If you’re wondering which is better for your business, AdWords or AdWords Express, I’m here to tell you definitively: choose AdWords.
AdWords Express is easy to set up, but the drawbacks of the limited service far outweigh the marginal benefit of a simplified enrollment process. In fact, the learning curve for setting up the full version of AdWords isn’t particularly steep by comparison. You can also get on the phone with a Google rep at any time of the day, and he or she will gladly walk you through setup for free. Someone from Google will even help you create your first campaign.
With the extra effort of setting up the full AdWords service, you get a far more powerful platform without all the limits imposed by AdWords Express. For example, Express enables you to market only one product/service for your business with a single set of keywords, and you have minimal control over location targeting.
Additionally, with AdWords Express, you cannot change the keywords that Google selects for you. In other words, Google has the ability to charge you for sending potentially unprofitable or even irrelevant traffic to your website. Although Google’s systems are built to detect and minimize misguided traffic, it is highly beneficial to have control of the keywords with which you advertise.
But What’s the #1 Reason to Choose AdWords Over AdWords Express?
The best reason to opt for AdWords is simple: Analytics.
Google Analytics generates statistics about a website’s traffic, and provides detailed data about the conversions and sales that occur on the site. Because Analytics tracks how visitors behave on your site, you gain insights into which ads and referring sites drive profitable customers. Knowing what’s lucrative for your business helps you to make smarter and more valuable choices, and allows you to divert resources from campaigns that aren’t worth your capital.
While there is a way to connect Google Analytics to AdWords Express, the limited data offering is viewed through your Express Dashboard, not the more robust Google Analytics environment, where statistics can be put in proper context with other pertinent information. Moreover, within the Express Dashboard, there is little you can do to leverage the insights derived from Analytics data.
ROI-minded marketers should demand to see the full picture of how paid campaigns are measuring up. Which keywords led to more sales? Which combinations of ad and site content led to more profitable conversions? If someone landed on your site and left before visiting another page, could that user be brought back into your sales funnel with off-site remarketing?
As your business and AdWords experience grow, these more advanced Analytics deliverables will become increasingly important, and you’ll want the option to act.
Analytics Helps You To More Effectively Serve Your Customers
Ultimately, your goal is to create a conversion funnel, or a process that results in something you want to happen, like a sale or newsletter signup.
AdWords is just one piece of the puzzle that can help make that conversion happen, but without full Analytics integration, it is very difficult to know if it’s working effectively for you.
For example, just because you sell socks doesn’t mean that “buy socks now” ads alone are your best bet. It may be that an ad for “popular boot sock styles” that leads to a newsletter sign-up for the latest styles is ultimately more profitable for you. Analytics helps you think and act in terms of creating positive experiences to earn a lifelong customer, not just making a sale!
One Final Reason to Skip AdWords Express
Your AdWords Express campaigns cannot be migrated into AdWords at a later date. So when you start seeing success, become comfortable with Google’s platform, and want to do more by migrating your campaign into AdWords… Sorry, you have to start from scratch. So why not start with Google AdWords to begin with?