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Any decent PPC marketer these days will swear by Google Adwords’ name, as it undeniably one of the most powerful channels for online advertising, most likely owing to the fact that it is tied to the only search engine that matters to people.

However, there is a chance that you have recently come across something called Adwords Express being touted as a good alternative. And you start to wonder – what is this Adwords Express and how is it different from Google’s Adwords? To make this article clear, we will just call Adwords Express as AdEx.


AdEx in a Nutshell

For those who value brand loyalty, there is no need to worry. AdEx is also a Google product. It is merely targeted at a different segment. Google describes it as an advertising service that reduces the need for micromanagement, making it a lot easier for novices or busy individuals to handle compared to the main ad service.


Differences Between Adwords and Adwords Express

The biggest difference between Adwords and AdEx is that the latter is specifically designed for companies that have very little experience with online marketing, particularly those who don’t even have a website. Google has designed AdEx to require as little maintenance as possible and will not require constant management.

  • The breadth of scope also differs between the two. Whereas the main service can target customers from anywhere in the world, AdEx is limited to targeting users per city, state, and country. In this way, it is clear that the niche is geared more towards local businesses. Large businesses that need to engage customers all over the globe will be severely limited by the AdEx version.
  • The Campaign Management for AdEx is automated, making it a “shoot and forget” type of advertising as marketers hand control over to Google. While there is nothing wrong with this as Google knows what they are doing, large businesses would prefer the main Adwords service because it gives them more control and customizability.
  • The tracking and reporting tools AdEx is also limited, as it has none of the additional tools provided to main Adwords users.
  • The ad formats for the Express version is also limited. Businesses who want to take advantage of image ads, video ads, and other non-standard ad formats will have to move to the main version.
  • …And then there is also the requirement for a website. AdEx will accept users without requiring proof of a website. Whereas the main ad service will require users to submit a website and will undergo a verification/approval process.
  • Finally, Express touts the ability to set everything up within 15 minutes.


Which One Should You Choose?

As made clear in the previous examples, the choice will depend on your budget and needs. Express will be suitable for people on a limited budget, while the main service is for people who have the resources. This comes with the catch that the more expensive service will be more powerful and customizable.

The good thing is choosing one does not necessarily mean you are excluded from the other. In a way, AdEx serves as a trial version of the main ad service. It is perfect for new businesses who want to get into online advertising and get some leads but lack the confidence and experience needed to dive straight into Google’s main ad platform. They can try the Express version first, then move onto the main service when they are ready.

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