AdWords Express is a great way for local businesses to step up their game without any of the hassle that can occur when you use the standard AdWords service.
This makes it pretty much perfect for those who’d rather focus on running their business over advanced marketing campaigns.
The best part is the fact that your ads can be targeted geographically, which makes them appear when people search for your product or service niche within your area.
If you’re wondering how to unlock this marketing potential, then read on and we’ll show you how to weaponize it against your competition.
Getting Started With AdWords
Getting started isn’t nearly as hard as some people would think. It’s remarkably easy if you already have a Google account and most people can get things started in just a couple of minutes.
All you need to do is the following:
- Create an account with AdWords express, either with your main Google account or with one expressly created for this purpose.
- Choose your business on the Google listing and click “Advertise for this Business.” If you’re not already listed, then you’ll need to add your business to the listing.
- Select the area you want your advertisements to show up in, create your ad, and set your budget to get things going.
Sounds simple, right?
It really is, hence the “Express” in the title of the service.
Comparison to Standard AdWords
The main advantage offered to most people by using AdWords Express over AdWords is that it’s designed to be used by those who aren’t marketers. It really is pretty simple to get started and it’s a great way to increase traffic, especially for local businesses.
|Service Offered||AdWords||AdWords Express|
|Pay only for clicks||Yes||Yes|
|Good for Businesses Without a Website?||No||Yes|
|Ads on Google Search||Yes||Yes|
|Ads on Related?||Limited to US||Yes|
|Video or Other Format||Yes||No|
|Ad Targeting Ability||US: Anywhere|
Everywhere Else: 10-15 miles
As you can see, there are definitely some considerable differences between the two services.
In fact, you can even use both services together if you really want to, although there are definitely some problems such as cross-competition occurring.
If you opt to do this the billing will come in the same charge, however, which is great for everyone involved and makes things easier when it comes time to do your accounting.
Setting Up Your Ad
Chances are that if you’re using AdWords Express you’re a little bit new to the idea of any kind of digital marketing.
So, if you are, buckle up and we’ll dive into each aspect of these relatively simple ads in order to give you the competitive edge.
The Overall Construction
These ads are super simple, you don’t even have the option of graphic design or long and complex ad copy when it comes down to it.
Really you’re just going to be doing a quick description of your business so don’t worry too much.
The text at the top is your headline.
Most of the time, for a local business, you’ll just want to add your business name. You’re limited to 25 characters here, so there’s not much that can be done.
This is the bulk of the ad, and it’s limited to 35 characters per line.
Highlight your services here, or any special offers that you have running for your ad campaign.
You can also just put down your basic business outline, “Great Thai Food and Quiet Atmosphere” or whatever else you can come up with. Website URL
This will provide a quick link to your website, if you have one.
If you don’t, you should seriously consider it. Every business can benefit from having a professional looking website at their fingertips.
If customers are near where your business is, they can click on the pin and it’ll pop up and show them your location on Google Maps.
Easy enough to handle for most people.
Here you can list your phone number and address if you so choose.
I’d say that’s generally a good idea.
This vital information will show up on Google Maps, mobile, and desktop ads in order to let customers know where you’re at and how to contact you.
Stars and Reviews
This is, of course, outside of your control but people can review your business and leave comments. This will give you a star rating which will appear next to the name of your business when you’re running the ads.
Keep it quick and simple and you’ll be in a good spot. The 35 character limit can be something of a pain even for those who write ads for a living, but most people will be able to come up with something if they give it a little bit of thought.
Running Multiple Ads
This is where you can really step ahead.
There are quite a few reasons to run multipled ads for the same business:
• Advertising different products or services with your business
• Split testing for different advertisements
• Running multiple different discount offers while only offering one at a time.
You can set different advertising budgets and even websites for these. This is probably the ideal way to run split tests.
You can also run alternate ad texts, which Google will pick from fairly evenly until one starts to outperform the other. This is probably the quickest way to split test ads available.
Managing Your Ads
Once you’ve created and logged into your AdWords Express account, you can manage your ads in a few different ways.
Create an Ad
This is the dashboard from which you’ll create your ads.
It’s easy enough to create multiple ads, you’ll just run a budget for each of them and use the different texts that you’re planning on using to advertise your business.
The whole process is pretty self-explanatory and most people will get used to it quickly.
Edit Your Ad
From here you can change the text on your ads and access analytics data which will tell you how it’s performing.
You can also change the text of an existing ad from this location.
Delete, Pause, or Reactivate an Ad
Another self-explanatory option. If you find an ad is underperforming or you only periodically offer whatever its explaining then you can handle it here.
Pausing things keeps the ad from running until it’s reactivated, while deleting an ad removes it entirely.
You can view your performance reports, costs, and actions from this panel.
This will let you quickly take a look at the overview of your advertising campaign.
Using AdWords Express Effectively
Writing an effective advertisement is something of a specialized art.
Thankfully, however, you’re not writing long form copy here. Instead you just need to take a quick page from the book of David Ogilvy.
That is to say, keep things direct and to the point and present the facts in a straightforward manner.
Make a mental picture of your ideal customer, and speak directly to them with your ad text and you’ll be on the right track.
If you’ve got multiple demographics… run a few different ads and split the budget you were planning on using. This will help you reach out in the proper way for each person.
When you do things right, the people will come to your place thinking it was entirely their own choice.
Tracking Views and Actions
One of the most important things you can do is make sure that you keep track of how effective each of your ads is.
The best way to do this is to rely on Google’s reporting, which will tell you how often people call directly from the advertisement and how many times your ad gets clicked on.
Remember what we said about having a site earlier? Get on it if you don’t already have one. Those clicks are a valuable metric and can lead to customers later making a decision to utilize your business.
Google only charges for each action taken, but the cost can be unpredictable.
Namely, it depends on how competitive your business is in the area and what terms you’re appearing under. You actually don’t have control over that latter part, which is why it’s important to make sure that your business is listed properly within Google.
You can just set up a credit card payment or direct debit to pay off the costs as time goes on. Remember not to run over-budget!
AdWords Express may not be ideal for everyone, but for local businesses without their own dedicated marketing department it can make a nice alternative to more involved AdWords campaigns.
Give it a shot with a minimal budget if you just want to get your feet wet, you might just be surprised with the results.