Yesterday I found an article in the AdWords Help files named “Link Google Places and AdWords“. This might have been around for some time, but it’s the first time I notice it. Here is the step-by-step explanation how to do that:
1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com
2. Click the Campaigns tab.
3. If you see the Ad extensions tab in the “All online campaigns” section, click on it. If you don’t see the tab, click the triangle, check the box next to “Ad extensions” and click OK. Then, click on the Ad extensions tab.
4. Click New extension.
5. In the “Select a campaign” section, choose the ad campaign you’d like to link to your Google Places account.
6. Check that the email shown in the “Add Google Places account” section is the one you’d like to link to this campaign. If it isn’t, click Use a different account.
7. If you only want to link some addresses in your Places account to be associated with this campaign, check the box next to “Filter,” then select how you’d like to define which addresses to include. You can add multiple conditions by clicking + Add another. For example, you could create filters for a specific business name in a region to only show one set of your stores.
8. Click Save.
This is extracted from the official help article. You can see screenshots there, too.
Here is how such an ad would look like:
So here is the question – what is the value of AdWords Express then? The two most important advantages of this tool were:
– easy management
– showing reviews inside the ad
Now with that new feature only the management ease is left as a relative advantage, but is it really? You have almost no control over your campaign with AdWords Express. Even the reporting availability is completely insufficient. Sometimes the cost per click rises with over 200-300% overnight. Now that everyone is able to show their reviews inside their AdWords ad, I think Express becomes rather useless.
At the same time this matches very well with the strategy of pushing Google reviews that the company seems to be following. The CTR would definitely increase dramatically if the ad looks like the one in the screenshot above. This will spur AdWords users to more actively try to get reviews on their Google Places listing.
All in all, a two-side benefit, from which the only loser seems to be the AdWords Express product.