Friday, December 24, 2010

Gaining an AdWords Advantage? Google Money Pro 2 Review

This article is a review of Google Money Pro 2, a Google AdWords course designed by Steven Holdaway, veteran Internet Marketer and one of 800 to receive Google's "Qualified Advertising Professional" distinction. This course covers everything from basic AdWords principles to advanced keyword selection techniques, AdWords approaches and campaign management and seeks to help users gain an AdWords advantage with Google's ad system.
Being an AdWords user myself, I've always been wary of programs like Google Money Pro 2 when they're released since they are usually accompanied by ad copy and spectacular claims of huge profits (this one is no exception). The big thing that led me to pull the trigger and buy this program however was the video offered on the website that backs up these claims: a live login to Holdaway's Clickbank account and the resulting reports (this by the way is worth checking out even if you're not interested in the course).
That aside, the following is what I was hoping to get out of this program after purchasing:
1) AdWords information beyond just "how to create an AdWords account", "how to setup a campaign", etc.
2) New and profitable techniques for gaining an advantage with AdWords
3) Valuable information on managing campaigns
4) Specifics about what NOT to do in an AdWords campaign
Goal #1: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Since I was looking to dive right in to the good stuff, all the air came out of my tires when I saw the title "What is Google AdWords" in the table of contents. However, because there was so much more information in the TOC (3 pages worth) I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
All in all, there are many pages that deal with AdWords basics and setting up your account. Not terribly useful to me but I can understand including it so that even the novice can take advantage of the course. The remainder of the course also contains exceptional information so I was able to get past it. The section of the course titled "Increasing Google Profits" really gets into the guts of AdWords and guides you through some approaches that you're not likely to uncover on your own.
Goal #2: 5 out of 5 stars
Profitable techniques for gaining an advantage with AdWords I think are one of Google Money Pro 2's biggest strengths. This course presents a lot of information regarding keyword list building, writing ad copy and split testing with excellent advice on how to fine tune a campaign from inception to launch to optimization.
A few VERY valuable things you don't find very often (if at all) in AdWords courses:
o How to fine tune your bid prices so that you don't get taken to the cleaners for ad positions you don't need
o Dealing with Inactive Keywords without paying more (this was a big one for me)
o How to take profitable ads and make them even more successful (the best of these are ad copy techniques and methods for pushing hot buttons with searchers.
Another thing that I was surprised to see is that this course actually recommends the Google Content Network and how to use it to your advantage. Most courses usually tell you to stay away from this for a variety of reasons but it's clearly demonstrated here that you can possibly achieve better ROI using the Content Network.
Again, there are many basic AdWords "How To's" for the beginner sprinkled throughout the technique explanations but it's easy enough to just skip over them.
Goal #3: 5 out of 5 stars
For me, managing an AdWords campaign and tracking results is just about intensive as creating the campaign itself. It was nice to see a successful AdWords pro layout their process for how they manage their campaigns after launch. It's easy to get lost trying to figure out EXACTLY how your ads are doing and what needs to be fixed or removed. This material also includes a process for incorporating Google Analytics into your daily routine - another thing you don't usually come across in these courses.
Goal #4: 5 out of 5 stars
Since what NOT to do in an AdWords campaign can often be the difference between success and utter failure with AdWords, this is the information I was most interested in obtaining with this course. Though the information appears in different places throughout the course, the value of this information, in my opinion, is worth the price of the course.
As many AdWords user know, the Google Quality Score plays a major role in determining the overall placement and ultimate costs of your campaigns. Google Money Pro 2 contains the most thorough explanation of this score that I've come across. In my experience, information like this is very difficult to come by and has fundamentally changed the way I execute campaigns.
Information describing Google's rules and what you can expect if you violate them is also included. Though this information can be found on different sections of Google's site, it is compiled here in one place and serves as a good reference if you want to avoid being banned or simply to adjust your campaigns for the algorithm changes that Google implements from time to time (I'm sure AdWords users are well aware of the recent change that shook up the internet marketing community).
My Total Score: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Overall, this is a solid course on AdWords that does contain the common "getting started" material that beginner's need but also a lot of valuable insights from an extremely successful AdWords professional with very little fat and filler. Google Money Pro 2 has a slightly higher price point than some other AdWords courses but again, I think the Quality Score information is worth at least that.
Additionally, I've read a lot of AdWords courses but this is the first I've actually laid eyes on from one of Google's Qualified Advertising Professionals and the first I've seen that was supported by convincing proof that wasn't simply a screen shot or a simple claim in the website text. Ultimately, in my opinion, many of the tips can certainly increase your a
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