Book Review

Profit Pulling PPC Ads – Book Review

Profit Pulling PPC Ads by Karon Thackston – covers how to write PPC ads for maximum CTR and conversion.

While I have read a few PPC book – mostly about Adwords – I believe this is the first book about copywriting for PPC ads I've ever seen.

Obviously this is an important topic, since even minor changes can have large differences on your CTR or conversion rates. Given that I find it hard to write good Adwords ads (and that while my CTR is great for some keywords, conversions are nowhere near as good), I bought it right away. I also know the author from a few other books and her newsletter, although I got the book offer from Wordtracker.

There was plenty of useful advice (I have about 5 pages of notes from the 77 pages of the book). Here is what I liked:

  • If you read any copywriting book, you probably saw this – find your target market and write for them. Still important for PPC.
  • Differences between active searchers and passive onlookers (Adsense and Facebook, for example).
  • List of ad styles, with a couple of examples each.
  • 5 Step Process to write your ad.
  • Reminders of what you can't include on your Google and FB ads.
  • 35 ideas for ads (category sales, coupons, statistics, etc).
  • Using Dynamic Keyword Insertion on Adwords.
  • Quality score – how to improve yours – and keeping in mind that a bad score with better conversion can be worth much more to you.
  • PPC Copywriting plan: lots of suggestions for words, goals, motivations and more.


Profit Pulling PPC Ads is very short – 77 pages. It took me about an hour to go through, even while taking notes. There isn't much content here, but there is useful advice, and any change on your ads' conversion rate will easily cover the US$49 price (I paid US$29, but there was a special on the book release). I will certainly be going through my ads after reading it.

Book Review

Google AdWords PPC Advertising

I've just finished another of WordTracker's books – Google AdWords PPC Advertising . I got it at a US$20 discount from one of their e-mails.

I have been using PPC since before Google AdWords (Overture!), and I did read a few books along the way. So I thought I'd read this one, and if it was too weak, I'd just use their return policy and get my money back (which I actually did on another AdWords book).

I was pleasantly surprised. While the book covers all the basics to a level that I think most people starting with AdWords and PPC would find acceptable, if not comfortable, it also had many things I was not aware of:

  • bid stacks: they sugggest using the suggested bids for exact keywords only, and 75% for phrase and 25% for broad match. I have just started trying it, but seems right to me. They do have a rather involved process using a spreadsheet. I can't help but think it'd be better to just write a small program for this. I guess I'll have to see how much time it actually takes.
  • using the Search Term Report to add interesting broad matches as phrase or exact matches, and removing negative keywords.
  • many other small concepts on how to optimize your campaign
  • the differences between the AdWords Search and Content network. From various colleagues, I got the impression that the content network had lousy ROI, so I never bothered much with it. The book recommends completely separating the campaigns and using 10-15 keywords Ad Groups.

Overall, I really liked the book and already started taking small actions on my own AdWords campaigns. Recommended.