Linda Buquet

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This just in from Google... Basically a buy one get one free offer. Whatever your ad spend is between now and the end of the year, you get as a free credit in January.

A free month of advertising from AdWords Express

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and small businesses are certainly no exception. To help businesses reach new customers this season and keep the holiday spirit rolling into 2013, we have a special offer for new AdWords Express users in the U.S. If you sign up for AdWords Express before December 16, 2012, you?ll receive a free advertising credit in January worth what you spend between now and the end of this year.*

They show a great video about how Adwords Express helps some small businesses.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Boi84V05fTc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​

Click the link above to read the rest or go to google.com/adwords/express to get started.
 

Eric Rohrback

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I do PPC for a lot of clients (small-medium-large), and personally I don't like adwords express because to me it's like playing blackjack but letting the dealer play for you. It's probably good for small businesses who really don't know what they're doing (maybe). I've got to see the back end of an adwords express campaign and I just don't like how many broad match keywords they have in the campaigns. You end up getting a lot of irrelevant searches that don't convert.

Being AW certified I get a lot of emails with free AW credits and updates like this. I think before someone jumps into paid search they need to evaluate whether they want someone actively managing the account and working towards specific conversion goals (which will also come with a management fee), or if they want to just set it and forget it with Google.
 

Dave

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I totally agree with EsR. Google wants the adwords revenues, but for the small SMB there are incredibly better alternatives. Get somebody to set up a campaign for you. Use regular adwords. Do a mix of exact phrase and broad phrase. Exact phrase is the power packed opportunity that not only gets you placement in key phrases but might get them at lower rates. Broad phrase, which I believe adwords express uses universally will be more expensive and at times hit on search phrases that don't work.

The SMB owner can get regular reports that gives you incredible insights.

Beyond that, don't ever use a reseller. That is far worse than adwords express: its all google broad phrase with enormous mark ups.

Set up and the first few months for an outside provider shouldn't be expensive. The payback should be huge.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Well put Dave.

I was just thinking about this after reading your comment... right now I'm probably managing $3million-ish because of a couple of larger clients (I work for an agency that manages SEO/PPC/Social/Local...etc...) and I really only have a couple of "smaller" clients or SMB clients doing PPC. It's funny because I see conversion paths in analytics and in many cases Paid search doesn't immediately convert, but is the starting point to the conversion funnel. Other cases, depending on the product and client's industry, there is an immediate conversion.

My thoughts on why a lot of SMB owners don't look towards paid search (other than media spend cost), is because of how the larger companies have really pushed themselves into this medium and drove up cost per click for the keywords. A while ago paid search kind of equalized the market so SMB could compete with the big boys, but now with rising costs it seems smaller companies' ads are being driven down and flooded out by companies like amazon, nike, pep boys, {insert huge company in your industry here}.

One more reason why I wish Google+Local functioned a little more smoothly :rolleyes:
 
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