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Welcome to the Official Google AdWords Express Community
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Community Manager

FAQs - AdWords Express

Hi AdWords Community!


With so many advertisers signing up for AdWords Express over the past year, we often get questions about the differences between AdWords Express and AdWords, how to choose the right option for your business, and how to optimize once your account is set up. Here are some of the most common questions and their answers!


What’s the difference between AdWords Express and AdWords?


AdWords is an online advertising platform which lets you attract customers wherever they are online with customized text, image, video, and product ads. AdWords allows you to bid on a per-click basis and customize your ad targeting, letting you pick where and when your ad will show. It also gives you access to more advanced features, like remarketing and demographic bid adjustments.


AdWords Express is an automated advertising solution that serves the same effective ads on Google Search and other websites. It requires less ongoing maintenance than AdWords, but still delivers similar (or even better) results for advertisers. Once you pick your product or service category, write an ad, and set your daily budget, AdWords Express handles everything (including ad targeting) from there.




Should I use AdWords Express or AdWords?


It depends. But, overall, we often see that the typical business without a full-time dedicated marketer gets better performance with AdWords Express.


Both AdWords Express and AdWords let you make your business more visible to people on Google Search and partner websites, with the intention of having them visit your website or contact your business, and then become a customer.


AdWords Express is great if you have a small- to medium-sized business, especially if you don’t have a dedicated advertising person to manage your ad campaigns. With AdWords Express, your ad's targeting will be done automatically for you.


On the other hand, AdWords is great if you or someone in your company have the time and knowledge to invest in more advanced features like advanced bidding options, remarketing, or video campaigns.



How can I improve my AdWords Express performance?


Here are some tips to make sure your ad is set up to reach the right customers:


  • Choose the right product or service category. The category you choose affects the search phrases associated with your ad, so you’ll want to choose the most specific category available. For example, if you have a pizzeria, you should choose the Pizza Restaurant category instead of the more generic categories "Italian Restaurant" or "Restaurant."
  • Remove search phrases that don’t fit with your business’s goals. The product or service category you choose affects the search phrases associated with your ad. Going back to our pizzeria example, let's say "delivery" shows as a search phrase for your ad, but you don't offer pizza delivery. You'll want to remove delivery from your search phrases.
  • Refine your location targeting (make sure ads only appear in places that your business serves).
  • Experiment with your ad copy to help you stand out from your competition. Your ad should clearly describe your business, convey what differentiates you from other businesses, include a call-to-action, like “Order Now” or “Call Today,” and send customers to a relevant landing page.
  • Create separate ads for different product or service categories. If you offer multiple products or services, you might want to create different ads instead of using the same ad. For example, if you have a car dealership, you may both sell and repair cars. In this case, you’d want to create a unique ad for these different services so that your ad is as relevant as possible.
  • Provide a pleasant website experience. Your landing page should have all the information you promised in your ad, and your site should load quickly and be easy to navigate. Just as it’s important to include a call-to-action in your ad copy, you should also have a clear call-to-action on your website. If you want potential customers to call you, make sure your phone number is prominent on the landing page. If your primary goal is online sales, the “Purchase” button should be easy to find. If you want to drive visits to your brick-and-mortar store, consider featuring your address and a map of your location on the landing page.





Where is the "Keywords" tab in AdWords Express?


There is no “Keywords” tab in AdWords Express, but you can still see and make changes to the search phrases your ad is showing for.


When you sign up for or create a new ad in AdWords Express, you’re asked to pick a product or service category. AdWords Express will then generate a list of words or phrases related to that category, and use those to show your ad to the right audience. These are your search phrases.


So where can you find your search phrases? You can find your search phrases and their performance in your account dashboard.


If some search phrases in your category don’t make sense for your business, you can always remove them by following the instructions in the Search phrases help article, under “Remove or add back search phrases.”

How do I add negative keywords to my account?


AdWords Express automatically prevents your ad from appearing for search phrases that aren’t related to the product or service category you selected when setting up your account--so make sure to choose the most relevant category. As your ad begins to get views and clicks, AdWords Express will also automatically exclude search phrases that don’t perform well.


You can’t add your own negative search phrases to your account, but if some search phrases assigned to your category aren’t a good fit for your business, you can remove them by following the instructions in the Search phrases help article, under “Remove or add back search phrases.”




What if I start with AdWords Express and then change my mind? Can I switch from AdWords Express to AdWords?


Yes, it’s possible to switch between AdWords Express and AdWords down the line if you decide the other option is a better fit for your advertising needs. Just get in touch with the AdWords team by phone or email, and they’ll help you make the switch.


Have any lingering questions about AdWords Express? Post them below, or start your own thread to get more individualized help!



Jon_Gritton Top Contributor
March 2016
Thanks Cassie, a handy guide to cut and keep...

Om T
April 2016
Hello Cassie,

After reading whole post I understood that for a small business there is no need of AdWords express. They are fine with AdWords.

Thank you very much for letting us in detail.

CassieH Community Manager
April 2016

@Om T I'm not sure what you mean; AdWords Express is ideal for smaller businesses who don't have a dedicated marketing team.


If you have any questions, let me know and I'm happy to clarify!



April 2016
Very well written. Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!
Om T
April 2016 - last edited April 2016

@CassieH You are right, it's ideal for smaller business too, but I don't think so if we are operating smaller business, then we need the dedicated team and AdWords Express too. I am very much clear that we need AdWords Express if we don't have dedicated team to manage our AdWords account either that is smaller or larger.

Thanks for explaining.

Kelley S
May 2016
Can you use remarketing with Adwords Express?
CassieH Community Manager
May 2016
Hi Kelley,

Great question! At this time, remarketing is a feature that is only available in AdWords.

Hope this helps,
June 2016
Does AdWords Express limit the number of locations you can choose?
CassieH Community Manager
June 2016

@MDDSdentist You can add up to 15 separate location targets (city/regions) per ad.


Let me know if you have additional questions,

Todd C
July 2016
Dashboard data is missing from all my ads. It is now showing 0 views, 0 clicks, No activity, etc...
Please see this screenshot. No stats or data showing in dashboard
I have 3 ads running. One for 1 month, the second for 25 days, and the third for 4 days. The dashboards for all my ads are not displaying any data. This started 2 days ago. Prior to 2 days ago, I was able to see stats and data in dashboard for the ads.

I have tried multiple browsers.
I have tried changing the date range to all available options.

Is there something on Google's side preventing me from seeing stats in dashboard?