I just read a scathing review of the new edition of Google AdWords For Dummies on amazon. Here’s how it begins:
In case your browser cuts off the end of the sentence, it says, “Only about 1/3 of this book is about google adwords. The other 2/3 is about landing pages & customer followups!”
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that everyone feels this way. My mother doesn’t. Neither do my kids. And neither do most of the 80+ reviewers who have give the two editions an average rating of five stars. But since this reviewer makes a point that, on its surface, seems valid, I thought I’d offer a comment.
Here’s the comment:
“Are you out of your freaking mind?”
There, that feels better.
AdWords and Slot Machines
If you came to me to learn how to beat the house in Vegas and I gave you a lesson in how to put coins into a slot machine and pull the lever, I dare say you’d be disappointed.
Yet the ability to set up and run AdWords campaigns, by itself, is about as useful as popping quarters into 1-armed bandits.
And less profitable.
The Only AdWords Metric That Matters
AdWords is a data junkie’s dream. You can run reports with hundreds of thousands of cells. You can calculate average CPC, average ad position by keyword, and hundreds of other metrics.
Novices often ask me to help them navigate the sea of data, to identify the most important metrics to monitor.
The most important AdWords metric is not cost per click, or click through rate, or even cost per conversion. Those are important, sure, but only as throughputs. They aren’t where the money’s at.
The whole goal of AdWords is to maximize the difference between what you pay for a customer and what that customer is worth to your bottom line.
Whoever can generate the biggest margin between cost per conversion and value per conversion wins.
And dominates their market.
That contest is not decided at the first sale.
Expect to Break Even on the First Sale
In every mature market, the cost of customer acquisition trends toward break-even. As the web matures, there are fewer “Wild West” opportunities to make a fortune with no serious competition in sight. Fewer “secret keywords” that no other advertiser has thought of.
Since AdWords consists of a keyword auction, the bid prices inevitably rise toward break-even. As long as they can make a penny in profit, your competitors have incentive to keep paying for that traffic.
The Art of Follow Up
AdWords is not won or lost in the AdWords campaign management console, since that console consists of getting new impressions, new leads and new customers.
You win by selling more and more stuff to the same customer over time. By staying in touch. By building a relationship. By offering consistent value on your site, in your emails, on your blog, in your customer service, and in your product and service delivery.
AdWords For Dummies: A Case Study
AdWords For Dummies retails for $24.95, and you can get it on amazon for under $17. And it includes a $25 gift card that you can spend on a new AdWords account, so you could argue that a basic value proposition of the book is, “Get this book and $8 for free.”
It’s not hard to get people to buy the book, if they have any intention of getting into AdWords.
– Even if they’ve never heard of me.
– Even if they know nothing of my credentials.
– Even if they think “Howie” is a stupid name.
But how many of those book buyers would buy a $497 home study course from me?
Or take a live $999 telecourse on mastering your market in 8 weeks?
Or fly to Durham for a 3-day advanced AdWords workshop for $3995?
Yet lots of book readers eventually find their way to those higher level purchases (yea!).
And every one of them moves from $20 to hundreds and thousands of dollars because of what I do after generating the lead.
So when you read a negative review of Google AdWords For Dummies that complains about the irrelevance of the chapters on landing pages, web strategy, web page testing, and email followup, say a silent prayer that the reviewer is one of your competitors.
Or shout out loud, “Are you out of your freaking mind?” ;)
About the Author (and What He’s Giving Away This Week)
Howie Jacobson, PhD, is the author of Google AdWords For Dummies. He is teaching an 8-part course, AdWords Ball, for online business owners who are making sales via AdWords, but not enough. If you’re not using AdWords Ball methods, you’re guaranteed to be wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars each month on underperforming AdWords campaigns. And that doesn’t include the profits you’re missing out on.
Find out more about AdWords Ball, and the zero-risk guarantee, at http://askhowie.com/adwordsball.
Watch an AdWords Ball introductory web clinic here: http://askhowie.com/adwords-ball-video.
If you aren’t making sales, then AdWords Ball is not for you yet. Instead, check out Traffic Surge, for folks who need more traffic to their sites, or who haven’t found their online market yet. In Traffic Surge, you learn how to use free tools for quick and dirty online research (including the crucial question of whether a market is worth entering in the first place!), and how to apply that research to send qualified traffic to your site.
The first class is available online, at http://askhowie.com/traffic-surge-video. Howie hopes that you find it so valuable, you register for the rest of the series (starts in early October). The sales letter is below the video, for your convenience ;)