Things that are easy to learn:
-How to do the moonwalk.
-How to win friends and influence people.
-How to ride a bike.
Sure, there are techniques, but a bike is a bike. People are people. And the moonwalk doesn’t evolve every month or have machines learning alongside you…
…like, say, Google Ads.
The Google Ads platform (and consumer behavior) is never in a resting state, so beginners and experts alike need training from resources that are recent, relevant, and reliable. Which is why I’m sharing with you the 10 best Google ads training and courses available now, including course format, length, topics, learning level, and highlights.
It’s hard to find a resource that is useful for advertisers at any level of experience, but these two fit the bill. You will often find this with written courses since they are easier to update than videos.
I mean, what award-winning resource doesn’t include itself in a resource roundup? WordStream has been a go-to source for online marketing advice for over 12 years and is the home of the Free Google Ads Performance Grader—an account audit and optimization tool that gets run 10,000 times a month!
PPC University is a series of 5-10-minute articles designed to answer both the questions you have and the ones you didn’t even know to ask. The course is divided into three sections:
The articles are written by top PPC influencers and experts, so you won’t just get what you need to advertise on Google, but rather, to stay competitive, save time, and save money in Google Ads. Plus, our benchmark data is an annual favorite.
You may also be interested in our Small Business Survival Guide to Google Ads.
If this feels arbitrary, hear me out. Performance Max campaigns have only just become widely available as of November 2021, so there isn’t a whole lot out there on it. And yet, given the ongoing shift to automation—and the fact that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will fold into this campaign type in 2022—learning the ropes is important for any level advertiser.
Google’s Performance Max campaign tutorial shows how to use this automated campaign type to advertise across all of Google’s channels with just one campaign. All you need is a free Skillshop account to get access. Through its interactive content, you’ll learn:
And I never thought I’d link to a help article in a course roundup, but here we are. Google’s Performance Max Best practices guide is also super solid. This 10-minute guide walks you through setting up your campaign, with tips throughout every step and a video tutorial. Between these two resources, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your performance with Performance Max.
The following two training courses are good for dipping your toes into the Google Ads waters. Between the two of them, you’ll get the key information needed to help you understand the basics of not just creating an account but also forming a strategy.
If you’re completely new to Google Ads, there are some key concepts you’ll want to grasp before you even start touring the platform—like how Google Ads should fit into your overall marketing plan, how to build a strategy and measure success, and best practices to avoid common mistakes. Local PPC Lab is perfect for this, managing to turn the complexities of Google Ads into a simple (and very visually appealing!) course.
And make no mistake—while it is locally-focused, this course is the perfect fit for beginners and marketers of any business size. You’ll learn:
How to Run Google Ads: The Step-by-Step Recipe to Success walks you through creating your first Google Ads campaign. But it’s not your average tutorial. We show you how to cook up your best Google Ads, recipe style—complete with screenshots, pro tips, and plenty of tasty analogies.
Santrel Media’s Complete Google Ads Tutorial comes from co-founder Nate O’Brien. It’s the perfect way to tour the Google Ads platform once you have the prerequisite knowledge from Local PPC Lab. Yes, the course is helpful, but I also emphatically chose it for three reasons:
Anyway, in this half-hour training, Nate will walk you through setting up your first ad and get you familiar with the basics of:
The course was created on September 8, 2021, so it’s recent (as of writing this post), and Santrel’s YouTube channel has 326K subscribers, so this is 34 minutes well spent.
These trainings cover intermediate Google Ads strategies and concepts that don’t require intermediate experience.
Simplilearn’s full Google Ads Course is five hours, but there’s a table of contents with timestamps so you can skip to the sections you want.
In addition to walking through the steps to account and campaign setup, the course educates you on key Google Ads concepts to give you a firm footing. There’s also a heavy focus on Google Analytics and Tag Manager—which are essential for running successful campaigns. The training covers:
The Metics Media Google Ads course was created by Simon Gorges, a full-time airline pilot (!) who has a YouTube channel with over 76,000 subscribers.
In this training, Simon walks you through running your first campaign, using an actual account so you can see settings that were chosen for particular goals. This is a great way to learn the basics but with context. Here’s the docket:
There’s also a short segment at the end on optimization. Note that this course was created at the start of 2021, before our beloved modified broad match was dissolved into phrase match.
P.S: Look out for our Google Ads auction visual in his tutorial!
If the beginner courses feel too slow for you but you’re not looking to get cocky, this Google Ads training is the right fit. It is called a beginner course, but it covers some advanced topics in a beginner-friendly way.
Jason Whaling’s Google Ads training course is designed to take you from beginner to advanced in one hour. He educates you on the conceptual level while at the same time moving through tactical steps. You’ll learn how to run a successful campaign for just $5 a day, as well as how to incorporate keyword intent into your targeting strategy.
The agenda is as follows:
If you’re an eager beaver who also happens to be fascinated by Google Ads, you’ll be right at home here.
If you DO want to get into the weeds of Google Ads but DO NOT want to get overwhelmed, these last two Google Ads courses are your destination.
Paid Media Pros is a YouTube-based learning hub run by PPC influencers (and WordStream PPCU authors!) Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan. These two are the quintessential approachable experts, with authoritative but friendly advice and easy explanations.
The training shows you how to track conversions without having to import them from Google Analytics, by using the Google Ads Conversion Tracking Tag. You’ll learn three ways to set it up, with a particular focus on the Google Tag Manager (easiest) method. Here’s what to expect:
And keep an eye out for their bloopers video, it’s a treat.
Surfside PPC is a PPC-specific training company that teaches marketers and business owners how to promote their business online. In Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bidding strategies tutorial, you’ll get a much-needed no-nonsense training on Google Ads bidding strategies, including:
Choosing the right bidding strategy can be a headache, but losing money by choosing the wrong strategy is an even bigger one. So take 20 minutes and set yourself up for ongoing performance.
Whether you’re looking for a Google Ads crash course to get the quick and dirty, Google Ads tutorials to get the step-by-step setup or advanced strategies to save time and money, there’s something in here for everyone. Let’s finish off with the complete list.
Got any good recommendations for the list? Let me know in the comments—we’re always looking for great free online marketing courses!
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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