I’m still relatively new to PPC, I started my training in October and have gradually learnt more and increased the tasks that I’ve undertaken since then (I’ll be taking my advanced exam soon). As I still consider myself to be a beginner in some respects, I think that I can give a somewhat different insight into learning PPC than a seasoned pro could, after all it must be harder for someone who has been at it for years to remember how confusing it can seem at the beginning!
And so, I’ve decided to put together this blog post of tips that I feel have helped me and I hope can help you, too! Although Google isn’t the only platform for PPC, I’ve decided to mainly focus on AdWords for this post. Here are my tips complete with Web Therapy goodness (if you don’t know what Web Therapy is I highly recommend you Google it!).
Tip 1. Don’t Underestimate How Hard It Is
I cannot tell you how many friends I have that have said to me “It’s easy to set up ads on Google/Facebook isn’t it? You just log in and make the ad.” I, too, was guilty of this common misconception at one point. Google, Facebook and others entice you in by making it seem incredibly simple to set up but setting up PPC accounts isn’t for users who have no knowledge of how it works. There are many more factors to consider other than entering a budget and creating your ad copy.
Tip 2. Don’t Overestimate How Hard It Is
I know my first two snippets of advice contradict each other, but it makes sense I promise. I think, for most people, the first time they see the AdWords interface they think “Oh s**t what have I let myself in for?” And this is probably also partly because they thought it was so easy originally. It does look a bit scary and at times it can be hard to remember all steps of a certain process, but it’s just a case of familiarising yourself with the set up and the different functions. It all becomes a lot clearer soon after you begin using it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all technical sounding tasks are incredibly hard; there have been times when I’ve completed tasks and been left thinking to myself “Is that it? I must have done something wrong, it can’t be that simple!”
BTW – I am not actually saying that PPC is EASY. Just don’t get too flustered or discouraged in the beginning.
Tip 3. Find The Learning Process That Suits You Best
If you’re being taught by someone else, then you’re most likely going to be taught in the way that suits them best. But it’s completely pointless if it doesn’t work for you, it will be a waste of your time and theirs. So let them know.
Tip 4. Write Things Down
On paper, with a pen. Yes, you read correctly. With computers, smart phones and tablets everywhere, many of us have abandoned the good old pen and paper, but it really does help things to go in. When it comes to PPC there are many multiple step processes involved. A lot of them are simple enough but, as a beginner, can be hard to remember. So write them down step by step and refer back to them as you need to. Eventually you’ll find these tasks become second nature and you don’t need to look at those notes anymore.
Tip 5. Ask Lots Of Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure. You might feel like you are bugging people by asking lots of questions, but it’s the best way to learn. And let’s face it, if you complete a task without being certain that what you’re doing is right and you make mistakes it’s going to be a lot more hassle, which could cost more time and money, than asking a few questions. Additionally, no question is too stupid!
Tip 6. Learn The Language
The first time you approach PPC, it can seem like there are so many unknown aspects that it’s all really confusing and scary. Try and learn your CPCs from your CPAs early on so that it all becomes second nature. This is important in understanding why we do what we do in PPC and in communicating your work to others. PPC Hero has a great guide to PPC terminology.
Tip 7. Take Some Time For Independent Study
Especially if you are planning on taking the Google AdWords exam, for example. Google has a great resource centre with study guides to prepare for the exam. Admittedly it’s a little all over the place but it has the info you need to pass and understand AdWords. You should also find lots of PPC blogs and be reading them regularly. With all of this knowledge at your fingertips, you can learn when it suits you and apply your preferred method of learning.
Tip 8. Learn The Reasoning Behind Each Action
There are lots of different steps that come with creating and maintaining an account and whether it’s search query reports, keyword research or ad reviews, it helps to understand why we do them and what effect they have. A lot of this will be learnt along the way but you will find yourself completing tasks much more effectively once you understand why you’re doing them.
Tip 9. Use AdWords Editor
If you’re doing PPC then I’m sure you already know about AdWords Editor but I wanted to mention it because if you’re anything like me you might hate it and try to avoid using it. It’s ugly but it is such a time saver and allows you to make multiple changes without actually posting anything until you are ready. I loathed it to begin with but once you get past the initial hate for it you begin to appreciate it a lot and you really must use it for some tasks. Google also has a guide for using AdWords Editor which you might find useful.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to bring everything you learn together so that you can achieve a greater understanding of what PPC (AdWords) is about and how it works!