Difference between Adwords and Adwords Express

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AdWords is Google’s advertising tool that helps businesses grow their venture online. Part of its success, however, depends on how much time and effort you put in managing it. Because not everyone can afford to spend time to really focus on it, Google has released AdWords Express with automatic features. It also targets small businesses. The management style, however, is not the only thing that differentiates one from the other.

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Payment Options

Both AdWords and AdWords Express require you to pay only when a potential client clicks on your ad and visits your website. How much bid you set is entirely up to you. For highly optimised and popular keywords, be ready to shell out a significant amount.


AdWords entails focused and active management. You need to allocate 5 to 15 hours a week to create and oversee your ad campaigns, as their success greatly depends on your management efforts. It’s your responsibility to choose a campaign structure and keywords, write ads, set bids and create display ads. Optimisation falls on your hands as well.

AdWords Express offers automated management, which means you don’t need to spend as much time building your campaign. Although you need to set it up, AdWords Express will take care of the rest, and ads can be up and running in no time. Since most small business owners take care of a lot of things, AdWords Express handles an additional role that is often time-consuming.

Website Requirement

A website is essential in AdWords, because the online ads will be linked to it. This is one way to introduce your business to potential clients. You can use Google Sites to create one for free, or you can link to Google My Business instead. What makes a website essential is it enables you to create ads that contain more than just text. You can use video formats or banners that are either animated or static.

AdWords Express does not require a website, which is why it is suitable to small businesses with fewer resources. Without a website, all ads are text-based when they appear in Google or Google Maps. You can also direct the ads to your Google+ page, which serves as an alternative to a webpage.

Ad Format

Since a website is necessary to run AdWords, ads don’t have to look boring and plain. As previously mentioned, they can be made with animation, videos and other features that might boost branding. Without a website, AdWords Express is limited with text-based ads. Integrating advanced ad formats is not possible. Then again, your potential client only needs your business’s contact information, nothing else.

Where Ads Appear

When using AdWords, you get to choose when and where your ads are displayed, and who will see them. They can even appear on other related websites, providing you with a wider audience reach. For this to be effective, however, you must carry out market analysis. Think like your customers and understand their online behaviour. You can then set your campaign accordingly.

In AdWords Express, Google automatically sets your campaign reach based on your location. Since this determines where your ads will be displayed, your campaign will only appear on a limited number of other related websites.

Adwords and Adwords Express may differ in a lot of things, but at least they have similar features where it really matters, such as payment options and geographic targeting. Both platforms are also available on mobiles, showing your campaign ads for people on the go.


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