This article has been updated for 2019!
For years, it’s never really been an option to advertise your business online without actually having a website to direct visitors to.
Why would you want to do that, I hear you ask? Well, perhaps you run a very small bakery business and you do not need a website (not yet at least), but you still want to show up when visitors search for ‘bakery in Bournemouth’.
Up until now, you’d have to rely purely on other types of advertising. You’re a small business that’s growing steadily and may be known locally through word of mouth, but you’re not in a position to get a website up and running – it’s catch 22.
This is where Google Adwords Express comes in.
Google Adwords Express
If you’re looking to advertise on Google without the need for a website, Adwords Express is the place to do it. This service is basically Google Ads, but it’s designed for those without the experience or previous knowledge of running a successful ad campaign. If you don’t feel confident monitoring and adjusting settings on a regular basis, then Adwords Express could be perfect for you.
Unlike regular Adwords, this system is fully automated – there’s just a small amount of setup to get through at the beginning. Once you’ve chosen your budget, added a product and written your ad, that’s it! Google’s automated systems run the show from that point onwards.
While some paid search professionals may look at Adwords Express and chuckle to themselves, there is certainly a place for it with those less experienced. If you’re completely new to the online advertising environment or if you just don’t have the time to manage ads, it makes perfect sense to use this system.
AdWords Express is designed to be simple and easy to set up. You can be up and running in a few minutes with no online advertising experience or knowledge required.Tweet this now
You Don’t Even Need A Website
Thanks to this new advertising service launched by Google, it is now possible to send visitors to URLs that don’t necessarily have to be from your own website. You could direct users to your Facebook page, Twitter account or your Google Places page for example.
If you’ve not used it before, Google Places is a business listing service which allows you to add contact information, opening hours, photos and reviews for your business. It’s the standard information ‘block’ you see on search results whenever you search for a brand or business. For a demo, check out our own Media Lounge Google Places page.
This service is particularly exciting due to the volume of mobile searches being performed. Currently, around 20% of Google searches are localised. This figure is rising as more and more people are using smartphones and searching while out and about. Current statistics in 2016 suggest that around 34% of the time British users spent shopping online was on a mobile device. In 2018, this topped 38% but is expected to double by 2020 as mCommerce continues to grow rapidly.
How Does It Work?
AdWords Express only works with local searches and allows you to advertise your business on the main Google Search results or on Google Maps. It works in the same way as Google AdWords, so you simply have to create your adverts and choose your business niche.
To choose the niche best for your campaign, it is important to understand search terms and long-tail phrases, and which ones that you will see results for. You can see the number of monthly searches for specific keywords or long-tail phrases, as well as how competitive they are. It is important to consider where you want to sit in the market when selecting your niche because you will not be able to compete with bigger businesses for generic terms like ‘insurance’ or ‘car hire’ for example.
Remember too that you only pay when a visitor clicks on your advert, and that your position depends on how much you’re prepared to pay for a click (as well as how relevant Google thinks your advert is, known as the Quality Score).
Setting Up Adwords Express
AdWords Express is designed to be simple and easy to set up. You can be up and running in a few minutes with no online advertising experience or knowledge required. When setting up your ads, you will need to follow this process:
Choose your business category
Write your adverts
Set your monthly budget
Create your Google Places page or direct visitors to an existing page
By choosing a category that best suits your business, you don’t need to spend time researching your keywords – Adwords Express does all this for you. It also manages your campaigns for you and optimises your adverts automatically to ensure your conversion improves over time.
Reasons To Use Adwords Express
Thankfully, the whole system is incredibly simple to set up and use. According to Google, you can get your campaign up and running in just 15 minutes. If you don’t have much time, Adwords Express can be very helpful.
On top of ludicrously fast setup time, there’s the fact that this system needs no ongoing management. There’s no requirement for you to research keywords, write ads, choose landing pages and tweak bidding limits – Google will automatically handle all of this for you. Some may see this as a negative, but for time-limited businesses, it’s really valuable.
Lastly, there’s an incredibly low entry point. You don’t need any prior PPC or Google Adwords experience, meaning it works for any business owner, anywhere. That said, you will be placing a budget towards these ads so you might want to take the time to learn a little about how the system works. Here’s Google’s guide to getting you started.
AdWords Express is a great way to get started with digital eCommerce online advertising and is perfect if you don’t want to spend your business budgets on a website just yet.Tweet this now
Reasons To Avoid Adwords Express
With every positive, there is usually a negative – and there is no exception to this rule with Adwords Express.
Perhaps the biggest issue you might encounter is the perceived lack of control. You don’t edit ads, keywords or bids – you just set the budget and away you go. Is this considered a lack of control, or is it just automation? Only you’ll know if you feel comfortable with this.
Aside from that, there’s also the feedback you get from Google in terms of data. Adwords Express doesn’t exactly flood you with information, so you can generally only see one or two specific details relating to your campaign. Not ideal if you do want to refine and tweak.
Lastly, there’s the premise that Google is here to make money. In fact, most of their income comes from advertising, so ultimately they want to spend your entire budget! With that in mind, the automated system may have different ideas for your money than you, particularly when it comes to what is performing and what isn’t.
When you break it down, AdWords Express is a great way to get started with eCommerce online advertising and is perfect if you don’t want to spend your business budgets on a website just yet. Despite its positives, there are a few downsides to the automated elements that you may want to bear in mind before you jump in.
If you’re happy to place your trust in Google and just let it work its magic, then Adwords Express is for you. Any business that lacks experience in this field or is simply too busy to monitor its advertising regularly will love this system.
However, if you have any time or interest in developing your Adwords skillset, this isn’t the system for you. Unfortunately, it just won’t deliver the detail or flexibility you’ll want, so business owners in this situation may want to consider a full Google Ads campaign more seriously.