Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
If you’re new to pay-per-click advertising, or are responsible for training new PPC staff, you can never have enough training resources. With that in mind, I’ve assembled a number of resources for PPC beginners — and for PPC pros. Here are 21 blogs, websites, and books to learn and improve your PPC skills.
Pay-per-click professionals should have an arsenal of blogs that they read on regularly. Blogs are ideal for continuing education, because the good ones are constantly updated. As with all the resources in this post, these are in no particular order.
- PPC Hero. One of the most comprehensive PPC blogs, with posts on most every aspect of the craft.
- Inside AdWords. The official AdWords blog. You’ll find all the new product announcements here.
- Bing Ads blog. The official Bing blog, with new announcements and hints for success.
- PPC Blog. Edgy and direct, this blog covers a myriad of PPC topics at all levels.
- PPC Associates. The authors aren’t afraid to tackle controversial subjects and state their opinions.
- FB PPC. From the PPC Associates team, this blog focuses solely on Facebook PPC.
- Rimm-Kaufman Group. While not exclusively PPC, this blog is full of brainy stats for advanced practitioners.
- SEER Interactive. These PPC posts are detailed and thoroughly explained.
While blogs are helpful for up-to-the-minute news, you also need an online library of solid PPC information. These sites contain tools and training for PPC pros at all levels.
- Search Engine Watch. The granddaddy of them all when it comes to search-news sites. SEW covers all aspects of search, but its PPC section is worth bookmarking for its diverse selection of PPC research and news. I write a monthly column for SEW.
- Search Engine Land. Founded by Danny Sullivan, who many consider to be the godfather of search. Search Engine Land covers all things search, and includes a robust PPC section. It also publishes a Daily SearchCap, which is a roundup of articles around the web, segmented by topic. The PPC section of the SearchCap is a daily must-read.
- Certified Knowledge. Brad Geddes, the founder of Certified Knowledge, is the only AdWords trainer approved by Google to teach advanced AdWords courses. On this site, you’ll find free tools, forums, and how-tos, along with paid tools that can take your PPC efforts to the next level.
- WordStream. WordStream is home to the well-known AdWords Performance Grader tool, as well as free and paid tools for PPC management.
Reading about PPC in a paper-and-ink book may seem old school, but the following books will make you forget that notion. They are on my desk, and I refer to them frequently as I work on PPC campaigns.
- Pay-Per-Click An Hour a Day, by David Szetela and Joe Kerschbaum. A fantastic walk-through of PPC, starting with the basics and getting progressively more advanced. This is required reading for my PPC trainees.
- Advanced Google AdWords, by Brad Geddes. While not for beginners, this book is a must-read for PPC pros.
- Winning Results with Google AdWords, by Andrew Goodman. This is the first PPC book I purchased; it remains a handy reference. While it was published in 2008 and a lot has changed, consider it your PPC history textbook. It’s chock-full of the history and evolution of AdWords.
- Killer Facebook Ads, by Marty Weintraub. Weintraub and his team at aimClear have made a name for themselves as Facebook ads gurus. In this book, he spills their secrets. Not only will you find thorough explanations and how-tos, the book is just plain fun to read.
Books: Web Marketing
Pay-per-click professionals also need to understand overall web marketing concepts, such as usability, website optimization, site architecture, search engine optimization, and many other topics. Here are the web marketing books I find myself referring to.
- Web Marketing All-In-One for Dummies, by John Arnold, Ian Lurie, Marty Dickinson, Elizabeth Marsten, and Michael Becker. This 900-page tome is your all-in-one encyclopedia on all aspects of web marketing.
- Landing Page Optimization, by Tim Ash. Ash is considered by many to be the leading expert on landing page optimization. He has a knack for taking a complex topic and making it easy for even novices to understand. You’ll find techniques in the book that will help you convert more website visitors.
- Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug. Although this book was originally written in 2000, every word is still pertinent today. A must-read for anyone who works on the web.
PPC changes quickly. Even the most seasoned pros need a “help room” where they can ask questions. Luckily, there’s a great resource for staying current and learning what’s new.
- PPC Chat. Founded by Matt Umbro of Exclusive Concepts, an Internet marketing firm, PPC Chat is a Twitter community of PPC pros. “Official” chats take place every Tuesday at noon Eastern Time, with Umbro asking questions on a PPC topic, and participants answering and discussing. But the community goes much further than that. Every day there is new information shared within the community. It’s like a dorm full of PPC majors. If you’re on Twitter, all you need to do is follow the #ppcchat hashtag to see the tweets. I highly recommend PPC Chat to all PPC pros.