It’s a known fact that Google is pushing to get into the local advertisement ring. After their massive offer to Groupon was declined last year, Google went on to create “Google Offers,” a service that – well, looked shockingly like Groupon. Additionally, Google’s AdWords and Places have been pushing for new features and pitching to local businesses, all in the hopes of getting a foothold in the local business arena. Their most recent new feature is called Google AdWords Express, and it’s a slimmed down version of Google AdWords designed specifically for small local businesses.
Google AdWords Express
While this video isn’t precisely the most informative piece of media Google has ever released, it’s a fun rundown of the AdWords Express value pitch:
Rather than requiring that small businesses set up full-fledged campaigns in Google AdWords, the Express option allows for a faster, simpler version of the same that requires a much less steep learning curve. The simplicity is meant to draw the less technically savvy local businesses, allowing them to get access to search ad space and fancy blue pins on Google Maps. Most impressive, though, is the automatic management of the campaign. Simplifying (perhaps over-simplifying) the process for users on the back-end, Google maintains all the nitty-gritty details of the campaign once it’s launched. To create your own Express campaign, just visit Google.com/awexpress.
This same product has been in the testing phases since October, when it went by the name of Google Boost. Since then, the process has been refined, and Google now brags that you can set up ads in just five minutes. To set up those ads, though, you’ll need to have a Google Places page. The ads themselves can link to either your website or your Places page.
Update: A Google representative contacted me to let me know there’s been a minor change: “Local businesses can now sign up for AdWords Express without verifying their Places page.”
[Sources include: The Official Google Blog]