AdWords vs. AdSense: 3 Things You Should Know About Each

googleOnce you enter into the world of Internet marketing, there are two words that you will continue to run across over and over again: AdWords and AdSense.

Like a lot of people, you might not be completely sure of what they even are, or the differences between the two, or how they can benefit you.  So, to clear the air just a bit, check out three things you should know about each before you make that dive into the Google Marketing Space.

Google AdSense

AdSense lets your site work for you

With Google AdSense, your site becomes your moneymaker. AdSense is best suited for sites that have a large number of daily visits. So, if you’re not to that point yet, this might not be a viable revenue generating option for you.

AdSense is set up so that when a customer visits your site, they will see a targeted banner ad either on the side or top of the web page. When a visitor clicks on that ad, you receive anywhere from $0.10 to $10, depending on the particular Cost Per Click (CPC) rate.

Targeted Ads

Banner Ads placed on your site are related to, and targeted towards, the content on your site. For example, if your site is for a local pet store, then you might see ads for obedience training or local pet adoption locations. This ensures that your ads will receive the maximum amount of clicks possible.


As a business owner you’ve probably spent a lot of time and money on the look and feel that your site conveys, and the last thing you want to do is place a banner ad that clashes with your site design. A great feature in AdSense is the ability to allow customization of the banners that will appear on your site. From font choice, to over 200 color options, you are in control of the ads that are displayed on your site.

Google AdWords

You become the advertiser

With Google AdWords you are in the advertiser’s seat. You create an ad to be placed on Google’s search network, which will appear when the person doing the search enters certain keywords. You are responsible for the copy in the ad, the keyword choice, and the landing page that the ad will direct them to. Google has some great tools that will help you create your ad and choose your keywords.


With AdWords you are in complete control of your budget. You set the amount you want to pay on a daily basis and there is no minimum requirement for your spend. You are able to control your daily budget, bids, and ad quality. Your daily budget should be set to an amount that you feel comfortable spending each day. You can edit your daily spend as often as you like. Bids are most commonly set up on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) basis. CPC determines the amount that you are willing to pay for each click on your ad when displayed by Google. The higher that you bid on a keyword or phrase the higher your position will be. Daily tracking on your keyword bids is crucial to the success of your campaign.


Keyword choice can either make or break the success of your campaign. Make sure you take the time to pick the right keywords or phrases to drive traffic to each campaign. In order to help you choose your keywords you can use the AdWords keyword tool. Not only will it give you suggestions on keywords depending on the subject of your ad, it will also provide you with some other useful information like monthly search volume, estimated average CPC, and local search trends for each keyword it suggests. Remember your keywords or phrases can either be broad, like dance studio, or they can have a more narrow focus, like toddler ballet classes. If your ad is broad in its message, choose broad keywords, and for an ad that is very specific to a product or service, choose narrow keywords.

Have any questions or comments about Google Adwords or AdSense? Let us know in the comments below.

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