At the beginning of Chapter 28 (17 Things Yo' Momma Never Told You About Google), the authors talk about the concept of 10,000 hours of work necessary to master any subject/field. Perry makes the observation that it would be very difficult to spend 10,000 hours studying Google Adwords - there is simply not that much you can study about Google Adwords. But there is a ton of things that you can study that comes before and after the click.
In my opinion, this book does an excellent job of talking about the things that come before and after the click.
The book covers all the information you need to know to run a successful Google Adwords campaign. But there are lots of other things you need to know to run a successful business - the things that come before and after the click. Chapter 12 goes into great detail about developing your USP (unique selling proposition). The first sentence of chapter 12 is. "This could be the most important chapter in the book." You must be able to answer the question, "Why should anyone do business with you? Why should anyone buy your product? What is your unique guarantee?" Unfortunately most people run "me too businesses". Follow the advice in chapter 12, develop your own unique business.
The book also gives a good introduction to copywriting, including some good advice from one of the best in the business - John Carlton. Anyone trying to sell in print (either online or offline) must learn the concepts and principles as put forth in the chapter on copywriting.
While the authors state that chapter 12 might be the most important chapter in the book, I believe that chapter 23 is of equal value. Here the authors talk about "grinding down the competition." The concept is that success is not a flash in the pan, brilliant idea. Success is more often the result of dogged determination, plodding incremental improvements and simply sticking with the basics long after others have given up.
The authors constantly remind the reader that split testing is the keys to riches. You can never know/guess what the market wants or is willing to spend money on. You must be willing to listen to the market. Don't try to impose your ideas/will on the market.
It is very easy for business owners to think that they know what will work, what people want and which ads "look" good. But as the authors point out time and time again, you cannot guess with any degree of accuracy about what will work . You must test, test and test some more. I think the most difficult thing for the reader to accept is that to be successful you must give up your pre-conceived notions of what you think/know will work be open to learning from the markets.
There are plenty of words of wisdom from Claude Hopkins (author of the classic - Scientific Advertising - written in 1923) scattered throughout the book. They are in the form of tidbits "Uncle Claude Sez".
There are some exceptionally good supplemental bonuses that you can download from a link provided in the book. For new Google users you can get a $25 credit to start your account.
There are plenty of references throughout the book to additional sources. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in marketing on the Internet sign up for Perry Marshall's free information. Yes he will make offers to sell you additional programs but you are free to decide if they make sense for you. You will get a great marketing education from the very valuable free information he gives away.
I highly recommend this book. It contains a wealth of information about how to run a successful business. It does not/will not give you quick/easy way to guaranteed profits. Ultimately, the authors tell it straight. It takes doing an awful lot of work, seeking continuous incremental improvements to get ahead in today's highly competitive world. If you are looking for a great guide that is truthful, then this is a great resource.
on November 12, 2010
Here's my book review that I recently did for an entrepreneurial marketing class:
Google AdWords is Google's form of pay-per-click (PPC) internet advertising. More specifically, AdWords are paid advertisements that appear on the right side of Google's search results. The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords is authored by Perry Marshall, a consultant and leading expert on Google AdWords and by Bryan Todd, an internet marketing specialist. Their book strives to convince readers that, through proper implementation, Google AdWords can benefit all types of businesses, and business people. The book achieves its goal; however the book still lacks critical information and is blatantly self promoting.
The book is divided into four main areas of focus. The first eleven chapters deal almost entirely with AdWords- explaining its uses, benefits, structure and implementation. The second section covers basic internet marketing concepts, such as unique selling propositions (USP) and positioning. This leads into a larger, third, section that concentrates on writing persuasive ad copy. Lastly, the book discusses the use of statistical analysis and search engine optimization (SEO) to maximize AdWords' efficiency. Let's take a more critical look at each of the sections.
The first section of the book makes it clear that AdWords can help promote local businesses, retailers, service businesses- both large and small. The book does a good job of explaining the AdWords process which details setting up an account, planning, creating and organizing ad campaigns, as well as targeting specific market segments. Additionally, the authors emphasize AdWords uses and benefits for small businesses and entrepreneurs. For example, a small law firm, with a small marketing budget, can use targeted AdWords campaigns to attract customers within a given geographic area. This is made easier by the fact that, relatively speaking, very few law firms (and businesses in general) currently utilize AdWords - thus the small law firm has a competitive advantage.
While the explanations and step-by-step guide provide valuable information, the book is also misleading and contradictory. Chapter Two is titled "How to Build Your Own Autopilot Marketing Machine," although later in the book the authors discuss to need for frequent tweaking and oversight in order to get the most out of AdWords. This is anything but "autopilot." Moreover, in the first section, AdWords is made to sound like a simple cure-all advertising strategy and the book is written to inspire the reader, rather than be realistic. Marshall includes emails from his own AdWord students who attest to the success they've achieved with AdWords. However, the book fails to warn readers of the financial disaster that waits ahead for AdWord users with poorly designed ad campaigns. Less hype and an admission of difficulty and the time involved in creating successful ad campaigns would lend legitimacy to this section.
The second section should be particularly beneficial to small businesses and entrepreneurs who lack a formal marketing background. Marketing topics covered include USP, customer relationship management (CRM), positioning, and email marketing. By offering such information, readers gain a better understanding of the role that AdWords plays in a larger marketing plan. However, for readers with more advanced knowledge of marketing, this section should only serve as a refresher, not as a source of new information.
The third section of the book discusses writing effective AdWords copy, whose maximum length is 85 characters. The book explains ways that ad writers can capture online users' attention and attract them to click on their ads. In doing so, various psychological, emotional and visual strategies are discussed. Once again, these concepts are helpful to those new to marketing concepts, but are only a refresher for most marketers. For instance, the book discusses the importance of listing benefits for the customer within ads, rather than listing features. Such info may be new to some, but for those familiar with marketing, it's rudimentary. However, there is still useful info for readers with marketing knowledge, which brings us to the highlight of the section - the examples of how to craft ads that adhere to Google's character limit. The numerous examples should be helpful to most readers and lend a variety of ideas to help create short, yet successful, advertisements.
The final section of the book explains how AdWords users benefit by both analyzing campaign statistics (offered by Google) and by optimizing their websites. This is a critical section of the book that shouldn't be overlooked. Luckily the book does a good job of stressing the importance of both issues. Without analyzing each ad campaign's effectiveness, there's no way for user to know if they're making progress or not. Again, this is not an "autopilot" process; rather it's one that requires frequent changes and testing of ads. Similarly, without optimizing one's website, AdWords campaigns can not be fully efficient. And while this overview of SEO is helpful and a good starter, those unfamiliar with the subject should seek additional resources since a thorough discussion of SEO is beyond the scope of this book.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, the book is very self serving. Constant referrals to the authors' own websites and affiliate websites makes for less than pleasurable reading at times. Furthermore, some of the urls listed in the book no longer work. Worse yet, some urls are redirected to web pages for different topics. For instance, Marshall mentions AdWords consulting practices and instructs interested readers to go to [...] for information regarding consulting. However, instead of arriving at a page that discusses AdWords consulting, users are redirected to an opt-in page ([...]). Such misleading and biased tactics detract from the otherwise helpful information of the book.
Still, despite its imperfections, I recommend The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords for anyone interested in PPC advertising. The book provides all the necessary information needed to begin a successful AdWords campaign. However, readers should be aware of the dangers of PPC advertising and the bias and self promotion that proliferate throughout the book. On a personal note, I have internet marketing experience and currently work for a niche ecommerce retailer ([...]) who has used AdWords for nearly five years. During that time there has been little maintenance or analysis of the advertising campaigns. Fortunately, after reading The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, I implemented many of the techniques discussed in the book and have achieved great results in a short period of time.
Although this book's subtitle specifies a worthy objective (i.e. "How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes") that will no doubt help to sell copies, the fact remains that the journey to achieve that objective will require the necessary investment of resources (especially time, hopes, and effort) and the focus must be on the primary process - one that Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd cover thoroughly in the book - but also on supplementary processes suggested by chapter titles. For example, those of Chapters 1-10 in which Marshall and Todd explain how to
o Attract prospects and close on purchases
o Build "your own autopilot marketing machine"
o Build a Google campaign from scratch - the RIGHT way
o Spend less and get more clicks: lay a foundation of properly organized campaigns
o Develop high-quality keyword lusts to craft "killer headlines"
o Write copy for Google ads that attract eyeballs, get clicks, and earn you money
o Triple your CTR (i.e. clickthrough rate) and cut your bid prices by two thirds - no genius required
o Triple your traffic with placement targeting and Google image ads
o Create Google ads: banner ads are here to stay, and finally
o Develop and use local advertising on Google ("Mostly Virgin Territory: Retailers, Restaurants, and Service Businesses Can Beat the Yellow Pages")
I strongly recommend checking out the titles of Chapters 11-29 to complete your briefing on what Marshall and Todd cover, step-by-step-by-step-by-step. Then, and this is VERY important, visit the website identified on Page xi, register, obtain a password, and then gain access to a membership area with updates to the book. Be sure to Google Adwords $25 coupon code for new advertisers. The supplementary resources are too numerous to mention here. Suffice to say that, together, they offer substantial value-added benefits and thereby increase exponentially the total value of the book.
Marshall and Todd know that many of those who purchase this book will need tutorial assistance. For that reason, they immediately establish a direct, personal rapport with their reader and continue it when providing additional resources at the aforementioned website. The only advice I presume to offer is in three suggestions: (1) highlight key passages (I prefer an optic yellow Sharpie ACCENT); (2) re-read chapter or at least the highlighted passages before proceeding to the next chapter; and (3) be persistent but patient.
on May 22, 2011
Just like the first edition, I found the second edition to be very easy to read and follow. It sure did its magic again with my google campaigns in the first couple of hours of reading it. Honestly, this book is one of the few that I can name that really pays off for itself super fast. All you have to do is hang on to it and read the first three chapters. The chapters are quite short and explained in a step by step tutorial style. This edition, unlike first edition, has large screen captures that make it easier to follow the instructions.
Although, the book explains the most important google AdWords jargon and their importance, it would have been nice to have a glossary of terms and definitions (CPC, CTR, PPC, etc...) that could be used as a quick reference. I wish there were a mentions of how to use the offline Adwords editor tool.
The second edition has a couple of new chapters and topics including how to setup the Google Website Optimizer, and improvements about using the split test names and brands. I quite enjoyed reading the last chapter "Epiphany in Nairobi" and its message, albeit not directly related to Adwords.