4 Ways Adwords Express Is Draining Your Pocket

On a nice Monday morning, Rupert thought “man, this whole digital marketing thing is becoming a big deal with everyone telling me about it“. He searches on Google for what he could do and saw an ad on Adwords Express.

The ad said something amazing like “You serve your customer, and we will send you more“.

Awesome! Rupert thought.

He plugged in his credit card, setup the account in a matter of minutes by linking it to his website – because Adwords Express is extremely simple to setup.

Rupert never thought about it again but ended up bragging himself to friends that he’s a “techie” ?

Years passed and after 3 years, Rupert hired a new business development representative. At a previous employer, this representative worked with a “digital marketing guy” so she told Rupert how she saw Rupert’s wildly irrelevant ad on Google when she was researching and that she knows a teeny bit of digital ads. She said she wants to see the Adwords account.

You could probably guess what happened next:

Suffice to say, she was shocked!

Rupert had spent $379,973.03 since he started the account three years ago.

And it’s not like the business dev lady could see the conversions. So she asked Rupert if he consciously spent that much, and his answer was “I had no idea! But it’s not like we don’t have customers Jean ?”

She spent the next month evaluating their customers over the past 3 years, and she was able to pinpoint the source of about 80% of those customers are being referrals, partner referrals, or from a radio ad Rupert loved to do himself.

And at this point, you would think 20% came from Adwords Express, but there’s no way to know that for certain.

Point is, Adwords Express sounds great … in theory. But if you don’t carefully watch over it, not only will you spend more than you want to but you may not get any customers from it.

I mean, setting up a working and successful advertising campaign can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming if you are unsure of where to begin. So naturally, using Adwords Express is extremely appealing to individuals who are looking to launch campaigns with minimal participation on their end (typically due to a lack of knowledge). Guys like Rupert.

However, understanding how Adwords Express isn’t helping you and why it is essential to learn more about properly launching and monitoring ad campaigns of your own is necessary for success online in any industry today.

Lack of Control Over Keyword Selection

While it is appealing to some users, Adwords Express offers a serious lack of keyword selection control when launching new campaigns or selecting industries you want to reach. If you offer jewelry but want to specify the type of jewelry you make, it is not possible with Express–which may ultimately lead to wasting some of your advertising budget.

Express simply scans your website and decides what you sell.

Without having the ability to completely customize the keywords you want to target with a campaign, you are much more likely to end up paying for an increased number of irrelevant clicks and visits to your website. The more irrelevant users you receive on your website, the more flawed your metrics and analytic reports are likely to read once generated.

Using an alternative such as the original Adwords provides you with complete control over keywords you want to target so you are able to receive more accurate metrics about your visitors and their browsing habits relative to your website.

No Granularity Available – Only Broad Keyword Matches

Broad match? This may not make sense. What it really means is synonyms or variation of a keyword. If you sell “red running shoes”, and want to advertise just for that – it won’t work. You’ll end up showing up for “golf shoes”, “trainer shoes”, “ballet shoes”, “what foot should i wear a shoe on”… Broad keyword matches can be extremely devastating to both online and even local or small businesses. With Adwords Express, broad keywords are used when launching your ad campaigns. While this may sound ideal to expand the reach you have online as it did to Ruper, it can also cause users to believe you offer products or services that you do not.

One example of using broad keywords may include you promoting your online “t-shirt business in Chicago” using Adwords Express. Without having the ability to control and limit keywords, an advertisement for your website may appear for users who are searching for “T-shirt hangers in Chicago”, completely misleading those who visit your website. Without the structure of customization available from the original Google Adwords service, it is extremely frustrating when selecting keywords for an ad campaign that will not bring you irrelevant or disinterested users.

When you receive visitors who are not interested in your content or the products and services you provide, your website’s bounce rate will drastically increase, interrupting your conversion tracking and the metrics you are monitoring.

If you are interested in keeping a tight record of your site’s analytics and metrics, ensuring your advertising campaigns are as focused on your target demographic as possible is a key factor to keep in mind. When you are unable to receive accurate analytics and reporting it is also much more difficult to create and share relevant and engaging advertising campaigns in the future to generate leads for your business or website.

The structure of the original Google Adwords includes different keyword types such as broad matches, broad matches modified, exact match, and phrase match. Without having the option to select specific keywords, more of your advertising budget is wasted on irrelevant placement.

You Can’t Track Which Keyword Is Bringing You Customers

A lack of in-depth tracking is one of the main reasons individuals choose to learn more about the original Google Adwords. It is not possible to track the results of ad campaigns and specific keywords in-depth with Express compared to Google Adwords. Unfortunately, this interferes with conversion tracking and maintaining an accurate record of your website or online shop’s statistics and analytics.

This is where you find Conversions in the new version of Adwords


And here is where you find Conversions in the old Adwords interface


Tracking keyword performance and results from campaigns you launch is one of the essential elements of building a successful marketing strategy online. If you are unable to track where a keyword performed best while reviewing which advertisement provoked the most engagement, it is impossible to understand what works best for your audiences and potential customers. Without keyword tracking, you may be able to see your visitors coming from “Google.com”, but lacking information beyond the base domain name.

Additionally, if you are selling products and services online, tracking keywords and integrating conversion tracking is also a must. When you have data regarding which advertising campaign has ultimately generated the most sales or registered users on your website, it is much easier to hone in and get even more specific with your next advertising campaign.

Knowing which ads, imagery, and message copy works best with your followers or the demographic you want to reach is invaluable information that is necessary to continue growing and succeeding as a brand online. Without the ability to compare keyword performance and in-depth tracking, it becomes much more difficult to remain relevant to your online audience.

Unable to Exclude Specific Keywords of Your Choice

First, why would you want to exclude specific keywords? Because it allows you to “discover” what new words people are searching for relevant to your main keyword. For example, you’re a shoe store. But your neighbourhood competitor is “Shoe Expert” who actually repairs shoes. So when people search for “Shoe repair”, your ad may end up showing because of the word “shoe”.

So what you do is exclude “repair”, or “shoe repair” and still keep your keyword of “shoe” going. ?️‍♀️

It is not currently possible to exclude specific keywords from ad campaigns you manage with Express. Even if you have words in mind that you absolutely do not want included in ad campaigns or words that are not relevant to your business and brand, Express does not allow for this type of customization. Other advertising services including Google Adwords provides additional personalization options for each individual campaign you are launching, allowing you to truly resonate with individuals who are shown your ads.

Keeping specific keywords out of advertising campaigns is sometimes necessary for a business or brand depending on your name and the type of consumers you want to reach. Without the ability to fully customize the campaign you are launching it is impossible to get accurate results while also spending more out of your budget that is necessary.

Don’t Become The Guy Who Spent $120,000 A Year

Whether you are new to advertising online or if you simply want to have your ad campaigns managed, steer clear of Express and instead opt for the original Google Adwords or another ad-serving platform. Learning a bit about managing campaigns and keywords can ultimately help to reduce spending out of your advertising budget while ensuring you maximize your reach online with individuals who have a genuine interest in following your business or brand.

4 Ways Adwords Express Is Draining Your Pocket
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