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March 20, 2006

A Starting Point for PPC

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Small business owners are breathing a little easier thanks to Google’s new AdWords Starter Edition. If you’ve been questioning whether you should try advertising with AdWords, but have been intimidated by its complexity and big words, now’s your chance. AdWords’ new streamlined Starter Edition is designed to make it easier for new pay-per-click advertisers to get a small campaign created in no time.

When new advertisers go to create an account they are greeted with two options: the Standard Edition or the Starter Edition. Upon selecting the Starter Edition, users are able to create a single ad campaign using a one page sign-up form. Set-up can be done in five easy steps.

    1. Select an ad location and language – select the country where you would like your ad to run and set the preferred language.
    2. Write your ad – Provide the URL that your ad will link to and create a headline and two lines of text (can’t be more than 35 characters each).
    3. Choose keywords – Choose keywords and identify related terms.
    4. Choose a Currency – Choose your currency – dollars, pounds, etc.
    5. Set a Monthly Budget – You will need to select the maximum amount you are willing to spend each month. The good thing about AdWords is that you can set a budget and start off with a pretty inexpensive campaign to test it as you go.

The form has a listed Step 6 comprised of a check box. It is meant for those needing ‘extra help’ with their campaign set-up. Users who select the box will receive the AdWords newsletter, tips for improved ad performance and user surveys.

AdWords Starter Edition looks like a great tool for those unsure about creating PPC campaigns. But it’s called a Starter Edition for a reason. Those looking to perform any type of analytics or campaign management on their listings won’t find this Started Edition much use. Users (so far) are unable to create individual landing pages, individual keyword bids and multiple combinations of ad text. Reports are limited to clicks-per-day, cost-per-day and impressions-per-day, and geographic targeting options appear to be limited to country, state and driving distance of zip code. Such restrictions would make it very difficult to set-up anything but the narrowest of campaigns.

So use it for what it is – a starting point. Small businesses’ should use the Starter Edition to get themselves (say it with me…) started and then upgrade to the Standard Edition once they feel comfortable tweaking campaigns. Sometimes you really can have it all.

(Hat-Tip to Search Engine Guide.)

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