Google Adwords vs. Adwords Express

This is part 2 of a presentation transcript given to Snowsports Industry Association – the entire video can be found here: How to use Google Adwords

Adwords vs Adwords Express

We’re going to talk about Adwords versus Adwords Express. Adwords Express is not a bad solution if you will for small businesses who don’t want to manage a more complicated Adwords account. One of the challenges with Adwords Express is that you don’t have as much control over what keywords you bid on. You bid on categories.

For example, if you had a snowboard shop, and if someone searched on ‘Skis Denver’, and you didn’t sell skis, you might not be able to control that with Adwords Express. One of the reasons I always recommend Adwords because you could waste a lot of money as you can imagine if you only sold one type of product, and Google decided since you were a snowboard shop that you also sold skis whether or not you did. It’s one thing to keep in mind with Adwords Express so you don’t have keyword control.

You also cannot utilize negative search terms. Let’s say you were a ski shop but you did not sell cross-country skis. You could not add cross-country as one of your negative keywords. Another reason that I’m not a big fan of Adwords Express is that you don’t have keyword control, and the winner when it comes to keyword control is Adwords. Other options you get with Adwords are things like site links which we’ll talk about, tracking phone number that you can use in the ad, you have a bit more control over that, conversion tracking … You get a tighter conversion tracking with Adwords than you do Adwords Express, so Adwords is a clear winner there.

Let’s talk about cheaper clicks, because the impression I’ve heard is that some people think you can get cheaper traffic with Adwords Express. Not only do you have erroneous traffic going to your website, but with Adwords Express, what I found is that when I’ve investigated this and I was able to do an analysis with a personal injury law firm in Houston that was using Adwords Express, and we had an Adwords campaign running at the same time, I found that the Adwords cost per click in Adwords was slightly higher than it was in Adwords Express.

Adwords vs Adwords Express CPC

In this business, it’s negligible and even if you’re able to save in this case maybe 10% on the cost per click which I admit could be significant. However, if you’re getting 30, 40, 50, even 60% of traffic that is not targeted, I would argue that it’s a tie at best and Adwords is probably the winner.