When I outlined four definitive sources for learning about Quality Score recently on the blog I made the point that:
When talking to people who are new to SEO and PPC, one thing I often caution them about is not to get bogged down by information overload. There is a remarkable amount of content to consume pertaining to search marketing, but much of it is:
As a result I really like to introduce people to a very short list of two to four authoritative resources on a subject so that they can get a few different perspectives and a complete picture on the topic, avoid information overload, and ensure that they’re reading quality information.
And the same is true of learning AdWords in general. The Google AdWords learning center is a really good resource if you’re troubleshooting a specific issue or if you’re studying to get your Google AdWords certification but the content can be a little dry, and it will tell you more about using the AdWords interface and following Google’s best practices than actually maximizing revenues for your AdWords account.
I’ll introduce you to a similarly short list of five great resources for learning about Google AdWords from end to end in this post.
If you’re brand new to Google AdWords two of the most important elements to really learning how to build great campaigns is to look to authoritative sources that are also well-organized and comprehensive. For this reason I think choosing a few adwords best practices guides, communities, and books is the best way to get started learning AdWords – then you can move on to individual blogs and have a strong foundation that will help you understand and contextualize the information those blogs are sharing.
A great place to start is with some free, comprehensive guides. Selecting the right guides will help you to get a really thorough understanding of AdWords basics. The guide I recommend most frequently to those new to PPC is Josh Dreller’s PPC Academy – it’s a remarkably thorough and practical end-to-end course in managing pay-per click campaigns.
Another great collection of free guides and learning materials are PPC Hero’s Blog Series. The PPC Hero blog consistently puts out very well-organized and authoritative guides on PPC topics – all of those series are great resources, but the guides focused on PPC basics and starting an AdWords account from scratch are particularly great place to start for anyone new to AdWords.
And of course WordStream’s own learning center has a lot of great resources as well – such as white papers and webinars on a variety of search marketing topics. Once you’ve gotten started on your AdWords account, use the Adwords Grader to evaluate how your campaigns are performing and discover more ways to improve them.
Similar to free guides, a paid community centered around AdWords and PPC tips and information is a great way to consume a ton of well-organized information, and also offers a layer of real-time interactivity. Two great examples of this kind of resource are PPC Blog and Certified Knowledge – both offer access to PPC tools, a wealth of in-depth information on PPC, and highly experienced founders who interact with members and offer specific advice on granular issues you encounter in the day-to-day of managing pay-per click campaigns.
Another great resource is PPC books. Similarly to authoritative guides, these are designed to be very comprehensive, and when you purchase the right ones they’re also authored by thought leaders with extensive knowledge of their subject. Two great resources in this category are Advanced Google AdWords and Pay-Per Click Search Engine Marketing an Hour a Day, written by Brad Geddes and David Svetela.
(Read Similar: AdWords For Dummies: Free AdWords Help and Resources)
Finally, once you’ve selected an option or two from the resources above and have been exposed to a comprehensive look at pay-per click best practices, specific pay-per click blogs and AdWords videos can be great tools for supplementing your knowledge of AdWords and PPC. You can check out this list of pay-per click blogs and this list of AdWords videos.
Any of the first four sources of information are a great place to start with learning AdWords, but it’s important to start with an authoritative source, accurate information, and a comprehensive resource that will help you understand the fundamentals involved with various aspects of pay-per click advertising.
Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.
See other posts by Tom Demers
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