Much as Google has become synonymous with the Internet, AdWords has become synonymous with marketing.
The search engine giant’s advertising platform is, without a doubt, one of the most integral parts of any online advertising campaign. In fact, for every $1 spent on digital advertising, 42 cents goes to an AdWords campaign.
That being said, regardless of whether you’re a first-time AdWords user or a seasoned online marketer, getting the right training—and certification—can make or break your online advertising efforts.
So if you want to be fully trained in how to use AdWords to its best effect, here are the courses you need ASAP.
Where better to start learning about AdWords than from its creator? When you join Google Partners, which you’ll need to do if you want to get your AdWords Certification, you gain access to libraries of free AdWords training modules with Google’s “Academy for Ads.”
There are several learning paths you can follow, each focused on a different aspect of AdWords, including (but not limited to):
- AdWords fundamentals (good for certification training). This includes advertising on Google’s Search, Display, and Shopping networks.
- DoubleClick by Google
- Advertising on YouTube, advertising apps, and mobile advertising.
The courses are specifically designed to help you pass the AdWords Certification exams, but can also be taken as quick refreshers on best practices when it comes to advertising with Google.
The modules are interactive and provide the information in an easy-to-understand manner, making the courses a great starting point for someone who’s new to AdWords. From ad creation to bidding strategies, keyword selection to trademark infringement, Google Academy for Ads covers all you need to know to set up a successful AdWords campaign.
Udemy is an online repository for people interested in teaching and learning about a virtually endless range of topics—AdWords being one of them.
You can take video-based courses from a number of AdWords experts, some for free and others for a low price (usually around $12 each). Each course is structured like a college class, complete with a series of lectures and assignments for you to complete.
Udemy is a nice option because there’s a course for everyone. Some courses are broad, covering just the AdWords basics, and others are much more focused, covering topics like emotions and ad creation, mobile app advertising, and even as specific as video advertising for dance and yoga businesses.
The highest rated AdWords course on the site can be found here, though it was last updated in January 2017 – let’s hope a 2018 refresh is on the way!
Similar to Udemy, Lynda is another online community where teachers and learners come together in the pursuit of knowledge. Lynda’s different from Udemy in that it’s a subscription-based service (with Udemy, you pay by the course).
This means you can potentially get more training for your money by using Lynda, as long as you’re dedicated to setting aside a few hours each week for your AdWords classes.
With Lynda, you can take video-based AdWords courses taught by industry leaders, ranging in topic and timespan. Courses on more focused topics, such as AdWords budgeting tips, are just 5 minutes long.
Other, more extensive courses, like those better suited for AdWords beginners, could last up to 3 hours, but can be completed on your own time. Lynda’s most popular general AdWords course is Google AdWords Essential Training.
If you’re prefer learning in a face-to-face environment or are looking to interact and collaborate with other people (in person), LunaMetrics offers the AdWords training you need. LunaMetrics facilitates conference-type events in cities across the U.S., open to anyone with the time (and budget—these courses aren’t cheap) to attend.
The greatest advantage of signing up for one of LunaMetrics’ multi-day AdWords trainings is the collaboration and networking available to you at the event. You’ll meet people from all different industries, with different levels of AdWords expertise, to bounce ideas off and maybe learn a few new tricks.
This is an especially good option if you’re able to attend on a company-sponsored basis because of the professional connections you’ll make and again, the steep price point (right now it costs around $500 to attend the 5-day AdWords training).
WordStream is a Mecca for online advertisers—the online firm offers guidance to assist with all aspects of online marketing. WordStream’s PPC University comes equipped with a wide variety of free AdWords training modules.
If you’re new to AdWords, you can work your way through WordStream’s PPC 101 and 102 courses, which feature lessons written in a blog-style format that makes it feel like you’re learning from a real person and not a dry textbook. These lessons get into the jargon AdWords experts rely on and cover everything you need to know for a well-rounded AdWords education.
There are also webinars you can attend to expand your AdWords knowledge in a collaborative environment. Take some time to explore WordStream’s site, as you’ll probably find even more opportunities for learning about AdWords and online advertising in general.
Perry Marshall is a well-known and respected member of the online marketing community. He’s been using AdWords since it was first released in 2002, and is a leading expert on the platform.
In his continued impartation of online advertising knowledge to the masses, Marshall has released his fifth edition of the Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. This book comes at a low cost and includes free trainings from WebSavvy’s founder, Mike Rhodes. There’s a chapter for everything, including up-to-date AdWords strategies and functionalities.
Marshall’s book is nice to have on-hand when you’re creating or editing your campaigns, serving as a reference point when you find yourself in an AdWords conundrum.
If you’re experienced with AdWords and looking to refresh your knowledge of the platform (or are a beginner just looking for a general idea of what AdWords is about) you may not need to commit the time and money required for the aforementioned trainings. You can start with the following, relatively broader, guides and infographics on the topic:
- Google AdWords: The Beginner’s Guide from Search Engine Watch
- From Beginner to Pro: 21 Free AdWords Tutorials from Agency Analytics
- How to Use Google AdWords from WordStream
- 12 Steps for Improving Your Google Adwords from Smart Insights
- 5 Successful B2B AdWords Best Practices for Any Company from Search Engine Land
- 8 Best Practices for Using Google AdWords from SalesFusion
The AdWords training that’s right for you may not consist of just one course or education provider. Finding the format that works for you will require some exploring and experimenting on your own.
Each training provider requires a different amount of time and monetary commitment, so make sure you’re realistic about what your schedule and budget can accommodate for.
But most of all, remember to have fun and get excited about the future success of your AdWords campaigns. AdWords is your key to the world of online advertising, and when you know how to use it correctly, your business will thrive.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for No Risk SEO, an all-in-one reporting platform for agencies. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn, or check out her content services at amandadisilvestro.com.