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Howie Jacobson and his co-authors Joel and Kristie McDonald of Vitruvian Way have updated Google AdWords for Dummies and made it truly the best book out there on a difficult subject: Google AdWords advertising. If you are interested in AdWords, this is a "must have" book, and it certainly earns its place on my shelf as one of the top ten books of 2011 on Internet Marketing, especially AdWords.
It's a five star book, but it's a five star book on a three star subject: AdWords. Let me explain. I feel very strongly that one's Internet marketing is made up of three pillars -
* SEO - Search Engine Optimization, getting to the top of Google - for free.
* AdWords - paid, pay-per-click advertising on Google and/or the Display Network of blogs, portals, gmail, etc.
* Social Media Marketing - free efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and the like
A good - no, a great- marketing plan doesn't look at any one subject in isolation, but rather looks at the whole picture and simultaneously attempts to get your company buzz and visibility across each pillar. In my experience, the most powerful bang-for-buck is on SEO. SEO is free (in terms of out of pocket costs), and SEO gets you more clicks and even better conversions than either AdWords or Social Media Marketing. I have had many, many clients and worked with thousands of students and universally their experience is the SEO outperforms AdWords by a long, long way.
The implication here is to do SEO first, or at least make it a priority. Howie Jacobson's AdWords for Dummies, like most books focuses mainly just on AdWords. To his credit, he does mention SEO and he is clearly cynical about Google's interest in promoting paid advertising over free SEO. Even more so, he fills the book with numerous gems of wisdom, hidden insights, illumination of gottchas, and other ideas that make this book infinitely more valuable than a one-on-one with some of the knuckleheads at Google AdWords who answer the phone and emails at the help desk.
* Just remember to position your AdWords inside of a broader Internet Marketing, and you will do fine.
* But if you do AdWords by itself, even if you read AdWords for Dummies, - you will have done yourself a terrible and expensive disservice.
AdWords should always be done in conjunction with SEO as part of a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy! Never do AdWords alone!