PPC Academy: A One-Year Paid Search Course

First published in 2010, PPC Academy is a complete guide to getting started in pay-per-click (PPC) based search advertising, covering a wide range of paid search tips, tools and tactics. a

Due to the constantly evolving nature of  paid search platforms, some of the example PPC tools and dashboards may have changed, but the basic concepts and fundamentals still apply. PPC Academy teaches all of the basics needed to build, steward and optimize a paid search account following industry best practices.

Stay on top of the most recent SEM news and check How To: PPC for more recent tips and tactics.

Get Started With PPC Academy

Even though this is meant to be a complete manual for beginners, there will be plenty of advanced tips and tricks for search veterans. Even if you have been doing paid search for some time, you may find this guide to be a good refresher course.

The first few posts will just focus on the basics: what paid search is, some of the key definitions, and who are its players, tools, and platforms. Then, for the rest of the year, I’ll move onto the practical execution of a paid search account via the various phases of:

  • Immersion
  • Research
  • Building
  • Launching
  • Stewardship
  • Reporting
  • Testing & optimization

PPC Academy will not only cover the fundamentals of paid search management, but also highlight technology and tactics that are the hallmarks of top paid search success stories. As well, it will introduce best-practice and time-saving techniques that will help you fly through your paid search tasks like a pro.

Vital to the value of this course will be the comments section where past readers asked questions of each other, share tips and debate each week’s topic. A question will be asked at the end of each post to help facilitate this feedback.

This week’s question: “Which of the paid search phases above do you most want to learn more about and why?”

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | PPC Academy


About The Author: has been a search marketer since 2003 with a focus on SEM technology. As a media technologist fluent in the use of leading industry systems, Josh stays abreast of cutting edge digital marketing and measurement tools to maximize the effect of digital media on business goals. He has a deep passion to monitor the constantly evolving intersection between marketing and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @mediatechguy.

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  • http://vidiSEO.com vidiSEO

    Hi Josh,

    Of the phases listed above, I’d be most interested in learning about the stewardship portion, because without careful and responsible management of your account you won’t know what’s working or what’s tanking.

    Also, according to Wikipedia, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall.

  • http://www.fossmg.com erock8

    Hi Josh,

    All of the phases you refer to sound great, even for a PPC vet like me as a refresher. But one in particular I’d like to hear your thougts on would be the last, Testing & Optimization.

    Looking forward to the series. Thanks!

  • http://www.yourjobstop.com JoannaLord

    I would love to absorb as much as you can send on the Testing & Optimizing piece of it all. Not just what tool sets to use, and ways to set up tests, but different tactics for automating some low-level testing & how to data mine results for the most fruitful pieces of information, and then how to take that information and really change up your account.

    I am definitely excited to see these posts roll out :)

  • mistermetrics

    Hi Josh,
    Good stuff…I know that you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that could greatly benefit all of us. As you know I’m always interested in Tracking & Reporting as wells as Testing & Optimization. I’d love to hear your thoughts, techniques, learnings and best practices in these areas for PPC.

    Looking forward to following your series!

    Derek M

  • http://searchmarketingnow.com Claire Schoen

    Hi Josh –
    Happy New Year –
    For anyone who wants more on PPC Testing & Optimization soon — Chris Sherman’s going to talk about it on our Jan 19 webcast at Search Marketing Now…
    This looks like a very cool new column -

  • Josh Dreller

    Aha. So it’s the testing and optimization phase that you folks want to see. Got it!

    This column is going to go through paid search fundamentals from start to finish for the year run so testing/optimization wlll be presented more towards the end as we still need to go through account setup, launch, etc before optimizations can occur.

    For more info now on optimizations, check out the four part Optimization series I did in the “In the Trenches” column in 2008. Here’s the links:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Part 4

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