Compare AdWords Express and AdWords

  • Compare our two advertising products, AdWords and AdWords Express, and find the best option for your business. We recommend using only one of these advertising tools at a time.
  • See the available advertising settings, features, as well as requirements for each advertising tool.

Reach potential customers at the moment they’re looking for a business like yours. With AdWords Express or AdWords, you can show your ads on, Google Maps, and related websites within the Google Display Network.

There’s no advantage to using both advertising products at the same time. Using both AdWords and AdWords Express can complicate your ad management and cause your ads to compete against each other, so we recommend using only one of these advertising tools at a time.

Compare products at a glance

  AdWords Express AdWords
Pay only for clicks Yes Yes
Automated management Yes No
Easy solution for businesses without a website Yes No
Ads on Google Search and Google Maps Yes Yes
Ads on other related websites Limited Yes
Mobile ads Yes Yes
Other advanced ad formats (e.g. video) No Yes
Ability to target ads geographically Anywhere Anywhere

Both AdWords and AdWords Express allow you to increase the number of times and the number of places where your business info appears. With either advertising product you can use targeted messaging in your ads to attract and engage potential customers.

Compare in-depth

Below, we describe both products to help you find the best option for your business. Click on either product name to read a brief overview.

AdWords Express


AdWords Express is an advertising option for businesses that want to get started quickly. It's ideal for business owners who don't have a lot of time to manage their online advertising.


  • Pay only when someone clicks your ad
  • Minimal ongoing management necessary
  • Advertise with text ads on Google and Google Maps
  • Reach customers in any geographic location that you choose

How it works:

You can use AdWords Express to advertise your website or Google+ page on Google or Google Maps. You'll write your own ad, and when someone searches for phrases related to your business, your ad can appear above or below the search results.

To get started with AdWords Express, you’ll set up a budget, and based on the type of business you have, we’ll come up with a list of search phrases that will trigger your ad and potential related sites where your ad can appear. We’ll continue to maintain and update your search phrases over time. Minimal ongoing management is needed, and you pay only for clicks that your ad actually receives.

Sites related to your business (U.S. only)

For AdWords Express advertisers in the U.S., your ads can also appear on websites with content related to your business. Find out more about where your ads can appear.



AdWords is an advertising option that gives you full control over your ad campaigns. You'll also have access to additional ad formats, settings, and features.


  • Pay only when someone clicks your ad
  • You choose your own keywords, set bid prices, and structure your account
  • Reach customers in any location that you choose
  • Advertise with special ad formats, detailed reporting, and ad scheduling

How it works:

When someone searches for your keywords on, Google Maps, and Google's partner sites, your AdWords ad can appear above or below the search results.

With AdWords, you are responsible for all aspects of your advertising campaign. You choose the keywords that can trigger your ads. You also determine a daily budget, how much to spend on each click, and where your ads can appear. You’ll pay only when someone clicks on your ad.

AdWords also allows you to show your ads on Google's Display Network partner sites, and offers other ad formats, such as video ads and mobile extensions.

Can’t decide?

If you’re feeling unsure about choosing between AdWords and AdWords Express, contact us via phone or email. We’ll help you find the product that’s right for you.

Next steps

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