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PPC Academy: A Midyear Recap

Well, the first half of this one-year search advertising course is in the books!

This column was an idea that I hatched, and thankfully, SearchEngineLand.com’s executive editor, Chris Sherman had also been thinking about something similar, so the timing at the end of last year couldn’t have been better. So far, it’s been a wonderful experience. Not only has the column garnered some great reTweet love, but I have personally received more positive feedback on this column than any of my previous writing efforts. As well, I’ve been able to go back through my own fragmented, self-taught search background and coalesce my knowledge into one place. It’s been a very educating six months for me and I hope you have found it beneficial as well.

This week, we’re doing a recap show. We’ve gone from explaining what PPC is to researching and building an account from scratch. Below are links to highlights of the first half of this column. It’s a good opportunity to go back through and read some of the posts that you might have missed or dive into some specific posts that may have some extra importance to you right now.

Part 1 – Introduction to PPC

In the first part of this course, we started the discussion on what paid search is and outlined some of the key definitions and issues to the medium. The real key to this section is the last post, The 8 Pillars Of Paid Search Success, where we discussed the most important things to consider for new search engine marketers. If you were to reread any single post from the first half of PPC Academy, that would be the one I would recommend.

But wait! There’s more! Check out these posts for getting a solid groundwork in paid search fundamentals:

Part 2 – The research phase

In the Research Phase, the point was hammered home that good research upfront pays dividends on your campaign once you launch. The first two posts underscored that the business goals of the account would be the ultimate drivers of the decisions to be made, so it’s vitally important to make sure that you understand them fully before starting.

The rest of the posts in part 2 deal with specific tips and techniques to gather PPC research such as using third party vendor tools, website analytics platforms, and the last post, Paid Search Research In Action, even takes you through the mind of a search engine marketers as they go through a sample research project.

The other posts in part two:

Part 3 – The build phase

The Build Phase section included three posts each on the topics of keyword building and PPC copywriting. There were also individual lessons on some of the critical paid search concepts of match types, quality scores and ad group/campaign organization. The one that sticks out in this bunch, though, is The Blueprint Of The Modern Paid Search Account , where I discuss two widely utilized, practical approaches to PPC which include the Long Tail theory and leveraging the Buying Cycle for paid search success.

Other posts in part three:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this column so far and have found it helpful. As I stated in the first post at the beginning of the year, this column is mainly for search advertising newbies but I hope that even hardcore veterans will find a few tips and tricks to use.

Next week, we start the second half of this course where we roll up our virtual sleeves and learn how to upload, manage, report, analyze and optimize paid search campaigns.

PPC Academy is a comprehensive, one-year search advertising course from beginning to end. Starting with the basics, PPC Academy progressively explores all of the varied facets of paid search, and the tactics needed to succeed and become an advanced paid search marketer.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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