Is Google Ads Express Worth It?

Google Ads Express– is it worth it?

There has been a lot of debate between Google Ads and Google Ads Express. Some people unfamiliar with Google Ads might lean more toward Express, only to find out they require much more to fulfill their campaign. On the other hand, Google Ads in itself can be a long, complicated process of tools and metrics to learn how to observe and then implement. In this article, we are going to discuss both so you can decide for yourself. 

Also, please note that Google Express is now called Smart Campaigns. In Google’s attempt to revolve their love for smart tech, AI, and overall takeover of marketing, Smart Campaigns is becoming an all-encompassing “smart” way to advertise without knowing too much about Ads strategy.

What is Google Ads Express? 

Formerly named Google Adwords Express, this is an option to advertise in a simple, less-involved way when wanting to display ads on the Google Search Engine. 

In a nutshell, Smart Campaigns (AKA Google Ads Express) is set up by you and then maintained by an automated system. The managing process of Smart Campaigns is almost fully run by bots and software. 

The types of ads can be similar to regular Google ads– not only words but also images, display ads, and Maps.

Standard Google Ads vs. Google Ads Express

To break it down even further, let’s explore both types of ad campaigns and compare their pros and cons.

Google Ads: 

These ads campaigns give you the control to manage, update, and optimize your account. This includes setting up ideal keywords, Cost Per Click (CPC), and more. You can even select negative keywords (words and phrases you don’t want your ad to show up for when someone searches Google). 

Ads Express: 

Smart Campaigns (Ads Express), as mentioned before, give up the management to technology. This can be helpful in some situations, but for the most part, you’re relinquishing control of your ads campaign to trust Google that they’ll do the best job with it. The most likely result is you’ll receive tons of clicks on your ads. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll obtain actual conversions. And more clicks on your ads mean more money you have to spend. But at the end of the day, if your paying for ads to get put out into the internet, don’t you want the most affordable and practical return of investment? The truth is, that likely will not happy with Google Ads Express. 

Pros and Cons of Each

At Owl SEM, we don’t really vibe with Smart Campaigns, to be honest. The truth is, having the human strategy and control to maneuver the direction of an ads campaign in accordance with business goals is super important. And let’s face it, automated machines can’t always create the best results when it comes to actually sell the goods or services. People need to understand where the offer is coming from, who’s behind it, and how they can benefit from it. 

Google Ads Express – Pros: 
  • Automatic Targeting. Google will target who to advertise to depending on the preferences you enter when setting up your account. 
  • It’s easy. You can set up the campaign, follow all the directions, fill out your credit card details, and be up and running in no time. 
  • Formatting. The ads will automatically be desktop, tablet, and mobile compatible.
  •  Scheduling on and off. You can customize when to turn your ads on or off. For example, if you have a larger inventory at a certain time of the week, you can schedule your ads to run days before, and then slow down at other days throughout the month. 
  • You don’t have to have a landing page or website set up. You can Google My Business profile on Maps and have your ads run, without needing an actual website first. 
  • Search and Display advertising options. Google search can show your ad when someone in your area searches for you. Google display can show your ad when someone’s previous searches are aligned with your offer and will pop up throughout their internet use. 
  • You can’t customize your own ads. 
  • It’s not easy to change target details, such as location, negative keywords, etc. 
  • Precision is basically out the window with Ads Express. You can’t get as detailed or exact as you might want to. 
  • It can get expensive! Since you’re not in charge of who, where, or what your ads are targeting every day, you can rack up a bunch of random, meaningless clicks, without actually getting any conversions. Each click costs money. So in this case, you’re wasting money. 
  • You won’t learn Google Ads. Since you’re not analyzing, changing, or interacting with the Google ads system daily, you’ll never learn the potential your business might actually have. 
  • Google’s interest is in getting as much money from you as possible. That’s why they’re happy to strip all the customization needed to get you the best ROI.

Google Ads – Pros
  • Control. You’re in charge. You take the reigns on your own campaigns and can monitor each one closely, every single day. 
  • Efficiency. DUH! If you’re the one running your ads, you get to make it as efficient or as outrageously excessive as you want. 
  • More ads opportunities. You still get to have search and display space, but you can also run ads on YouTube, smartphone apps, and more. Even better, you get to decide which platforms to advertise on!
  • Specific conversion targets. As we said, you can get as specific as possible with your own Google ads campaigns, so chances at conversion rates are much higher. 
  • Include and exclude locations. You can even prioritize your location down to the local zipcode. 
  • Negative – freaking – keywords. This is crucial for many campaigns and can save you a lot of money. You don’t want your ads for “moving truck company” to appear for web searches like “Toyota truck moving speed”. 
  • Opportunity for growth. The more you learn the formula and allow your team to keep up with current ad trends, the more you can navigate greater growth space. 
  • There’s quite a learning process to it. It takes a lot of curiosity, will power, brains, and research to figure out the sweet spot for running your own ads. It also demands a lot of trial and error. 
  • Room for error. With the unfamiliarity comes some risk of messing up. But, in our opinion, this is how you learn. 
  • Not as many initial views or clicks. Again, you probably won’t get as many clicks as you would if using Smart Campaigns. But remember, clicks cost money, so it’s not always about having the best stats. It depends on your goals. 
  • It can still get expensive. Yep, that’s just the harsh reality of advertising and marketing. 

Our Opinion? 

Yes, doing ads by yourself will require a learning curve. It takes time, patience, and sometimes many frustrated nights trying to strategize. But in the end, the more you use it, the better you get. With Express, you’ll never actually learn, because the computer is doing everything for you.

So is Google Ads Express worth it? No!! Not when you have an opportunity to work with us

Can Smart Campaigns be of value still? Sure– it all depends on what you choose is best for you. 

How We Use Google Ads 

By leveraging the power of AI, machine learning, and conversion tracking, we’re able to improve clients’ Google Ads KPI’s by over 300% on average after moving them from Google Ads Express! This is because we can tweak the campaign to the best potential for their situation. 

If you want to talk more about Ads vs Google Ads Express, schedule your free strategy call with us today. We’re Google nerds and campaign experts– let us save you from the Smart Campaigns downfall!

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