Google’s AdWords Express, a search engine marketing service, aims at providing small businesses with faster and simpler ways to advertise online. The program is geared towards local businesses that aren’t already AdWords advertisers, to help them create effective PPC campaigns without the need for daily management, and to avoid any overwhelming feelings that often come when you first start advertising online. By tapping into the larger segment of local businesses, AdWords Express is able to help a lot of small businesses that are on tight budgets with limited marketing resources. In less than five minutes, you can create an ad, with minimal guess work from the often complicated PPC campaigns associated with traditional AdWords. If your business is looking to use an effective search engine marketing tool, here are some things to consider when you’re deciding between AdWords or Adwords Express:
AdWords Express Features:
-Create ads for each distinct business category with multiple ads that can be created specifically for each category, and divided for a given budget.
-Be alerted of any issues with billing and account information through their alerts and payment management system.
-Link your Google Analytics with your account to monitor user experience with ads.
-Choose exactly where you want to promote your business geographically.
-Access on-the-go with the app.
-A recently redesigned dashboard with ad performance stats front and center for easy access and use.
Choosing AdWords over AdWords Express
While signing up for AdWords Express will automatically create an AdWords campaign for a business, you’re dependent on Google to automatically optimize and serve the ads. This eliminates the need to have standard AdWords expertise, but also has some serious restrictions.
On the surface, AdWords Express appears to be a viable alternative to AdWords, but delve a bit deeper and it starts to look more and more like a starter kit designed to pull businesses toward the AdWords platform. Some of the top level AdWords features that Express simply cannot provide are the functions that make it worthwhile to invest in AdWords.
1. Point users to the right landing page
Typical Internet users decide quickly to stay on a website or move on. When users click on your ad, they should arrive at a landing page clearly displaying the information or product offered in your ad. If users don't immediately find what prompted them to click on an ad, they're more likely to leave the site without converting.
Unlike AdWords, Express doesn't allow users to include specific keywords that directly relate to the specific theme of your ad group and landing page. This limits a business’ ability create an effective call-to-action and specially designed landing pages.
2. Ad extensions
Ad extensions expand a standard text ad with one or more lines that provide additional information such as an address and phone number (location extensions and call extensions), more page links (ad sitelinks), and product images (product extensions). There is no additional charge for including ad extensions in your ads. Instead, businesses are charged for each click on your ad that leads to your site, even if those clicks are on product images, additional links, or other features in the ad extensions family. This can greatly increase the effectiveness of a campaign. However, Express doesn't allow for this option.
3. Cost per click
While it is true that AdWords Express allows you to control what you spend on your monthly budget, it doesn't allow you to regulate the cost-per-click. Google provides recommended budgets based on the category you picked. You can also set a custom budget, starting as low as $50 per month.
However, this doesn’t allow you to control cost-per-click. For example, Bill owns three music stores in Michigan. He sets a $100 budget for each store. Assuming his monthly budget doesn't change, Bill's total spend for the calendar month would be $300. While he may have an established budget, Bill has lost the ability to define a cost per click limit. If he only gets three clicks on an ad, his cost-per-click is $100. If she used AdWords, Bill could set a limit on cost per click.
4. Ad ranking/positioning
The position of a keyword-targeted ad on search ad units is based on its ad rank, which is determined by a bid for that keyword or ad group multiplied by the matched keyword's Quality Score. To be promoted to a top position above Google search results, ads must exceed a certain quality threshold, which helps ensure that only the highest quality ads appear in top spots.
AdWords Express doesn't offer the capability to tailor keywords, so as a result there isn't an opportunity to adjust efforts to increase Quality Score.
5. Timing out
Ad scheduling allows you to specify certain hours or days of the week for AdWords ads to appear. For example, you might schedule your ads to run only on weekdays, or from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. daily. A Park Avenue plastic surgeon isn’t going to pull in any quality traffic serving ads served at 5 a.m. These type of random clicks don’t lead to business.
Again, there is no such option with AdWords Express.
What's right for your business?
A traditional AdWords campaign may be the best option for your business if you’re looking for more control and variation. However, if you’re a small business looking to get an “intro course” into PPC, AdWords Express can be effective. It’s important to consider all of the features of both, and seeing which will be able to best serve your company when it comes to their marketing goals.