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How to Differentiate Google Ads and Google Smart Campaigns?

Google Ads

The best decision you will ever make as a business owner is advertising on Google. Like any other advertising platform, you will have to learn the ups and downs associated with Google. Now, after choosing Google to run all your business advertisements, the next step is to choose between Google ads and Google smart campaigns. The Google smart campaigns were initially referred to as Google AdWords Express.

It’s common to reach this point and get confused about what can work well for your business. Before making your preferred choice, you need to be well acquainted with what you are doing and the results you will get at the end of the day. Since many people experience challenges when it comes to deciding between the two, this article has come to your aid!

Read this blog post to learn about the difference between the two and understand the best choice that suits the nature of your business. Let’s get started!

The Difference Between Google Ads and Google Smart Campaigns

Google ads give you total control over your ad campaigns, beginning with the ad text, keywords choice, schedules, location, and bidding, among other activities necessary for completing the process. You take charge of all the ad operations until you get results from your ad campaigns.

On the other hand, you only need to set up your Google smart campaigns account and create a single ad. The next step is to select the category of your business and your stipulated budget that is enough to facilitate the process. After setting up your account, the Google algorithm plays a greater role in helping you target the right audience searching for what you are offering.

In addition, when using Google smart campaigns, you can see the kind of keywords that Google chooses for your ads, but you do not have the ability to change them. However, you can make a few tweaks, such as selecting the best target audience, among other basic variables closely associated with your campaigns.

Given that you are responsible for managing your Google ads, you need to pay a lot of attention and invest much of your time to get good results. This is contrary to Google smart campaigns, which require little attention since the Google algorithm performs the most important task. The smart campaigns need a few minutes of your time to review a few basic points offered by the platform.

The smart campaigns can be compared with the adage of set it and forget it. The main difference between Google ads and Google smart campaigns comes in when aligning the goals and objectives of your business. Google ads only offer a few standard goal types and the freedom to monitor and evaluate their performance.

Also, before choosing what is likely to work for you, evaluate the mode of conversion tracking to ensure that it aligns with your business objectives. When using Google ads, there is a custom conversion tracking which gives you a lot of control room for your ad performance. With Google smart campaigns, the conversion tracking is done for you and delivers the final process report.

Advantages of Google Ads

When using Google ads, you are free to choose between different types of ads depending on what works well for you. There are also other extensions that you can install on your computer for ease of ad management. In addition, you can choose between text and video ads based on what your audience prefers and the type of content they can easily consume.

With Google ads, you enjoy a comprehensive data reporting system that you can use to generate custom metrics that suit your needs. The availability of custom metrics makes it easier for business owners to align their campaigns with the objectives of your business. The process is simple since the necessary data points are readily available, and you can collect them at any point.

When you set up a Google ad campaign, you can utilize different keywords, such as the main and negative keywords, for optimization purposes. By choosing the keywords, you will understand exactly what you need to display to your audience and how you want it to appear to your target audience. A specific set of keywords gives you enough room to optimize your campaigns and get better results.

Disadvantages of Google Ads

Even though Google ads guarantee better results, this does not mean that it does not have their downward side. Creating an ad campaign with the best-structured ad in accordance with the required metrics is a difficult task. Creating an ad campaign is too long and complicated, thus wasting much of your time. You need to be an expert in this field to create an ad that can generate reputable results.

In addition, there is minimal room for automation when using Google ads. Since the platform doesn’t utilize machine learning in its operations, it is difficult to navigate and automate processes, thus calling for an individual familiar with how the platform operates. This makes it difficult for newbies to navigate through the platform.

Advantages of Google Smart Campaigns

Google smart campaigns are straightforward to set up since you only need an average of fifteen minutes and are ready to hit the ground running. The process is simple and straightforward, making it easier for anyone to set it up and run their campaigns. In addition, you don’t have to waste time managing and monitoring the performance of your ads since everything is done for you.

The Google algorithm takes part in helping you choose the most appropriate keywords for your ads depending on your outlined target market. Given that Google manages every aspect of your ad campaigns, you also have to give it enough budget since it will consume it depending on how it facilitates its activities.

The time it takes to check your ad performance is entirely up to you since Google performs all the essential work needed for your ads to perform better. You don’t need to worry about the performance of your campaigns since the Google algorithm covers all the essential elements you need to work on.

Disadvantages of Google Smart Campaigns

When you choose Google smart campaigns, you are automatically limited to one type of ad, which will be presented across different platforms to attract prospects. In addition, you are only given one ad to facilitate all your advertisements activities, and you do not have any opportunity to create and display an additional ad. However, Google updated the ad from time to time depending on the changes that have been recorded across the target market.

Google smart ads do not allow A/B testing since you cannot make any changes to the ads created by Google. It only gives you access to a few data points, thus limiting your chances of exploring the entire market audience to attract more customers. This is mainly contributed by the fact that you only have limited control over the ads.


The main difference between Google and smart ads depends on your freedom in managing your ad campaigns. If you have enough time and you would like to monitor your ad performance and make regular changes, you can opt for Google ads. When you do not have enough time and want to diversify your products across your target market without your availability, go for Google smart campaigns.  As a business owner, you don’t need to hire someone to take the responsibility of monitoring and managing your Google smart campaigns since Google performs everything on your behalf.

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