Brand New to SEM?
There are essentially two different sets of skills you need to make SEM work. We heartily recommend that, as you're learning from the beginning, you keep these two sets of skills distinct and think about your learning independently as you progress with each.
- The first one is how to apply Google pay per click marketing to your business. This might be fairly straigntforward (but it never really is) in that you are selling something on line and you just want to create campaigns that get people to do that. You're going to have to get a pretty good understanding of how SEM works and figure out how and where you can apply this to your business. The more obvious the approach you take, the more likely you will find competitors standing in your way.
- The second set of skills you will need is an understanding of how Google Ads/Editor works. This is a very structured system that requires you to understand how it works in order to use it. Campaigns are made up of parts that are rigidly defined and work much like a computer program. Like a computer program, incredibly small changes can yield very large changes in your results. Including causing you to lose thousands of dollars in wasted clicks in an hour. You need to understand this system, how you can take steps to make it work for you, and how you can keep from making very costly mistakes.
When you decide to try Google PPC adertising, you are stepping into a very large marketplace (Google SEM). And there is a lot written to "help" you get going. Most of it comes from "experts" who have the job of both informing you how well SEM can work and convincing you that you will be a LOT more successful if you use them to help you.
There are MANY sources of information to choose from. We have selected a few for you here because we think these do a good job of maintaining the distinction betweek the two type of skillsets. And even more important than that: they stick to the subject of pay per click marketing and don't mix it with other forms of marketing.
Hopefully, you will find some of this information to be useful. Even better is if it causes you to do some of your own research to find resources that will specifically help your organization to get going with SEM.
SimpliLearn offers a couple free courses to new users. One of their good ones, is a course on Google AdWords Complete Certification Training. This is a fairly long course (13 hours), but it is well-paced and well-narrated and we think it's pretty good. You can actually hope to pass the basic certification test just from going through this course.
Some of the best dissertations on the subject of how to apply SEM to a particular business come from the people who do this for a living. The agencies that specialize (at least to some extent) on SEM for the SMB marketplace. So, we recommend reviewing some of the “Getting Started On Google Ads” guides that various companies publish online. Try to find ones that focus on Google paid search written since 2018. They will help you understand the theory of paid search and how to use it for your business.
These agency guides are really good because they have to convince customers (like you?) that there is a process for applying Google search marketing to a business like yours. So they do a good job of going through how you can think about SEM and how you might apply it to your business. Fortunately, this may also help your team to figure out how to use outside help and what questions to ask them. Some of these agencies are VERY GOOD at helping you to do the things that will make you successful SEM'ers. In any event, we think there is value in some of their guides for new users.
Here's links to three of our favorites from recent years. They do date back to 2018 (the Sol8 one is newer and delightfully focused on Google PPC lead generation). No association or endorsement is implied with any of these companies. Nor are the guides presented in any particular order. We just think the guides mentioned here are pretty good. If you have a guide you would like us to list here, please tell us.
How to actually get hands on with Google Ads and Ads Editor? The best material we have seen for this are the training videos that many PPC experts have put together to help you get started using these systems.
Google Ads is a system that is provided by Google to let you specify EXACTLY what searches you want to show your ad on, what should be in the ad that is shown, and how much you’re willing to spend to get your ads clicked on. That is EXACTLY what a search campaign lets you do: specify those three things. In order to use search marketing successfully, you will need to know quite a bit about how Google Ads works.
It is important to understand the mechanics of how Google Ads search campaigns work. This would include: how search campaigns are constructed, how campaigns are activated, and how campaign performance is monitored and improved. We suggest you spend some time making sure you understand this material before proceeding with spending money on Google Ads. This is well worth the investment of a few hours time.
There are some good Google Ads tutorials on YouTube centered around creating and running search campaigns. Most of these video tutorials will require between 20 and 120 minutes (each) to go through. You can find some of them if you search YouTube for:
[+Google +search +campaign +tutorial] – Link to YouTube Videos
Again, no association or endorsement is implied with any of these video providers. We think some of the videos on this subject are worth reviewing. Of note is the fact that tutorials showing how to create Google search campaigns are very popular on YouTube. Some of these videos have tens of thousands of views per month.
If you are up for reading an entire book, one that has been updated fairly recently, we highly recommend this one: Ultimate Guide to Google Ads by Perry Marshall.
We have no relationship with this author. We just think this book does a great job of covering the bases for newcomers trying to be successful with Google SEM. There are many places to purchase this or acquire the PDF. We're just showing the Amazon link the author does on his site.
The book doesn't stick JUST to Google PPC advertising, but it's pretty close. And it does a very good job of going through learning this systematically. We haven't seen any recent (or recently updated) books that cover it as well. If you have a recommended book on SEM, we'd be glad to take a look at it.