What is the Real Cost of Google Express? | Helium Marketing
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What is the Real Cost of Google Express?

If you’ve ever tried to work out how to boost your online traffic, chances are good that you’ve explored some of what Google has to offer. After all, Google are the gatekeepers of our online world and largely dictate what rules the rest of us have to follow (part of the perks of being the largest search-engine on the internet).


If Google are the gatekeepers, a Google AdWords account is your VIP pass and you can get access to those rewards in two ways: You can sign up for AdWords Express, or sign up for the full version of Google AdWords.

We often get asked what the difference is. ‘They’re both Google ad platforms – aren’t they basically the same?’ The short answer is ‘no’ and we’ll explain why.

A lot of small business owners go for AdWords Express because it is very hands-off. You sign up for an account, select a business category, write your ad, set the budget and let AdWords Express automatically manage it all for you. You’re only charged for click-through results, and budgets can be adjusted any time. Sounds pretty easy, which is a big plus for time-poor business owners and marketers.

BUT AdWords Express is also a very limited platform that misses out key functionality. Account holders don’t get the maximum value possible from their advertising dollar and they may end up paying for a lot of wastage. Even though Google Express seems easy (and cheaper than paying someone else to manage it), it doesn’t produce the same number of qualified leads.

The waste is mostly due to the fact that you can’t get specific with your keywords in AdWords Express. While you can choose categories for your business, specific keywords are then automated by Google and there is no way to change or edit those keywords. If, for example, your store sells board games, the most relevant category available to you in AdWords Express would be ‘games’. But, if you only sell board games, then a lot of the traffic that lands on your page looking for video games is useless to you. This kills your conversion rate.

To avoid getting useless traffic, you can use negative keywords. Specifying negative keywords allow you to filter out all the irrelevant traffic, so that you can accurately target the customers that are right for you. Used correctly, they ensure that the people who see your ad are looking for exactly what you’re selling, making your campaign more efficient. The full version of Google AdWords allows you to choose negative keywords, but AdWords Express doesn’t. So, if (as in the example above) your store only sells board games, using Google AdWords you could select ‘video games’ as a negative keyword phrase which means that your ad won’t be shown to people who are looking for a store that sells video games.

While the full version of Google AdWords can seem intimidating for novice users, it allows account holders to have more control over how Google spends their hard earned money. This means more efficient campaigns, more effective spending and, ultimately, better results.

Overwhelmed with Google AdWords? Interested in how it all works? We can manage your Google AdWords account for you so that you can see results as soon as possible. Send us an email, or give us a call to chat further.