September 29, 2011

AdWords Express – what it means for Manchester SMEs

Ahoy were one of the first agencies to hear about the new AdWords Express (AWX) launched by Google in the UK. The service was announced in Liverpool and I was keen to get down my thoughts.

First off, what is it? It works in a few ways:

1.  No need for previous AdWords experience. You simply put in a location, a category and then everything else is automated. No Keywords or CPC bids.

2.  For those that cant afford a website it allows businesses to advertise online without one.

3.  It ties in with Google places meaning that its great for local targeting.

There was a lot of debate in the venue and it was good to see how everyone responded. Ann from Total Recall was very vocal and was worried that this would cut SEM consultants out of the equation. Most of Ann’s business comes from managing Google AdWords accounts and this would now allow clients to miss her out.

Looking at it in more detail and looking at all the possibilities this could actually be a good thing for companies like ahoy and smaller ones like Total Recall who provide solutions to SME’s who are always on a tight budget. The benefits I have observed for SEM agencies are:

1.  Agencies no longer need to turn away clients who cant afford a website

2.  Allows local businesses to see the benefit of search marketing. Once they have seen the ROI they will want to improve and spend more money on search engine marketing.

3.  It’s limited. It’s not as good as AdWords and there will be a point in a marketing cycle were AdWords Express is too limited. That client will then need to make the jump to AdWords. Google makes this jump very easy by giving PPC managers the ability to change an AdWords Express account into an AdWords account.

We will be running a number of test with AWX to see how effective it is. If your a business owner and would like to test AWX give us a shout as we are giving away £50 of coupons for each new client.

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