Google AdWords Takes You Online

    December 7, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Google has added hosted pages for businesses to its AdWords Starter Edition, as they aim for local companies that may not be online yet to have a web page along with their paid advertising.

While Google’s competitor Yahoo has been offering free 5-page sites to businesses that sign up for their Local Featured Listings product, the AdWords Starter Edition only offered a straightforward signup for a single-ad targeted campaign.

If the new AdWords Starter client did not have a website, the customer could create one and have the text ad point to it. Now the AdWords crew has taken a step in making this easier for the offline business that is completely off the Internet:

Hosted business pages, a new feature for AdWords Starter Edition, will let you do just that. A hosted business page is an informational webpage that new advertisers can create when they sign up for AdWords Starter Edition. You can use a hosted business page to tell people more about your business when they click on your ad.

It’s a sensible addition to an entry-level product, and in retrospect Google probably should have had this available with the debut of AdWords Starter. Even though it seems like everyone in business has a website, that just isn’t the case.

I can cite one business off the top of my head that’s not too far from WebProNews land. It’s a bakery called Mondelli’s and local word of mouth will tell you that it’s the place in town to have a wedding cake created.

But the bakery, a family-run business, closed for a four-month period this year. Readers of the local paper would have caught wind of its reopening in November, but the customers who are heavy on the web search and very light on the paper reading probably missed it, especially if they were searching for local bakeries.

I don’t know how much advertising they need, but a simple web page would have been a good place to announce the reopening to coincide with the local news coverage. A little search optimization, a single ‘wedding cake lexington’ ad targeted locally through AdWords Starter, and maybe they could have avoided the closure that deprived customers of their cannolis.

If that’s not a worthy reason for advertising online, then nothing else is either.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.