This year Google is making a big push with direct mail advertising to promote their AdWords platform to small businesses. Pretty funny when you think about the irony of having to use “offline” advertising to promote an “online” advertising platform :)

And in order to cast a wider net and get even more businesses onboard, Google introduced “Google Express” as a quick and easy solution to jump into the online advertising game.

In this article, I’ll compare the standard AdWords platform vs. the “dumbed down” Google Express solution in an attempt to save small businesses from hours of frustration and wasted ad budgets.


Why Google Express Is Not In Your Best Interest

It’s obvious Google created Google Express in an effort to increase their user base to make more money from advertisers.  So they stripped down Adwords and made a platform that requires no advertising experience whatsoever.  In fact, one of the big selling points on their webpage is, “No experience necessary. Sign-up is quick and easy – simply provide some basic business information and create your ad.”

Google is encouraging small businesses with no advertising experience to just jump into the fire… without any idea how online advertising really works!

That would be like someone asking you to start day trading stocks using a fancy software platform even though you have zero experience trading or even investing in stocks.  That would be ridiculous right?

Unfortunately, Google is doing small  businesses a disservice by claiming anyone can profitably advertise a business without any experience. That’s simply not true.

The fact is online advertising (like any form of direct-response advertising) is not something you pick up on the fly.  There are some fundamentals you need to understand before you even consider setting up an account on AdWords or any other platform.


Learn the Fundamentals and Skip Google Express

My recommendation to anyone considering online advertising is to first learn the fundamentals.  Without a clear understanding for how to create compelling offers, draft magnetic ads, design landing pages that will make your phone ring — and most importantly how to track your return on investment (ROI) — you’re setting yourself and your business up for failure.

Then once you understand how to create and manage a successful ad campaign, then you’ll realize Google Express is not for you.  The reason is because you give up too much control when you use Google Express.  See below for a side by side comparison of Express vs. AdWords:

Plus, your ads, which are critical to a successful campaign are automated as well.  Anyone managing online advertising campaigns would NEVER even consider giving up control over their ads.

And last but not least, the tracking and reporting capabilities are not as robust as AdWords so it’s more difficult to measure and calculate your ROI.

For all of those reasons, I strongly encourage businesses to steer clear of Express and instead learn how to set up and manage an account in AdWords.


How to Get Started With AdWords

As I said previously, the first step to get started with AdWords is to learn the fundamentals.  We recently released a CD called, “How to Create a Customer Vending Machine: The Small Business Guide to Google AdWords” that we’re giving away to our email newsletter subscribers.

If you’re not yet a subscriber to Main Street Marketing Tips, then click here to join and learn more about our free CD giveaways.

If you are a subscriber, then click here to claim your free copy of “The Small Business Guide to Google AdWords.


I’ll show you how you can use AdWords Remarketing to laser target prospects who already visited your website, but haven’t yet yet contacted you