Pay-per-click (PPC) best practices are great… until they’re not. That’s the trouble you face with such a fast-changing domain like digital marketing. As soon as one good hack catches on, the search engine changes the algorithm. Then new hacks are born again and the cycle continues.
With so many marketers trying to crack the best PPC tricks and countless expert bloggers champing at the bit to learn and share them with their followers, you gain a great potential advantage—only if you can keep up. In this article, I’ve scoured websites, blogs and communities, and compiled a list of the top resources that should be part of every marketers’ PPC toolkit. Get your bookmarking fingers ready.
For most people, subscribing to blogs is the easiest way to stay up to date. Blogs are convenient and have the ability to focus on specific content. Here is a list of my favorites.
Acquisio Blog: Acquisio is a PPC management software system. Their blog has a wide variety of topics, such as offering commentary on changes, running webinars with guest speakers and information on published e-books. As their overall media offerings are far-reaching, it’s a great resource to have and it gives you a well-rounded look at the industry.
PPC Hero: PPC Hero is the blog run by Hannipan Marketing. Their blog posts include in-house insights and guest authors. They also produce webinars, e-books, and the PPC Hero conference. They are focused on the practitioner, so this is a good place for those practicing PPC on a daily basis to subscribe.
Unbounce: To ensure you are reaching your PPC goals, you need to make sure your traffic converts. While Unbounce is a landing page builder software, they also produce great content that ranges from PPC insights to landing page tests. If you are trying to increase your conversion rates on your website, stay up to date with Unbounce articles.
Search Engine Land: The preeminent publication for paid search marketing comes from Search Engine Land. They feature weekly articles, the SMX® Conference and much more. If you are looking for industry trends, insights and practitioner knowledge, their feature PPC articles are always worth reading.
SearchCap: SearchCap is a feature of Search Engine Land that should be mentioned separately. Each day, they scour the web for the best marketing articles and put them together in one newsletter. If you like a specific blog, then you should subscribe to it. However, if you are looking for a general recap on the web, then this is a must-read newsletter.
While blogs are great for reading content and getting webinar invites, you can’t read while you are out for a jog or commuting to and from work. Podcasts are a great medium when you want to absorb some information, but you can’t sit down and read. Podcasts are optimal for busy professionals that often find it necessary to multitask.
PPC Rockstars: We’ve seen many podcasts come and go, but PPC Rockstars has been on the air for over 10 years. Each week David Szetela interviews a member of the paid search community to bring you new insights, tips, tricks, and commentary. As this is a weekly show, there’s always new content to absorb and it keeps you current with any new advancements.
Google Partners Podcast: The Google Partners Podcast has quickly become one of my favorite shows. This podcast is aimed at a director or even VP level and is much more strategic in its thinking than most online resources. Topics range from how agencies manage a brand promise to managing and growing an agency. This is a highly polished podcast that is a good listen.
Online communities are another great resource for gaining insights into PPC. The interactive element can feel more engaging than reading a blog or listening to a podcast. They also allow users the opportunity to directly pose questions to other people or experts in the industry.
For example, Twitter chats are a great place to interact with PPC community members. Twitter chats work by assigning a time each week for the chat. The moderator will have a list of questions for the community. There are several ways to utilize the chat format. For instance, you can answer the questions yourself or you can just read other people’s thoughts. Sometimes, there will be a guest, and afterwards, there will be a recap.
Later, during the week, you can use the chat’s hashtag to ask questions and interact with the community.
I have two favorite Twitter Chat communities.
#PPCChat: This is one of the older PPC twitter chat communities. It features a core of regulars who are always looking to share information and gain insights from others.
#SEMRushChat: SEM Rush is a keyword research and competitive intelligence tool. They host an amazingly well-run weekly chat. They even provide recaps to questions during the chat, which is highly unusual. The topics can range from PPC to competitive intelligence to even SEO.
Reddit’s /r/PPC: Reddit is a popular and widely used forum or bulletin board system. Their PPC subreddit is fairly active, however, it really shines during the AMAs (Ask Me Anything). During an AMA, a well-known guest will hold a question and answer session in real-time. It can be a bit hard to follow as it is happening. However, once it is finished, you can go back over the entire transcript, they are wonderful reads.
The Search Engines
While Google AdWords runs a blog, it’s really just a list of change announcements and doesn't give much insight. To get great insights from Google, you can subscribe to the Think With Google articles. Providing weekly insights, these articles look at in-depth research and case studies, and it is also one of the best-produced articles I see each week.
The Bing Ads Blog is a comprehensive resource about Bing Ads. You will see changes to the Bing Ads program, invites to webinars they are hosting (often featuring guests) and information about new initiatives. A good complement to their blog is Bing Ads Insights. Bing shares a lot more data than Google does, and some of their data include ad heatmaps, shopping trends and more.
Simplilearn’s Free Resources Page
Simplilearn offers hundreds of digital marketing resources available right on our website. (Just scroll to the bottom and click the Resources link and select your desired segment from the drop-down menu.) Simplilearn’s bloggers are renowned digital marketing experts and content curators who have a huge amount of experience in training, consulting, client management and industry insights.
As the author of this and many other articles about PPC and digital marketing, I also welcome you to check out my own blogs: bgTheory is a blog full of PPC insights, commentary and case studies, and Adalysis is a blog that’s partly based on what we learn from ad testing on the tremendous amount of data we gain from our popular Adalysis PPC recommendation engine.
These blogs share the latest (and evergreen) tactics for increasing the productivity and profitability of your PPC campaigns.
Best practices are always changing—at internet speed. Knowing where to look for the most current and trustworthy sources of information and suggestions about PPC advertising is an essential part of your skill maintenance, not just your education. Smart marketing professionals make it a daily (or at least weekly) routine to peruse the latest news, blogs, and case studies. I hope that by providing this handy list of resources above, you’ll have a much easier time staying on top of the latest techniques to keep you ahead of your bidding competition.