In a nutshell, AdWords Express in the pay per click industry is viewed as a scam by Google on small business owners touting how fast you can be up and running in AdWords and additionally let Google run your ads because you’re too busy and cannot understand the complexities of AdWords Standard.
It is a bait and switch because Google AdWords Express does not have the enhancements and features that increase your ad Quality Scores that are available to all AdWords Standard users. You are giving Google control of your money and they will take as much as they can for the least amount of ad exposure.
I can help get your account set-up and running and show you the key indicators you need to monitor and the tricks to improve the performance of your Google AdWords account. Then going forward you have questions, concerns or want some account suggestions you call me or call Google AdWords at 1-866-2GOOGLE. Google has massive call centers for AdWords. It isn’t rocket science and once you get the hang of it it is kind of fun. AdWords Express keeps you locked-down and worried because you have no control.
AdWords Express does not let you add your own keywords. It chooses whatever keywords it wants and you can only pause keywords. AdWords Standard shows you which keywords convert best for you and worst for you so you can pause the worst performing keywords that may waste your budget and raise bids on high Quality Score keywords where you pay less than your bid. With AdWords Express you cannot shut off the Search Partner network like you can in AdWords so you are probably losing money every month.
You are not allowed to have different bids for different keyword match types, there is broad, broad-match, phrase and exact. Google is giving you a barebones system so you can’t make improvements because they are spinning Express as a huge time saver to small business owners who don’t have the 5 hours a week to optimize and improve the account.
You are not allowed to have 2 ads running for the same set of keywords so you can test which ad works best. You have no access to promotion extensions which would let you put a coupon code in the ad. You cannot add a review extension which lets you put and print or newspaper reviews in the ad.
My bidding strategy is to use one only available in AdWords Standard which places you on the first page (usually the bottom) but only bid up to a certain maximum bid you set yourself. You determine what your preferred cost per lead is and in AdWords Standard, you can see how well you are meeting that goal.
In AdWords Express there are far fewer ad extensions which allow you to expand and add more text to your ad with things like callout extensions which is just a way to communicate benefits of your business to searchers, site link extensions which are blue hyperlinks under you add that link to different pages of your site other than your landing page or the opportunity to see exactly what searchers are typing in to Google and either add them to the account or create a negative keyword if unrelated to your business so you don’t show and waste money.
So if faced with the choice between Google AdWords Express and Google AdWords Standard, choose the standard version.