Note that there is a difference between AdWords and AdWords Express. Here is a comparative glance of the two products from Google:
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Both products allow you to expand the number of times and places where your business information appears. You may also use targeted messaging in your ads to attract and engage prospective customers.
The main reason to use Google AdWords Express is if you have no experience managing pay-per-click (PPC) accounts and don’t have the desire to learn the program. AdWords Express is an ideal choice if you’d like a more low-maintenance option. For example, if you want to utilize PPC marketing to take advantage of the online market but don’t have a website or the time and resources to manage a regular AdWords account, AdWords Express would be a great option for you. Google will take care of the management.
In order to create a Google AdWords Express account, your business must be claimed on Google+ Local (Google Maps). Google may have already claimed your business (in which case, you can verify your business with a phone call). If you do not see your company on Google+ Local, you can claim your business, and will receive a verification postcard in two or more weeks. When you claim your business, you must select categories (up to five) that are related to your business (Agriculture, Computers, Marketing etc.). While you have the option to choose a category that is not generated by Google, it is best to select Google-generated categories. The number of ads you are able to write is based on the number of categories you selected for your business on your Google+ Local page. For every Google-generated category you selected, you can write one ad.
Creating Your AdWords Express Account
1. Go to https://adwords.google.com/express/.
2. Since you have an existing Google+ Local Business page, you will be taken to the screen below.
3. Select the location for which you would like to create the ad (for businesses with multiple locations). Click Continue.
4. Select an ad category to create your ad. *Note: The categories for your ads are based on the pre-populated categories you chose in your Google+ Business page listing. If you would like more categories to choose from, simply edit your Google+ Business listing to include more of the pre-populated categories provided by Google.
5. You can direct clicks either to your website or your Google+ Local page for your business if you do not have a website.
6. Choose your average daily budget and the radius where your ad will be shown. Click Continue.
7. Enter your billing information and click Continue.
8. Choose your payment method and click Continue.
9. Congratulations, you just created your first AdWords Express account! You will now be redirected to your AdWords Express dashboard that shows you how many people have seen your ad, clicked on your ad, how much you’ve spent on your ad and you can make any necessary edits to your ad or budget.
Another noteworthy feature currently only available on AdWords Express is the ability to have your reviews from your Google+ Local page included with your ads. Google automatically includes an extension on your AdWords Express ads to include both your business’ Google reviews and your map location. Your company must have reviews on its Google+ Local page in order for the review extension to appear. If your business has received positive reviews, this can help greatly with conversions. Here is a great example:
Google AdWords Express can also be a valuable research tool. With this program, Google automatically runs several variations of your ads that are typically precisely targeted to your location and business. This will give you a better idea of what keywords are being searched in your area.AdWords offers more robust advertising options and more sophisticated controls. If you have the time and resources to manage your own AdWords account, you have the control your keyword selection and bids, target locally and nationally, receive advanced reporting and take advantage of different ad formats (video ads, animated ads etc.).