Google launched the new feature AdWords Express early last week. Express is being promoted by Google as a simplified and easier version of AdWords for small business owners wanting to be found in the paid search results.
Google claims that setting up your account in AdWords Express will only take 5 minutes. Only basic information is needed, such as your business category, ad headling and description, budget, and selecting to send the user to a landing page on your website or to your Google Place page. If you don’t have a Google Places page, an added bonus is that this can now be set up at the same time as your AdWords Express account.
The benefits? AdWords Express encourages small business owners who may have been previously hesitant to start a PPC campaign by simplifying the setup process, and greatly reducing the need for ongoing campaign management.
The drawbacks? Google pretty much has full control and automatically manages the campaign by determining which search queries (keywords) will trigger your ads, as well as automatically bidding with your budget. Information such as Click Through Rates or lists of additional keywords being bid on is not provided. You will also not be able to set up conversion tracking, or have the option to create dedicated landing pages for specific ads.
I can see how AdWords Express would encourage small business owners to give online marketing a go, however, I am dubious about how effective these campaigns would be, with no conversion tracking and minimal ongoing optimisation.
Let us know if you have set up an AdWords Express campaign and if it really only took 5 minutes. I would also be interested to know about the quality of leads that have come through your online business as a result.