buying signals such as the words buy, shop, and purchase.

Google offers two different ways to manage their advertising. Thus, we can talk about Google Ads (Adwords) vs Adwords Express.
So, which one is right for you?

What Is Google Ads Express?

Google designed AdWords Express for small and medium businesses. They wanted it to be easy to use, fast to launch, and simple to understand. Google AdWords Express offers an easy beginning for first-time advertisers and those new to keyword research. You can enter your business details, set a few categories, and the platform will do the rest for you.

However, Google AdWords Express has some disadvantages. Here are a few drawbacks of the service:

  • You can only promote one service or product at a time because you are only permitted one set of keywords and ads.

  • Google’s automatic management also removes the ability to manage your budget through simple tactics.

  • Conversion tracking helps you measure the results of your advertising. Google AdWords Express does not allow this option.

So, we think Google AdWords Express is a poor choice for many people. Let’s dig into some reasons Google Ads is a better choice.

Why Google Ads is Better Than Google Adwords Express

We can sum up our view in one sentence: Google Ads gives you the full set of features you need to manage your PPC campaign properly.

AdWords Express simply lacks the features you need to get results, manage your budget carefully, and track your online advertising.

There are at least five key features of Google Ads you need for effective digital marketing.

Different Ad Formats Help You Stand Out and Reach Your Audience

AdWords Express offers exactly one ad format: text ads in the search results. This basic ad format can launch a small digital marketing campaign, but it is very limited.

Google Ads let you set up ad formats to target different audiences. You can use video ads, animated banners, and expanded text adverts. YouTube ads might be the best format for your business, but you can only use them with Google Ads.

Limited Ad Placement Hurts AdWords Express

Google Ads allows you to place your online advertising on Google sites and across their display network partner sites. This gives you the greatest possible reach for your business advertising.

AdWords Express does not offer the same reach. Customers in the USA have similar access, but the reach of AdWords Express users in the rest of the world is limited to Google search results.

The diminished reach of AdWords Express will really limit your PPC campaigns and marketing efforts.

You Really Must Use Ad Extensions in Every Campaign

Ad extensions offer a 10-15% increase in conversion rates for Google Ads. Yet this powerful feature is not present in Google AdWords Express. Extensions help you target your PPC campaign by offering customers specific options for how to respond to your ad. Without this, your campaigns will not be as effective at driving customers to your website.

Negative Keywords Protect Your Budget

AdWords Express uses only broad match keywords. This approach matches any of the words in the user’s search with the keywords you are advertising. Sometimes, Google’s algorithms will get it right and produce excellent results.

However, experienced advertisers always use negative keywords in their PPC campaigns. Negative keywords give you control over when your ads will NOT show. Eliminating non-converting keywords is a basic part of good PPC campaign management.

Google AdWords Express sometimes gets results, but this will feel more like luck than skill.

Employing negative keywords through Google Ads helps you make smart, data-driven decisions about your campaign management.

Conversion Tracking

Google Ads supplies a tremendous amount of data once you get started. A key data point is conversions. You simply must know how many people click on your ads. This is the only way to compare how much money you spend with the results you receive.

AdWords Express does not offer conversion tracking. You receive limited reports about the number of impressions, which is how many times your ads have been shown. However, this data is not sufficient to make many decisions about how to refine your campaigns.

Why Choose AdWords Express?

There is only one reason to choose AdWords Express: speed. You can set up your Google Ads Express account in a few minutes, connect it to your website, create an ad, decide on your spend budget, and be running ads in just a few minutes. AdWords Express is ideal for those who want to launch new campaigns for a small business in a very short amount of time.

For everyone else, Google Ads is the better of the two platforms. Its services are better, its analytics are superior, and it gives you the ability to target, measure, and refine your campaigns to get better ROI when you advertise.

Let’s cover some tips for success with Google Ads in 2021.

11 Tips for Google Ads Success in 2021

For this article, we’re just going to touch on each of these tips. We’ve written a full guide to successful Google Ads. We’ve also produced a very clear tutorial for using negative keywords to boost your ROI and results.

So, to get you started, here is a quick overview of strategies for managing your Google Ads.

1. Target Search Intent in the Headline

Target customers who are shopping with a headline that mirrors their search intent. Include headlines that target the outcome and sell the benefits of your products and services.

2. Build Trust with Your Headlines

Use power words like “proven” or “effective” to provide evidence that your company is trustworthy.

3. Use Your Brand Name and USP

Don’t shy away from using your brand name and talking about your unique selling point (USP). Doing so builds brand awareness and creates trust.

4. Deals Are Hooks

You want people to read and engage with your ads, so create versions that feature deals like “20% off” or “Buy One, Get One Free.”

5. Text Ads Protect Your Brand

Running simple text ad formats around an important keyword related to your brand or primary product keeps your company on the front page of your industry.

6. Use Timers to Create FOMO

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) will make your online ads seem more urgent. This might be the difference between the customer spending money today or waiting.

7. Test Your Target Audience Call to Action Psychology

Design your ads to appeal to the ambitions of your main audience. Psychological triggers, such as enjoying freedom or feeling a sense of belonging, are powerful sales triggers.

8. Use Ad Extensions As Much As Possible

Basically, every ad should use extensions. Local traffic benefits from contact extensions. Adding site links creates more conversions. Use extensions as much as possible.

9. Pay Attention to People During Ad Setup

Ads created for algorithms don’t do well with people. Pay attention to how your ads look and feel for real people.

10. Dynamic Ads Reach Specific Groups

Using dynamic ads will capture more searches based on more keywords because Google can connect related searches to your landing pages.

11. Create Ads for Specific Locations

Geotargeting helps you control your PPC campaign budget by showing ads to people who are close enough to your business to buy products.


If you’re in a massive hurry, use Google Ads Express. If you want excellent results and a higher ROI, run a proper PPC campaign using Google Ads. Check out our guides and other articles to give you even more helpful tips.

Share this article!

Copy the link of this page
Copy URL to Clipboard
Share to Twitter
Share it on Twitter
Share to Facebook
Share it on Facebook
Share to LinkedIn
Share it on LinkedIn
Share to Email
Share it via email

Author of the article

DÁVID Szakács

PPC Expert

Since 2018 David’s been on a digital marketing mission - to smash ROAS. He’ll use science. He’ll use art. He’ll use experience and intuition. He’ll use psychology and advanced copywriting techniques - the language of persuasion. Whatever it takes to get inside people’s heads to connect the sales dots.

Do you want to sell more online? You’re in the right place. David’s got just what you need.

  • 4 years of digital marketing experience

  • Google Ads

  • Bing Ads

  • Facebook Ads

  • LinkedIn Ads

  • Google Analytics and Data Studio

  • Google Tag Manager

  • Copywriting

Serious online marketing for serious online sales