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13 Free Resources to Learn Paid Search

Launching a paid search campaign can be a scary proposition for an ecommerce beginner. Pay-per-click advertising means spending money to acquire potential customers — a scary proposition to any emerging online business. Fortunately, there are free online resources to turn a beginner into a PPC pro.

Here is a list of resources to learn paid search. There are comprehensive overviews of PPC advertising, essential help center resources, search engine marketing journals, and blogs from PPC experts.

PPC University

PPC University website

PPC University.

PPC University is a free educational resource, brought to you by search marketing company WordStream, to help you understand and master paid search. PPC U is organized into three courses. Beginners can start with PPC 101 and then move onto PPC 102 and Advanced PPC. Learn the basics of AdWords, as well as more advanced strategies like retargeting, geo targeting, and mobile PPC.

PPCChat website

PPCChat is a weekly Twitter chat that brings together PPC specialists and online marketers across the world. Occurring every Tuesday at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and designated with the hashtag #PPCChat, participants discuss a wide range of PPC topics from fundamental concepts to advanced theory, moderated by Matt Umbro. The hashtag is also used throughout the week to ask questions, share blog posts, and to present PPC news and information.

PPC Hero

PPC Hero website

PPC Hero.

PPC Hero is a PPC insights blog by Hanapin Marketing. Its goal is to educate the world on the finer skills and techniques of successful pay per click management, as well as to make learning about PPC easy and entertaining. It contains numerous articles for beginners, including “The Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up An AdWords Account” and “Starting PPC For eCommerce Sites.”

AdWords Help Center

AdWords Help Center website

AdWords Help Center.

AdWords Help Center is an education resource to learn setup, basics, management and measurement tools, and much more. The articles are written to provide advertisers with a conceptual, non-technical understanding of how AdWords works. Build your expertise with the three-part online marketing course, as well as goal-based guides such as online sales, website visits, and launch a product. Get strategic advice on core search engine marketing tactics with Google Best Practices.

Google AdWords YouTube Channel

Google AdWords YouTube Channel.

If you learn best through video, Google AdWords YouTube Channel is the place to understand AdWords and make the most of your PPC campaigns. The channel has a variety of playlists to get started, like AdWords Basics and Campaign Starter Kit Series. Then watch advanced topics, like New Year, New Strategy and Re-Energizing Your Account.

Inside AdWords Blog

Inside AdWords Blog.

Inside AdWords is Google’s official site for news, tips, and information on AdWords. It features AdWords best practices and articles from Google blogs such as Google and Your Business Blog and Google Analytics blog. Recent posts include “Online Retailers: The Secret to Seasonal Success in 2014” and “2014 Holiday Shopper Research: Shopping Never Sleeps.”

Bing Ads

Bing Ads website

Bing Ads.

Bing Ads requires its own management and optimization strategies for Bing and Yahoo search engines. The Bing Ads site offers instruction on getting started, creating and managing campaigns, and more. The site also offers a free training course to become a Bing Ads accredited professional. Follow the Bing blog and its series, PPC back to basics.

Certified Knowledge Blog

Certified Knowledge Blog website

Certified Knowledge Blog.

This is a free PPC marketing blog from Certified Knowledge, a site to educate marketers in the best practices and principles of Internet marketing. Certified Knowledge offers self-paced online courses, live training events, webinars, PPC tools, an search-engine-marketing library and more. Recent blog posts include “Top Considerations for Creating & Managing International PPC Accounts” and “Learn How to Build and Manage a Community With Matt Umbro.”

Beyond the Paid

Beyond the Paid website

Beyond the Paid.

Beyond the Paid is a PPC blog by Melissa Mackey, search supervisor at gyro and a contributor at Web Marketing Today. Beyond the Paid addresses search engine marketing, PPC strategies, AdWords and Bing ads, PPC books, conferences, and more. A good place to start is the recent post, “PPC Campaign Setup Best Practices.”

RKG Blog

RKG Blog.

This is a blog by RKG, a search and digital marketing agency that combines marketing talent and technology. The blog addresses topics that directly affect the performance of paid search marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for an advanced education, the experts at RKG write about the real nuts and bolts of search engine marketing, such as a recent post that revealed eBay’s dropping Google’s mobile search ads in favor of Bing.

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Journal website

Search Engine Journal.

Search Engine Journal seeks to provide in-depth guides, news, and analysis. To learn about advertising on search engines, follow its Paid Search 101. Recent posts include “How to Have A Successful Yahoo & Bing Campaign” and “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to #PPC Landing Pages.”

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land website

Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Land is an online publication that covers all aspects of the search marketing industry. In addition to providing PPC news, analysis, and advice, it has a How To: PPC page to get started. Learn more about paid search with “What Is SEM & Paid Search Marketing?” and “How Google AdWords Auctions & Ad Rank Work.”

Web Marketing Today

Web Marketing Today website

Web Marketing Today.

Web Marketing Today, our sister publication, is dedicated to publishing Internet marketing articles, tutorials, webinars, and podcasts to help smaller, local businesses succeed online. It features a variety of articles on search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising, as well as AdWords and Bing developments. Recent posts on PPC include “5 Pointers to Help PPC Ad Performance” and “How to Set Pay-per-click Advertising Goals.”

Sig Ueland
Sig Ueland
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