Beware the two-day marketing experts

Ever taken a course on Udemy?

Apparently, they can be pretty good. But one in particular caught my eye.

The title is, “Google AdWords Certification – Get Certified in Just 2 Days!

That might sound like a pretty big promise … but it’s only just getting started …

The subheadline is, “Become Google AdWords Certified in Just 2 Days. Get Hired With Your Google AdWords Certification!”

That’s right, “get hired.”

You might be wondering, are there any catches?

Apparently not, as the bullets include:

* No Google Adwords Experience Required!

* No prerequisites or work experience required to take the exam or this course

That’s right, they’re taking complete newbies and teaching them how to pass Google’s AdWords exams … in just 48 hours.

You might think it’s a joke, but according to Udemy, 16,822 students Continue reading

7 ways to use facebook targeting

As we’ve been hearing in the news, Facebook allows advertisers to target prospects in some fairly “interesting” ways.

But Facebook targeting isn’t just for politicians and Russian troll farms, it’s great for businesses, too.

Here are 7 different ways you could use it …

#1: Your own customers and subscribers

Facebook lets you upload customer email lists. Or, if you have a newsletter, you can upload your newsletter subscriber list.

(Technically, you can upload any list of email addresses – but that’s another issue.) Continue reading

My take on the Cambridge Analytica story

There’s a big controversy right now about Cambridge Analytica and how they influenced the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum. Some even claiming they “hijacked” or “stole” the result.

Me? I’m not buying it.

While it looks like they broke Facebook’s data rules,

(A)   Many of the things they’ve been accused of didn’t happen. They couldn’t have happened. They’re literally not possible within Facebook.

(B)   And everything else they’ve been accused of, you could do without breaking Facebook’s rules. All you need is a big enough budget, big enough data set, and smart enough marketers.

(C)   I’m not sure Continue reading

The dirty secret about PPC qualifications

Let me tell you a story…

A prospect contacted me recently. He was using a PPC agency, but his ads weren’t profitable.

At one point during our conversation, he said to me, “The agency has all the relevant qualifications…”

I let him into a secret. And, today, I’m going to let you into the same secret: PPC “qualifications” are worthless.

I’ll explain … Continue reading

Posted in PPC

The one thing your business needs to survive in 2018

Last week, I was watching a speech by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s right hand man.

In it, Munger said:

“One idea [investors] use is one Benjamin Graham borrowed from engineering, which is the concept of a margin of safety.

In other words, factoring all the probabilities, you want a margin of safety in what you’re doing.  And that’s a very good concept when you’re Continue reading

“My sales are down, what should I do?”

Years ago, I was a member of an online business forum. And I’d see some pretty strange questions. One popular one was, “My sales are down, what should I do?”

What was even stranger was the advice they’d get. Just bizarre.

What you shouldn’t do

Most of the advice would be along the lines of, “Learn SEO so you can get more traffic.”

There are three problems with this: Continue reading

My first ever “SEO is dead” prediction

I’ve been doing PPC management for 11 years (since 2006) without ever claiming “SEO is dead.” So what’s changed?

Last month, I was at Turing Fest and listened to Rand Fishkin and Wil Reynolds talking about voice search.

Rand told the audience,

Voice search that shows text results – great! That’s just more things to SEO and PPC for.

Voice answers? That scares the crap out of me. It should scare the crap out of everybody in here.”

Why should it “scare the crap” out of us?

It comes down to one thing … Continue reading

Posted in SEO

What I learned behind enemy lines

Earlier this month, I was at Turing Fest – a two-day marketing/tech conference in Edinburgh.

Whenever I go – this is my third year in a row – I feel like I’m behind enemy lines. For three reasons…

#1: I’m much older than most of the attendees. That sucks. Get off my lawn.

#2: I work with “real businesses,” while most attendees work for start-ups. You know, the sort of tech company that creates Continue reading

Organic v Paid – why everyone’s asking the wrong question

Perhaps the dumbest question in internet marketing is, “Does anyone click on the Google ads?”

Now, if I were sarcastic, I might answer, “No, that’s why Google doesn’t make any money…”

Seriously, folks, it’s not hard to answer this question. After all, Google’s a publicly traded company, which means they report their profits.

For example, in 2015, Google’s revenue was roughly $75bn. Of that, $52bn came from ads on Google’s own websites.

So, let me ask you, Continue reading