Monthly Archives: February 2009

Adwords Consulting Auction Weirdness

OK, now I’ve seen everything.  Howie Jacobson, author of Adwords for Dummies is auctioning a pay per click consultation on ebay.  

But if you think about it, he’s got the value perception, now he’s adding scarcity and a deadline … I’m betting he drives his fees above his current rates this way, maybe it’s worth considering if you’re in a service business and you’ve got a list.

Anyway, this gives new meaning to the term “pay per click auction” 🙂

By the way, active Rocket Clicks clients  get MY personal consulting time at a discount.  (It’s still pretty high end, … but it becomes a LOT more manageable for many people this way who otherwise couldn’t afford it)

seo cheat sheet for ppc marketers

Most pay per click marketers are woefully ignorant about SEO, which is starting to become a serious liability given how things are progressing with the Adwords Quality Score algorithm.   I recently interviewed Jeremy Hambly, Director of Search Engine Optimization for about how to whip a PPC site into shape for organic traffic.

After the interview, I asked Jeremy to prepare a two page PDF cheat sheat (right click and “save target as” to download it please), which you can download here.

Links to the original interview are below:


In this powerful mp3 interview … Jeremy and I review Rocket Clicks best practices for a new SEO  campaign.  Implement them yourself, or have Jeremy prepare a SEO Blueprint to use on your own

SEO Essentials for PPC Marketing

PPC marketers almost always  “settle in” on a pure PPC mode.  Big mistake, not just because you miss the opportunity for a LOT of extra volume (65% never click  PPC ads) … but because PPC & SEO are slowly merging as the Adwords Quality Score becomes more and more sophisticated.

In this powerful mp3 interview  … Jeremy and I review Rocket Clicks best practices for a new SEO  campaign.  Implement them yourself, or have Jeremy prepare a SEO Blueprint to use on your own

Multiple Adwords Emotions

One of the more intriguing questions on yesterday’s post about connecting the dots on emotional benefits in Adwords was “What if there are multiple emotional benefits connected to a particular feature?  How do you make sure you’re targeting the best one?”

Let me first  say this question is the one my million dollar protocol was designed to answer back in the days when I did Fortune 500 consulting.  Because it’s a HARD nut to crack, we had a sophisticated computer algorithm which made the connections via a series of picture sorts and statistics in the background.

Here’s the qualitative 80/20 answer in a nutshell though …

1) There ARE always multiple emotional benefits connected to a desired product  feature.  

 In this week’s posts, we’ve been talking about hiking boots.  We suggested that one of the desired features, the high-rise ankle protection was desirable because it allowed avid hikers to bound forth with CONFIDENCE, leaping from rock to rock, knowing the material was there to support and prevent twisting and straining injuries.

But confidence is also bound up with FEELING SAFE, … and taken together in the context of this market category CONFIDENCE AND SAFETY make it possible for the hiker to enjoy a SENSE OF ADVENTURE as they climb higher and higher.

So the high rise no-twist ankle “ladders up” to feelings of confidence, safety, and a sense of adventure.

Which feeling is best to focus on?

To answer that, you need to understand the RELATIVE STRENGTH of the connections. 

2) To get at the relative strength of the connection between a particular product feature (e.g. no twist high rise ankles on my hiking boots) and each of the multiple emotions the feature is connected to you can 

   a) run a million dollar research protocol — OR —

   b) survey and/or talk to a few dozen consumers using the laddering exercise from yesterday’s post to see how many of them make each connection.  (In other words, if you talk to 20 people and a dozen of them connect the feature with Sense of Adventure but only 6 ladder up to Feeling Safe, you can reasonably assume Sense of Adventure is the more powerful connection)

If these techniques intrigue you, I highly recommend signing up for Dr. Sharon Livingston’s emotional marketing newsletter and free 2 hour MP3

Emotional Adwords Principles – Summary

(A continuation from yesterday’s pay per click search marketing post!) 

There’s nothing more critical than understanding what REALLY drives the purchase of our product or service.   Most people believe in the power of emotion in ppc advertising, but the specific manner in which it yields its influence is always left vauge. 

*  “Customers buy for emotional reasons and then justify it with logic” … how true, … but wouldn’t it be more useful if you could SEE the SPECIFIC connection? …

* What you want to do is logically trace the pathway from a particularly desired feature (like the high ankle rise on my new hiking boots) which gives rise to a rational benefit (it protects me from twisting injuries while I’m hiking) … which ultimately leads to an emotional end benefit (I can enjoy feel a sense of adventure and freedom) … which makes me feel good about myself

* Feature (high rise ankle) –> rational benefit (protects from twisting) –> emotional benefit (sense of adventure and freedom) –> feels better about self

* Understood as such an emotional benefit is no longer a mystical concept.  It’s simply “something nice I feel about myself because I use your product or service”

* Because it also applies to CONSIDERING using your product or service … so in Adwords, an emotional benefit is “something nice I feel about myself because I click your ad” … (this all occurs below the level of consciousness)

With the exercise demonstrated in the FREE MP3, you’ll learn to trace EVERY feature to it’s logical connection with an EMOTIONAL PURCHASE MOTIVATION   


* These emotional labels and accompanying single paragraph descriptors were derived via extensive quantitative research with thousands of consumers, a panel of psychologists,  and marketing consultants who specialized in assessing emotional purchase motivation.  Taken together, the list is probably the best representation of the full spectrum of human needs which can be met by purchasing a given product or service)

When you understand the LOGICAL CONNECTION between a given feature and the way that feature specifically supports the prospect’s self esteem, your attempts to weave emotion into your Adwords text are much more believable and effective and do NOT require hype or “emotional attitude”

The short story?


First, identify which features are desired in your market category.  You can do that by examining winning ads, or by more exhaustive competitive intelligence and survey research  (see the “after the click” formula at )

Next, decide whether you’re going to do this exercise …

A) Alone – in which case you’ll need to have a pretend conversation with yourself in a journal (perfectly acceptable …as long as you remember to suspend your quest for the ‘right answer’) … OR

B) With one colleague or friend – better … it’s easier to get clarity on the connections when you can get out of your own head … OR

C) With a group of customers or prospects in your market – best – you can invite them to a little teleseminar or webinar/chat to conduct the exercise

Now, for each desired feature (for example “high rise ankles”), gently but persistently keep asking …

– “What’s the benefit of _________ (FEATURE)”

– When you get the answer (for example “I like high rise ankles on my hiking boots because they help me avoid twisting injuries”) 

·          “And what’s the benefit of ____________  (REASON ABOVE)”

            And what’s the benefit of ____________  (REASON ABOVE)”

            And what’s the benefit of ____________  (REASON ABOVE)”

 … until the respondent says something like “it just makes me feel good about myself”

IMPORTANT NOTE: the answer just BEFORE them saying “it makes me feel good about myself” is the emotional end benefit. 

(Feeling good about oneself is perhaps the ultimate emotional benefit, but it in and of itself it provides no advertising direction)

Please listen to Sharon do the exercise in the FREE MP3  for an example

Bottom line is … first figure out what they want RATIONALLY … then talk to them using this special technique to link the benefit to one of the 37 emotional benefits here.

Emotional Adwords Marketing

Consider the emotional difference between these two Adwords ads and see if you can surmise the principles behind the better one … they are the principles which distinguish hype from real emotional impact:

Keyword = “Hiking Boots”


Freedom Hiking Boots
The Ultimate Hiking Freedom!
True Soar Freedom Boots

This ad attempts to communicate the emotional benefit of freedom and adventure, but comes across “hypey” because there’s no logical grounding to an actual feature or function that’s obviously connected to the emotions.

What makes these boots the “ultimate in hiking freedom”? Why should the user believe they’ll “truly soar”?

Because the author had to “scream” from shaky ground and the ad won’t be effective, because there’s no “reason to believe”. This is what happens when people try to “add a little emotional attitude” to their advertising copy without understanding how emotion is actually grounded in reason!

AD #2: Real Emotional Impact

High Rise Hiking Boots
Transcend Safely My Friend
w/ Guaranteed No-Twist Boots

This author understands the connection between a specifically desired feature of the product (high rise ankles), the rational benefit it “ladders up to” (protects from twisting), and the emotional end benefit of freedom and adventure (which the author cleverly combined into “transcendence” and gently inserted in a single word).

Because the emotional leverage is anchored in something solid the consumer can rationally connect to their desire, the ad is much more believable and should not only get a higher CTR, but attract a more motivated prospect with the right emotional expectations to buy.

I’ll summarize these principles for you tomorrow 🙂

Profit From Rising Adwords Costs?

SUMMARY: Most people view the rising costs of PPC advertising as an awful barrier.  But the truth is, the bar isn’t nearly as high as you think! 

– The rising costs of PPC make it hard for the riff raff to get into the game … so the marketers who remain expose boatloads of free competitive intelligence. 

– More importantly, once you’ve been around for a while you’ll realize that less than one in ten thousand PPC advertisers is using ALL 7 critical ppc methods below effectively, even though they’re incredibly simple to implement!  

 The 7 CRITICAL PPC METHODS ARE: continuous testing, conversion tracking, laser targetting by theme, landing page tests, market surveys, longer follow ups, and lifetime value building

While it’s true that only 3 to 5% of the players in Adwords are making significant money, this is incredibly misleading because

  • Probably less than half the advertisers on Google are organizing their keywords and advertising in a laser-targetted, hyper-relevant manner
  • Less than 25% split test the right way AND target their keyword groups well
  • Less than 13% split test, target AND match their landing pages appropriately
  • Less than 7% all of the above plus any kind of advanced testing
  • Less than 3% do all above plus set up some type of ongoing feedback loop to get closer to their market
  • Less than 1% do all above plus follow up relentlessly with excellent content
  • Less than ½ of 1% do all above plus use any kind of method for systematically analyzing the whole page of search results
  • Less than 1/10th  of 1% (about 1 person in 10,000) do all the above AND work to build lifetime value with their customers
  • And less than half of these people are making their split testing decisions using the right numbers!
  • Taken together, this means only about 1 out of 20,000 PPC advertisers are using this full set of simple skills.  



  • Split test better
  • Be more granular (break things up into smaller groups)
  • Deliver more specifically


Use the “Chinese Water Torture” follow up principle … drip on’m with valuable free content until they buy or die (then keep dripping with MORE valuable free content)


  • Cater to customers, not one time sales
  • Build continuity programs (vitamin examples)
  • Sell high end tickets  (Note: “events” sell for more than products)


  • While everyone is trying to get computers to BE their business, you use computers to SUPERCHARGE your business instead.  Remember, the internet is just a vehicle to help you connect with more people in less time … but in the end, it’s still people connecting with people
  • PPC fuzzy logic systems are good for helping to expand your keyword targetteing, but ultimately you want to refine this and evolve your system to rely more on exact matches and specific site targets
  • Integrate TELEPHONE follow ups where appropriate.  This can multiply your conversion by TEN TIMES in many cases … listen to this FREE audio:



  • Expand your Adwords campaigns to Yahoo and MSN
  • Then 2nd tier engines like Miva and Goclick
  • Look at other networks (like Adbrite)
  • Consider Ezine Advertising
  • Blogging and SEO
  • Go offline!
  • Classified Ads
  • Post Cards
  • Display ads
  • Val Packs, etc.


  • Be able to outbid everyone in your market because of the economics of your business

If you do everything above, you should be able to turn visitors into dollars better than everyone else in your market.  Once you can do that, you can leverage the “Unlimited Traffic Technique”  (In a nutshell, if I can make $3 per visitor from a given keyword and you can only make $1, … I can offer you $1.50 for your visitors and there’s no reason for you to continue trying to service them ‘cause you’ll make more by sending them to me … all the traffic in your market can start to tilt in your favor)

Until tomorrow,

Dr. G 🙂

More Adwords Changes – I Love!

ANOTHER Adwords change … and I LOVE it!

Used to be searchers “voted” on your ad by CLICKING, and, as all adwords users are familiar with, the higher your click thru rate, the lower cost will your traffic be, and the better your quality scores.

But here’s the news.  Adwrods seems to be testing the possibility of letting people REMOVE UNWANTED ADS ONE BY ONE.  (A tiny “x” on each ad appears – not on all results pages yet – probably still in Beta)

This might scare you … but let’s think it through.

What will the impact be?

– Less clutter of searcher screens by unwanted ads
– Users will think of the Google ads as a “sorting and screening” space … finding what they want more quickly
– Ad feedback will accumulate more quickly, since searchers can now effectively vote BOTH thumbs up (click) or thumbs down (remove).

Highly relevant ads prone to garnering more clicks previously will now get EVEN BETTER click through (less competition), and will RISE UP THE RANKS FASTER.  Less relevant ads will be devoured faster too.

Bottom line?

Adwords just got even more Darwinian and evolution now happens in double time.

Dr. G 🙂

Beyond Peel and Stick – Adwords Success Factors

The vast majority of pay per click search marketers focus on TECHNIQUES like split testing, peel and stick, keyword research, and matching options.  Surprisingly Perry Marshall, author of  Entrepreneur’s “Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords” suggests that most beginners quickly master these Adwords fundamentals, yet are prone to ignore the REAL drivers of success.

Enjoy this 41 minute, in depth psychological interview with Perry where we discuss the true guts of Adwords marketing success:

Perry Marshall – Beyond Split Testing – Adwords Success Factors MP3

Niche Affiliate Marketing – Many Niches or One?

On Friday, in response to my hyper responsive pay per click marketing video I was asked…

“How do you use this info as a super ppc affiliate when you do a huge volume – in different markets? Is there enough time to do all the research needed or do you just pick one of 2 markets to focus in on? ALso, do you focus on a market or a product? Ex. the health market is huge should you focus on a niche and only one product like arthritis or wt. loss- and in the market should you focus on one product in the market?”

Here’s the short answer …

Pick a well defined market area, study the hell out of it, become the person who knows the hyper responsive customers in that market better than anyone else, and only consider expanding once you’ve milked all the juice you can out of that one market.

Early in my career I experimented in a LOT of markets, and I built a name for myself as the “dude who went into 17 niches in a row”.

While that may be true, and it did make me kind of famous (if you can call it that in these circles), it was also an extraordinary headache, and an extremely self limiting business model.  I’m out of that game now, and I try to persuade as many brokenhearted beginners as I can to get focussed and stay focussed!

Especially as the internet evolves (and pay per click in particular has turned out to be brutally competitive), it’s really necessary to specialize, and win with determination and depth.  Hyperlinks make you hyper, and internet induced ADD is rampant.

You see it’s really not extremely hard (it’s a little hard, not extremely) to develop a 6 figure income with some experience and understanding of  how things work online.  But getting from 6 to 7 figures is MUCH harder in the multi-market model, and 8 figures is almost out of the question unless you’re tuned in on ONE.

So my advice for this person is …

1) Pick the market responsible for most of your income and focus there.  At the absolute most, make it 3.

2) Study and love the market before you fall in love with a particular product.  Product love in the absence of market understanding is death online and off.

3)  The “health” market is much, much, much, much, much too broad.  Pick a specific condition, and even a specific, reachable sub-group within that condition (e.g. women with diverticulitus) and become the only marketer who really understands them.

You can’t develop a hyper-responsive magnet without being hyper-focussed yourself.

Hope that helps 🙂