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Ali Moghadam

From Beginner To Pro: How To Excel At PPC

8th Jan 2015 Paid Search, Google AdWords 5 minutes to read


From Beginner To Pro: How To Excel At PPC

If you’re working in Digital Marketing, the idea of taking on PPC can be pretty daunting. Becoming an expert can seem like a near impossible task. It seems so complicated, clinical and scientific; nothing like the creativity and ingenuity in SEO. The first hurdle is always the hardest. But let me tell you how you can go from beginner to expert – I share my experience and my top tips for those looking to master PPC.

Second Time Lucky

To learn PPC, you need to have the right environment, time and mindset. I learned this when I first decided to master the world of paid search advertising.

It started with some hope and positivity. But by the end, it was a baffling ordeal. My learning experience was made harder when my time became limited without any support. I was tasked with learning on my own, but given next to no time in which to do so. So naturally, I sucked. But in the immortal words of Jake the dog, sucking at something is the first step to being sort of good at something!

bearded cartoon man shrugging with question marks

I wasn’t in the right environment to learn, that much was clear. I’d made so much progress with SEO and was seeing the fruits of my labour unfold, so I figured I’d just stay the course – even though I really, really wanted to nail the whole AdWords thing and be a proper, all round search engine marketing guy.

But then I joined Koozai and my life changed. And I got good at PPC. REAL good.

I was in this friendly, happy, encouraging environment. In a place where learning is encouraged and hurdles get jumped over. This is the first lesson, making sure you have the right learning environment.

I’m not saying I needed my hand held, I just needed the experience and wisdom of people who were here, already bossing the AdWords platform, to show me the ropes. And they did. I’m very thankful for my wonderful colleagues and the knowledge they have shared with me. This is the second lesson, making sure you share and learn from other’s experiences – either colleagues or in online groups and forums.

I’m now at a level where I’m making a big and overwhelmingly positive impact on accounts I manage. I’ve been nurtured, taught and encouraged by some amazing people. They have sat down with me and gone through everything patiently. I feel thoroughly invested in. Trusted to learn and make good of it. And I have made good of it – I can finally say that I’m a PPC-er! This is the third lesson – allocating the time to learn, test, learn, test, learn and test.

Practice Makes Perfect

I got over my initial apprehensions. The will was always there, but the environment, the teachers, the tools – they were all wrong. I was flummoxed by the layout, the jargon, the mass of numbers. Put off by having REAL money involved – what if I messed it up?!

Once you get over that initial “what the heck is all of this?!” feeling, you’ll be flying. In my experience, that came with doing rather than reading and being told what’s what. I preferred to get in to AdWords Editor with tasks to do, like practice writing ad text. I had a go in the AdWords browser interface and picked out keyword ideas from the search query report. I made some fake campaigns on a dummy account and practised using the different keyword match types, breaking accounts down into simple and concise campaigns, ad groups and ads.

I was even trusted to optimise the Koozai PPC account. All of this stuff gave me the confidence I needed to get it done, with a side helping of tutoring and in-house learning materials. Did I mention my excellent teachers?!

Luckily for you, Koozai doesn’t hide everything away in a treasure trove of secret information. If you can’t have someone by your side teaching you the ropes, we’ve got the next best thing in videos, whitepapers and blog posts. Here are my tips for learning how to do PPC – for someone who’s scared of taking the plunge.

Tips On Learning PPC From Scratch

Time and Mindset

  1. Know you have time to learn – if you’re serious about it, set time aside. It’ll be worth it. Without time, you’re not able to learn
  2. You CAN do this. If you can read this post, you can do PPC. Don’t be afraid – you’re going to love it (especially if you’re a data fiend!)
  3. Don’t give up. If you don’t have a strong learning environment, or you don’t have people who understand what you’re trying to achieve, it can be hard. But there are people out there (and right here) willing to help you! Talk to successful PPC executives, use Twitter – or just talk to us. We don’t bite!

Get Knowledge!

  1. Read everything Google has, read everything Koozai has, read everything anyone has on PPC – particularly this whitepaper
  2. When you’re tired of reading, watch videos. Koozai has a library of videos made to help you do stuff – and the geniuses in front of the camera here are the geniuses that taught me. Start here and go from there. It’s the next best thing to having a teacher in the room with you. And yes, we will answer questions :)
  3. A lot of the stuff you read and watch might not make all that much sense at first. But it gets your brain on topic and when you do come across the situations in real life, you’ll think back to that resource, check it out again and cement your knowledge

Practice, Practice, Practice

  1. Imagine you’re making a website and want to do PPC for it, or use a site you run now as a guinea pig. Set a goal, like more traffic, or more blog views and research some keywords you want to target around this
  2. Make a “fake” campaign – one you can play with. Go step-by-step with the guides you’ve found and start using the AdWords Editor and the online interface. Play! You’ll learn very quickly. The campaign isn’t live, so it doesn’t matter if you do anything wrong. Try using features like location dimensions, ad scheduling and don’t forget about the negative keywords you don’t want!
  3. Take a mock AdWords exam, like this one. It isn’t perfect and it’s pretty out of date but it’ll prepare you for the kinds of questions you’ll likely encounter should you want to get qualified and you’ll be able to put your learning to the test. You should totally shoot for the AdWords Fundamentals qualification, it’s a big boost to the psyche once you’re qualified

For more information on PPC, speak to one of our experts today.

Image Credit: Top image from Bigstock

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Ali Moghadam
About the author

Ali Moghadam

As kooky as they come, Al even describes himself as weird. He’s in a band and has performed at many festivals and gigs in his time. And as the rock star he is you wouldn’t think he’d be afraid of moths… and butterflies.

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