|AdWords Offers Starter Accounts|
In an effort to bring down the complexity of AdWords (and thus, the high barrier to entry/understanding for many), AdWords has released a starter account edition.
It took me under 1 minute to create an account.
Accounts are limited to:
1 Ad Group
Monthly Budget (there is no keyword level bidding, so one must assume that the keywords are running under the 'budget optimizer).
Geographic targeting options are:
Driving Distance of Zip Code (No idea how large driving distance is, and if it changes for large cities compared to the countryside).
Reports are Limited to 3 Graphs:
Clicks per day
Cost per day
Impressions per day
It is very simplistic.
It can be sold to SMEs to manage accounts directly.
What isn't listed anywhere (that I've seen) is how these accounts will figure into the normal ad serving algo.
Because they can't be split tested, run conversion tracking, etc, they can only ever be an ad and a few keywords.
However, there is a lot of money to be had in the SME marketplace for those who can bring them into the internet marketing fold - hence, Google will want them to receive good traffic.
We'll just wait and see the effect these campaigns have on the 'standard AdWords accounts'.
However, your grandmother can now make an AdWords account in under 5 minutes. It is very simple and easy to set up.
edited for spelling
[edited by: eWhisper at 4:08 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]
Good news for Adsense publishers ;)
What does your grandmother sell?
obviously more revenue for google but the big picture question is whether the advertisers will be better off. On one had, simplifying the process eliminates the need for middlemen on simple campaigns. However, are people who need such a simplified interface truly able to design and target adequately their clicks? I'd be willing to bet that the overall CTR, CPA, and any other measure of effectiveness would be significantly lower.
If I were a newbie who just wanted to test the water bofore going into the complex stuff - this option would be a godsend.
After using adwords for years - I still only use about 10% of the available features - perhaps I am lazy/stupid - but I have a life and spending hours pouring over adwords is not an option.
What I'd be interested to know is whether the ads are shown on the content network? As this option is turned on by default in the 'normal' adwords account, I presume that this would also be the case for this starter account?
Is this limited to the US as I can not see it here in the UK
Can I open multiple starter accounts?
I'm glad to see an ongoing discussion of Starter Edition going on here. Here are brief answers to your questions so far...
|...(there is no keyword level bidding, so one must assume that the keywords are running under the 'budget optimizer). |
Correct. More info here, from the FAQ:
Why can't I choose my own CPC in Starter Edition?
|...(No idea how large driving distance is, and if it changes for large cities compared to the countryside). |
A very good point. The answer is always 100 kilometers - and this info will be added to the FAQ shortly.
BONUS INFORMATION: By the way, did everyone know you can go to Google.com and enter "100 km in miles" into the search box, and get this info:
'100 kilometers = 62.1371192 miles'
|What isn't listed anywhere (that I've seen) is how these accounts will figure into the normal ad serving algo. |
Starter Edition is a simplified interface, but the ads are treated exactly like ads from 'Standard Edition' accounts. They must meet the same guidelines and policies, the same algorithms apply, and so forth.
|What I'd be interested to know is whether the ads are shown on the content network? As this option is turned on by default in the 'normal' adwords account, I presume that this would also be the case for this starter account? |
Yes, they are, and you are correct. More info below from the FAQ:
Where will my Starter Edition ad appear?
|Is this limited to the US as I can not see it here in the UK |
Starter Edition is currently available to all US users - and will be available to all users, globally, before too long.
|Can I open multiple starter accounts? |
Starter Edition accounts are no different in this respect than Standard Edition accounts. So, same as it ever was. More info here: [adwords.google.com...]
For more info on Starter Edition, please follow this link to the Starter Edition FAQ:
This looks like a Really Bad Idea to me.
It gets people started out in the WRONG direction. For example, how many of you use Budget Optimizer?
Show of hands? I'm waiting. :)
Why include mileage-based geographic targeting? Are these advertisers going to be aware of the severe limitations of this feature?
And I'm not sure why Google is making an outreach to more small/naive/unsavvy advertisers than they already have (with the $5 price of entry). They support these users horribly as it is, as evidenced by the constant posts here and (particularly) on Adwords forums from advertisers who seemingly can get no support of any kind from Google.
This looks like rope-a-dope.
I disagree. Someone with a small local business who is planning to spend $200 a month can't exactly justify the cost of hiring a consultant to create and maintain an AdWords account.
The location-based ad space still seems relatively unused for most markets. I rarely see local ads for even the most obvious searches (plubmers, etc).
Even an idiot could bring in relevant local traffic for cheap with this tool.
|The location-based ad space still seems relatively unused for most markets. I rarely see local ads for even the most obvious searches (plubmers, etc). |
Have you tried this feature? Did it work well for you? Are you reaching customers in the targeted area?
There are deep flaws with this approach. IP-based geo-targeting is an art, not a science, and a murky art at that. AOL users all appear to be in Virginia, for example.
Maybe there's a good reason why you are seeing few geo-targeted ads.
Comments I've seen here and on the Google groups suggest that success at geo-targeting comes from a combination of this and including city names in your keywords - or just drop the IP-based geo-targeting altogether.
I'd agree with you if it were based on user-provided settings. But in the case of Adwords, it isn't. Few search users have Google accounts anyway.
|Even an idiot could bring in relevant local traffic for cheap with this tool. |
I think this is what Google would like people to believe. Thus my rope-a-dope comment. "It's so easy, any idiot could do it successfully." You really believe that?
You can't afford not to have a properly managed account that has measurable ROI.
Most of these accounts will eventually be roadkill.
Or, they will spend very carefully... "doing less of what they came here to do: advertise."
Worst practices. And keeping the fiction going that any mom & pop should be able to do this by themselves with minimal effort.
It isn't so. Anyone can create an account and lose money on it.
*Claiming* AdWords is simple doesn't make it simple.
I think this is a good idea.
I have a friend who wants to start using adwords. He does kitchen renovations in one city. Based on estimates I've done for him, he'll spend no more than $50/month - but that $50 could be very profitable for him.
Sure, he could get all fancy and pay me a few $100 and I'll get his spend down to $35/month. But where's the sense in that?
Got another friend who is spending about $25/month, I manage his account as a favour. He gets about 1 lead a month, and has generated several thousand dollars in revenue. He thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread. If he could spend more money, he would!
For these people, the starter account is perfect.
|Have you tried this feature? Did it work well for you? Are you reaching customers in the targeted area? |
Yes, geo-targeting works quite well for us. We usually have lower CPC and higher conversion rates on these campaigns. For some of our more competitive lines of business, locally targeted campaigns are the only ones that show a decent return. It depends on what you're selling.
However, feel free to remain skeptical. Then I can continue to enjoy cheap clicks.
The issue isnt about making the adwords interface/set-up/maintainance simpler. Its about advertising cost and ROI, and like some people here, I dont see this benefiting small and medium advertisers much.