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Sophie Howell

10 Steps You Can Take To Become A PPC Genius

3rd Mar 2015 Paid Search 7 minutes to read

10 Steps You Can Take To Become A PPC Genius

Where to begin? We have all been there! Whether you are a business owner who wants to take the plunge into the world of PPC, or even a marketer who is interested in furthering your knowledge, the following tips will point you in the right direction and help you to focus your attention on the important aspects of PPC. I have compiled a list on how to become a PPC genius in just ten steps which will fill you with confidence as you tackle the unknown!


1. Learn The Basics Of PPC & Collect Resources

Put aside some time to learn the basics of PPC, as there is so much information to soak in. Becoming an expert in this field may seem daunting at first, but it can be done!

Below are a few resources that I have found really useful in my own learning process:

  • Google AdWords Help Resource is a useful guide which provides you with a basic overview of PPC from Google’s perspective.
  • Amazon PPC Books are a great help, as the beginner guides provide you with the specific topics you want to research on PPC.
  • Videos are also a great way of learning, especially if you have certain questions you want answering. YouTube & Koozai TV are perfect for this; I personally found it easier to learn by watching, rather than continuously reading.
  • PPC Blogs such as Search Engine Journal or Search Engine Land are fantastic blogs for reading up on industry updates too. PPC is a continuous learning curve, so keeping up with industry news is essential to your success.

2. Learn From Others In The PPC Industry

Make sure you share and learn from others’ experiences – either colleagues or in online groups and forums e.g. LinkedIn Groups. Learning from other people’s mistakes can save you time and money. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might feel like you are irritating people by asking lots of questions, but it’s the best way to learn. And let’s face it, if you make changes to an AdWords account without being certain that what you’re doing is right and you make a mistake, it’s going to be a lot more hassle, which could cost more money and time, than asking a few questions.

3. Learn The AdWords Account Structure

Login to your AdWords account and familiarise yourself with the layout. Explore every tab and give yourself time to learn what each one is, so you are comfortable with the AdWords interface. It may seem mind boggling at first, but the sooner you know where everything is, the quicker you will get to grips with the account.

4. Figure Out Your PPC Goals

What do you want from PPC? Have you thought about your short term and long term goals?

Whether it’s to increase sales and revenue or site visitors, generate brand awareness, encourage profit growth or repeat custom, you need to implement a PPC strategy to support this. You then need to work out whether your goals are achievable and measurable and then tailor your optimisation techniques around your selected goals.

5. Set Up A Practice Search Campaign

Practice makes perfect – always!


You need to ensure your settings are correct. This is vital to whether a campaign will run smoothly or not. Look into each option and find out what choices you have. Review the All Settings, Locations, Ad Schedule and Devices tabs.


Keyword Research

Use the Keyword Planner Tool located in Google AdWords to find relative keywords for your campaign. This tool provides examples of other keywords similar to the keyword you typed in. It will show you a suggested bid, as well as average monthly searches to give you an idea on how popular the keyword is (how much your competition is bidding on it) – however, do bear in mind, this data is not always accurate.  I mostly use this keyword tool as a rough guide to building my campaigns.

 PPC Keyword Research



Each campaign needs to have a theme e.g. a ‘branded campaign’, ‘competitor campaign’ or ‘general campaign’. From here on you need to form tightly themed ad groups and targeted keywords in each campaign. Each ad group should contain two adverts for split testing. Furthermore, you can use two or three different match types of the same keyword to one ad group. This basic structure will give you a tighter control over your ad spend and maximise your ROI.

AdWords Extensions

Have a go at setting up each AdWords Extension to make sure you are comfortable with these. AdWords Extensions are great for increasing your CTR. This then will improve your Quality Score which in turn will reduce your Cost per Click (CPC).

6. Conversion Tracking

AdWords Conversion Tracking Vs Importing Goals From Google Analytics

AdWords Conversion Tracking works on a last click wins basis. If a searcher clicks an ad from several different keywords before they convert, the conversion will only count on the final keyword searched. This is the most popular option, as you are able to receive data on view through conversions too.

Google Analytics Goal Tracking, on the other hand, attributes the conversions to the last entrance to the site and to the actual day the conversion occurred. An exception to this rule would be direct traffic, as Google Analytics does not overwrite referring data if the user typed your website into the address bar of their browser.

If you want to see more conversion data, then AdWords Conversion Tracking would be ideal for you. But if you are more focused on attribution management (acknowledging a conversion via multiple channels), then Google Analytics Goal Tracking is the option for you.

7. Read Up On Google AdWords Editor & Download

Google AdWords Editor is a great tool to help you optimise your account.  The best way to learn about this tool is to download it and try it out yourself!

The benefits of using Google AdWords Editor are:

  • You can manage your campaigns, ad groups & keywords in bulk e.g. add multiple keywords
  • Avoid mistakes, as no changes are implemented until you post them
  • Copy and move items between campaigns/adgroups including keywords and ads – this saves a lot of time!
  • It warns you when you use duplicate keywords – to ensure you are not bidding against yourself
  • Upload multiple negative keywords at once

8. Optimise Your Campaigns

Optimisation needs to be carried out each month for you to get the most out of your AdWords campaigns. These are just a few of the techniques you can use to optimise your campaigns:

Search Query Report

This is a very important report to use, as it can help you find high CTR and converting keywords to add to your campaigns. It can also help you to find negative keywords to block any irrelevant traffic.

Search Term Query Report


Increase Bids For Top Positions

The higher your bid is against competitors, the higher your ad will be positioned, which in turn will enhance ad visibility.

Split Test Your Ads

Ensure you are split testing your ads on a regular basis – when each ad has reached more than 100 impressions, pause the lowest CTR ad and recreate a new, more relevant ad by copying and pasting the high CTR ad and amending.

Pause High Cost Keywords

Reduce your costs by pausing high cost keywords that do not convert over a period of three months. Do the same for keywords that have received no data after a long time.

Continue to read about optimisation tips; testing what does and doesn’t work on your campaigns is the key to your success!

9. Take The Google AdWords Certification Exams

To become Google AdWords qualified, you need to take the Google AdWords Fundamentals and Advanced Search exams. Google has a great resource centre with Study Guides to help you prepare. It can be hard to follow at times, but it has the information you need to pass them. You can also take a Mock Exam to get the answers into your head. The questions may be slightly outdated; however I found this a very useful tool to go over before taking the exams.

10. Breathe & Soak In The Information

Congratulations! You have done everything in your power to become a PPC genius! Now sit back, have a cup of tea and reflect on what you have achieved. Let everything you have learnt filter through and continue to optimise those campaigns!

If you have any tips you’d like to share or would like to continue the discussion, please leave a comment below or Tweet me @SophieeHowell.

For  more information on PPC, why not Get In Touch today?

Images by Bigstockphoto.com

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Sophie Howell

Sophie is a bit of a coke addict (the legal cola kind) and would choose dogs over cats, so you won’t find her spending much time on YouTube, but you will find her swimming as that’s her biggest hobby. Second to diet coke.

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