Oct 25, 2013
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I'm not sure if this is the right part of the forum, but I'm always interested in articles with numbers and facts, and this is a topic I knew about but hadn't done any testing with personally.

For those not in the know, there's an option to promote a Google My Business page directly through adwords... kind of a pay per click lite for business owners that don't have the technical knowledge to do it themselves or the budget to bring someone else in to do it for them. It's been years since I've done adwords work, but even back then competition was stiff and the cost for mistakes was high. I'm not surprised to see a simplified program also being less effective.

Here's the article.

The too long; didn't read version:
in a survey of over 300 SMBs and local SEOs:

88% of SEOs/SMBs say that AdWords is more effective than Adwords Express

78% of SEOs/SMBs say AdWords Express delivers LOW ROI

57% of SEOs/SMBs say AdWords Express is NOT EFFECTIVE at generating traffic

30% of SEOs/SMBs say they tried Google AdWords Express but it was unsuccessful for them

Obviously it's just a survey instead of a discussion of real case studies, but still interesting I thought.


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
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I talked to a client today who uses AdWords Express. Analytics is showing he is getting clicks from all around the globe from his "local" ads and also since you can't opt out of the Display Network he got hundreds of clicks from gaming apps that have almost 100% bounce rate.

Needless to say I don't care much for AWE.
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2013
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That's what I figured. After reading about it, I didn't even bother testing it with any clients. On the surface, I suppose it's nice to give an easier entry for low budget small business owners, but if it doesn't work... I think competition is just too stiff in most markets to give an easy solution that has any legs. That does seem strange though that they'd automatically put your ads in the display network... that's a pretty different beast to try and lump in.

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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In the very brief time that I tried adwords express for my home care business a few years ago, I concluded that I wasted approximately 100.000% of the money I spent on it. :mad:

And adsense advertising is a total waste for a local business, in my experience. Your mileage may vary.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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Don't do AW express unless you're in the business of giving money to Google. Those clicks are a waste. Spend the time to learn how to use the platform and target appropriately. If you decide to do AW express over actually optimizing your campaigns, then you're just being lazy and wasting money. Either learn how to use it, or pay someone to run it for you. Your return will be much better in the long run if it's optimized by someone who actually has a vested interest in the business. Google is in the business of making money for themselves, so they'll never create a campaign as good as you can.
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