Book Review: Ponderings of a PPC Professional

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How often do you come across a true pager-turner--a book you simply don’t want to put down and get annoyed at every break you’re forced to take from it? And how often has that book been about business?

In my years as a history major, business school student, and general fiction fan, I can only recall a small handful of articles, short stories, or novels that I simply had to get through in one go. From what I can recall, none of those were academic business papers–sorry HBR…🥱

So, when I picked up Kirk Williams’s “Ponderings of a PPC Professional” last month, I was caught a bit off guard. It was like having a conversation with an old friend who was explaining their thoughts and frustrations at work–dotted with anecdotes, humor, and the relevant historical mention. Definitely not a marketing textbook!

Business guides, analyses, and strategy overviews oftentimes are not the most exciting reads. Kirk’s book isn’t a how-to guide or an overview of PPC’s evolution. It is, as the title suggests, his own musings on the field from his experience over the years as PPCer. And that’s exactly what makes it so engaging to readers at all experience levels. 

Optily Review

Title: Ponderings of a PPC Professional: A Collection of Philosophical, Yet Practical, Observations to Help You Win at Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Author: Kirk Williams

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nina’s thoughts: Anyone currently working in or with PPC advertising or planning on jumping in will benefit from the ideas presented so concisely and cleanly in this book. While it’s not an instruction manual–nor does it pretend to be–Kirk’s conversational tone takes the generally yawn-inducing topics like data ownership and bidding strategy and makes them fun and relatable.

You’ll definitely gain something from this book, no matter your experience level!

Brendan’s thoughts: Kirk’s “ponderings” are a must-read for digital advertisers. He makes what can be a difficult and complex topic of deciphering best practices in paid search easy to digest. Kirk’s thought process around the funnel is refreshing and an important reminder for all digital marketers that we need to keep this construct at the forefront of our digital ad strategies. 

Topics explored

Again, this isn’t an instructional book on how to set up your Google Shopping campaigns (although Kirk does have an amazing course up on Udemy that does just that). This is a collection of one man’s view of the trends and topics, as he saw them in late-2020–keeping in mind that things change very quickly in the world of digital marketing!

Some of the sections you can expect to get Kirk’s take on are:

  • The future of keywords
  • The not so dead AIDA model
  • Data ownership and online privacy
  • Advertising beyond just Google
  • The difficulties of attribution

…and these are just in the first half of the book!

You’ll definitely want to check out it for yourself.

Stay tuned to Optily Radio this week, where we’ll have Kirk himself on to talk briefly about his new book and Udemy course, and in more detail about how you can boost your Google Shopping game! Subscribe to our show wherever you get your podcasts, so you don’t miss a single episode. 

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