PPC & AdWords Resource for Dummies

PPC & AdWords Resource for Dummies

New to Google AdWords? Don’t have a clue on what to do or how to even begin? Well there’s a solution for that, but you have to admit your a dummy first.


The powerful Larry Kim of Google fame and founder of one of our Influencer’s WordStream.com has put together an INCREDIBLE resource for PPC & AdWords beginners properly titled “AdWords for Dummies


WordStream, a provider of PPC Management Software and Web Marketing Services, is committed to helping small businesses learn AdWords and better understand the PPC process.

That’s why we’ve organized a free Google AdWords For Dummies Learning Center, providing the ultimate resource library of information that will assist you in understanding AdWords and optimizing your AdWords campaigns.

We have a wide variety of the best free tips, tools, white papers, and ebooks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced Google AdWords users.


Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies: PPC Help and EBooks for Newbies

If you’re new to AdWords, our Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies section is the best place to start!

How AdWords Works – Wondering about what is AdWords and how AdWords works? Our informative infographic explains process of the AdWords bid auction in a visually appealing and easy to understand format.

Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies Book: Improving Quality Score

This Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies eBook offers an in-depth look at Quality Score, how it’s calculated, why it’s important, and what Google says itself about optimizing Quality Score. You’ll gain a clear understanding of how to obtain the benefits of higher Quality Score, and how high Quality Scores can lower your cost per click. Beat AdWords at its own game with this Improving Quality Score download.

Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies Download: Top 10 Ways Keyword Management Improves Search Marketing

This Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies EBook explains top ten benefits of implementing keyword management best practices. Following these best practices turns your keywords into qualified traffic, leads, and sales. This free download discusses:

  • Keyword Discovery
  • Keyword Grouping and Organization
  • Structuring Campaigns for Maximum Reach and High ROI

Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies: Keyword Research for SEO EBook

Our Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies Keyword Research EBook includes:

  • The Keyword Research Cheat Sheet – This PDF cheat sheet offers a bird’s-eye view of what keyword research is, what it isn’t, and why it’s important.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competition – Top 35 of the biggest names in SEO weigh in on how to best determine the competitiveness of a keyword.
  • Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media – In this how to guide we offer tips and tricks for leveraging keyword research in order to bring in more traffic with social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Keyword Monitoring Worksheet – This tool enables you to plug in keyword data every month and monitor trends in your rankings and traffic from SEO, helping you determine how organic search engine marketing efforts are improving your business.
  • 4 Steps to Better Keyword Grouping – This white paper outlines a four-step process that will help you organize your keywords into actionable, Google-friendly groups.

Beginner’s AdWords for Dummies Download: How to Choose a PPC Agency

This free white paper will walk you through the process of determining which is the best PPC advertising agency for you. After reading this guide, you’ll understand:

  • If you really need to outsource your PPC campaign management
  • What qualities to look for in an online marketing agency
  • What questions to ask potential PPC advertising agencies


Intermediate AdWords for Dummies: PPC Tips for Intermediate Advertisers

Free AdWords Performance Grader – This free tool grades your Google AdWords account by examining essential AdWords metrics such as Quality Score, CTR, and long-tail keyword optimization. Perfect for the intermediate AdWords user looking to evaluate their current AdWords performance.

Intermediate AdWords for Dummies: PPC Best Practices

This intermediate AdWords for Dummies eBook contains proven methodology, workflow, and tools for maximizing return on investment and simplifying the management of PPC campaigns.

Intermediate AdWords for Dummies Download: How to Choose a PPC Software Platform

This Intermediate AdWords for Dummies PPC buying guide will provide you with the information necessary to choose the best PPC management platform that’s right for your business. With this free buying guide download, you’ll be able to answer key questions like:

  • Is PPC software worth the investment?
  • Could the right platform help me increase my ROI?
  • What areas of my campaigns need extra help?
  • What kinds of tools address my specific needs?

Intermediate AdWords for Dummies: Controlling Costs with Negative Keywords

This free intermediate AdWords for Dummies white paper is packed with information to help you understand and implement negative keywords.


Advanced AdWords for Dummies: Tricks for Advanced Marketers

Advanced AdWords for Dummies: AdWords Match Types

The keyword matching options that you use in Google AdWords can have a major impact on the effectiveness and spend level of your PPC campaigns. Read this advanced AdWords for Dummies white paper and gain insight into:

  • Different keyword match types offered in AdWords
  • How, when, and why to use each match type to get the best results
  • Best practices for applying each match type

Advanced AdWords for Dummies PDF: Measuring the Long Term ROI of PPC

This advanced AdWords for Dummies download offers tips to evaluate and improve the long-term value of your campaigns. Download this white paper and learn:

  • Why search engine marketing campaigns are chronically undervalued
  • Questions you should be asking about your SEM campaigns
  • How to measure the long-term ROI of your PPC campaigns
  • How you can improve the profitability of your SEM efforts with superior tools and techniques

Advanced AdWords for Dummies: 7 Ways to Conduct a Better Search Campaign

If you’ve got seven days, you’ve got the time to create a hard-working, high-performance search campaign. This advanced AdWords for Dummies download will help you build a comprehensive, relevant, dynamic campaign. As soon as next week, your business could be seeing:

  • An increase in impressions and traffic
  • More qualified leads
  • Lower costs and higher ROI


Google AdWords for Dummies: Free Resources for All Levels!

These tools and resources are great for all levels of PPC knowledge.

AdWords Help From the ExpertsRead our collection of interviews with top AdWords experts who scored high on our AdWords Performance Grader. Get AdWords for Dummies tips from the experts.

AdWords Learning Center – Find out how to best optimize your PPC account through our learning center.

Webinars – Watch past AdWords help webinars online, download webinar slides, or sign up for our next webinar!

Subscribe to the WordStream Blog – Our blog is updated every day with new help topics for PPC and AdWords. The WordStream Marketing Blog provides the best tips for all levels of PPC knowledge, from beginners to advanced users.

Free Keyword Tools – Our AdWords keyword selector tool provides the AdWords keywords help you need. Our free AdWords tools include:

Try WordStream Advisor Free! – WordStream offers powerful PPC software that can help revitalize your Google AdWords account. Our advanced software makes it easy to create and craft successful


What is Google AdWords

What is AdWords? Google AdWords is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. Since advertisers have to pay for these clicks, this is how Google makes money from search. This infographic will help you understand how AdWords works, detailing the AdWords auction, bidding process and explaining important factors like Quality Score and cost-per-click. If you’re asking “How does AdWords Work?” this infographic is for you!

Does AdWords Work?

Does Google AdWords work? Depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you’re bidding for and the relevancy of that keyword to real conversions for your company, AdWords may or may not work for your business. For the most part, we’ve found that Google AdWords is extremely effective for many kinds of businesses, as long as they don’t waste their money on the wrong keywords, or write weak, low CTR ads.

How much does Google AdWords cost?

Many factors can affect the costs of AdWords for your business. Learn all about these costs, how bidding works, and the average cost per click for advertisers in our guide to “How Much Does AdWords Cost?”

How to advertise with Google AdWords

Businesses can advertise on Google by opening a Google AdWords account.

How does AdWords bidding work?

The actual position of your ad is determined by your ad rank (Maximum Bid times Quality Score). The highest ad rank gets the 1st ad position. Your actual CPC will be determined by the ad rank of the next highest ad below you divided by your Quality Score. The only exception of this rule is when you are the only bidder or the lowest bid in the AdWords auction; then you pay your maximum bid per click! AdWords bidding heavily penalizes advertisers who bid with low quality scores. Conversely, those with high Quality Scores get higher ad ranks and lower CPC.

How many times does a Google auction run?

The auction gets run billions of times each month. The results are such that users find ads that are relevant to what they’re looking for, advertisers connect with potential customers at the lowest possible prices and Google rakes in billions of dollars in revenue.

How does the Google auction work?

Once a query is made on Google, the search engine processes the request and runs the auction which will then determine the ad positions and each advertiser’s CPC.

How do you enter a Google auction?

Your ads are eligible to be entered into an auction whenever you’re bidding on keywords relevant to the user’s search query. Your bids, Quality Score, and relevance will come into play in determining whether your ad qualifies to display on the SERP.

What gets entered into a Google auction?

Once advertisers identity keywords they want to bid on, Google then enters the keyword from your account that it deems most relevant into the auction with the maximum bid you’ve specified as well as the associated ad.

What is CPC?

CPC, or cost per click, is the amount an advertiser pays each time someone clicks on their AdWords ad.

How does CPC work?

Your CPC is determined by the competitiveness of your keywords, your maximum bids, and your Quality Scores. Learn the most expensive keywords in Google AdWords.

What is average cost per click?

The average amount you spend each time a searcher click on your advertisement.

What is Google Quality Score?

This is a metric Google uses to determine how relevant and useful your ad is to the user, based primarily on your ad’s CTR, keyword relevance, and the quality of your landing page. The higher your Quality Score, the better: high Quality Score keywords will save you money and earn you better ad rankings.

How does Google determine what you pay?

The price paid by the advertiser is determined by the amount of clicks that the company’s advertisement receives.

What is Google ad rank?

Google ad rank is the position of the company’s advertisement on the search engine page based on a combination of the company’s maximum bid and quality score.

Ad rank vs. Quality score

The ad rank is more significant to an advertiser because it determines the how high on the page the advertisement will be displayed. Quality score on the other hand is determined by the relevance and usefulness to the searcher and is only a portion of the advertisement positioning process.As of 2013, Google’s Quality score has become more and more valuable as the average quality score has changed from a 7 to 5.

Quality score vs. CPC

Quality score and CPC are important because they collective determine the positioning of the advertisement on the search engine results page.

What is ad position in AdWords?

Ad position is the position on the search engine page results where the advertisement appears in relation to all of the other advertisements.

What is Actual CPC?

Actual CPC is the amount an advertiser pays each time a searcher clicks on their advertisement; this number varies depending on the other advertisers in the auction and is always lower than the maximum bidding price.

How does AdWords calculate Actual CPC

Actual CPC is determined by dividing the ad rank of the competitor below them (ad rank to hit) by quality score plus $.01.

What are alternative bidding methods?

Alternative bidding methods include CPM and CPA.

What is CPM bidding?

CPM bidding is based on impressions and can be used alongside CPC bidding.


CPC is the cost for an advertisement based on how many clicks it receives whereas CPM is the cost for an advertisement based on how many impressions it picks up. Both methods can be used simultaneously.

What are AdWords keywords?

Keywords in AdWords are the words and phrases that advertisers bid on, in hopes that their advertisements will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when people are searching for those products or services. For example, if you sell shoes online, you might bid on keywords like “Nike sneakers” and “penny loafers.” Keyword research is the process of using tools and data to determine which keywords are most likely to drive relevant traffic to your ads and your site.

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization is the act of improving the visibility of your site or page within a search engine results page through organic methods. This can be done by using search keywords within your content so that a search engine can find and display your site faster and with more accuracy. Site authority and your link profile also play a role in your search engine rankings.

How does the Google display network work?

The Google Display Network or GDN is a very large network of sites that allow Google to place display advertisements, which reach over 90% of all Internet users! Advertisers generally find that Display Network clicks are less costly than those on the search network. And depending on your targeting methods, the CTR’s can be high and the CPA’s low.

What is an ad group in Google AdWords? How do ad groups work?

An ad group is a container for your AdWords advertisements, keywords, and landing pages. Google tends to reward advertisers who create AdWords campaigns with tightly structured ad groups. It’s important not to dump all your keywords into the same ad group, but to organize your keywords into themes.

What is ad relevance in AdWords?

Ad relevance is a measure of how related the keyword you’re bidding on is to your advertisements as well as how much your keywords match the message of your ads and landing pages. Higher ad and keyword relevance can improve your click-through rates and Quality Scores.

How does Conversion Optimizer work?

Conversion Optimizer in Google AdWords is a bid manipulation tool that manages bids at the keyword-level with the goal of trying to drive as many conversions at or below an advertiser-specified cost per conversion (also known as Cost per Action, or CPA).

I advertise on Google. How am I doing?

At WordStream, we’ve analyzed tens of thousands of Google AdWords accounts from all over the world, in all sorts of industries. The easiest way to see how you’re doing at Google PPC is to benchmark your PPC performance against similar advertisers in your industry and spend range. Thankfully, WordStream’s got a free tool for that. Click below to give our Google AdWords Grader a free run!

Where Does Google Make Its Money? [ infographic ]


Mark Haney

Internet Marketing Specialist. Social Engineer. Growth Hacker with a Black Hat and a LeMat.

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