PPC

Should You Get Aboard the AdWords Express?

As a former participant in the Google Online Marketing Challenge, I love seeing small businesses get involved with pay per click advertising. While it’s not always guaranteed, pay-per click gives small business owners a chance to increase brand awareness and business leads — as well as compete against both large and small competitors, all at cost effective prices (especially when compared to other advertising media). With that said, I was excited to see that Google launched AdWords Express– a new tool aimed at helping out small business owners. However, after reading through the official Google blog, I have some concerns.

Concern 1: How is Success Being Tracked?

Unlike launching an AdWords campaign, AdWords Express doesn’t let users track conversions. So while it may be great to receive x number of clicks, small business owners will have no way of knowing if these clicks were valid or led to conversions.

Concern 2: AdWords has full control.

According to the post, “After you sign up, the campaign will be automatically managed for you.” While this is a huge convenience to small business owners who may lack the time to manage Adwords campaigns, I have some major concerns with giving up full control. Imagine what you could be matched to, how your budget would be managed, etc.

Concern 3: AdWords Optimization
According to Google’s post “AdWords Express optimizes your ads to get the most out of your advertising campaign and budget.” While I like that AdWords is helping optimize campaigns, I question how they are optimizing them, as nothing is mentioned on their approach. Additionally as many PPC Managers will attest to the way Google optimizes ads does not always lead to the client’s desired results.

Concern 4: Adwords Matching
Google’s post says, “AdWords Express will figure out which searches should trigger your ad to appear and displays it when these searches happen.” In order to set up targeting, small business owners will have to enter up to 2 category descriptions. As users are entering in categories, their choices could result in broad categories which could lead to high & possibly irrelevant clicks or specific categories which could lead to low clicks and the impression that online marketing doesn’t work.

Concern 5: Adwords wants Small Business Owners to Write Ads
As any PPC advertiser will tell you, writing PPC ad copy isn’t always easy. Having said that, I question why AdWords Express wants small business owners to write their own ads, especially without giving them any tips, tricks, or basics that only professional advertisers would likely know. For example, if you don’t know PPC, how would you know to include a CTA within your copy?

Concern 6: Mobile & Desktop Targeting
The original post states, “Customers can see your ad whether they’re searching on laptops or mobile phones.” As mobile and desktop user intent often differs, I don’t like that Google automatically opts businesses into both.

To conclude, I love that AdWords Express is reaching out to small-business owners using a friendly and simple approach. It’s a great way to introduce them to the power of online marketing. However, based on my above concerns, I definitely question their approach, especially being that you can’t change any of these settings. That being said, I would still recommend the old fashioned way especially as there are plenty of webinars, help centers, & blogs such as Alyssa’s Easy to Fix Mistake suggestions to help you out along the way!