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Leveraging Google Adwords Express: A Guide for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

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Leveraging Google Adwords Express: A Guide for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Blog / Leveraging Google Adwords Express: A Guide for Small to Medium Sized Businesses
google adwords express

Leveraging Google Adwords Express: A Guide for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

It’s really no secret that you need a thorough advertising strategy, not only to succeed, but to stay relevant and afloat in the turbulent business waters of today’s world.

Furthermore, many businessmen have also realised that normal advertising just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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One needs to pursue online advertising with as much vigour as possible.

However, even when it comes to online advertising, things seem rather confusing at first. After all, how does one even know where to exactly begin?

Should you be saving your money in the short run? How much time does the overall process of running ads take? In this particular regard, a myriads of questions need to be answered.

In this regard, the platform of Google Adwords does seem to be a savior.

However, there is another platform, namely Google AdWords Express, that has become even more popular. In order to understand the difference between both platforms, rather than taking a stance of AdWords express vs AdWords, let’s take a closer look at AdWords Express and what it is.

What is Google Adwords Express?

What is Google Adwords Express

Being a simplified version of Google AdWords, you can be sure that AdWords Express (AWE) is much more suited to small business owners, as well as being more user-friendly on the whole.

Hence, getting business owners to use AdWords was quite the initial challenge for Google.

Additionally, this was because of the specific knowledge and time required to work in a cost-efficient manner.

And everyone knows that local business owners don’t exactly have a lot of time on their hands.

Basically, AWE saves you the hassle of having to manage a massive ad campaign by advertising your business to local customers online.

On that note, here are a few key facts about Google AdWord Express:-

  • In order to use AWE, you need to have an active GMB (Google My Business) listing.
  • AWE ads tend to appear at the same places normal AdWords ads would.
  • Running AWE requires an extremely minimum budget of around $1.5/day.

The difference between Adwords vs Adwords Express

difference between Adwords vs Adwords Express

When examining the differences between both the platforms, one most certainly needs to keep in mind the fact that it all comes down to the aspects of resources, time and ad formats.

With the aspects of time and resources, an AWE campaign is clearly superior to an AdWords campaign. In the case of the latter, not only will you have to put aside a few hours per week at the very minimum, but you will also have to probably hire an in-house marketing manager or an agency to manage the bulk of your campaigns.

In most cases, it’s a no brainer that only the companies who have the time to spare, end up choosing AdWords as a viable option.

With AWE, you don’t even have to worry about the management and maintenance factor as Google will take care of that as well.

All you need to do is fix a specific budget and let Google come up with the essential list of keywords based on your particular type of business.

With the case of ads, you can be sure of the fact that AdWords clearly wins here, with a wide range of options from A/B testing to creative landing pages or text ads as well.

However, this is mostly true for those businesses with large campaigns in general

In the case of AWE, having a website isn’t even a requirement. It will make sure that you have all of your text ads on the main Google page and Google Maps as well.

Even though AWE doesn’t have any advanced ad formats, you will still be able to write your own ads.

How AdWords Express can be used to achieve your business objective

Here, your number one priority should be to attract as many customers as possible.

Only then can you expect your business to boom. Here are a few vital ways in which you can use the platform of AWE up to its full potential:-

  • Make sure that you read all the “help” guides before starting out: No matter what happens, take some time out and make sure that you thoroughly got through the concise documentation provided by Google.
  • Be sure to limit your spending: For all the businesses that end up spending less that $500/month, AWE is an ideal option. Any more than that and you might just want to seriously consider switching to AdWords.
  • Definitely get your AWE account linked to your Google Analytics account: Not only does Google make the linking-up process easier, but there is also the fact that this enables you to take a closer look at the number of site visits as well as conversions.
  • Monitor keywords on a regular basis and get any poor performing items removed: Once you take a closer look at the performance data, it will automatically become easier for you to identify the areas that are performing poorly. Once this is done, all you need to do is untick them on your AWE dashboard. However, in order to ensure full efficiency on all fronts, be sure to do this on a regular basis.
  • Make full use of the aspect of free call reporting: In this regard, AWE has an excellent feature that enables you to both calls as well as clicks for your ads. This is done by inserting free call-tracking numbers into each of your ads. Pretty much the perfect way for you to get a good idea of just how well each of your ads are performing.
  • Remember to use AWE as a test bed and consider upgrading to AdWords: If you’ve used AWE for a while and find it successful, then you can be sure that you will have an even better chance of success with AdWords.

Benefits of Adwords Express

In this case, it is a tough match between AWE and Adwords.

On the one hand, it is an established fact that once you happen to have a successful AWE campaign running, you should probably consider switching to AdWords.

In this regard, it would not be far-fetched to consider the aspect of an AWE as a stepping stone to greater achievements in general. Perhaps that is the way it was always meant to be.

Even though AWE might lack a good ROI or overall precision with regard to goal setting, as compared to AdWords it is much quicker and easier to get started with.

Additionally, it is also extremely simple and straightforward to manage as well as being a good entry point for a PPC campaign.

However, the simplicity of AWE also ends up making it rather hard to deliver a promising ROI.

Its cost-effectiveness also ends up suffering due to the fact that it has none of the targeting and control features that are used to optimise Adwords.

Cost and ROI of implementing AdWords Express

Cost and ROI of implementing AdWords Express

Although the ROI as far as an AWE is concerned is not good, you can actually choose the cost by allocating a small budget depending upon the amount of money you wish to spend.

Only when someone happens to click or call through Google, do you end up paying. So in this regard, be sure to steer clear of any PPC advertising.

On the whole, the Cost Per Click aspect does tend to vary from time to time and is dependent on the following factors:

  • The potential result of a sale due to a click
  • How relevant your ads are to the search of your customers
  • Your rivals in the business and the amount they are spending

Ultimately, you need to keep in mind that a good amount of time and money needs to be invested if you are to learn how to use Google AdWords.

By all means, give AWE a shot, but also be sure to keep a tight budget.

Setting up your AdWords Express account

Here is an easy and concise way of how to go about setting up your AWE account:-

  • First of all, be sure to create an account with AWE. This can be done either with an existing or completely new Google account. The choice is yours to make. Just remember that it makes very little difference in the grand scheme of things.
  • Once you have chosen an existing business that has already been listed on Google, select the option of “Advertise this business”. On the other hand, if you are looking to advertise a new business, click the option of “Create new business”.
  • Finally, you will need to select the target geographical area for your ad in particular as well as choose a specific business category. After that, once you get down to writing the text of your ad as well as setting up a proper budget, you’re pretty much good to go.

Managing your AdWords Express account

Once, everything at the initial stages has been set up, a list of search phrases that are related and describe your particular service or product will be generated by Google.

Furthermore, they will be used to automatically promote your business as well as manage all of your ads for you.

Mind you, this is just the initial setup phase. Only after this comes the phase where your ads will pass the eligibility test of being able to appear on search results in Google, or even Google Maps for that matter.

As far as the latter is concerned, whenever a potential customer ends up searching for any related services or products, your ad has the potential of roping them in.

Also, your ad can even have your address and phone number to ensure that Google only ends up charging whenever someone happens to click on your ad.

This even gives you the freedom to cancel or edit your ad at any time.

Visibility of your ad

In this regard, it’s important to remember that Google uses a large variety of different factors in order to determine the twin aspects of when and exactly where to place your ads:-

  • Organic Listing: Even if your business does not appear organically in the search result of a customer, you can be sure of the fact that your specific AWE ad will still appear in the ad section alongside the results.
  • Specific Geographic Targeting: The moment those customers located in the geographical area that you listed start using your targeted keywords to search, you can be sure that your ad will appear in the search results.
  • Google Display Network: Certain sites that have a partnership with Google may also host ads that fall into certain business categories. Not only will these sites most probably contain relevant content to your ad in particular, but you can be sure that even a photo may be displayed on the partner site.
  • The aspect of Search Results: There are a great many partner sites of Google such as Google Images and Shopping, that will also display your AWE ads.

Optimizing your ads using Adwords Express

Adwords Express

After your ads have been up and running for a considerable period of time, now comes the aspect of certain adjustments.

This needs to be done in order to ensure that you increase your overall traffic as well as reach out to more customers. Here are a few select ways on how to go about it:-

  • A specific category that describes your business in the most accurate manner.
  • In the case of multiple categories, be sure to create more than one ad.
  • You need to ensure that you are targeting all of your ads as close to your geographical location as possible.
  • Make sure that you set up a comfortable budget that enables Google to provide you with adequate exposure.
  • Focus on creating an ad that not only describes your business in the most effective manner, but also makes you stand out amongst all of your peers in the competition.
  • Try and create a landing page for your website that fulfills all of the promises of your ad. That way, customers will be much more likely to stay.

Tips for obtaining the best results

Now this is quite the tricky question that has undoubtedly been lurking in the minds of every single marketer out there – How does one go about getting the best possible results when it comes to ads?

On that note, here are a few valuable pointers on how to go about the process of creating highly successful ads:-

  • Make sure that your ads have a hint of professionalism by ensuring spelling, proofreading, grammar and accuracy.
  • Offering certain incentives such as exclusive offers, discounts and specific deals always help.
  • Be sure to highlight specific key features of your business/service or products in order to make you stand out from the herd.
  • With the use of strong verbs, inform your customers of the ways in which they can take strong action.


  1. What’s the main difference between AWE and Adwords?
    Ans: Basically, Adwords is an online advertising platform that enables you to attract customers with the help of customised text, products ads and images as well as organising PPC campaigns and ad targeting. Whereas AWE is an automated advertising solution that even with the lack of advanced features, requires substantially less ongoing maintenance as compared to AdWords.
  2. Can I switch from AWE to Adwords later on?
    Ans: Yes you most certainly can. If later on, you feel that the latter option is more viable for you, all you need to do is give the AdWords team a call, and they will help you in making the switch.
  3. How do I locate the ‘Keywords’ tab in AWE?
    Ans: There is no ‘Keywords’ tab as such. However, you can make the necessary changes in the specific search phrases that your ad is showing for.
  4. Can I add negative keywords to my account? How does one go about it?
    Ans: As long as you choose a relevant category, AWE will prevent this from happening in the first place. However, if certain search phrases don’t turn out to be a good fit for your business, all you need to do is remove them.


All in all, it is safe to say that AWE is like a prelude to AdWords which happens to be the real deal as far as roping in more customers, increasing ROI as well as general traffic to your site.

In its essence, AWE was generally designed by Google to make things as simple and easy as possible for all of the business owners to use.

Hence, in that case, there is a significant lack of any particular features or controls that can help businesses get a positive ROI.

You can say that AWE poses a bit of a dilemma, being easy to use, but not being able to deliver ROI at a satisfactory level.

So I guess the ultimate question is, should you use AWE?

Well, by all means, if you are just starting out as a company/service and can’t afford to set aside a substantially large amount of money for an AdWords campaign.

However, after a certain amount of time, once you have mastered the ways of using AWE and generated a decent amount of revenue, it’s probably time for you to make the switch to AdWords.

So what do you think? Do you feel that AWE will work out better for you that AdWords?

Please put your thoughts in the comment section. If your suggestion is good, we will add it to our article list.


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