Is Adwords Express Better Than Adwords for Local Businesses?

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In a recent survey of 300+ online marketers and business owners BrightLocal found out the truth about AdWords Express performance and how it compares to normal Adwords – i.e. does it drive positive ROI for local businesses?

For those who don’t know what Adwords Express (aka AWE) is, check out this in-depth guide to Adwords Express.

The result of the survey is clear: AWE doesn’t deliver same value as normal Adwords. And it fails to deliver on it’s objective to help local businesses win new customers.

The reason for this failing at the heart of the service – simplicity. In fact too much simplicity.

Let’s explore the key findings of the survey and analyze the main issues.

57% of Marketers Say Adwords Express is Not Effective at Driving Traffic

78% of Marketers Say Adwords Express Delivers Low ROI

88% of Marketers Say Adwords is More Effective than Adwords Express


It’s pretty clear that marketers have not been impressed with the results they get from AWE. Both services utilize identical text-based ads and similar ad placements in Google, Google Maps, etc. So why does Adwords out-perform AWE?

When they created AWE, Google stripped out a ton of features that business owners found confusing and were a barrier to SMBs embracing Adwords. This created a service that made it quick and easy to start advertising in Google. Great, right?

Actually, no. The by-product of making AWE so simple is that it removed almost all the levers marketers use to optimize ad campaigns to deliver ROI-positive traffic. So SMBs are left with a service that they can understand but doesn’t deliver the cost-effective leads their businesses thrive on.

More Data, Pros & Cons, & Best Practice Guide

So Adwords trumps Adwords Express, that is crystal clear.

But still 8% of marketers say Adwords Express outperforms Adwords, so there must be some merit to the service.

Check out the full survey findings, detailed pros and cons, and best practice guide to using Adwords Express on


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image provided by BrightLocal. Used with permission.
In-post Photo #1: Image provided by BrightLocal. Used with permission. 
In-post Photo #2: Image provided by BrightLocal. Used with permission. 
In-post Photo #3: Image provided by BrightLocal. Used with permission.