Ever wanted to know more about pay per click and how it can help your business? Check out Atilus’ definitive list of the top 10 ppc resources for 2016. We’ve assembled the best resources over the last year so that you don’t have to go digging around trying to find where the best information on PPC is for 2016.
At Atilus some of us have been working with pay per click services for longer than we’ve even been in business. Personally, I first started experimenting with the service back in 2002. It’s amazing pay per click is not just alive and kicking, but thriving and is typically our first tactic when growing traffic, leads, and sales for our clients’ websites.
But, over the years pay per click marketing has gotten MUCH more complex.
When learning about Google AdWords and other pay-per-click services, having an idea of what consumers are searching for when they are looking for your products/services is REALLY important. From an agency perspective, you tend to have a bunch of different clients with a variety of different types of businesses. In such case, you’ll need to do some research. Here are the top 10 PPC resources to help navigate keywords and phrases to help get your business booming!
1) The Tools Themselves
If you’re a business or digital marketer on the fence about using pay per click, I’d recommend starting inside your tool/network of choice. If you have your own business – that’s great – you can use the always available (to new customers) coupons that almost every network provides to create your account and to get going with some traffic.
Each tool we’ve worked with has developed great wizards on how to set things up, so the process is more guided than it once was, and there’s no substitute for experience so get started:
- Google AdWords – http://adwords.google.com
- Bing Ads – https://secure.bingads.microsoft.com/
Disclaimer: One thing to keep in mind though is that tools feel a little bit like Dominos… “they take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.” We’ve seen too many business owners insist PPC doesn’t work and upset at the money they’ve wasted– only to be shocked at what a knowledgeable Certified Partner is capable of when they set things up properly. While the simplicity is helpful at first, it’s important to understand that the setup processes have abstracted away a lot of the complication (and important elements) of these tools. It’s okay to start there, but to make sure you’re not throwing your hard-earned money away, it’s VERY important that you keep using the tool(s), understand what you’re paying for, and optimize everything appropriately.
When it comes to PPC, Google is king. Their AdWords tool and the advertising network and eco-system they’ve built is second to none. Google’s solved the chicken and egg problem of on-line advertising and they’re always willing to take drastic action, and counter-capitalist approaches to their business model to provide the best experience and ultimately generate the most users and revenue. So where better to start then Google themselves! The following resources provided by Google are a mix of beginner information and (in the case of the AdWords blog) some helpful real-world applications of AdWords. However, I’d consider this more basic tool-use guides as opposed to higher-level optimization. Start here if you’re brand new to AdWords.
Here’s some links to resources that Google makes available to learn about PPC:
- AdWords Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgl9rHdm9KojNRWs56QI_hg
- Google Best Practices: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6154846
- AdWords Blog: http://adwords.blogspot.com/
- AdWords Exam & Study Guides: https://support.google.com/partners/answer/3153810?hl=en
Across all of our own accounts and the websites we manage, the #2 search engine is consistently Bing. Although nowhere near the juggernaut Google is – Bing is still an important place to be, and with its demographic being a bit more specific than that of Google – it’s a great place to do pay per click marketing.
Similar to Google, Bing offers its own wealth of resources on how to use their PPC tool so we recommend checking out:
- Setup Tutorial: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorial
- Complete Getting Started Guide: http://help.bingads.microsoft.com/apex/index/3/en-us/51093
- Blog: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog
Number 4 on the list of top search engines, is of course Yahoo. According to the latest stats released by Comscore in July of 2015, Yahoo search takes up 13% of the search market. In our own findings, we feel the number is a bit different (although our clients are generally in the construction, real estate, and retail fields so that may be skewing our own numbers).
What is undeniable however is that, Yahoo PPC is a must-know and must-have for marketers. Now, since bing/yahoo have teamed up together for conventional search/text-based ppc ads, it’s important to know that Bing and Yahoo go hand in hand – ie, learn Bing’s tool and you’ll be set with Yahoo. However, yahoo still have some helpful content and resources for advertisers
- Yahoo Advertising Blog: https://advertising.yahoo.com/Blog/index.htm?.tsrc=xl
- Yahoo Gemini Setup/Guidelines: https://help.yahoo.com/adv/gemini-advertiser?locale=en_US
5) Wordstream Internet Marketing Software and PPC University
Wordstream is an amazing tool for any mid-large scale digital marketing agency that manages a number of PPC accounts across various networks, and is looking to optimize their time, reduce costs of management, and provide better results for their clients or for themselves. As both a PPC software tool and consulting agency themselves, wordstream has differentiated themselves by being one of the best resources for PPC knowledge offering up full online training (for free) via their PPC university section. We love wordstream and recommend you check out the following:
- PPC University: http://www.wordstream.com/learn
- Blog: http://www.wordstream.com/blog – hot new tips and news related to everything PPC.
- Whitepapers: http://www.wordstream.com/white-papers – Diving a little deeper, Wordstream’s whitepapers are how we first learned of this company and we recommend highly.
6) PPC Hero
PPC Hero is an offshoot of another digital agency, but they provide tons of helpful information for PPC managers everywhere: http://www.ppchero.com/
So our selection here of insights isn’t exactly accurate. Insights doesn’t directly (or only) discuss PPC and in fact, this is a bulk recommendation for the various “insights” blogs that have cropped up among the top search engines. But, in our opinion, there’s no better assimilation of research, analysis, and content for digital marketers to understand what works and what doesn’t, and where our industry and trends are going.
With Google insights for example, and the time and research they put into their “micro-moments” pieces, it becomes abundantly clear how important mobile is – how to better communicate that to stakeholders, clients, etc. – and perhaps most importantly, what you need to do as a PPC marketer to jump out in front of the trends.
- Google Insights – https://www.google.com/insights
- Bing Insights – http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/insights
8) Search Engine Land
Search engine land has been around for many years, and although I think it’s conventionally thought of as an SEO resource, they have tons of helpful content, guides, and materials for those interested in PPC and getting better at pay per click marketing. So any list would be incomplete without the addition of search engine land. We recommend the following sections:
- Search Engine Marketing: http://searchengineland.com/library/channel/sem
- How to PPC Blog Posts (and Guides): http://searchengineland.com/library/how-to/how-to-ppc
- AdWords (posts/guides): http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-adwords
- Bing Ads: http://searchengineland.com/library/bing/bing-ads
Sempo is a nonprofit group dedicated to awareness and education in the search engine marketing field. Their blog is a great resource for what’s happening in the community, trends, and helpful tips to be the best PPC marketer you can be:
- SEMPO Blog: http://blog.sempo.org/
Similar to Search Engine Land above, Moz definitely has the reputation of being the go-to place for search engine optimization. I remember back when they first started and they were primarily a consultancy, long-before they released their tools. It’s amazing to see how they’ve grown into an awesome force for good in the search marketing community. But you might not realize they have a wealth of information on ppc – and I feel most importantly – they understand the larger picture of internet marketing, it takes a mix of techniques and tools and it’s this holistic approach they take when presenting PPC information. Check out:
- PPC Blog: https://moz.com/blog/category/paid-search-marketing
- MozCon: https://moz.com/mozcon – yearly conference on digital marketing some amazing tips on PPC are had each year.