Smart Campaigns vs. Search Campaigns: What’s Smarter? Better? Faster?


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a tricky digital marketing tactic that many believe to be a ‘quick win’ to drive traffic to your website or get online lead generation started. While mostly true, the statement leads most business owners to believe that running a paid search campaign is easy and… quick.

I started some quick ads with some keywords and stuff. I’ve been getting so many clicks!

– previous client, in the BN* stage. (before-natalie*)

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Google Ads Campaign

What can be problematic about simply throwing keywords and ad copy together is that many Google Ads beginners do not quite understand the depth of the platform’s capabilities, so even if you’re running a basic campaign – you are hurting yourself by throwing things together without taking your available opportunities into consideration.

Google – is a business. Many operators forget this. Businesses need to make money to function. Google makes money by users using their product, aka being on it longer. So if they offer “smart campaigns” for operators to “easily” start up a “quick” campaign, you have to stop and question — what are they getting out of this?

Remember – you can have quick, easy, and good – but not all at once.

If you’re tinkering with a platform you don’t understand how to use – you’re going to spend more time on it. As a business owner, what do you have the least of? TIME.

So business owners often opt for the quickest option to “get it done” – and it’s frequently not the best choice. BUT nobody wants to pay someone to do something that they believe they can do themselves.

And here’s the thing – digital marketing is not rocket science. (Why do we keep using that term?) – but it’s very technical, always evolving and you have to pay attention to it, all the time.


And again, what do you not have? TIME.

However, I can appreciate the DIY perspective of the entrepreneurial spirit, alas – here I am – DIYing my own digital marketing agency after years as a specialist. I knew I could “just do it” myself.

But, I have the tenacity and I’m deeply engrained in the digital marketing network of resources and have spent years educating myself. *That’s right – self taught here.* I’ve spent a lot of time learning this.

Keep your time. Let an expert handle it.

Smart Campaigns vs. Search Campaigns : The Comparison

If you want to read more from the Google itself try this link –here.

If you’re like me – you skimmed that table and rolled your eyes. K. But what does it MEAN?

Short and sweet; it means you have far more flexibility by strategically building a well thought out paid search campaign by not buying into the smart campaign aesthetic. A smart campaign will get you clicks to your website. I promise you that.

But then what? Have you thought about the user’s experience afterward? Your hope is that they search “your company’s service” “near me” and choose you – and convert.


My dear, it is never that simple. I wish. Trust me, I wish it was. It’s also important to consider the quality of those clicks. Are they tangible interested bodies? Or are they browsers? Are they bots?

Are they just clicking any link that pops up first because their time is so precious they didn’t have a second to read that they accidentally searched for pork rub and clicked the first link to your STL style BBQ meat seasoning and sauce store versus the online hub of expressions of love that they thought they were getting themselves into..? I digress.

Yeah, you’ll get clicks. And you’ll pay for them.

TL;DR – skip the smart campaigns. Hire a paid search expert.

Let’s talk.

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