What is Google AdWords Express & Is it the Right Choice for My Business?
AdWords Express (AWE) is essentially a simplified version of Google AdWords (aka PPC ads, or paid-search ads)
Google has struggled to get small business owners to use Adwords because it’s complex. It requires both time & knowledge to make it work cost-efficiently, and small business owners are time-strapped folks!
Adwords Express (AWE) is specifically designed for small, local businesses. It has a guided set-up process that makes it quick & easy to get up & running with paid ads on google. A business can target potential customers based on interests, location & language in just 3 clicks and put their advert live in under 5 minutes!
Sounds too good to be true. Is it? Let’s find out…
Here are few key facts about AWE that you should know.
1. Businesses need to have a Google My Business (GMB) listing
To use AWE a business needs to have an active Google My Business listing. When you create an AWE campaign you first select the business’s GMB profile & then create the ad campaign. Once your campaign is running you can see top-level results displayed in your GMB dashboard & can click through to your AWE dashboard to see data on views, clicks & keywords.
2. Where do Adwords Express ads appear?
They appear in all the places that normal Adwords ads appear – at the top of Google Search pages, on Google Maps pages & across the Google partner site network.
AWE ads also look identical to normal Adwords ads, so there’s no telling them apart.
3. Is there a minimum budget & duration for running Adwords Express?
The minimum budget is very low – approx $1.5/day or $45/month.
You set a daily budget and Google converts this into a monthly amount. So your campaign will run for 1 month with your ads displaying each day until your daily budget is hit.
At that point your ad stops showing until the next day when your daily budget renews.
AWE also provides a guide to what your competitors are spending & the maximum size of your market. This gives an upper limit to your monthly spend which varies for each type of business & location.
How does AdWords Express work?
Managing a business is already a full-time job -- advertising your business online doesn't have to be. AdWords Express is designed to make advertising your business a snap.
Getting started with AdWords Express takes just a few minutes: you write an ad for your business, decide on a budget, select the product or service that your business offers, and let us come up with a list of related search phrases. After the initial setup, AdWords Express manages your ads automatically.
When customers search for products or services related to your search phrases on Google, your ad is eligible to appear above or below search results. On Google Maps, your ad is eligible to appear directly on the map or beneath the search results. You have the option of including your business address and phone number in your ad as well. You'll pay only when someone clicks your ad, and you can edit your ad or cancel your advertising at any time by visiting your AdWords Express account.
Advantages of AdWords Express:
- Quick to set up – It only takes about 15 minutes to set up your account and get a campaign up and running. You will need a Google My Business page first, though, so make sure you do this before jumping in.
- No keyword research – Arguably the most time-consuming aspect of a traditional AdWords campaign, keyword research isn’t just unnecessary with Express – it’s impossible. Express does all the keyword work for you.
- No prior SEO or PPC knowledge needed – You don’t need any existing PPC or advertising knowledge coming in. Express is designed to do all the heavy lifting on your behalf.
- Free to set up – You’ll need to put in a budget in order for your ads to run, but there’s no cost to use the tool itself.
Who Should Use AdWords Express?
AdWords Express is designed to make advertising on Google accessible to everyone.
But does that mean everyone should use it? Definitely not.
Because it lacks the flexibility and control of traditional AdWords, Express is best reserved for smaller, local businesses or businesses with smaller budgets. Organizations with few staff resources (to manage the account and learn the ins and outs of AdWords) may see benefit from the tool as well.
Even then, smaller businesses should proceed with caution and you may want to consider hiring a PPC consultant / agency to help you with a more robust traditional AdWords account instead.
They can do your keyword research, configure your campaigns, and provide or execute on instructions for management and optimization. You might stand to gain more with a more customized, DIY account than the hands-off Express approach in the end.