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Learn Paid Search Marketing and Become a More Effective Online Marketer with These 44 Resources

Paid search marketing can be an effective online marketing channel. The challenge is using it correctly to make sure you garner a good ROI. The success of an AdWords campaign begins with your knowledge of AdWords and your understanding of how to use Google’s tools appropriately.

If you’re an aspiring online marketer, you need to have a solid grasp of paid search marketing and AdWords.

If you’re already an online marketer, you likely have some desire to hone your skills. Being a more effective online marketer is all about getting more bang for your buck.

I hope this post will help both aspiring and current online marketers. Read on to learn, or pick up a few tips, or get new ideas.


  1. Search Engine Marketing Guide – Just like any other marketing channel, search engine marketing has many different “parts” and aspects with which you need to become familiar. Read this guide (and more of the resources listed) before you start marketing on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines.
  2. Differences between SEM and SEO – If you are curious as to what the differences are (there aren’t big differences), check out this article. In short, SEO is a part of SEM, while SEM includes advertising spending.
  3. Introduction to AdWords – A part of SEM is paid search. Paid search on Google is called AdWords. Learn about it here.
  4. Bullet Points to Read before Starting Your AdWords Campaign – This is a comment on Hacker News. It’s from the founder of AdGrok when it was still in beta. AdGrok has since been acquired by Twitter.
  5. Top Ten Myths about PPC Marketing – Like any other type of marketing channel, there are common myths about PPC marketing. Read about them here.
  6. Introduction to Pay Per Click Search MarketingPart 1, part 2, and part 3


  1. AdWords for Startups – Even if you’re pre-launch or you just have an idea, check out this post. You’ll learn some of the more interesting ways to use AdWords in this post.
  2. AdWords Help Center – Learn the ins and outs of AdWords by following Google’s documentation.
  3. The Definitive AdWords Audit Guide – I’m putting this near the top of the list because you have to check it out if you use AdWords. Perform an AdWords audit every few months with this guide.
  4. Are You Making These 10 Common Google AdWords Mistakes? – In general, it’s best to avoid mistakes before they happen. Learn some common AdWords mistakes in this post.
  5. Using AdWords with Google Analytics – Linking your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts can bring a number of benefits, namely the ability to import goals and various site engagement metrics. Learn more benefits and how to link the two in this document.
  6. 5 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Adwords Campaign – If you’re looking for tips on optimizing your search ads, this article may be of help.
  7. How AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Can Be Used to Promote Your Mobile AppEnhanced Campaigns help you target your advertising toward a specific area, time, and device. This article tells you how you can use them to promote your mobile app.
  8. Five Pillars of AdWords Success – Google gives us five tips for a successful AdWords campaign.
  9. Using Google AdWords for Effective Online Marketing – AdWords can be an important part of online marketing. Learn how to select the right keywords and write solid copy in this post.
  10. 5 Conversion Tracking Tips for AdWords – Learn how to track conversions in AdWords.
  11. Setting up Conversion Tracking – Learn how to set up the conversions for your AdWords campaigns here.
  12. Google AdWords New Ad Rank Formula: What You Need to Know – Google recently changed Ad Rank, which is a value used to determine where ads are shown on a page. Find out the essentials of what you need to know in this post.
  13. Check and Understand Quality Score – Quality Score is an estimate of the relevancy of your ad to the viewer. Learn about it in this document.
  14. 3 Sneaky Ways to Increase Your Quality Score – Want some tips to improve your Quality Score? Check out this post.
  15. Google AdWords – Tips for Small Businesses – More tips for writing effective ad copy and getting the most out of AdWords.
  16. 4 Things I’ve Learned from 2,000+ AdWords Audits – Jacob Baadsgaard will tell you what he’s learned from managing over 2,000 AdWords accounts.
  17. How to Create a Profitable Google AdWords Campaign (from Scratch) – Having a profitable campaign makes you look good. Learn how to do it in this article.
  18. How to Use Keyword Planner – Keyword Planner is a new tool from Google with the aim of helping you “find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaigns.” Learn how to navigate it with this post from Larry Kim. For a little more background on Keyword Planner, check out this post from Google.
  19. 11 Successful AdWords Ads and Why They Crush the Competition – See successful AdWords campaigns and learn from their success.
  20. 10 Tips for a More Effective Paid Search Marketing Campaign – Whether you are considering starting your first campaign or already have run dozens, read this article to help you polish your skills.
  21. The Worst PPC Mistakes Beginners Make (and How to Avoid Them) – Larry Kim of WordStream tells us the five mistakes he most commonly sees with marketers’ PPC campaigns.
  22. 6 Ways to Reduce Wasted AdWords Spend – PPC can be really expensive and ineffective if not handled by someone who knows what they’re doing. Learn how you can minimize wasteful ad spending in this blog post.
  23. How to Find the Right Words for Your Paid Search Campaigns – Choosing the right keywords to bid on is very important to your SEM strategy. This article breaks down some helpful tips to assist you in finding which keywords are optimal.
  24. PPC Marketing: 10 Tips for Better ROI – PPC is a marketing endeavor and needs to be treated as such. Learn how to optimize your ROI (and thus effectiveness) of your PPC campaigns.
  25. PPC/SEM Analytics: 5 Actionable Steps to Improve ROI – Avinash Kaushik gives us five tips we can use to better understand our paid search performance.
  26. Seven Pay Per Click Mistakes to Avoid – Avoid making these common PPC mistakes.
  27. Are You Making These Three Fatal PPC Marketing Mistakes? – Explains three common errors when running PPC marketing campaigns.
  28. How to Write and Test PPC Copy That Converts – Before you start developing your PPC advertisements, read this post.


  1. PPC Hero – Focuses on AdWords and other areas of online marketing.
  2. WordStream – One of the more popular blogs. Updated every weekday.
  3. iSpionage – Updated a little less regularly than the two above, but generally good content.
  4. 3Q Digital – One new post every weekday. Great content for marketers.
  5. Search Engine Journal PPC – A list of PPC articles posted by Search Engine Journal.
  6. Conversion Max – A blog about AdWords and other marketing topics.
  7. Search Engine Land SEM – The feed for Search Engine Land’s article about search engine marketing.

Certified Knowledge – Brad Geddes, author of Advanced Google AdWords, writes a blog about AdWords and internet marketing.

AdStage Blog – Covers all things PPC and internet advertising. If you only want to read about AdWords, then check out their tagged AdWords posts.

Getting Advice and Support

  1. Official AdWords Community – Get help (for free) on AdWords from other users.
  2. Google Partners – Hire a Google Partner to help.
  3. AdWords experts on Clarity – Talk to an AdWords expert via Clarity.

Like nearly everything else, it’s best to learn a little about paid search marketing before you jump in. It can save you time and money. With knowledge, you’ll understand how to create more effective campaigns and how to track them efficiently. I hope this list of resources has helped.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo is a blogger, you can find him on Twitter here.

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