I’m currently living in an Airbnb in Seville.
There are four books on the bookshelf.
There’s a Stieg Larssen novel…
A biography of Jackie O…
A Chinese erotic novel set during the Brexit referendum…
…and a copy of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life…in German.
(Promising “Ordnung und Struktur in einer chaotischen Welt.”)
I’ve never read that book, but it’s inspired me to come up with my “12 Rules for Google Ads.”
#1: PPC always comes down to “money out” v “money in”
“Money out” is the cost of your clicks. “Money in” is the profit from the customers you bring in.
#2: Your job is to profitably maximise “money out”
Some advertisers want to reduce spend or to maximise %ROI. That’s blinkered thinking.
It’s better to spend $10,000 and make a profit of $5,000 (50%) than to spend $1,000 and make a profit of $2,000 (200%).
#3: Your biggest constraint is how much you can afford to bid
For most advertisers — those who want to make a profit — their bids are limited by “money in.”
e.g. If they earn $2 per visitor, their maximum allowable bid is $2.
If your allowable bid is higher than your competitors’, you can outbid them and dominate your market.
If it’s less, they’ll outbid you and push your ad down the page.
Which is important because…
#4: The advertisers at the top of the page get roughly 95% of the clicks
There are usually four ads at the top of the page. Those advertisers will get around 95% of the paid clicks.
Your goal is to be one of those advertisers.
Otherwise, your ad will show at the bottom of the page — if it shows at all. And you’ll be invisible to the vast majority of prospects.
#5: It’s easier to optimise “money in” than “money out”
Once you’ve done basic account optimisation and ad testing, the biggest “money in” gains will come from optimising what happens AFTER the click.
i.e. Your landing pages, your funnel, your upsells, your backend sales.
#6: Business optimisation beats PPC optimisation
Increasing the lifetime value of your customers — and funnelling that increased value back into your bids — will usually have a bigger impact than fiddling with your Google Ads account.
#7: If clicks are “too expensive” that’s your fault, not Google’s
Google Ads is an auction. So it’s your competitors, not Google, who decide how expensive clicks are going to be.
So, if clicks are “too expensive”, you need to ask why.
In my experience, it’s usually because they’re doing a better job of “money in” than you are.
#8: In 2022, PPC is a team sport
If you think you can just hire a PPC manager and leave them to “work their magic,” you’re wrong.
That was possible back in 2006, when clicks were dirt cheap.
These days, a good Google Ads manager is like a “PPC CMO.” They’re part of your team. You need to work with them.
#9: Google’s AI is high on “artificial”, low on “intelligence”
If you use any form of automated bidding, be very clear about what you’re asking the algorithm to do. Because, whatever setting you choose, it’ll execute it literally — even when it makes no sense whatsoever.
#10: Assume Google is trying to screw you
This won’t be true all of the time, but it’ll be true more often than you imagine. Be vigilant.
#11: Mediocre PPC + great landing page copy will usually beat great PPC + mediocre sales copy
Better conversion increases “money in.” That lets you bid higher. Higher bids leads to more traffic. A LOT more.
#12: When hiring a PPC manager, ignore their promises and ask them about strategy
Anyone can promise you great results. In reality, great results come from a superior strategy.
If they can’t explain what’s different about their strategy, hire someone else.