Hi, I’m Richard Fergie, the newest guy at SEOptimise. I’ve been with the company a week now and I’ve just taken (and passed) the Google AdWords exam. I’ve been asked to do a blog post about it so (in the best SEO blog tradition) I decided on doing a top 10 list of things I’ve found useful. Here goes…
1. The Official Resource
The AdWords Learning Centre. If you are a visual or aural learner head straight for the multimedia lessons. If you’re in a hurry, need a quick reference or learn best by reading there are also text lessons. The AdWords learning centre is Google’s own training tool for AdWords so I’d say it is the best resource for presenting information on all of Google’s ad policies in a clear and concise way.
The Learning Centre breaks its course down into short sections (the longest unit is supposed to take 15 minutes) so it is easy to just do a bit at a time and there are also handy quizzes on each subsection.
2. More from the Horse’s Mouth
It’s also worth having a browse through the official AdWords blog to see what’s new in the world of PPC. As Google’s official mouthpiece this blog gives an insight into what Google thinks is important about AdWords. Pretty useful when you remember who sets the exam…
3. O’Reilly Books: Is There Anything They Don’t teach?
Google Advertising Tools published by O’Reilly. Most of this book is aimed at AdSense users; people trying to make money by allowing Google to place PPC ads on their websites. However, the final two sections are entitled “Working with AdWords” and “Using the AdWords APIs.” The APIs section is a lot more detailed than the AdWords Learning Centre and I have to say that most of it went over my head but the “Working with AdWords” section is very good for running you through all the basics of using AdWords.
4. Learning by Doing
I’ve been quite lucky in that I’ve been able to play around with SEOptimise’s own PPC campaign. Messing around like this is a great way of learning so if you do get the chance to even just look at someone else’s already running account I’d jump on it. Expect to see the SEOptimise campaign go from strength to strength now after Kevin actually reviews the ads and keywords for the first time in ages in order to check on my ‘improvements!’
5. Learn. Rank. Dominate. I’ve Got the First Part.
seobook.com turns up sooner or later whenever you are looking for SEO and PPC resources. They have a whole PPC training section of which I think the Pay Per Click 101 video is the most useful.
6. PPC Podcasts
More resources for those of you who are fed up with reading; check out webmasterradio.fm’s PPC-Rockstars which has short podcasts on a variety of PPC issues.
7. A Heroic Resource
The PPC Hero(s) promise “Heroic Feats of Pay Per Click Management.” Check out their best posts for some great tips and things to watch out for. They also have a very detailed quality score handbook.
8. More on Quality Scores
And speaking of quality score, there is a simple AdWords Quality Scores Factors Chart at the bgtheory.com blog. I had a few of questions on my AdWords exam about what sort of things influence quality scores and what sort of things are influenced by quality scores. This chart clarifies this in a very easy to read way.
9. Even More on Quality Scores
Another good quality score resource is from Redfly Marketing who do a mini case study with 10 Ways to Increase Your AdWords Quality Score. 3 out of 10 posts about quality score might seem excessive, but I think it’s fair to say that any aspect of AdWords that does not affect the quality score is affected by the quality score so getting your head around all the interlinked factors is good exam preparation.
10. And Finally…
I’ve got to mention ppcblog.co.uk, mainly because straight after my test I visited their trademark policy change post. I think the exam was slightly out of date in that it did not group the UK and Ireland in with the US and Canada with regard to trademark policy and after reading their blog post I know that I was right in thinking that the rules about bidding on restricted trademarks are the same in all four countries. Unfortunately I don’t know if I got the question right (by assuming the test just wasn’t up to date) or if I was barking up the wrong tree or even being led astray by a tricky examiner.
That’s all for now folks. Let me know what you think or if you have any other good resources for me to learn from.