If you’re new to digital marketing, then it’s important to learn as much as you can about Google Ads. Previously known as Google Adwords, Google Ads is the platform through which you can run search and display ads on Google and the Google Partner networks. Even though many people assume this platform is only useful for marketing agencies, it’s important for businesses to have an understanding of Google Ads in order to collaborate with their marketing teams. There are a lot of different aspects of the Google Ads platform to master in order to reach people who are interested in the products and services your business offers.
How does Google Ads Work?
First, it’s important to understand how Google Ads works and what the ads look like on Google. Let’s start with search ads. When someone searches on Google and the search engine results page (SERP) comes up, the ads are listed on the top section of the results. These are identified as ads as shown in the image below:
As you can see, the first three listings on this page are ads, and the fourth listing is actually the first organic search result. This means that the businesses with the three ad listings had to pay to get that placement. Google Ads works on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. That means that businesses bid to get the top spots and pay as someone clicks on their ad. On the other hand, the fourth listing on the page above did not pay to get that spot on the SERP. Instead, it used Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In our other blog post we cover the difference between SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), but for this post, we’re going to dig deeper into SEM.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google Ads. The platform has evolved rapidly over the years, and the latest version of Google Ads includes new features such as responsive search ads and responsive display ads, which incorporate Google’s machine learning algorithms to present the optimal combinations of ad headlines, text, and format to appeal to your target market.
So, how do you learn everything you need to know about Google Ads?
There are multiple approaches to learning the ins and outs of Google Ads. At Skyrush Marketing, we suggest a blend of learning techniques that involves the following:
- Self-guided research
- Interactive training sessions
- On-the-job training
- Official Google Ads Certification
Let’s go into more detail about each of the steps to mastering Google Ads.
- Self-Guided Research: When you begin to explore Google Ads, the first thing you should do is start researching the platform on your own. You want to learn as much as you can about Google Ads through authoritative websites, blogs, colleagues, and other sources. For instance, you may reach out to one of your LinkedIn connections who is certified in Google Ads and ask for some information. You may also conduct some of your own Google searches and go through the Google Ads help pages to read about the basics. In addition, niche bloggers will often cover overviews of Google Ads to give you a sense of the general functionality of the platform. After you spend several hours (which can be spread out over several days) reading about Google Ads on your own, it’s time to move on to the next step.
- Interactive Training Sessions: There are tons of interactive training sessions available for Google Ads. The most popular, or course, is the training provided by Google. You can access the Google training tools on the Academy for Ads website. This training provides you with small chunks of information and questions throughout the modules so you can test your knowledge as you go. While the training isn’t individualized, it gives a great overview of what Google Ads is, how it works, and how to navigate it to achieve specific goals. All of the digital marketer at Skyrush Marketing have gone through the Google Ads training course and felt that it was an excellent experience to follow-up their initial research. There are other courses you can take too, such as:
- Google Ads Training and Tutorials on Lynda
- Google Ads Course on Udemy
- PPC Fundamentals Course on SEM Rush
All of these structured courses offer a unique experience as they are designed and led by someone different. Taking multiple courses allows you to gain multiple perspectives about Google Ads and fill in the blanks that may be left in just one course.
- On-the-Job Training: Even though all the Google Ads courses that are available online are helpful, there’s something to be said about actually creating your own Google Ads campaign and testing out the platform yourself. At Skyrush, our digital marketers enjoy showing our clients how Google Ads works. That way, they can explore the features on their own and really get a feel for what services we are providing and how we are optimizing their campaigns. Most of the digital marketers at Skyrush agreed that the on-the-job training that was included before they started working with clients on their own gave them much more confidence in their ability to master Google Ads.
- Official Google Ads Certification: While official certifications aren’t everything, at Skyrush Marketing, we understand that keeping up with all of our Google Certifications ensures that we are always on top of the leading trends in Google. All of our digital marketers are certified in Google Ads and they renew their certification each year. The certification exam is a structured multiple-choice exam provided on the Google Academy for Ads. We recommend studying for the Google Ads Certification exam and getting as much hands-on practice as you can before taking the exam, so you feel comfortable applying your knowledge. Set aside enough time to go through each question thoroughly, because you don’t want to miss questions due to rushing. Once you pass your certification exam(s), you’ll earn a Google Badge on your profile, which can help you stand out from others.
Now that we’ve gone over how to master Google Ads and why it is important, it’s time to get started. Remember, if you need assistance setting up your Google Ads campaign or you want a professional team to manage your campaign, contact Skyrush Marketing and we can provide you with paid search and display advertising services.
If you are interested in working at Skyrush Marketing, contact us at [email protected]