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7 tips for those starting out with Google Adwords

Our latest addition to the team J.J. passes on some words of wisdom for those starting out with Google Adwords, just like he is!

Hi, I’m J.J. – one of Selesti’s new recruits. I’ve skirted around the edge of the world of digital marketing for a little while and now I’m dipping my toe, nay, my whole leg in the water.

The experts here at Selesti are training me up on Adwords, and so I have put together a few valuable tips that I’ve picked up so far.

I’m going to start off by disappointing you. There’s no way you’ll master Adwords in one day - sorry, but it had to be said.  Now let me take you through some of the things I’ve learned on my journey so far...

1)      Do The Certification -

When the average person buys something, most will ignore the instructions book and go straight into trying to assemble it, or go headfirst into the task at hand.

You can often muddle through with tangible things, like the ever popular example of flat-pack furniture. You’ll have seen a picture of what the end product is meant to look like, so you already have some knowledge of what might be needed to get the thing built properly.

Adwords is different. If Google doesn’t like the look of what you’ve built it’s unlikely that your ad will get anywhere - in fact it could even tarnish your Adwords account for the future impacting upon your Quality Score.

So it’s best to brush up on the rules they have set, and know your boundaries and revel in the space you have.

2)      Keep On Learning -

Even when you’ve done the certification, there’s still much more to learn. This was pointed out in this fairly recent blog article from Wordstream.

Yes, you could see the certification as one big Google advert, especially if you are someone with years of experience, but for someone (like me) just starting out on their journey with Adwords, some of it is very useful to highlight the range of possibilities open to you.

Obviously once you have done your Google certification, you don’t call it quits there.

It’s like finishing school and imagining that you have nothing left to learn. This is effectively your GCSE in Adwords.

There is plenty more that Google could teach you, but this is where it will transfer the responsibility for developing your knowledge over to you. Depending on what products and context (B2B, B2C) you work with, you will need to hone your knowledge in specific ways.

3)      Don’t Cheat -

You really are only cheating yourself. It’s one of those really old sayings, but it’s true.

If you are looking to become a self-taught PPC Pro, then you need to understand the basics.

Imagine starting the first day in your new role as a PPC specialist only to find that you have no idea what is being asked of you! It’s going to affect you, your company, your client (if you’re a world class digital agency like Selesti!) and then your job prospects in the future.

Nope, it’s not worth taking the shortcut.

4)      Don’t Just Read - Retain -

Nowadays it’s so easy to just read through things and move onto other articles or browse the myriad of content that makes up the world wide web in some of the million different tabs you have open at the minute.

However, you need to dedicate proper time to this sort of learning.

Put yourself back into school or Uni mode, how did you learn best? Think about a specific example of something you can remember learning, and think about how you can adapt the way you learned then to learning the info you’re getting on Adwords and PPC in general.

Everybody has their own way of doing things – there’s different types of learner – but if you’re like me nothing beats the age old art of putting pen to paper.

5)      Take Google’s Advice -

In the introduction video at the start of the certification process, they point out that there are discussion forums within the site to help you and others in the same position along the way.

But there are also many experts out there who actively share their successes, failures and learning processes.

This blog from LunaMetrics gives a very quick guide on how Adwords works and some key considerations to make before diving in too quickly.

6)      Keep Your Finger On The Pulse -

Following on from point number 2, one of the easiest ways to keep on learning is by signing up for some google alerts to stay in the loop. This is something you can easily build into your daily routine and it’s something that you can set up to be most convenient for you.

It can often churn out some interesting or useful articles, like this article looking at the potential pitfalls of new Adwords users, and most importantly – this stuff will be up-to-date too.

The online world changes so quickly now, so if you’re looking at information from more than a couple of months ago, there’s a good chance that it will be out of date.

7)      Practical Experience -

Try and back up your education with practical experience if you can.

I’m very fortunate to be in the more than capable hands of Selesti’s Masters of the Web (new graphic novel series – launch date tbc!)

Download Adwords Editor, the programme that Google has put together to help the advertisers. You may not have any campaigns, but if you have set up an adwords account, you can sign into it and take the time to explore what the tool has to offer.

If you need some help with the exploration, head over to YouTube where there are plenty of experts eager for you to listen to them!


I think it’s a bit early to be giving any conclusions! But, at this stage, I would say that the biggest thing you need to do is to clear some time to devote to your Adwords education. Nobody is going to learn effectively if you’re constantly being interrupted, so make sure you are confident you have understood the content you’ve been studying before moving on.

If you want someone to help you out with Adwords, or are looking for the first issue of Selesti’s Masters of the Web, then get in touch with us today!