Perry Marshall, along with Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd, have updated their Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords for 2014, and it’s a masterpiece. While maintaining a list on Amazon of the ‘Best Books on AdWords,’ I am constantly on the lookout for new books on the topic, and to be frank, am constantly disappointed. Why? First and foremost, because most books on AdWords should be considered apologetics for Google’s advertising system. The authors “drink the Google kool-aid” and proceed to tell us just how wonderful, just how fantastic AdWords is.
We can get that spin from Google’s own official information, in my opinion. What we want in an independent book on AdWords is an objective perspective: what’s good, and what’s bad, what’s easy, and what’s harmful in AdWords.
The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords is one of the few (perhaps the only) book that really stands up to this test: it’s an objective analysis of how to succeed at Google AdWords with a frank discussion of the merits and demerits of the platform.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom I took away from the book
- Niche Marketing. Find a niche and dominate it. You can either be a big fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a little pond, but you have to dominate, and have a unique selling proposition. Your website and your ads MUST communicate these ideas.
- 80/20 Rule. Perry is a huge proponent of the 80/20 rule, and points out the you’ll get 80% of your traffic (or conversions) from 20% of your ads / web page landings, etc. Focus on your winners, and kill your losers – is a constant theme of the book.
- Don’t Trust Google Too Much. Perry points out important – but often missed – gotchas in Adwords, such as the fact that most beginners should run only on Google, and not Google search partners and certainly not the Google Display Network. Similarly, he points out that many of the AdWords ad reps and technical support staff are not exactly up-to-par in terms of knowledge and perspective.
Peel and Stick: The Most Valuable Idea in the AdWords Book
Perry makes a big deal of this idea: peel and stick. What he means is drill down into your keywords, find those that are performing well in terms of clicks and conversions. Break them out to their own ad group. Rinse and repeat. By laser-focusing your ad groups on specific keyword phrases, and identifying “winners” that merit their own specific group, you can have a huge impact on your ROI. I have used this tactic for ourselves and our own client, and it is incredibly powerful. AdWords rewards tight keyword-to-group structure, and Perry drills this one home.
Another tactic that I call “attract / repel,” he calls “writing great headlines that ‘rivet’ your customers and are ‘dead boring’ to everyone else. While Google would tell you it’s all about clicks, Perry explains that sometimes you don’t want clicks, you want conversions, and sometimes you want ads that repel non-customers. This is a huge point, and an important way not to lose money on AdWords by getting “tire kicker” clicks.
A final tactic he emphasizes again and again is to write, and re-write your ads. I confess I don’t do enough of this. He explains that you should ALWAYS have two versions of your ads running, and – similar to peel-and-stick – you should kill the lesser of the two, write a new one, and gradually ‘select’ the better ad. Over time, therefore, you can improve your ad copy to zero in on your target customers.
Using The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords and Official Google Resources
Another thing I really liked about this book is that it is truly complementary to the official Google resources. Rather than guide you step-by-step through AdWords, Perry’s book is really a “big picture” strategy book. When used in conjunction with the official Google resources, such as the AdWords help files, you have a powerful combination: Perry Marshall for “strategy” and Google for tactics.
Here are some official Google resources on AdWords –