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Adwords Express: Great name but a limited product.

Adwords Express (previously called Google Boost) highlights that Google simply do not understand what SME’s need. Google believe SME’s want a product which is easy for them to spend money on Google but from our 5 years experience, we know that even advertisers with the smallest budgets want full control over adverts, keywords and their advertising objective. Adwords Express does not allow this level of control.


Starting an Adwords account from scratch can often be daunting for a new business, especially one which isn’t internet savvy. Not so much easy peasy lemon squeezy as difficult difficult lemon difficult. It is in response to this that Google has launched its Adwords Express service.


Google launched their local version of Adwords last October as ‘Google Boost’, it was then re-christened as Adwords express in July this year. It launches with the premise of taking the strain out of online advertising for small owners advertising in their local area. The marketing video below will explain all:




How does it differ from the regular Adwords?

The way in which it differs that it is that it is a quick and easy service, designed for newcomers to online marketing or new businesses in general. What that means is that it has taken the basic aspects of Adwords and made it into an easy to use, quick and uncomplicated Ad program. The main difference and that which makes it such an express service, is that the advertiser does not upload any keywords.


To create a campaign all the advertiser needs to do is enter the following details; a category they wish to advertise in i.e. florists. Write a headline and a description for the ad text, set a budget and then decide upon whether the traffic should go to their website or their Google places page. Adwords in its most basic format.


It allows local businesses to target local customers in their area, whilst being competitive with other businesses in a similar market. The advertiser doesn’t actually need to have a physical business premises, however they will need to provide an address in the local area. This can remain hidden if they wish. Similarly to this, the advertiser doesn’t actually even need a website. The ads can go directly to the advertisers Google places page to show the physical location of the business.


The rebranding from Google Boost to Adwords Express would suggest that it wasn’t getting the desired amount of advertisers they’d have expected. This may be largely due to not having Adwords in the title and it may not have been recognised as an advertising service. Google are obviously very keen to break into the SME market and see this simple product as a way of doing this, in which hopefully the company will grow and expand their account into a fully fledged Adwords account. With greater understanding of the way in which ads are grouped and themes within their chosen market.


Is this really beneficial to small businesses?

In one aspect the service offers an introduction to the adwords programme and Search Engine Marketing in general. Allowing the business to see directly how much traffic would be generated via this form of advertising. However there are obvious drawbacks for the aspiring SME in that it doesn’t allow for the same analytical data as a proper Adwords account.


Unlike the service offered at Latitude Express, the Adwords Express package doesn’t offer a dedicated account executive in which to help grow the account. Also it doesn’t offers extensive keyword analysis on all accounts based on your market sector, helping to identify the best keywords for your business.


The product is a relatively good introduction to paid advertising however for those companies really looking to have a foot hold in their market they will find it very limited. The ad platform doesn’t allow for much optimisation and in that sense grossly restricts the growth of the account. Especially as it isn’t possible to carry out keyword analysis, an important aspect of any adwords account looking to grow and build on successful search terms. After all it is structuring an account around these search terms which often yields great success.


It would be very interesting to compare the average quality score of a Google Express account against an account managed an optimised by a specialist. We would expect it to be considerably lower.


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