Knowledge Base

What’s the Difference Between Adwords & Adwords Express?

If you’re ready to venture into the world of Google AdWords advertising, you’ll have a decision to make: AdWords or AdWords Express? If you’re not sure, we’re here to help you understand the difference between the two.

Both versions allow you to reach potential customers on Google, market on mobile devices and the ability to target geographically. But they differ significantly when it comes to user control.

AdWords Express

Most AdWords Express features are designed for small, local companies with or without a website, and this platform is ideal for business owners who don’t have a lot of time to manage online advertising. It offers easy setup and is a convenient way to quickly setup online ads, which you’re only charged for if someone clicks them (Pay-Per-Click or PPC).

The user sets a budget and based on the type of business you have, Google will identify a list of keywords that can trigger your ad. Google also maintains and updates the search phrases, so minimal management by the business owner is necessary.

Ads can be targeted for a specific area around your business, or targeted to cities, states or countries depending on your advertising needs.

The ease of AdWords Express comes at the cost of some user control, including the ability to only promote one service or product at a time due to the allowance of one set of keywords and ads. It’s also limited in the keyword data provided, making it difficult to analyze the effectiveness and make improvements.

Adwords Express


The full version of AdWords is ideal for business owners who desire more control over their advertising campaigns and who want more features. Large businesses, e-commerce companies and those with websites and multiple landing pages are best using the full version. But all of its additional features make it more complex and time-consuming.

The user chooses daily budgets, keywords, bids, and creates the ads – essentially has full control over the account. If the user wants to take advantage of other marketing campaigns, this platform also includes display advertising and videos, and can be set to include Google’s Display Network partner sites like YouTube, AOL and others.

AdWords also offers in-depth analysis of keywords, along with detailed reporting of what’s working – and what isn’t – so that the user can make adjustments as needed. It also allows for specific geographical targeting, from state and city, to zip code and neighborhoods.

So which is best? It all depends on your needs. If you’re a small business looking for quick and easy online ads without a lot of additional detail, AdWords Express may be the right choice. If you’re a larger company or online only business that seeks deeper analysis and control, then the full version of AdWords may be the best advertising path to take.

Ready to set up an AdWords Campaign? Start here. Or get started with Express here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Sonia Kett says

    Express one can be easier to manage because there are few things to manage, but it is not as efficient as Google AdWords program. Express eats more money (in general) because all keywords are broad matched by default and there is no negative keyword (at least not manually). Another disadvantage is we can’t migrate our ads from Express to the AdWords.

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