Review of PPC Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day

Author: Gab Goldenberg

David Szetela has long been one of the PPC experts I most admire, not least of which for his informative presentations at SMX – typically on the Google Display Network (GDN), his specialty. He wrote a book for Wiley/Sybex’s online marketing An Hour A Day series, Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day, along with his fellow Clix Marketing pro, Joseph Kerschbaum. I was fortunate enough to be given a review copy, and while I’m sadly quite late in writing this review, I figure better late than never!

First of all, since this blog is geared to an intermediate-to-advanced audience, I’ll answer the first question everybody asks themselves: yes, you’ll learn something new.

What are some examples of things that I didn’t know about before reading PPC An Hour A Day, having barely ever touched the GDN?

  • How to write and design a banner ad
  • Static vs animated banners
  • Ad types and sizes – what are the most popular, for instance, and will get you the widest coverage on the GDN
  • Demographic Bidding

One thing that I found surprising with PPC SEM An Hour A Day, since originally I recall this being contrary to AdWords guidelines, was being encouraged to use title case in copywriting. That Means Capitalizing Every Word In Your Ad, Like It’s An Article Title.

Since Szetela and Kerschbaum’s book is meant to be a comprehensive overview, there is a lot that won’t be new to anyone who’s run an AdWords campaign before, and naturally the more experienced one is, the more “know that, next” moments there’ll be. But I think that even intermediates and advanced people will find interesting material in the book.

For example, there’s a generous section covering various advanced reports within AdWords. Since optimizing is an essential step on the way to profitable campaigns, this can’t be overlooked. This includes insights into methodology that Clix Marketing obviously uses, such as various Excel functions that enable PPC managers to manipulate data and understand it more easily. Reviewing this sidebar I notice the words “Huge Tutorial” that I wrote in pencil when I read the book.

With regards to copywriting, people who’ve attended SMX conferences will likely have heard some of the David’s tips, but despite being a past attendee of his panels, I was surprised to discover that AdWords will allow you to use ALL CAPS, and with dynamic insertion yet. News to me!

People who use critical thinking ideas described in my advanced SEO book will find that some ideas described re: the GDN can also carry over to Facebook ads (or Plenty of Fish, for the affiliates reading this). For example, keeping banner sizes small – for the sake of load times – and therefore using only one or two movements.

In sum:

1) Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day (try using Dynamic Insertion with that title…) is a comprehensive book, addressing everything from campaign set-up, to writing, bidding, landing page testing and design (a good section, but mostly stuff I knew), to advanced optimization and reporting.

2) The newer you are to the field, the more value you’ll get out of the book.

3) The material on interruption based advertising will probably be new to most people, since the majority of us are into search engine marketing, after all… because of search!

4) Kerschbaum and Szetela have ensured that they also cover modern developments in AdWords, such as demographic bidding, ad sitelinks and so forth.

5) Ignore the fact there’s an appendix about Facebook ads, because it’s useless.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Sidebar Story


  1. T'est trop sympa, mon vieux! See you soon, on espere.

    Comment by David Szetela - May 25, 2011 @ 11:33pm
  2. Thanks David! I only wish I was able to share more details / that the book was fresher in my memory as it's a few months ago I read it already. It was a great read that I spent many hours on :D.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - May 27, 2011 @ 9:03am

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