Review of the PPC Blog Membership Site: The Community and the Tools

In part one of this thrilling masterpiece, I covered PPCBlog’s training modules, and the tone and approach of the materials offered by Geordie Carswell.

To wrap-up my review of this site, I am going to quickly mention the proprietary PPC Tools and the PPC Community offered by this site.

ppc blog welcome page

For background stuff, revisit the first post.

The Tools

The tools for streamlining and optimizing PPC hinge on the things you can automate: Keyword Research, Bid Pricing, Ad Testing, Data Collection and Reporting. In a nutshell, PPC efficiency often boils down to having tools that make it easier and faster to research, deploy/test, measure, and refine your efforts for greater profitability.

I am an old school guy. I remember doing everything by hand, dumping piles of data from various sources into spread sheets to try to see what was happening. Keyword research was fairly irregular at best, and extremely time-consuming. Creating lists of keyphrases that were concatenating any kind of decent geographical data required two programmers, thirty working hours and a penguin.

Enter the dawn of a new age: PPC Tools. I guess ol’ Grampa gets a boost from Geordie and the folks over at PPCBlog.

tools for ppc

I would describe what each of the tools do, but instead, I made the picture big enough for you to see. Geordie’s (?) descriptions do a fine bit of justice to what these tools will do for optimizing your time in putting together or managing a campaign. Online marketing can be optimized from a simple dashboard.

Case in point: I am running a campaign where Google told me I was getting hits from a specific region (think: multi-state). So I wanted to try a couple of regionally-focused campaigns, targeting phrases that blended various specific locations and my offers.

In the olden days (when I was a boy), I would have had to create a regional database, that I could then concatenate with my keywords. But with my PPCBlog membership, I used the local keyword tool to explode some geographically specific data by simply entering a few zip codes and using a 50 mile radius…it was a pretty neat little thing.

In a few seconds, I had plenty of relevant regional stuff I could blend into my ads. I fed some things into the Mass Campaign Builder, and had it ready for AdWords importing in less than an hour. I coordinated a TON of research and campaign setup in what boiled down to a few minutes — stuff that would have taken me hours (and dinosaurs) in the past.

Are you going to use every tool for every campaign? Of course not. But they could all come in handy, for sure. I don’t scrape keywords, so I can’t see the clean-up tool being of much use to me. But I played a bit with all of them, and was impressed. Simple interfaces, good speed, nice data outputs. Much like Aaron’s team did with the SEOBook Organic SEO Tools, I found these PPC Tools are really efficient at simplifying specific mechanical tasks to make your life as an online marketer easier. Time is money. These tools save you both.

The Community

This is the true selling point of PPCBlog’s membership, to me. Why? Because there are some brilliant people in this community, and the membership fee does a good job of filtering out the lame-os. No frdeetarding in here: everyone has a mission, and we call it online advertising!

community in ppcblog

Think of it like this: if you have a question about what you are doing, or thinking about doing with a campaign, how much is it worth to you to get a valuable second opinion? And a third? A fifth? The point is, multiple viewpoints from like-minded (and more seasoned!) professionals is an amazingly powerful tool.

Capitalizing on the brain power of the community, members help each other to reach greater levels of success. Better still, if you pose a question in here, you are almost SURE to get an answer directly from Geordie. Having a resident expert to bounce your questions off of is a wonderful balance. I have seen him give many folks some support in a direction, or suggest perhaps something else to test. But he’s in there.

The activity level in this community was growing every day I was in it. Questions range from basic beginner validations, to mid-level and even expert level stuff. It might be about ads, optimizing landers or the peculiar way Google treats somethings opposed to others.

I saw Geordie responding, often multiple times in the same thread, to help ensure that all community members get their questions handled in some way. But this is a vibrant, growing community – so experts from different parts of the globe, and practitioners of every shade are willing to chime in when appropriate.

This is not a forum full of BS posts, and flame fests (the freetard, lame-o norm) – this is people working, and finding better ways to work, together.

I have a great deal of respect for ALL of the members I have encountered in this community so far. I would have to ask how many people are actually in there, but I don’t really care. For all realistic purposes, I want an activity level that matches my own involvement. I hit a forum like this, maybe 4-5 times a week or so – so it was perfectly moving along, to me. The answers were coming within 24 hours of any question being posed.

And again, getting an expert like Geordie to give you some pointers or feedback can make a HUGE difference in your AdWords, or other online advertising ROI. But Geordie is only one of the many experts in there, so do the math yourself. Odds are pretty well stacked in your favor when your direction is coming from some of the best minds in the industry.

And there is a good camaraderie in there, even for people facing similar niches. This is cool, because it prevents a lot of the one-upping crap you might see elsewhere. Everyone behaves, because we are all there for the same reason.

Final Summary on PPCBlog Membership

I want to obviously recommend the PPCBlog membership. I would suggest this for anyone who spends more than $100 a month on PPC, Facebook, Bing or other online ad campaigns. Maximizing your profits is easier when you have experienced professionals helping you.

The training modules are succinct and easy to understand, as well as being complete with some insights that will improve the ROI for most campaigns. Geordie Carswell is a fine PPC ambassador here – he is willing to share his time, patience and best of all his depth of experiences with any member who asks.

The tools are great time savers – allowing you to efficiently wrap-up many smaller things necessary in researching  and setting up a well-balanced campaign. Yet perhaps best of all, the community behind the PPCBlog site is a worldwide gathering of online professionals. The experiences range from beginner to expert, but it is a warm and inviting place to learn. The people were great – all the way up to Geordie, Giovanna and Aaron.

Ultimately, if you want to improve your earnings from online paid advertising channels, there is no resource I would suggest to you more than PPCBlog membership.