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1.  Google AdWords vs. Google AdWords Express

Posted Dec 21, 2016 15:59

Howdy everyone,

I have a quick question. I want to apply for a Google AdWords grant for my nonprofit. During the application process I realized Google now offers a Google AdWords Express option for customers who don't have a lot of time for account management/updates. I am wondering if this would be a good option for us seeing as I am the only Communications staff member. Any thoughts? Does anybody have a any advice/experience with this product?

Thanks so much in advance!

Justyna Krygowska
Communications Director
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Mahwah, NJ

2.  RE: Google AdWords vs. Google AdWords Express

Posted Dec 22, 2016 07:08

Hello Justyna,

It's not the case that you have to use one or the other. You can have a regular Adwords account, and an Express account. You need to ensure the Ad Grant budget ($329 per day) is split between the two. And you have to use the same username and password for both accounts.

It can be a good idea to run both, especially if your time's limited. Use the Express account to promote straightforward campaigns where you *trust* Google to make decisions on your behalf. But if you are advertising anything where the keywords would include topic-or-sector-specific jargon or you want greater control over who sees your ads, do that in regular Adwords.

Jason King
Freelance WordPress development and Google Ad Grant management
Carcassonne, France


Twitter: @jasoncsking

3.  RE: Google AdWords vs. Google AdWords Express

Posted Dec 22, 2016 10:52

In my experience Google has been a poor predictor of everything from keyword suggestions to bids. It's best you do your own legwork. In any case, you are now required to log in every so often to avoid having your account cancelled.

The process of finding the right keywords at the right price is a long, but not necessarily time-consuming process, especially if you have Adwords Express to help. Adwords Express also allows you to backup your work.

I found that there were certain things that I could do on Adwords Express quickly and easily, such as a search-and-replace on keywords, but there were other things that worked better online. An example would be override requests for Ads containing flagged words such as "abortion" or specifying Ads to display in a specific geographic area.

My recommendation is to begin with a few keywords, see how they do, and work from there. Always try to use up your budget. I would also recommend NOT using keywords that a Google search would render up your organization on search results anyway, such as the name of your organization. For example, I found that keywords including "women" for the organization Women's eNews meant creating long lists of negative keywords such as "dating" and "sexy." Considering the audience was mostly academic, I found "gender" to give a higher ROI.

Also, last I checked Adwords Nonprofit Grant accounts ads will not display on mobile devices, nor is it to be used for remarketing -- only for users searching on desktops. That may help to think about what people might search for while sitting at a desk vs a search on the run.

I hope this helps!


Ariel Jensen-Vargas

twitter: @webmamma5000
Skype: ariel.jensen.vargas

4.  RE: Google AdWords vs. Google AdWords Express

Posted Dec 23, 2016 10:27

Thanks so much Jason and Ariel! This is super helpful.

Justyna Krygowska
Communications Director
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Mahwah, NJ

5.  RE: Google AdWords vs. Google AdWords Express

Posted Dec 24, 2016 10:16

Hi everyone,
One correction to the discussion above - currently Adgrants does display on mobile.
The discussion is really interesting. After speaking with Google Adwords support I was under the impression that you have to choose between the two and managing Adgrants by yourself is recommended. Following this discussion I will now try to use Adgrants Express as well. 

Ben Carp
Embrace NGO