Google is lowering the bar to entry for local businesses to use its AdWords Starter Edition. For new customers wanting to generate leads online, the company will help create a landing page and host it for them.
Google AdWords is not charging for the “hosted business pages” service, which is being called a feature of the AdWords Starter Edition package, according to Jon Diorio, senior product marketing manager for Google AdWords.
“Once you’ve created your ad, and it’s time to send people to a Web site with the ad you’ve created, it asks you if you have a page and will create one for you if you don’t,” Diorio said. “One of our goals is to empower the long tail of advertisers. Helping those small businesses that may not have an Internet presence, still source customers and make it as easy as possible.”
The hosted business pages are not full-featured web sites, but rather landing pages with basic information such as phone numbers, addresses and simple images.
The feature, which Google began testing in October, joins a growing list of service options for local businesses. These include the ability to update their listings on Google Local and providing printable coupons. With local online ad spending expected to double in the next few years, it’s clear Google wants to attract as many small- to mid-sized businesses as it can. But Diorio insists the move is altruistic.
“There are a lot of small local advertisers who just want a simple way to run one of those ads,” he said. ”This is part of our effort to further democratize online advertising. It was available for a long time only to people with a lot of money and resources, and our goal is to make it available to everybody that needs it.”
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