We recently discussed “Use Hyperlocal Advertising to Reach Nearby Consumers” in which we mentioned Google Adwords Express as one method of hyperlocal advertising. The response regarding this advertising tool certainly required a more in depth look at how to best use Google Adwords Express.

Google Adwords ExpressWhether you are a national multi-location brand or a local small business you will need to use a multi-channel approach in trying to be visible to the local consumers. The primary multi-channel options would include would include desktop search, mobile searches, map searches for both organic rankings and to use advertising.

Certainly everyone wants to be ranked in the free organic listings such as the websites, maps, videos and images, however, it is not always easy to get ranked. Patience is always a necessity and you never know from one day to the next if your ranking will stay in place. Google’s algorithm changes or competitor efforts can always make organic rankings difficult to sustain.

In a separate article are we did discuss “5 Reasons to Use PPC Ads for Local Marketing” in which a few things I outlined included:

  • Targeting local consumers by geography
  • Dominating the first page of Google search results
  • Instantly showing up in the search results faster

Certainly advertising on any search engine with pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be complicated. For this reason if you need something simpler, you will find Google Adwords Express to not only be easier to manage, but less costly too.

Google Adwords Express used to be called Google Boost and in the summer of 2011 Google organized the local advertising options in which Google Places and Google Adwords Express work together. Google Adwords Express is effectively “Adwords Lite” with many simpler options. These options include:

  • Showing up with a blue map marker in the maps
  • Geographically targeting your advertisement beyond what your Google+ Local Listing can show.
  • Features from Google+ Local will show in your ads such as the customer ratings and reviews.

Adwords Express is easier to use, less complicated and only requires that you claim your Google+ Local Listing first. Assuming the claiming is completed, get
ting Adwords Express started is quite simple.

Your Google Adwords Express Campaign Features Made Easy

One thing you will find is the ease of using Google Adwords Express and if you have not used pay-per-click advertising before, this would be a good starting point. After all, Google pretty much oversees the campaign management for you.

  • Pay Only For Clicks
    If you ad shows and no one clicks, you pay nothing. If someone clicks you will be charged the rate for the clicks within your daily budget limits.
  • Start and Stop Anytime
    As with any advertising on the web, you can start and stop anytime you wish. There is minimal repercussions for stopping and starting at a later date.
  • Location of Ad Appearance
    You ads will shows in Google Search, Google Maps, Mobile searches and Tablet searches.
  • Circumstances of Ad Appearance
    There are two ways these ads will appear to local customers. The first is if a search includes a location. For example “Clothing Store New York City”. This means your ad could show up for people out of town. The other option is if the person searching is in your local area and they only search for “Clothing Store”.
  • Geographic Targeting
    Your options here are only for local advertising, however, within your local area you can reach to communities that your Google+ Local Listing is not able to reach.
  • Campaign Management
    Automated by Google for your convenience and kept within the budget limit you have indicated.
  • Tracking and Reporting
    The features available to show you include view, clicks, calls, search terms of your ads and your budget.
  • Additional Formats
    There are no special ad formats available with Adwords Express. For example Ad Extensions, Banner Ads, Video Ads and the like are not available, but this is what makes Adwords Express simpler.
  • Website Needed
    This the best part. You don’t need a website. If you don’t have a website, Google will direct your potential customers to your Google+ Local page. Something you had to claim and update before you could even get started.
  • Setup Time
    Google suggests the setup time is less than 10 minutes, however, as we all know if you’re new to this it might take longer…11 minutes!

Setting Up and Managing Your Google Adwords Express Campaign

There are five simple steps which Google guides you through when you are setting up a Adwords Express ad. In the below examples we will use a local car dealership and new car sales.

  • Select Your Audience
    Choose the radius you want your ad to show from your business location. You can choose up to 40 mile radius. This is followed by selecting the language, type of product or service, and then specifying under what circumstances you want the ad to appear.
  • Google Adwords Express Select Audience

  • Create or Edit Your Ad
    Your ads include a headline (one line of 25 characters), ad text (two lines of 35 characters), where you want visitors to go, and what information you want to display.

    Google Adwords Express Create Your Ad

  • Set Your Budget
    In our example we set a budget for $5.00 per day, however, this will vary quite a bit based on competition, your geography, population and other factors specific to your industry. The best part is that you can update your budget or cancel your ad at any time during a month.

    Google Adwords Express Set Your Budget

  • Review Your Ad
    We’re almost done at this point. Google asks you to review your information, ad and budget.

    Google Adwords Express Review Your Ad

  • Check Out
    The last step will be dependent upon your billing methods and if you have a promotions code to use.

Let’s Get Started Using Google Adwords Express!

The next time you see a blue map marker on a Google map you will know it is an advertiser. More importantly you will see your business listing appear above the 7-pack of map listings and the pin on the map.

Google Adwords Express Search Ad Sample

Hopefully the amount of time it took to read this educational article is about as long as it would take you to setup a Google Adwords Express ad. Use this easy tools to reach local customers in your area through Google and mobile searches.