Friday, 15 June 2007

AdWords Business Pages launched in Australia

Google has just launched its AdWords Business Pages for small companies to use in Australia and New Zealand. This service was first introduced in the US in December 2006 and has now been extended to enable companies that don't possess a website to still take advantage of pay-per-click advertising on Google.

How it works is that a company can set up a free hosted page on Google when they open a new AdWords account, using the basic Starter Edition. If they don't yet have a website to link searchers through to, Google provides a template to allow them to create a basic listing about their business, together with a location map, if required. In some ways this concept is similar to pay-per-call advertising - yet to really establish itself - which also offers search marketing to companies who don't have a web presence.

This new option has some advantages in that companies can establish a presence on Google without developing their own website and it could be ideal for local search marketing. It also allows companies to test this form of marketing for a limited cost and, if all works well, can encourage them to take the next step into a more structured online marketing campaign, including their own hosted website.

The disadvantages are that the pages provided are very basic and may not convert visitors as well as other companies competing for the same search terms - consequently the results may not be as good, which can then discourage companies from undertaking more online marketing. These pages will not be visible through any other online medium either, including the chance to optimise the site, but it is a first step and another tool to offer the cautious!

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