This weekend, DejanSEO noted Google may have stepped up its promotion of its simplified SEM offering for small businesses, AdWords Express, in Google+ as a way to “get more followers.” AdWords Express has now been around officially since July 2011. However, it has seen a number of changes and refinements.
Google initially rolled out this particular pitch in December, as we covered on our sister site Marketing Land:Is Google Using AdWords Express Budgets To Promote Google+?
But now, small ads or promotions are appearing in Google+ pages:
Google is apparently trying to cross-promote AdWords Express and Google+. The company is suggesting Local Google+ pages as AdWords Express landing-page substitutes for SMB websites.
Mike Blumenthal captures some of the improvements in a blog post this morning. He said they include a new targeting radius (up to 40 miles), better self-service UI, better explanation around where ads will appear and the ability to preview those ads in context.
In poking around to see if any of the changes were documented, I found this interesting chart comparing the differences and features of AdWords Express, AdWords and Google+ Local Pages:
Google hasn’t released any official numbers on how widely adopted AdWords Express is among SMBs. The company has been struggling for years to get more SMBs directly involved in paid-search through a self-service platform. Many local agencies and small-scale search marketers, however, have complained about the product’s cost and keyword targeting capabilities as more expensive and cruder than traditional AdWords.
AdWords Express isn’t available to businesses without a physical location.
Arguably, the best value in AdWords Express offered is mobile click-to-call/pay-per-call. However, the product doesn’t allow for the separation of PC and mobile campaigns.
- Is Google Using AdWords Express Budgets To Promote Google+?
- Google Seeks New AdWords Express Customers With Promised “Free Month” In December
- Google Adds Call Reporting To AdWords Express