AdWords vs AdSense: Which One Should I Use For My Business

Google is one of the main reasons why we have moved past traditional advertising and jumped on board with digital marketing. It’s one of the biggest digital advertising platforms used for generating web traffic and building brand awareness. In actuality, Google offers more than one product for digital marketing. You may have heard of Kuwait digital marketing services leveraging both AdWords and AdSense, which are often used in the same context, and mistakenly interchanged. However, although under Google, they are both completely separate advertising platforms that should be used differently and correctly in order to reap maximum profits. Your business can benefit from Google’s advertising opportunities only when you fully understand both of its programs, and are able to evaluate the right pick for your website.

So, let’s break down the difference between AdWords and AdSense.

Now more commonly known as Google Ads, AdWords is a system that lets businesses or advertisers bid for advertising space on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and the Google Display Network. This network includes all Google-affiliated sites and apps.
AdSense on the other hand, is a system that lets publishers and website owners sell advertising space to businesses. These publishers make up a good chunk of the Google Display Network.

In simple terms, AdWords lets you run ads on Google whereas AdSense lets you make money from ads placed on your website. The former is used to buy advertising from Google, and the latter is used to sell advertising space on Google. So, businesses that wish to advertise their products/services can do so through AdWords by paying Google a sum that is in accordance with their campaign budget. Publishers then can use AdSense to monetize their websites by displaying those AdWords advertisements that are relevant to their content. They get paid every time someone clicks on the ad.

Finally, the processes Kuwait SEO firms use to set up AdWords and AdSense are different from one another. If your strategy involves using both, you will have to set up a separate account for each. Signing up for AdWords is pretty simple. All you need is your Google Account, and once you’ve signed in, you can start creating campaigns and begin placing your ads across Google’s advertising network. With AdSense, you’ll need to provide a bit more information, especially about your website. Once you’re registered with AdSense, you can choose the type of ads you want displayed on your website, and where exactly on your web pages you would like the ads to display.

Now that you know the fundamental difference between AdWords and AdSense, how do you know which one is the best for your business? Which one will give you the most returns?


With AdWords, you can place ads using two formats:

  • Search ads appear on SERPs and can be used when you’re confident that there’s demand for your product/service and that your audience is using search engines to look for it. This is only for text-based ads. The way it works is you pay a fee every time a visitor clicks on your ad. The cost per click (CPC) depends on the amount that you bid for the ad space, your ad rank compared to your competition, how competitive your target keywords are, and your quality score. Because Google evaluates online businesses on so many factors, it’s not necessary that the highest bidder always wins the auction on the most lucrative target keyword.
  • Display ads or banner ads represent the Google Display Network. Since they are more visual, they can be used to grab your audience’s attention when placed on sites that are most frequented by them. Here, you have the liberty to choose the pricing as per your goal. You may pay by cost per click (CPC) which is great for generating traffic, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) which is ideal for generating brand awareness, or cost per actions (CPA) which works best for conversions. A professional SEO company in Kuwait can help you determine the best option for your business. You have to bid for ad placement though, so it’s natural that the most popular publications cost the most. Here too, you bid on certain keywords, so if a publisher’s content has similar keywords, Google will sell their ad space to the highest bidder.

Although you are paying for it, there is no guarantee that your ad will appear on the highest positions of a page for a given search query. However, you can certainly use AdWords for local marketing by creating campaigns that specifically target users located in physical proximity to your business.


This is a great medium if you’re a publisher who already receives a lot of traffic and simply wishes to monetize off of it. Although you can choose the type of ads that are displayed and customize the ad’s style as well, you will have no control over how well advertisers craft the ads. And AdSense will not optimize ads for you either. What Google does do though, is take care of all the billing for you. This makes it really easy to sell ad space, and because it is sold to the highest bidder, you can be assured that you’re making as much money as you can at the expense of giving up your website’s real estate.

Essentially, as a “publisher”, you need to have a website and be willing to sell advertising space on it. However, it’s best if you’re only putting out regular content and don’t really sell any products/services. Remember, when visitors click on an ad on your website, you also potentially lose that visitor. Also, it’s best to designate advertising space for products/services that belong to a related industry as yours. Finally, your website will need to be reviewed and approved by Google before you can start using AdSense. Google only picks those websites to serve ads that have clear navigation, a good layout, and deliver high-quality, unique, relevant, and valuable content.

You can recruit a Kuwait online marketing agency to use both AdWords and AdSense for your business. But there are a couple of exceptions. For one, you cannot use AdWords to drive traffic to your website and aggressively place AdSense ads on it so that you can profit off of people’s clicks. AdWords only allows advertisements for products and services that actually exist. Secondly, AdSense does not allow placement of ads on the landing page of any website, which is the first page visitors see when they click on an ad. Violation of these rules can lead to a suspension of your AdWords and AdSense accounts.

Generally, most AdSense users can benefit from AdWords, but not all AdWords users should be using AdSense. For instance, websites that post affiliate marketing reviews, news, or blogs, can incorporate both into their marketing strategy. Say that you’re a food blogger. You can run ads through AdWords to build your following and increase views. At the same time, you can use AdSense to monetize your blog and display ads for cooking equipment and meal kits, which will be useful for your readers and won’t detract visitors from your recipes. The same strategy would not be applicable if you owned an e-commerce website. Ideally, you should steer away from AdSense to prevent driving traffic away and instead allocate your budget to AdWords in order to promote your products and attract customers.

While organic marketing can work wonders by itself, both AdWords and AdSense are incredibly useful tools that can help you promote your products/services to a well-defined target audience and make money off of your content-rich website’s real estate. While the advantages of both of these Google products are many, it can sometimes be tricky to evaluate the best option or the best combination of AdWords and AdSense for your specific business. If you’re still a bit unsure about the right campaign for you, contact us at Design Master today. We are a leading SEO service company in Kuwait that can help you implement effective strategies that will allow you to make the most of your marketing budget.

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