Google Boost Now Becoming Adwords Express

Mike Ramsey of NiftyMarketing, a local search marketer from Idaho, sent along this screen shot reflecting a name change to the Boost product:

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The change has not yet made it over to the Boost Help pages. Certainly it makes sense from a branding perspective to leverage Google’s well known, existing ad brand although I doubt that it will make the bidding basis of the pricing more obvious.

Update 2:17

Google has just posted their announcement:

Making local online advertising easy with Google AdWords Express

Updated 1:00 p.m EDT:

I just got off the phone with Kiley McEvoy, Product Manager Lead on Boost Adwords Express at Google to let me know that Google will be formally announcing the rebranding of the Boost product shortly.

Here are some of his comments:

We have seen great success with the Boost product and signup rate and to better indicate its ties to Adwords we are going with new name.

We have seen users in all 50 states and tens of thusands of customers. I spend a lot of time talking to customers and the main piece of feedback is that they are surprised by the simplicity. The product is so simple that it has allayed fears of involvement in on-line advertising. A pizza shop that was getting 30 clicks per day had to pause their campaign due to significant increase in business.

I did inquire as to specific numbers or percentage of claimed accounts using Boost but he was unable to be explicit.

He indicated that there is a new requirement, introduced a number of weeks ago, that an Adwords Express ad be created for each category. With this better targeting,  users will be less likely to see large jumps in bid pricing that I experienced in my “legacy” ad campaign that had one ad with two categories.

He also noted that there is a new signup procedure flow (now visible here) that allows a business to sign up for both Places and Adwords Express simultaneously. In the new process, verification required for the Places listing, is no longer required for an Adwords Express ad to start to run. The ad can run independtly of an approved Places listing as long as the ad point to your website. If a Places listing is rejected or suspended the ads will continue to run.

This YouTube Video just went live:

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Boost Now Becoming Adwords Express by

16 thoughts on “Google Boost Now Becoming Adwords Express”

  1. The video is live at YouTube if not yet live in the help files. The formal announcement should come shortly. Thanks for the link.

  2. I think the name change makes perfect sense. From AdWords Express, “AdWords Lite” comes to mind – and I’m sure that’s what they’re after.

  3. @Andy
    Yes it is a good rebranding and will very quickly communicate “the power of Adwords just a lot faster” and imply easier. Makes sense to me.. to simplify their marketing message along with streamlining their product mix.

  4. Mike, did you also notice that the Citation area that used to show up at the end of the Google Places page is gone? What can you tell us about this?

    That information was valuable to have but now is gone. Help.

  5. Hi Mike,

    You mentioned: “He also noted that there is a new signup procedure flow (now visible here) that allows a business to sign up for both Places and Adwords Express simultaneously.”

    Do you think there is a way to leverage this sign-up procedure for someone who doesn’t have a business listing (Place Page) to claim yet? Just wondering if I give Express a(nother) try and set up a Places Page at the same time if that listing will end up in Google purgatory, or whether it’s just better to wait for the cluster to appear.

    With all the changes lately relating to Boost, reviews, etc., do you think Google will ever just sit back and admire the view for a while? :o

  6. Mike,
    So far there is no real change if your local listing is active with no dashboard. The link to the (running?) ‘adwords express’ is not working nor can you have any control on your ad or its budget. Obviously the support team are incapable to fix the problem (this is an ongoing issue of 2 weeks for our client).
    Bottom line – it doesn’t seem that the adwords express is working independently of the local listing, not to mention that it’s absurd that on the one hand, G decide to suspend your listing for whatever reason but on the other hand, it can publish your listing in ‘less than 5 minutes’ if you start paying for it!

  7. I have used Google Boost a few times now with clients and I find a very Limited product compared to Google Adwords. You get 1 ad and don’t even get to choose your keywords. No split testing on ads, or landing pages, no choosing negative keywords, no exact match, phrase match, & broad match… you get zero choice on your keywords. No being able to target gmail, content network, Google places, etc or even being able to segment those into different campaigns. No tracking urls… basically nothing.

    The only benefit Boost gives is it shows your reviews from Google Places (and it’s only a benefit assuming you have a positive review profile), but outside of that it’s a useless product in my mind for those that have some basic PPC management skills.

    Also note, if you run a PPC campaign at the same time as your Boost Ad then they are competing and only 1 of them will show. For us it was our Adwords that were showing and the Boost ad kept losing out b/c it’s so poorly optimized for PPC. We actually had to pause the PPC campaigns to see it in action.

    I also don’t see why in Adwords they can show your GP reviews in your regular Adword’s ADs if it’s connected to your GP as a PPC sitelink. If they allowed that to happen, then I’d most likely never use Boost (or as they now call it: Adwords Express) again.

    I highly recommend using regular Adwords over Express for all SMB’s. I know the simplicity of an Adwords Express Ad is attractive, but it certainly can’t give you all the bells and whistle’s of a regular Adwords campaign.

    It’s also extremely limited on it’s reach – you choose one category and it only targets 15 miles from around your GP address.

    I get how it might be attractive to SMB’s because they don’t do anything, but it really doesn’t provide the best ROI when it comes to sponsored ads.

    When I was speaking to Google Boost support their goal is to get a 1% CTR, that is horrible for a solid targeted local campaign (especially on service based industries). I manage quite of few local PPC accounts and the average across the board is 8% CTR’s and on some accountants as high as 10-14% CTR’s. I know that is not the norm for retail, but for service-based industries like: lawyers, electricians, handyman, etc it can be.

  8. Mike,

    Just last week I decided to test Boost and signed up a client. Initially, I reached out to a Google Boost rep to see if they could help me w/ some duplicate listing issues. He quickly explained that they don’t handle tech issues… but he was sure happy to sell Boost. I took the bait and gave it a shot.

    Anyway, I just noticed that the Boost/Express campaign is in my AdWords Campaign Management Dashboard. After fishing around the campaign, I tried to make edits but was unable to make any changes.

    Have you noticed this?

  9. @chris

    you can’t edit boost ads, it’s very limited. all you can do is select category, write 1 ad, and choose one of three pricing options.

  10. @matt

    Yeah- I definitely don’t like the limited access and lack of customization. Ex- a whole ad group had my client’s name for keywords. Anyone who knows anything about research knows you shouldn’t use your business name for PPC.

    I’ll keep the ad running for a few weeks for testing purposes.

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