Adwords for Web Technology Businesses

In this article, I will discuss Adwords strategies for web based service businesses, think web developers, graphic designers, programmers, web hosts and other web technology companies.

A lot of the strategies for local businesses apply here, particularly if you’re a graphic design/print firm with a retail outlet where clients would prefer to see you face to face. So if that’s true for you, read the local business post here

Avoid bidding for the obvious “short tails”

Adwords works in an auction style system. Ads with high relevancy (read quality score) and a high max bid will go at the top of the pile. Within each market there are always major advertisers with deep pockets who will bid up the ad costs so they get the top spots. Case in point in Google USA if you search for “web hosting”, you will inevitably find a Godaddy,com result offering web hosting for incredibly cheap, something like $1.99 a month. The Adwords bid costs around $17 a click (starting).

For small players, there’s no chance of competing at these price points. Often one of the biggest complaints from business owners is that ad costs are far too high. A website like Godaddy will have a huge team of experts working to optimise their pages to convert, their Adwords accounts have a long record of good quality score so their bid prices are cheaper. Their sales funnel is also designed to upsell other related services so their average basket checkout value is probably higher than any other competitor out there. Most importantly they have huge funding to “stick it out”, they may pay in advertising costs what it costs [per capita] to have a web host customer on account for 1.5 years. Their larger funding means that they can play the long game and wait it out to break even.

The best approach for SMEs is to specialise and offer a very bespoke service based on user needs. Bidding on keywords like “web hosting for e-commerce”, “web hosting for web stores” etc. Are a lot cheaper than just web hosting on it’s own so you will have a higher conversion rate. Similarly for web developers you could copy the same footprint as the web hosting examples above. Graphic designers can target different trades such as restaurants, concerts, street flyers, billboards etc. Doing a search in Google UK for “graphic designer for billboards” I cannot see a single graphic designer targeting this industry specifically (there are some who have targeted the catch all term “graphic designer”). How well do you think an ad with an emboldened title Billboard Graphic Design be here? It will stand out and get higher click through rates than any of these other ads.

Obviously, this isn’t a common search term. But the commission for this job is probably huge so it’s best to target these low hanging fruit and bid on this longtails.

Tailor Made Ads

In the above example you can see that there are few actual graphic designers advertising for the search phrase “graphic design for billboard”, but they have only fallen through because they were simply going after the short tail “graphic design” with phrase match. Other billboard adverts have fallen through as well but I guess since the search will be looking for billboard locations at some point it’s not such a bad idea to advertise on this keyword.

The worst ad of all is the college advertising the graphic design course.

A properly crafted ad should include some descriptions with some unique benefits for the end user and a call to action something like Billboard Graphic Designer – Large Canvas & Billboard Specialist – Enquire Today & Get Free Consult.

You can only achieve this level of targeted ads by placing your keywords in tightly themes categories and placing them inside their own ad groups.

Custom landing pages are critical

So you’ve got the industry specific longtail keyword, where do you send the traffic? Do you send it to your generic sales package page? No. If you were targeting the keyword Graphic design for billboards, you best make sure that you divert these clicks to a bespoke landing page that describes the specific needs for that service. Think from the customers point of view, what would an agency or a company looking for a graphic designer for billboard posters want? Perhaps there are standard billboard sizes? Minimum resolution? Lots of printed test samples? Integration with other advertising mediums? etc.

Firstly you have to really understand the mind set of the buyer, think in their shoes and then craft landing pages which address these needs specifically.The book Ca$svertising does a great job of introducing web copywriting principles. Worth a read.

In the case of the earlier example of “web hosting for e-commerce” Adwords campaign. On the landing pages you’d want to have 3 or more different price plans, the price structure could include a ballpark estimates of the number of inventory/admins/traffic allowed on the web page. I see time and time ago how a lot of web hosting companies provide mysql database numbers and storage space. Many state the quota which is completely meaningless for the average web hosting customers. Others avoid the issue altogether but stating “unlimited”, which in most cases are anything but. Personally, I like how Apple approached this with their marketing for the iPod. They didn’t just list “megabytes” supported. They listed the number of songs supported, puts things in perspective for the luddite customer. Which 95% of their customers are.

Obviously for a web hosting for e-commerce landing page you’d also want to include the various other inbuilt shopping carts included and some of the technical specifics like SSL support, email support etc.


All these tweaks and enhancements should keep your ad costs low and the conversion rate high, in doing so you maximise your conversions and minimise your ad costs.

If all this flies over your head, you may want to hire an Adwords consultant to look after your campaign for you. I offer Adwords consulting to small business and SMEs.


Understanding Keyword Match Types

Adwords provides the advertisers significant level of control over where your ad is displayed, you can control which search phrases your ads are displayed by using the four different match types.

Broad match

A keyword is regarded as broad match when you enter the keyword with no formatting around the keyword, example is attached below:

Broad match keywords attract your ads to loosely matched and/or closely related keywords, broad match keywords attract misspellings, plurals and synonyms. For example the keyword lemons from tuscany could attract lemon from firenze (location similarity), lemon italy (location similarity), tuscany lemon (singular and different order of words) etc.

As demonstrated above, the order of keywords doesn’t matter, so bidding on italian lemon will just as easily bid on lemon italy.

Broad match will also attract keywords that have additional words italy lemon can also attract fresh italy lemon, plastic italy lemon, toy italy lemon etc.

If you’re a wholesale grocer looking to export lemons from italy, bidding on just italy lemon is probably a bad idea as you will also display your ad to people looking to buy plastic toy lemons.

Broad match tends to have a poor click through rate compared to other match types because of its “broad spanning” match. Click through rates are poor because ads tend to be displayed on a lot of irrelevant keywords.

Over the years Google has worked on the matching algorithm to make the broad match tighter, however algorithms can never truly understand nuances of the English language (or any language for that matter).

The advantage of broad match is it’s a great “fast track” way to do keyword research, Google will send you a lot of related traffic with misspellings and unconventional word order phrases and you can incorporate them into your tightly matched keyword formats.

Broad match also help in trigger longtail and “never seen before” keywords. Google announced a few years ago:

Did you know that 20% of the queries Google receives each day are ones we haven’t seen in at least 90 days, if at all?

The problem of wide variations of keyword possibilities, need for advertisers to target as many keywords as possible while maintaining a sound click through rate led to the introduction of Modified Broad Match

Modified Broad Match

If you look at a relevant search term that a user searches to find your website you’ll find that there are usually 2 or 3 essential search phrases which really matter, the rest are just filler words that are not important. E.g. the search term professional web developer in ontario has two essential words “web” and “developer”, professional is irrelevant for a professional agency and the location Ontario is unimportant if you’re based on Ontario and have geo-targeted Ontario in your campaign.

Since the essential words are “web” and “developer” you can tell Google to use a form of broad match where it targets a lot of keywords with a wide brush which all contain exactly the keywords web and developer by placing a modifier  (+) before them.

Google ensures that all words with + in front of them are included in the search phrase, though it does also match plurals and misspellings of the modified keywords too.

This is best illustrated using example

Your modified broad match keyword Possible triggered search terms
Blue +balloon Balloon blue
Balloon dark blue
Violet balloon
+Blue balloon Blue inflatable
Balloons blue
Blue party balloonBlue water balloon
Blue baloon (misspelling)
Blue hot air balloon
+Blue +balloon Party balloon blue
Balloon for blues party
Kids balloon blue
+Blue +balloon kids Blue balloon for kids party
Kids party balloon in blue
Blue kids birthday balloon


You’ll notice that as you add more keywords with modifiers the keywords get closer to your intended target audience. In most cases modified broad match keywords with 3 modifiers tend to provide a good balance between reach and relevancy.

The modified broad match isn’t mentioned much in Adwords and lies deep in the help pages. In the Adwords interface modified broad match are categorised as simply “broad match”.

Modified broad match is an excellent way to discover new keywords and broaden your reach. When used correctly modified broad match can be used indefinitely as part en parcel of your main keyword campaigns.

Why use modified broad match?

Modified broad match pretty much replaces the standard broad match and renders it obsolete. Why Google doesn’t inform more DIY Adwords customers about this is anyone’s guess.

Its best use is as a “research buying” mechanism. You can simply use it as a tool to do expansive keyword research into your market, research that can cost a lot of money to buy.

In addition to this, when working with local service businesses where reach and volume is an issue. You can use modified broad match to get in front of every possible search query. Therefore maximising your reach and revenue.

Phrase match

A phrase matched is formulated by placing quotation marks around your keywords, see picture below.

In order to display your ads the users search term must match your keywords inside the quotation marks exactly in the order you typed them in

In the case of the keyword “football boots” it will trigger the keywords:

  • grass football boots
  • astro turf football boots size 10
  • football boots girls
  • mens football boots
  • reebok football boots
  • football boots

In each case the phrase “football boots” is in the search term exactly in this order with other words as prefixes or suffixes or neither. It will also trigger just the phrase football boots as displayed in the example above.

Phrases matches do not include misspellings and singular/plural keywords.

E.g. in the case about misspellings and singulars such as “footbal boots”, “football boot”, “futbol boot” will not match.

In addition to this if there was any words in-between the phrase match keywords then the ad will not be triggered, so a search term like football size 9 boot will not trigger that phrase match.

Phrase match is the ideal go-to keyword type for all campaigns starting out, however with the introduction of modified broad match, phrase match has been used much less. Modified broad match is great when time is limited and you want to start a campaign in a hurry. Phrase match is useful when time isn’t an issue and you can carefully reflect on the different ways a user much search for your product and the associated word orders and variations.

Exact match

Exact match is the most specific match type in Adwords, the search terms triggered are matched exactly to your keywords (hence the name). Exact match keywords appear inside square brackets as illustrated below:

Exact match keywords match to search terms strictly; they do not include misspellings or any variations in singular and plural forms. They also do not include any prefixes or suffixes to the exact match keywords at all.

The advantage is that you know exactly what the user typed to trigger the keywords and decide whether the keyword is relevant or not on face value.

Long tail exact match phrases are the best converting keywords available, an exact match keyword [buy iPad mini] will trigger ads on search term buy ipad mini which has a lot of commercial intent behind it, so exact match is preferable for doing detailed split testing.

However, when a phrase match keywords has 3+ words inside it, it can come close to the click through and relevancy of its exact match equivalent. A lot of users search using filler words like:

  • where can i buy ipad mini
  • buy ipad mini online
  • buy ipad mini today

The exact match keyword [buy ipad mini] will not trigger the above keywords, where as a phrase match would. You can generate a massive list of exact match keywords for every conceivable 4-5 word variation. However Google has prevented this with the introduction of the low search volume status where it prevents keywords with very low volumes from being actively bid on in search. This is done officially to save resources and make Adwords system more efficient.

Which match type is best?

This really depends on a case by case basis, if you’re a freelancer who is constrained by cost you may want to start by doing detailed and meticulous keyword research and then bid on the keywords you think are highly relevant using exact match and test them. On the other hand if you’re a large company dealing in a high volume market it may just be cost effective to just create a campaign using phrase match and modified broad match and go for volume at first and then filter the keywords back.

Adwords strategies for freelancers and consultants

Freelancers can use Adwords to reach to their target prospects better. But there are a few strategies freelancers need to adopt which will differentiate themselves form larger companies or agencies providing the same service.

Because freelancers don’t typically have a large ad budget, it’s important to use your ad budget effectively. So each pound or dollar goes further than a large company providing a similar service.

Adwords startegies come into play, but I want to start off by discussing conversion optimisation first.

Conversion optimisation

A conversion is simply the percentage of people who land on your website that turn into a sale. A easy way to improve your conversion rates is that tweak your site or landing page so that you are offering exactly what the user wants. Refrain from offering a wide range of services on a page, ideally build a different page for each service you offer. It’s even better to create a different service page for each of the sectors you support.

An example of this would be, say if you were are graphic designer, you could tailor a web page for graphic design for dentists, hotels and restaurants. Then you can tailor your marketing channels specifically for these industries and land the traffic on the bespoke page.

On the page itself you should discuss graphic design solutions for that particular sector. For instance on the graphic design services for restaurants page you can mention specific requirements for that industry such as menu design, food photography optimisation, store front banner design, branding & logo design services, 3 year free revisions for menu price changes, discounted printing services with partner company etc.

What your essentially doing is building pages tailored towards very specific market segments. So when that particular market segment lands on your web page they are almost ready to sign your contract and hand over their credit card details because you’re offering exactly what they’re looking for.

Long tail Adwords campaign approach

Now if you’ve read the paragraph above already the adwords campaign approach would be pretty self explanatory, it’s simply not worth bidding for keywords like “graphic designer” or “graphic design”. These keywords are usually bid on by large companies who’ve established dominance for those short keywords and get much cheaper ad clicks than you because of their campaign longevity and quality score. What you want to do is shoot for the low hanging fruit, go for keywords like “graphic design for restaurants”, “hotel graphic design”, “graphic design for dentists” etc.

Note: recently google has prevented users from sniping the longtail keywords in this manner, so you will haver to use a variety of different match types, a good one to use is the partial phrase match such as +graphic +design dentists. this will find all the keywords that contain a synonym of dentist with the words graphic and design with them. This should do the trick but can pull up some unusal keywords as well so you need to watch the keyword carefully and use the negative keyword feature to band bad clicks.

Another great way to go for long tail is to target your local town. If you lived in Hull for instance, you could target “hull graphic design”, a lot of businesses and freelancers want to work for a local firm and this is a fantastic way to do so.

Hopefully these tips will help you out, this should give you a rough start on how to manage your Adwords campaign for your freelancing gig. There are other Adwords strategies which I can’t really go on about, maybe another time. If this is still going over your head and almost sounds like a foreign language. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m available for hire. Click on the hire me link, and drop me your info.

Adwords management for web stores

Adwords managements for web stores requires a highly controlled and structured approach to management. Often in retail margins are thin and overheads are high. Unlike the service industry where businesses can afford to spend up to 50% of revenue to marketing. Retail does not afford that luxury.

In order to run a profitable web store marketed using Google Adwords, a variety of different criteria needs to be met.

Structure your Adwords campaign like your web store.

Campaigns should start off mirroring your web store, you’ll find that the web store usually has products listed in logical categories and product ranges. Mirroring the Adwords campaign closely to your web store allows you to manage changes to your Adwords campaign better. Remember, your e-commerce store will have products on automatic inventory management – it will list products for sale until inventory runs out and then it will display 0 items left and remove the buy now button. Your Adwords campaign does not have that feature so you should be able to locate the relevant ad groups easily and quickly.

Oh and let’s not forget, always land visitors onto the appropriate product/category pages. Do not land all the visitors onto the homepage. Ever.

Target both category keywords and product keywords.

Past experience has shown me that there’s about an equal conversion rate between searches for a product category, and searches specifically for one product. What do I mean by this?

A category search might be: 10MP digital camera
A product search might be: Nikon 10MP DL-510A digital camera

For the former keyword you would be advised to create a page which lists all your 10MP digital camera and land them onto that page. Fully commercial shopping carts systems will have lots of features in place to do this, but for freeware shopping carts like zencarts, magento etc. You can tag all your 10MP digital cameras as such and locate the tag url for 10MP digital camera and it will list all your items there.

Yes! the tag view does have a worthy purpose and aren’t just designed for SEO keywords nerf.

Alternatively if you have an actual broad yet specific enough category such as “waterproof digital camera”, you can target that keyword and land visitors onto that category view. In this case the category is specific enough. A category like “blue sofa” isn’t really specific, there are all sorts of different types of blue sofa as well as price brackets.

Expansive product range.

Have plenty of alternative products and substitutes in your inventory. If you grab visitors from Google by bidding on the keyword “WD 500GB hard drive”, you best have quite a few different models of WD 500GB hard drives, as well as 320GB, 1TB, 750GB variations. It’s natural human psychology to compare and contrast the price and more importantly the value of what they’re getting for their money. Firstly, the buyer wants to compare prices on your site with the prices on competitors website. If your prices are overall better value they will return to your site with the intention of buying, they will then compare different product variations and pricing to ensure they are making the best purchase. If you have a computer store and you only have one hard drive in your inventory, it does not inspire confidence.

In addition to this, having lots of alternative products in your inventory allows you to maximise your ROI. After running your Adwords campaign for a period of time and after exhausting all techniques to hammer down bid costs and improve conversion rate, you will reach a point where you cannot increase the campaign performance any longer. Then, the only way to increase Adwords performance is to increase the basket value of all purchases, you do this by offering plenty of alternative products.

Restructure your high converting and profitable keywords into their own campaigns/ad groups

Remember what I said about mirroring your adwords campaigns to reflect your site structure? Well this is when things start to get complex. You will invariably have some items in your inventory which convert well, or you may have some items that are frequently searched for and have high spend. You want to watch these clicks carefully and make sure that costs don’t spiral out of control, and they are regularly maintained.

Case in point, you may have a high traffic & high converting keyword. It’s not just the case with you, but your competitors too, so they’ll be looking to increase their profits and they may increase the bid, change their ad copy to reflect current buying trends etc. So their actions may affect your ad performance, so you need to stay on top and make sure your ads are current and your bid strategy is sound.

Promotional items go on their own ad groups.

Obvious reasons really, Christmas sales/January sales items always go on their own ad groups, and so do other one off or seasonal ads. You want to be able to start and stop them easily. You probably don’t want to have special promotional sales to keep displaying ads long after the stock has cleared.

Hopefully these tips will help you out, this should give you a rough start on how to manage your Adwords campaign for your web store. There are other Adwords strategies which I can’t really go on about, maybe another time. If this is still going over your head and almost sounds like a foreign language. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m available for hire. Click on the hire me link, and drop me your info.

Modified Broad Match: Best Tool for Micro Niches and Keyword Discovery

Every PPC book you’ll ever read will tell you the errors of using broad match keywords on your list. They will tell you to use phrase match or exact match only. But secretly while all that discussion was taking place a new match type has emerged which has unparalleled power to quickly and easily target a wide myriad of keywords. It’s tremendously useful for keyword discovery and saving time with campaign setup. It’s called the modified broad match and this is how it works.

The Modifier

The modifier is the + sign placed in front of individual keywords in a search phrase. The + sign represents the keyword that must be present in the search phrase from the end user to display the ad to them.

This modifer can help you reach "I sometimes <3 you", "I think I <3 you" and "I want you to <3 me"

Fully Modified Broad Match Keywords

You don’t have to place a modifier in front of every word, you can choose a select few. But when you use a modifer in front of every word such as +green +Wellington +boots, it’s called a fully modified broad match as such your ads will be only displayed on search phrases which contain at least all three keywords. In many respects this works a bit like a phrase match by allows for words to be included at the beginning, end and in-between in the search phrase. This is ideal for essentially “sweeping up” all potential matches that would normally take you hours to produce on a exact match list.

With the above example your ads could be displayed on search phrases like “green high quality Wellington boots”, “cheap green Wellington boots” “Wellington boots that are green” etc. This technique is a good way to target granular keywords and various forms of your granular keyword with “filler words” inbetween.

A fully modified broad match can be use as a keyword for long term if you wish. Although there is some flexibility in the range of search terms it can trigger, it’s still specific enough to be highly relevant to your target market. For fully modified broad match to work effectively, it’s recommended that you use at least 3 words.

Anchor Modified Broad Match

You do not need to use modifiers before every word on your keyword, you can use it on some. Such as green +Wellington boots or you could use +green +Wellington boots. When you use an anchor modified broad match, the modifiers work as normal and the words without modifiers work as regular broad match. With the case of the single anchor modified green +Wellington boots; your ad could appear on search phrases like maroon teal wellingtons, green wellington shoes. People in the industry like to call keywords with one modifier as a single anchor modifier, and keywords with double modifier as double anchor modifier. They pretty much work in a similar way.

I would recommend that you use a negative list and built it up in order to use these partial modifier keywords as the likelihood of triggering irrelevant keywords is high.


Google and Bing do not talk about this feature much. I guess they like to keep things simple, but make no mistake this is a highly effective strategy, but it requires constant oversight in order to get right. Make sure you monitor the traffic that comes through to make sure the ads are being delivered to the right audience. You will need to use the negative keyword list quite heavily.


Adwords: Keyword Bidding Strategies for Local Businesses

Adwords is possibly the single most potent advertising platform for small business bar none. The unique feature of advertising on Adwords and other paid search models is that by careful keyword selection you can cherry pick the most qualified Google users, such as those who are actively looking to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

A good strategy to reduce bid prices and improve your relevancy is to use location modifiers in your keyword selection and ad copy.

For instance if you were offering plumbing services in London, a good idea would be to use “emergency plumbing london”, “emergency plumbing in london” and “london emergency plumbing” you may use a keyword generator tool to create a list of keywords containing the three words emergency, plumbing and london in them. I have a bespoke software built for this purpose.

On the Ad copy it is recommended that you use the location modifer to make your ad more relevant to your viewers, alternatively you can use the Ad extension feature and place your address underneath your ad copy. Google will show your address underneath the ad if the searchers location is close to yours. For instance if the searcher is within the same borough as you – your address will be show with a link to Google Maps.

This way you are targeting a very specific request. Combine this with dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) and you have a very good ad.

If you have the best price and can prove it, you can put the superlative “best” in your ad copy. This will increase your CTR and conversions. Policy requires superlatives to be supported 2 clicks from the landing page, though for best quality score it’s better to have it on the landing page itself.

I recommend against using a phone number for regular desktop and full browser search ads. This can reduce your CTR and play havoc with your attribution.

Mobile works well with local, searchers generally use short-form keywords and the character quantity is often less. Eg. for desktop search you may not find it useful to bid for [plumber london] because the search could be for information & videos. But mobile searches tend to be more actionable so [plumber london] is a good keyword to search. Call extensions are good, but they are due to be phased out soon. Only ads on mobile generate calls straight from the SERP, bypassing the site. With mobile searches there is often more urgency, they are on the move and won’t browse around endless on their phone. They will usually be looking for a solution quickly and in a hurry. So craft your ads to cater for that.

Small businesses tend to have a small budget, say £20/$30 a day. This means that you can afford the luxury of tightly matched keywords. Often the entire campaign will be composed of exact match keywords only – which fill the daily budget. If you have a restricted budget, you may want to use the same approach. If you are unable to fill your budget, consider adding 3-4 word phrase match keywords which will get more clicks.

Depending on your market and marketing goals you may have a different approach to keyword match types. It’s important to measure results. Structure you account by themed ad groups, create custom reports in analytics which report on keywords from each ad group – measure the bounce rate – aim to get less than 50%.

The specificity of keywords and how relevant they are to your market will determine whether your campaign converts well or not. View the diagram at the end to understand how keyword types affects conversions.

Note: relying excessively to location modifiers in keyword may drastically reduce your reach, “emergency plumbers london” would be highly relevant to plumbers in London. But “emergency plumbers” on it’s own with geo-targting to people in London will achieve similar conversions. Although “emergency plumbers london” converts better, it’s reach will be lower.

5 Common Adwords Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

Throughout my time consulting with small business owners I’ve come across several recurring issues that prop up time and time again.

I wanted to address these issues here for the benefit of other small business owners, in order to allow you to avoid these mistakes for your own campaigns.

1. Website not designed/formatted correctly to capture leads or make sales. This is common, often when I first do a consultation this will stick out to me, typically the ordering process is too complicated and sometimes it’s not even apparent where the order form/checkout button is. The sales copy may not speak to the customer. Remember marketing lesson 101, state the benefits and not the features. The body text should jump out to your prospects and solve their needs.

2. Inappropriate landing pages. Often many Adwords novices will divert traffic straight onto their homepage, leaving the visitor to fend for themselves and locate the products/services themselves. Each ad should link to the specific page of the product/service the ad was promoting. This is because the homepage is too crowded and trying to serve too many purposes, so it’s not the right place to land visitors to.

3. Keywords are too broad. There are 3 match types in Adwords, broad match is the default and it will display your ad to search queries that are vaguely similar to your keyword list. In most cases the traffic will be a mish-mash of everything. Using phrase match in “” and exact match in [] to narrow down on your keyword selection in order to get traffic from qualified sources.

4. Keyword groups are not themed in categories/product lines. This is crucial, keywords need to be themed into a tightly clustered group which in most cases is the same product but written in different forms represented by each keyword. The secret lies in being highly specific. Creating ads for very specific products with keywords that match the ad perfectly. Often first time Adwords users will just lump hundreds of keywords onto one ad group with one ad all pointing to the homepage.

5. Poorly constructed ads. There’s a format to writing adwords ad that is optimal for receiving clicks. The title must describe your product/service in 2-3 words which closely matches the search query submitted by the end user. The second line of the ad tells the end user how your product or service can solve their problem. The 3rd line gives them a compelling offer like 10% off or free bonus gifts along with a call to action like “call today”, “enquire now” etc.

There you have it, 5 common Adwords mistakes made by small business owners, chances are if you have these in order you are well on your way to a semi successful adwords campaign and you can probably save yourself a consulting fee 😉


5 reasons to hire an Adwords consultant

1) Consultants work harder and longer

in fact they work far harder than your regular 9-5 employees. Consultants have to prove their worth for every project they undertake, often times consultants will rely on repeat business and will work round the clock often going over their projected hours in order to achieve results. Adwords consultants are no different! In fact Adwords consultancy is a tough market, a consultant can be fired easily without any given notice and a replacement can be brought in to take over the project. This is in stark contrast to IT consultants and management consultants which are not easily replaceable.

Unlike 9-5 staff who can relax into their roles and have the security over the heads, and Adwords consultant has no safety net. Therefore the consultant will work exceptionally hard to keep clients happy.

2) Meeting unexpected demands

Consultancy is the best and most cost effective way to hire field experts to fulfil short term needs. Whether it’s just for seasonal uptick in business or you need cover for short term staffing issues an external consultant is a surefire bet. It’s the ideal choice because it saves you from having to hire full time staff and dealing with all the liabilities of having permanent staff.

3) Small businesses who need small campaign management

The overwhelming majority of clients who approach me for Adwords consultancy are usually small to medium sized business who don’t need a whole lot of time for campaign management. Often they simply need an expert to look at their campaigns and fine tune them for 6-8 hours a week or so. A consultant is cost effective, yet provides noticeable improvement in campaign optimisation. In addition to this a consultant will cut out the add-on agency fee of working with an digital marketing agency.

4) Obtain specialised skillsets

These days there are far too many jack of all trades, organisations typically have a “online marketing expert” who may be involved with social media marketing, SEO, PPC and a whole host of other digital marketing roles. It takes no Einstein to figure out that the more skill sets a person juggles the less diluted their expertise becomes. An Adwords consultant will ONLY with with Adwords and nothing more, therefore their skillset is highly refined.

5) Broader perspective

An in-house campaign manager may have their scope limited by being involved in the day to day running of the business. A consultant can offer an alternative perspective, offer new approaches to your marketing channel. Often a consultant will work for various other different campaigns for a variety of different sectors, this keeps the consultant abreast of different marketing strategies. So an Adwords consultant can add tremendous value just from that insider knowledge from other firms’ campaigns.


Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman Notes (cashvertising)

Reader note: Following a DMCA notice to remove the original notes from the site. Please find these book review/summary.

Cashvertising is one of the few marketing books I’ve read and continue to read and apply to my marketing efforts.

Chapter 1 – The 8 life forces

In true advertising fashion the book advertises something along the lines of 100+ advertising secrets. But the greatest value one can gain from Ca$shvertising is by understanding the 8 life forces.  Drew explains that fundamentally people are motivated by 8 essential life forces, including but not limited to survival (including enjoyment of life, preservation), freedom from fear & pain, sexual companionship and 5 other life forces. If you’ve ever come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the 8 life forces are pretty much that.

Drew explains that ultimately the biggest motivator is the 8 life forces so whether you’re selling bread, cars, kitchen cleaner, electrical tools they all need to anchor towards attaining positive life forces or moving away from negative life forces.

E.g. you can sell wholemeal bread by implicitly stating that white bread causes cancer. Of course if you want to avoid a lawsuit you would mention how your break DOESN’T cause cancer – implying white bread does. Car adverts are full of life saving safety features and so are electrical tools.

Now, these uses of life forces are pretty self explanatory. But the best marketers are able to really push the envelope and combine many life forces to create a masterful ad. A power drill might feature all the lifesaving safety features such as auto cut out, short circuit protection, overheat protection etc. But it won’t really sell power drills unless it has a plus to it. How about adding some more life forces do it e.g. (enjoyment of food/beverages, sexual companionship, care and appreciation of loved ones and social approval). You can do this by ending the ad with the hero in the ad putting up a shelf in record time. Just in time to cuddle up with his loved one in the sofa getting the appreciation of his wife. TV ads tend to have a lot of these cut scenes to really hit home the message.

The life forces are:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, danger
  4. Sexual companionship
  5. Comfortable living conditions
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
  7. Care and protection of loved ones
  8. Social approval

To understand these concepts full Buy the book from Amazon.

As I mentioned earlier, understanding the use and implementation of life forces is crucial, a poor writer who understands life forces well will do a better job of writing ads than a wordsmith who doesn’t understand it.

Although do note. Life Forces 8 is just a way to wet the prospects appetite, create tension (desire). But it in itself will not sell products. The rest of the book deals with how to market your products and how to maximize sales through conversion optimization.

Chapter 2 – theories & principles

Contains 17 segments consisting of different marketing concepts expanding on the 8 life forces and introducing more concepts. This chapter would be revision for experienced marketers and well worth the read. For apprentice marketers this would be essential reading. Reading this chapter and then watching a shopping channel will be an eye opening experience as you can see much of the concepts discussed in play.

My favourite segments:

Ego morphing

This is used by all marketers; the hero used in all advertising will play an aspirational role. Someone who’s attractive, cool, successful. Think of the Marlboro guy – turning a disgusting habit into someone that’s aspirational. I bet there were people who hated smoking but smoked anyway to feel cool like the Marlboro man. The hero in your ads should be similar.

Examples vs. statistics

In the Adwords consultation industry, I’ve seen firsthand this effect in practice. I’ve produced detailed case studies of past clients and published them for their viewing with less than par results. However after publishing a few testimonials my lead generation has increased to the point that I have to think twice about accepting more work. People are drawn to stories not numbers. The challenge for me is that I work in an industry that deals with numbers, I also think in numbers so I often have to train myself to think in stories.

Chapter 3 – examples & techniques

The chapter is full of fantastic tips that apply to web marketing as well as print marketing. I assumed before reading this chapter that there will be little relevant advice for an Adwords consultant. However I was amazed to find how relevant their examples were for small web ads that I run.

My favourite segments.


This was particularly useful for Adwords ad writing; learn to keep your ads short and sweet. This applies to all print ad writing not just Adwords. Sometimes authors can get locked into trying o use fancy words and using filler words to make a point. But ad writing does leave room for narcissism – you have to always think about sales and the consumer. Not be concerned with trying to express your “creativity”.

Benefits not features.

Easy to forget from time to time, so needs constant reminding. Always think about what the consumer wants and why they want it. Don’t state features more than you need to.

Chapter 4 – examples and ad writing in play

The last section of the book contains various different examples of ad writing. Can be useful for reference but I think it was just to fill up the book and get the “100 secrets” in.


All in all, greatest marketing book I bought and well worth the $10 or so that it costs. Buy the book from Amazon.


Crush it, Gary Vaynerchuck

I really liked Gary Vay-ner-chuck’s book Crush It! I’ just finished reading the book on my kindle, which in all honesty was quite short, but the message was clear and concise.

Crush it is probably the oppposite of what is preached by Tim Ferriss in 4 hour work week [another great book], where Tim discusses the huge importance of outsourcing everything and anything that is possible. Including outsourcing the creation and management of your social media and online dating profiles.

Gary’s message could not be any more different than that, in fact from watching one of his videos I understood that at one point Gary created a Wine Library TV app for facebook where he manually answers all the mundane and monotonous wine questions to anyone who has the app.

Gary is all about hard work and grafting to making a business successful. Which may be strange to hear from a business guru these days. Gary preaches doing only the thing you love, crafting out a microniche in which you are madly passionate and in love with, something you would devote your time doing anyway even if you weren’t making money from. For instance, a blue collar dad who spends his entire weeked watching football, whose passionate and has a lot to say about football. Why not set up a weekly ustream channel where you broadcast your thoughts and commentaries online, something you probably would have done anyway?

Now I agree with Gary’s approach to a certain extent. I’ve been involved with web business for quite some time, I’ve been doing this full time for a year. So I know a thing or two about making money online. I know that having a passion for your subject matter is vitally important, without it, you’ll crash and burn.

However, I think another part of the issue is that you need to have some direction as far as business is concerned, you have to follow the money and not just make a crapshoot into thin air and hope for the best, which I’m afraid a lot of inexperienced people who have never run a business before, are in risk of doing.

What I got out of this book was work hard and reap the rewards, sometimes you need to read/watch a guy like Gary Vaynerchuck at play, to get a kick up your backside to get back into being authentic and interacting with your audience. Something that I don’t do much in my affiliate marketing business model