Google Ads vs Google Ads Express: Which Is Better for Your Business?

By Joel Tiemeyer |

Google Ads vs Google Ads Express: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Google Ads is an excellent way to advertise your business. It allows you to show ads to people who are looking for the services that you provide. It excludes those who aren’t interested, also. You only pay when someone is interested enough in your ad to click on it. Using Google Ads, you can find qualified customers who want what you are offering and looking to buy right now.

Google has provided two different platforms to access Google Ads, the full version and Express. Google is marketing Google Ads Express as a quick and easy to use version of Google Ads. With this version, you can get started right away and not need to spend time managing the campaign. How do you know which version of Google Ads is right for you? Here you will find a short introduction to the platforms and information on how to go about making your decision.

PPC

Google Ads Express

Pros:

Google Ads Express is very easy to set up and run. It requires only four simple steps and 5-10 minutes to complete. You can get started right away. Google will do all the work of location targeting and keyword selection for you. Because Google handles all of the keyword targeting and ad text automatically, your campaign requires very little on-going maintenance. You don’t need a website to set up Google Ads Express. You can send people who click on your ad to your Google+ page, also.

Cons:

While Google Ads Express will choose the keywords and location targeting for you, this means that you don’t have any way to tell if keywords or locations that Google Ads is using aren’t working. In this scenario, you invest on people who will never become your customer. You are also not able to convert Google Ads Express campaigns to the full version of Google Ads.  If you ever wanted to upgrade to the full version, you would have to start over from scratch and recreate the campaign anyway.

Let’s take a residential HVAC company as an example. You choose your category of HVAC, but that means that your ads will also show up on search terms like “commercial HVAC” or “industrial HVAC”, services that you don’t provide. Your ads will also show up on terms like “HVAC” which have large numbers of people searching for them, but are very vague and the people using them are unlikely to convert.

Online Advertising

Google Ads Full Version

Pros:

Google Ads gives you complete control over your advertising experience. You can determine exactly which keywords you want to bid on, how much you want to bid on each keyword, and you can write all the ad copy. You can evaluate these things over time and make decisions based on what is working for you and what is not.

If an ad is not producing the same number of clicks or conversions as another ad, you can remove it and test something else instead. If a keyword is bringing a lot of traffic, but it isn’t producing any sales, you can remove it. On the other hand, if a keyword is bringing you a lot of sales, you can bid even more on it to make sure you maximize the value you are getting from it. The full version of Google Ads also allows you to create different ad formats, such as image or video ads through the Display Network, as well as the standard text ads through the Google Search Network.

Cons:

The full version of Google Ads can be overwhelming. There are many targeting and management options for keyword lists, geographic targeting, ad copywriting, bid management and budgeting. It can be difficult to know where to start and what is most important to start. It also requires on-going maintenance to get the most out of the platform, up to 5-15 hours of work per month, or even per week! You might not have the time to be able to do this yourself, or not be able to afford to hire someone to do it in-house.

Marketing

To summarize, the Google Ads full version is the clear winner if you can use it to its fullest potential. It provides you full control over every facet of your ad campaign, so you can decide exactly which search terms are getting you the best return on your investment, which ads are performing best, and what bid strategies will work best. This means a higher ROI on your advertising spend.

Google Ads Express is helpful if you are starting out with Google Ads and have a very small budget. However, Google Ads Express does not drive as much business as Google Ads. In addition, you might waste ad spend on not valuable search terms. It can still be a useful platform, but you will want to move up to the full version as soon as you can.

If you have some extra budget and want your Google Ads campaign to be as effective as possible, there is another option. You can consider an agency to run your Google Ads campaign for you. It will cost you extra to run the campaign, but it will give you peace of mind that your campaign is being run by professionals who spend their whole day working in Google Ads and have already learned how to deal with many of the pitfalls that you can run into when you are just starting out, so that less of your ad spend is being wasted on people who aren’t interested and won’t become your customers.