Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, September 16, 2011

Google Adwords Training Resources

I’ve often talked about the fact that while PPC seems easy, it’s really not – it may be easy to set up a campaign, but to really get good results and optimize, it takes a lot of practice and learning. Of course, nothing beats the experience of actually setting up and managing your own campaign, ideally in a low-risk situation or under the tutelage of an Adwords professional.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great online learning opportunities out there for would-be Adwords managers who want to start learning even before they’re actively managing a campaign.

Adwords Exam Learning Center

I recommend starting by studying for the Adwords Exam using the Learning Center. If you can pass the exam, you’re definitely ready to manage campaigns on your own.

PPC and SEM Industry Blogs

When I was first starting out in PPC, I read everything I could get my hands on about the craft. The industry was still new (this was 2002, after all), but there were people out there who had done it for longer than I had, and I was anxious to learn from them. Most bloggers in the PPC and SEM industry are very open and willing to share information, and even answer individual questions from their readers. Where else can you get free personalized, one-on-one industry consulting?

Here are some of the blogs I read regularly and recommend:

Search Engine Watch (disclosure: I write a monthly column for Search Engine Watch)
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Roundtable
Inside Adwords
SEER Interactive


I’ve written about getting PPC news from Twitter and about PPC people to follow on Twitter. If you’re not currently using Twitter, I highly suggest you start. You don’t have to actually tweet – just use it like you would an RSS feed! Read tweets from PPC people, and you’ll learn a lot and keep up with the latest. And if you choose to interact, you’ll learn even more, and have a great resource for questions and help with even your most challenging PPC questions.

Adwords Training Videos

The Adwords Learning Center is full of informative videos on everything from the “getting started” basics to use of more advanced features. Our Adwords rep recently sent me some links to how-to videos for several important and effective features, and they’re too good not to share.

Adding Sitelinks
Adding Location Extensions
Using the Search Terms Report
Creating a Mobile Campaign
Setting up Conversion Tracking

He’s adding new videos all the time, so be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you won’t miss the latest!

There you have it – these resources should get you started and keep you learning for a long time to come. Do you have any favorite or top-secret PPC training resources to share?


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