What's the Difference Between AdWords & AdWords Express | Slim Digital

What is AdWords and AdWords Express? And Which One Should I Be Using?

October 30, 2017


AdWords and AdWords Express; What’s the Difference, and How to Use Them.


Watch our video on the subject from our Digital Marketers Meetup.



In case you can’t watch the video, here’s a summary of the presentation.

AdWords vs AdWords Express

AdWords has two platforms; the original AdWords and the easy-to-use AdWords Express. The difference between the two is that AdWords is so complicated that it’s usually outsourced to marketing firms. There’s a lot more you can do with it, but it’s just not user friendly.  With AdWords you can use all the different ad types it’s far more flexible and you’ll likely get better results if you know what you’re doing.

Whereas AdWords Express is simple; it’s the microsoft Wizard version of AdWords (you own personal Microsoft Clip, SLiM DIGITAL.) You can get it up and running really quickly. The wizard, takes you through the set up of your ads simply and quickly. You don’t need much experience to do it. And, there’s minimal on-going management.


One of our favourite features of AdWords is that it’s got a built-in keyword planner. This keyword planner is your ticket to targeted and cost effective ads.  With the planner you set can your parameters,  location you want to advertise, put in website URLs, including competitors, and finally put in keywords that you think people might be searching for.  AdWords  will then give you a large keyword list with all the info you need to pick the best ones.

What the keyword planner will reveal is the number of searches per month on average for those terms, and then the competition around those terms (on a scale of 0.1 being not much and 1 being super competitive). The aim of it is, once you get all these keywords that AdWords gives you, try and maximise your budget by picking the keywords with high searches but low competition.  However, more often than not, you’ll have to compete in the high search terms and high competitiveness scale.  This makes it more expensive but more effective. Once you’ve got the keywords, you put them into your AdWords Campaign, and write your ads.


AdWords Ad Writing

We always recommend doing a whole group of ads, with different variations. If you can put the keywords in, great, but the ads need to make sense.  That’s actually the key to SEO copywriting; having it fit the AIDA principle but also optimised for the search terms. Don’t just stuff your ads full of keywords, make it written by people for people. Do all the variations of the ads and over time test and adjust; delete the ads that aren’t working.

Don’t forget to use the AIDA Principle when writing your ads.  Try using the keywords in the AIDA format. For more info on AIDA, check out our blog here.


AdWords Express

AdWords Express is a lot simpler. Here is how the wizard takes you through AdWords Express.

  1. The number one goal, ‘What do you want people to do?’  Call your business? Visit you? Or take an action on your website?
  2. Where are your customers?
  3. Define the product or service.  This kind of takes over the keyword research that you’re doing in normal AdWords campaigns.
  4. Create your ad. Like the AIDA principle you have Headline 1, Headline 2, description, and then the URL, where you’re going to direct them, and it comes up on the right in the preview.
  5. Set your budget.  Once you set your budget you can see the reach of the ad.
  6. Then you’re done and it comes up in a dashboard.
  7. You have to do this process for every variation of an ad.


A reminder that AdWords Express wont allow all the ad types, like video ads.  It’s just the text ads. But it’s simpler to use.


All the best with your AdWords advertising, and if you need any help from Monica, drop her an email here.

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