Switching from Google Ads Smart Mode to Expert Mode

Jessica Kent

So you have started using Google Ads? It’s a great step to increasing visibility and brand awareness, but managing these campaigns alongside your SEO and online content can be a challenge. When setting up your Google Ads account, making the change from Smart Mode to Expert Mode could be the step you need to take to ensure the right investments are being made in your PPC strategy.

If, like most marketers or business owners, you would like a little more control over what you spend, how you spend it, and where you spend it then it’s time to switch to Google Ads Expert.

While Smart Mode is good for those who want a steady stream of traffic without all the complications, it does severely limit your ability to optimise ads, since all strategies set for auction bidding are handled by Google.

In this article, we will show you why making the switch to Google Ads Expert Mode is the best step to ensuring your PPC strategy sees the right investments and how Brave can help you manage it going forward.

What is the Difference Between Smart and Expert Mode?

Your Google Ads experience will differ slightly depending on whether you’re in Smart Mode or Expert Mode.

Google Ads Smart Mode

Google Ads Smart Mode is Google’s PPC “starter package” that simplifies its advertising platform for advertisers with smaller budgets or those who don’t consider themselves PPC experts. Every campaign in Smart Mode is a “Smart campaign”, which allows the user to choose their goals for their business and where they want to advertise. Then, Google uses machine learning to deliver real results tailored to those goals. This can be anything from phone calls, in-store visits, and calls to action on their e-commerce websites.

Google promises: “More customers with easy advertising!” And then: “Set up your online ad in 15 minutes and let Google do the rest.”

Most new Google Ads users will join Google Ads in Smart Mode, enabling them to run their campaigns almost immediately without having to conduct keyword research and craft ad copy. Essentially, all the advertiser needs to do to get started is tell Google about their business and Google will take care of the rest.

Google Ads Expert Mode

Google Ads Expert Mode offers access to the full range of Google Ads features and campaign types. Unlike Google Smart Campaigns, where your goals are limited to a small number of presets, Expert Mode provides campaigns with several goal types, as well as the ability to track leads and user journeys.

However, it is called “Expert Mode” for a reason. Yes, it gives advertisers more control over their bidding strategies and campaigns, but it sometimes can require more complex management. If you’re unfamiliar with the Google Ads Expert Mode, it can be a lot to take in initially – don’t let this scare you away! This mode is overwhelming because Google collects an abundance of data for you to use. If you can learn how to read this data properly (or find someone to do this for you) then your Ads account could transform your business for the better.


Some of the Best Expert Mode Features


Keyword Match Types

Unlike Smart Mode, Google Ads Expert lets you expand your keyword match types to more than just what Google calls “broad match”. Being able to utilise phrase match, exact match, and broad match across your campaigns gives you more freedom to show your ads precisely when you want, and decreases the likelihood that your ads will appear for irrelevant searches in Google’s hands.


Negative Keywords

Google Ads Expert mode allows you to include negative keywords to give you control over what you don’t want your ads to appear next to. Good advertising placement is equally about refinement, and Expert Mode’s negative keywords allow you to narrow down the relevant keywords and prohibit unwanted keywords from driving traffic to your business, ensuring every penny of ad spend is used effectively.



Extensions allow you to enhance your ads with additional information and features. You can insert a phone/call button to your ad for mobile users, add your location to inform users and create site links that occupy more space in the search results. Creating ad extensions helps your ads become more noticeable and can typically lead to an uplift of 15% in click-through rate (CTR).


How to Switch to Google Ads Expert Mode

If you’ve been using Google Ads Smart mode and you are looking to make the switch to Expert, then follow these simple steps:

  1. Once signed into your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Google Ads in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Select Switch to Expert Mode.
  3. Once you’ve switched to Expert Mode, you’ll be able to access the full Google Ads experience and create all Google Ads campaign types, for example, Search, Display, Video, App, and Shopping.


How Can Brave Help?

If you are already using Expert Mode and don’t seem to be generating results, or if you’re looking to start a campaign, we strongly recommend utilising a certified specialist such as Brave Agency. We are the most experienced and trusted PPC agency in Peterborough and are generous with our time advising clients on how they can get more out of their pay-per-click marketing budget.

Our PPC specialists have demonstrated to Google a high level of expertise, delivered measurable growth for each client and managed PPC campaigns with scalable budgets. We’re happy to evaluate your current account or even help you start a new one, and let you know if it’s a good fit for your business.

If you want to discuss your Google Ads account with us, feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to talk about how best we can support you.

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