Google has been running what they are calling The Big Small Business Plan where new AdWords users and existing ones who implement conversion tracking or maintain it, get $100 from Google when they spend $100.
They are even advertising on websites beyond just the AdWords login page - I found this ad on The New York Times. Now before a few opinions, let's take a look at the offer itself
- The messaging is classic Google. You don't have to stay small anymore and that you can grow with pay per click only advertising.
- They offer free account setup by calling an 800#
- The sign up offer is good through 1/15 but they extended it at the end of the year (actually they were a little late in extending but anyway)
- And it is good for the first one million small businesses which sounds great
So you as a small business should jump all over this, right? Yes of course you should but you need help and not the kind Google is offering although their free setup is a good start. If anyone gives you $100 for free you should jump at it, however, jump in knowing what's happening...
- Google advertising is much more complicated than the offer suggests. You actually need professional, non-Google help
- Google typically looks to manage accounts $10K+ per month and even then that's probably not enough any more. I have one client billing $40K per month without a Google Account person - what do you think will happen with the small business billing $100 per month?
- Years ago when Google was just starting out you could have had first mover advantage and just using their simple tools, you could have succeeded. Now, unless you are entering a completely new market, the odds are there are prior advertisers with account history.
- Google defaults you to all devices and all sites and recommends this for new advertisers. Do you understand what this means?
- Google uses different match types - exact, phrase, broad, negatives and recommends broad match. Do you know how this impacts your campaign?
- When you run a search campaign, you obviously get results and most of them are straight forward. However, they automatically don't include Quality Score and Impression Share. Quality Score is probably the most important data point for you.
- Quality Score determines whether your ad gets shown, how often, and your CPC. It is impacted by account history, history of other advertisers, relevancy of keywords and ads, and relevancy of your landing pages. Guess what? Broad matches are more difficult to control
- I could go on and on but I won't. I'll leave you with this final point. Text ads in Google's Display network, even though you are paying a CPC, suck and 99% of the time, I don't include them.
- Oh and one more point. Google is in this to make a lot of money. They make money by showing the ads that makes them the most money. You don't get clicks your ads don't get shown.
Is Google being generous? Yes. Should you sign up for the offer? Yes. Should you get help before you do any of that? Yes. Here's a link to help you find people in your area to help you.