It’s no secret that AdWords ads are still responsible for the vast majority of Google’s revenue and that local ads in particular are a major growth area for the company. Today, Google launched AdWords Express, a new product that will make it even easier for local businesses to launch AdWords campaigns. AdWords Express boils the relatively complex AdWords interface down to the basics and makes setting up a new campaign as easy as filling out a basic web form.
What also makes AdWords express very different from the regular AdWords experience is that Google automatically manages most aspects of a campaign. Users, for example, don’t have to select specific keywords that will trigger the ad or manage the details of the bidding process. Instead, advertisers simply select a monthly budget, decide whether ads should be linked to their place pages or websites and come up with the copy for the ad (the last one is probably the hardest task).
Chances are, many AdWords professionals and consultants won’t like this new approach, as it makes setting up campaigns almost too easy.
For advanced users with a good understanding of how Google’s advertising products work, though, digging deeper into the system and being able to manipulate which keywords trigger ads and how much they want to pay for them is still a worthwhile undertaking. AdWwords Express, after all, looks like it will be a bit of a black box.
Very few consultants are going after the sub $500/month adwords customers anyway. Sadly, this will mean that many merchants will have these auto-accounts operating at around 70% of potential and assume that they're giving it their best shot. MOST of the serious Adwords wins I have in my consultancy are from thinking outside the broad-match-box and taking control back from Google.
This is basically just Google Adwords Starter Edition with a focus on local search (i.e. maps). It will be a good way to help small companies test out the waters with paid search with a local focus. But it is sad to have seen companies waste up to 98% up their marketing spend due to poor setup when using Adwords Starter Edition.
If you are a small business that is going to use this, at least have a Google Analytics Consultant do a quick review of your analytics to ensure you aren't wasting the majority of your investment.
I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing for consultants.
I must say I'm a bit worried about the idea that Google will "get the most out of" the advertiser's budget. That aside, if new advertisers try AdWords Express and like it, chances are that they'd like to "upgrade" to regular AdWords sooner or later.
As a consultant, I definitely prefer customers that currently have succesful campaigns as they already aware how hugely profitable AdWords is.