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The Realities of AdWords Express

In about 15 minutes, you can have an AdWords Express ad up and running. AdWords Express is designed to make setup simple and give clear results that are easy for anyone to understand, available by desktop or mobile device. But how do you know if Express is right for your organization?

The creation of AdWords Express, formerly known as Google Boost, came from the need to ease the concerns of small local businesses that are switching to digital marketing, but are also overwhelmed by the complexity of traditional AdWords. Express only needs you to answer a few questions before Google takes care of the rest. Just tell Google about your industry, set a budget, and create a single ad. From there, it’s in Google’s hands. Keyword selection and bidding are all done by Google with goals based on increasing website visits, calls, and conversions. To track how your ad is doing, you can view Google Analytics on your desktop or mobile device with the app. The ads themselves work just like regular AdWords: You only pay when someone clicks or calls.

Since the first day of August, 2017, Express has given users the ability to create goals for their online ad. After choosing an ad, “AdWords Express will then continuously optimize your ad with that goal in mind and show you how well your ad is meeting your goal.” The goals that business owners can choose from are limited to: “call your business,” “visit your storefront,” or “take action on your website.” The addition of Express goals makes it easier to do exactly what you want without excess jargon.

According to Google’s blog, “AdWords Express is constantly fine-tuning your campaigns. It monitors how often and where your ad appears on Google (and across the web), adjusts spend, and makes sure your ad is placed in front of the right people, to help you maximize the number of clicks or calls for the budget you selected.” For this reason, there is little to no ongoing management needed for your ad and it takes very little time to set up. In fact, you don’t even need a website. You can connect your Express ad to your free Google My Business page to direct customers to all the information they need.

But although an AdWords Express account can be convenient for some organizations, at Cause Inspired Media, we find that it typically falls short of providing what we would consider to be a fully optimized account. Your nonprofit may be a part of a larger industry, but something about your organization sets it apart from the rest. Whether it’s an exciting event you host, or a specific demographic you cater to, your ads should reflect your uniqueness. Because AdWords Express bases your ads off of the industry you operate in, and not the specific nuances of your organization, often times the ads Google creates are not very relevant to what your organization does or offers.

“AdWords Express is a great tool for gaining greater attention with very little time involved. However, as anyone who has used it before can tell you, it is very limiting and has a high chance of wasted ad spend. While it uses some of the best technology at Google to identify who should see your ads, you don’t get any sanity check on what Google actually thinks about your content. You don’t choose keywords or anything much more than a general topic and then hope that the searches your ad shows for are relevant. This is why we always use the classic version of AdWords which takes much more work but gets significantly better results,” says Sean Kerr, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Cause Inspired Media.

With the full AdWords account, you have the ability to choose all your own keywords, bid more or less based on time of day or device that is searching, run an experiment on a new landing page or set of keywords, and much more. With a traditional AdWords account, you have the ability to make as many ads as you need, not just one single ad that directs searches to your homepage. AdWords gives you full control over every aspect of your marketing.

If you don’t have the time it takes to manage an AdWords account, you don’t have to settle for AdWords Express. By entrusting your digital marketing with an expert, you’ll save your organization’s time and money. If you would like your AdWords account to be managed by Cause Inspired Media, or you have more questions about AdWords Express, contact us!

Photo: source

By: Katie Kelderman, Social Media Strategist