Why Help Files Just Don't Cut It
Most PPC advertisers quickly discover the fact that simply knowing how to perform a function or run a report on a system like Adwords isn't enough to ensure you're successful with PPC.
Mainly because the 'mechanics' of how to do something are quite a different thing than formulating an actual strategy and wringing as much profit as possible out of it.
PPC help files are a perfect example, and well illustrate why strategy and troubleshooting training can't be overlooked.
When PPC 'Help' Isn't Really Help
Here's a case in point: when you're stuck with "Poor" landing page quality, Google's help files tell you to simply "Improve the quality of your site." That's not exactly helpful. It's also intentionally ambiguous on their part.
Why do we say "intentionally"?
Google has a long history of providing vague instructions like these to advertisers under the guise of not wanting to help unscrupulous individuals 'game' their system, or gain an anti-competitive understanding of the Adwords system. While that's obviously a bad thing, it still leaves advertisers hanging, unable to get specific, actionable help from Google directly as to what they should do to make more profit on their campaigns, or why Google is charging them a hideous amount for clicks.
In short, you can tell someone how to perform an oil change on a particular car model, and that's nice, but it doesn't help them understand the big picture, i.e. why they should change their oil on a regular basis- to keep their repair costs down later on.
PPC Optimization From Hell
"But Google offers really helpful strategy consulting services with their account reps..."
Google does offer advertisers of a certain minimum size "Campaign Optimization" services via their junior account representatives. Many advertisers that have taken Google up on these offers however have discovered that their campaigns end up costing more and performing worse than they were before they OK'd the "optimization". How could this be?
The Fox Guarding the Henhouse
Beside the fact that many junior Adwords account reps have never run a real-world PPC campaign from keywords to conversions, when it comes to actual strategy, is it possible that the information is biased toward making Google more money vs. helping *you* get as much profit out of Adwords as possible?
Of course, Google would argue that if you're profitable with Adwords you'll keep buying ads from them and thus everybody wins. Experience has shown however that often the advice Google would like you to heed the most happens to be the advice that will help them extract more advertising dollars from *you*, regardless of your profitability.
For instance, if you're already running an Adwords campaign at the moment, have a run through our Adwords Tax Calculator, and see how much money you're leaving on the table with Google right now.
The Adwords Tax Calculator well illustrates the point that field-tested, objective 3rd-party training and personalized advice on how extract more return from your PPC campaigns is essential.
Google will look after their revenues just fine without you lining their pockets, you can be sure of that. The smart money is in learning how to shell out as little as possible for the maximum possible return: profits For YOU, not Google.
Curious What the Difference is Between Real PPC Strategy & Adwords Help Files?
Join the PPCblog Member's Only Training Program and get real, actionable strategy and tactics for not only surviving, but dominating PPC advertising!