Google AdWords: A Step-by-Step Guide
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Google AdWords: A Step-by-Step Guide

A step-by-step guide to teach you how to create and manage Google Adwords campaigns for your business, or for clients.
4.2 (32 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,432 students enrolled
Created by Travis Hancock
Last updated 10/2014
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn how to successfully create your first Google Adwords campaign. This includes the ability to choose campaigns, create ad groups, write ads, set bids, and create ad extensions.
  • Learn how to spend just 30 minutes per week managing your existing campaigns.
  • Learn 10 tips about how to lower your costs (ad spend paid to Google) and increase your conversions (sales, website sign-ups, leads).
  • Learn how to create and launch Display Ad Campaigns.
View Curriculum
  • Computer and internet
  • Google account (free)
  • Business or personal website to direct ads towards

1,300+ Happy Students. All positive reviews! These can be seen at the bottom of the page.

If you are unsatisfied in any way, you will receive a full refund for up to 30 days after purchase.

"This instructor is engaging and interesting to listen to. The screen shot walk-throughs are detailed and helpful. After taking this course, I feel 100% prepared to embark on a number of ad campaigns for my small local business." -Melissa H.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to create and manage Google Adwords campaigns. You'll be able to run campaigns for your own business, or get paid from home running ad campaigns for clients.

I will guide you step-by-step as you learn how to create and manage your first AdWords campaign. Watch lectures, view screen share demos, and follow along as I create example campaigns for a fictional company.

After this course you'll also be able to create and manage AdWords campaigns for yourself, or for clients. The skills I teach you will allow you to work from home and make $100-$400/month managing accounts for any company with an online presence looking to increase their traffic and/or sales.

What do you get by signing up for this course?

  • Lifetime access to 28 lectures, which include video lectures, screen-share demos, and handpicked complementary resources. The course is expected to take 3-5 hours to complete, as you are encouraged to build your own campaigns right alongside this course.
  • $100 in free advertising credits (for new AdWords accounts in US & Canada). Just sign up for the course, send me an email (listed in lecture 4), and I'll send you the promo code and explain how to apply it.
  • 10 Review Quizzes, one at the end of each section.
  • Certificate of completion to show to your boss/clients/self, indicating that you know how to build and manage AdWords campaigns.
  • A full refund & a free 30-minute digital marketing consultation if you are not satisfied with the course within the first 30 days after purchase.

This course is perfect for:

  • People Looking for a Career in Digital Marketing who are ready to learn how to manage Adwords campaigns and bring on clients of their own.
  • People Looking for an Evening Side Job managing paid search ads for clients. I'll show you how to use just 1 hour per week to effectively manage these campaigns.
  • Small Businesses who know they want to use AdWords to increase traffic and conversions but don't have the budget to hire out a digital agency. I'll show you how to do your paid search marketing completely in-house.
  • Service Professionals who don't have a lot of time for marketing. I'll show you how you can create your AdWords campaign in less than a day, and how to manage your campaign by spending less than 30 minutes per week.
  • Marketers/CMOs/Digital Marketers in larger companies who are looking to improve their tool belt and get more site traffic. Many employers will cover the course fee, since it's an investment that can reap dividends by as early as tomorrow.
  • Owners of new websites or blogs. Since SEO (organic traffic) takes months or even years to build and get you on the front page of Google, AdWords is the perfect way to get immediate traffic to your site. You can be on the first page of Google and have real, interested customers on your website by tomorrow.
  • Entrepreneurs looking to test out an idea or website. What better way to see if people are interested in your idea than to put out a real ad and see if people click on it and show engagement on your site? AdWords is perfect for early-stage research and testing of a new product or service.

There are hundreds of AdWords courses out there, but most of them leave you more confused than when you started by bogging you down with feature-overload. I use my years of experience to trim away the confusing aspects of AdWords and narrow them down to the simple essentials, while also including all of my best "tricks and tips" to streamline your success, teach you how to launch a successful campaign, and prepare you to manage Google Adwords accounts for clients.

I have created and managed dozens of Google AdWords accounts for clients selling things from accounting software to chicken soup. I'm an official Google Partner and up-to-date on the latest and best AdWords practices. I am also the creator and manager of DigitalMarketingBeginner, a top source for novices in the digital marketing arena.

AdWords can immediately multiply your website traffic and put your latest promotions and messaging in front of customers who are already searching for your product on Google. I'm excited to see you take advantage of this great tool, and to guide you step-by-step as you launch your first AdWords campaign!

Who is the target audience?
  • Small businesses doing Adwords in-house
  • Digital marketers in mid-sized/large companies adding to their tool belt
  • Owners of new websites or blogs who need immediate traffic and sales
  • Entrepreneurs testing new ideas and products
  • Professionals and offices who need advertising, but don't have a lot of time
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Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
2 Lectures 02:26

Additional Resources:

An Overview of Adwords

Lecture Summary:

Benefits of Using Adwords

1. Adwords can get you on the front page of Google immediately. SEO, or organic search, takes months of even years of content building and gathering links to reach the front page. After this course, you can get on the front page right away. It's a great way to bring customers and recognition to a new business.

2. Adwords is agile. You can swap out your ads in minutes. When your promotion ends or changes, you can simply put up a new ad, and you're good to go. Google searchers often check the Ads for deals when they're in the final stages of the buying process, so Adwords lets you put your promotions and incentives to buy, right in front of interested customers.

3. Adwords puts your ads in front of people who are already looking for your product. Since Adwords ads are triggered by people searching for a specific item, your ads show up to people who are actively trying to find you and your product. This creates a great opportunity for you to find searchers, and to convert them into customers or leads.

The Benefits of Using Adwords for Your Business

Adwords Intro (Quiz)
2 questions
Getting Started
3 Lectures 04:09

Additional Resources:

Creating an Adwords Account

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to create your first account.

Remember, you can only have one Adwords account per Gmail address. So, if you are running accounts for multiple companies, you'll need to create separate Gmail addresses for each.

If you're having trouble getting your account set up, call Google Adwords support at: 866-246-6453

Creating Your Account (Demo)

Additional Resources:

Submitting Billing Information

Using Promo Codes

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to set up your billing or to adjust your account settings.

Note: Email me at, tell me the email address associated with your new Adwords account, and I'll send you a promo code that will give you $100 of ad spend for free after you spend $25. This will only work for accounts less than 14 days old. Click the "Using Promo Codes" link above to learn how to apply these promo codes.

Billing & Account Settings (Demo)

Additional Resources:

Setting Up Conversion Tracking

Lecture Summary:

Conversion tracking is essential for any campaign. What is your goal once people get to your site? Without a goal (and a conversion to track), traffic to your site is pointless!

Basically, it lets you know if people who are clicking on your ad are doing what you want them to. Are they buying your product? Signing up for your newsletter? Downloading your app? Calling your sales team? Or, are they not doing any of these things, leaving your website right when they get there, and wasting your money?

Conversion tracking also lets you measure the effectiveness of your different ads and keywords, so that you can make adjustments accordingly.

To set up conversion tracking:

  1. Click on the Tools button in the main Adwords menu at the top. Then, click on "Conversions" in the sub-menu.
  2. Click on the red +Conversion button
  3. Give your conversion a name, and click the appropriate conversion type that you'd like to track. The most common selection is "Webpage." If you already have Goals set up in Google Analytics, you can import these goals and set them up as conversions.
  4. Enter the specific details about your conversion, like if you want a value associated with it, or how long you'd like it to count as a conversion. Typically, I count All Conversions, set the Markup language to HTML, and choose the "Don't add a notification" option on the tracking indicator.
  5. Eventually you'll be given a piece of HTML code. Copy and Paste this code into the webpage that shows up after a conversion occurs on your website. This is usually a thank-you page of some kind that shows to a customer after they've completed a purchase or filled out a contact form. You can insert this code yourself or ask a webmaster to help.

Be sure to click the Google Support link above if you have any questions about setting up conversions. It has a drop-down menu for each type of conversion.

Setting Up Conversion Tracking

Getting Started (Quiz)
3 questions
2 Lectures 04:48

Additional Resources:

Creating Campaigns

Lecture Summary:

Before setting up your campaigns, you need to decide who you are going to target. Are you a local store that only wants to target a certain city? Are you a law office that wants to target a whole state? Or are you an e-commerce site, wanting to target a whole country? Or, maybe you're selling an App, and you want to target all English speakers, anywhere in the world. You can choose these things on the campaign level.


1. Each product that needs a different budget or geographic area needs its own campaign.

2. It's helpful to look at your website's menu, and make a campaign for each main menu item.

3. Create a campaign specific to your brand.

In the next lecture, I'll walk you through how to create your first campaign.

Choosing Your Campaigns

Additional Resources:

Creating Campaigns

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to create your first campaign.

Campaign Settings (Demo)

Campaigns (Quiz)
4 questions
Ad Groups
3 Lectures 06:46

Additional Resources:

How Ad Groups Work

Lecture Summary:

The basic rule is that everything in your ad group (keywords, ad copy, landing page to which you are sending clickers) should match. If your keywords don't match your ad copy or your landing page, then:

1. People won't click on your ad (since your ad will show something that they weren't looking for).

2. People who do click on your ad will probably end up somewhere too generic or too unrelated to their search and they will leave.

3. Google will lower your quality score.

Quality score is Google's way of calculating if your ad is relevant to people's searches. In most cases, the more specific the ad group, the better the quality score. Higher quality score means lower costs for you.

The best ad groups will only have 5-10 keywords and 3-4 ads. And remember, these ads should always be relevant to your keywords, and send visitors to relevant landing pages.

Preview 01:48

Additional Resources:

Creating Ad Groups

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to create your first ad group.

Preview 02:34

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to navigate around Adwords.

Navigating Adwords (Demo)

Ad Groups (Quiz)
2 questions
2 Lectures 03:02

Additional Resources:

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Writing an Ad

Writing Great Ads

Lecture Summary:

Ad Title (25 characters)

-Use your ad group's keywords.

-Use catchy adjectives that fit your product.

-Try making controversial titles to catch people's attention.

-Run a Google search for the keywords that you are targeting. What are your competitors doing well? How can you stand out when your ad is right next to theirs?

1st Line of Description (35 characters)

-Explain what your product is. What should people expect to see when they click on your ad? Describe your product's materials, quality, colors, or sizes.

-Focus on the strengths and selling points of your product.

2nd Line of Description (35 characters)

-Should contain a call to action, or an incentive for someone to click on your ad.

-Write about a special promo code, or about free shipping until a certain date. Make the customer feel like they're getting a special deal or insider information since they found your ad.

Display URL (35 characters)

-I generally like to put my domain name, and then after the slash I like to include my targeted keyword, since it will also bold if it is part of the person's search.

-Note that this URL doesn't necessarily have to be the exact URL you're sending them to, so you can play around with the wording.

Destination URL

-Make sure that the landing page matches the keywords and the ads so that your searcher's expectations are met, and so that Google will give you a better quality score.


By default, your ads will show to people searching with a desktop or mobile device. However, if you want to create an ad specific for Mobile customers, check the box. Maybe you have a promo specific to mobile users, or you believe that mobile users will respond to different wording.

Some ads take about a day to get approved. If for some reason they don't get approved, just click on the thought bubble to learn what adjustments need to be made.

Preview 02:22

Additional Resources:

Creating New Text Ads

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to create new ads.

Creating Ads (Demo)

Ads (Quiz)
4 questions
4 Lectures 09:19

Additional Resources:

Using Keyword Matching Options

Use Keyword Planner for Keyword Ideas

Lecture Summary:

There are four basic match types in Adwords, and each helps in accomplishing different objectives.

1. Broad Match - Your ads may show up for searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. Broad match gives you the least control, but it may help give you ideas by showing up for words that you hadn't thought of. However, usually, this match type should be avoided.

2. +Broad +Match +Modifier - Your ads will only show for searches that contain every one of the + words. It captures all types of searches, but still keeps them relevant to your product, since you've required that the most important keywords appear in the search. When in doubt, use broad match modifier!

3. "Phrase Match" - This requires that the search term contains the group of words in that same order. This is a great match type for getting specific results, but it does sometimes miss out on searches that are re-worded a bit differently.

4. [Exact Match] - This shows your ad only on searches that match your keyword exactly. This match type is good when you have nailed down exactly what you want people to search for, or if you have an exact phrase that you know people will use to find your product. But, once again, be careful, since you might miss out on other relevant searches with this match type.

Not sure what words to use? Use the Keyword Planner by clicking on "Tools" in the top menu, and then "Keyword Planner". This lets you enter words about your product, and then gives you ideas of more words to add.

Match Types

Additional Resources:

Cost-Per-Click Bidding

Lecture Summary:

Highest-bidders on the keywords will generally get the top ad locations.

The price you actually pay for each click won't necessarily match your bid, since Google takes all the bids into account before setting the click price for each ad position. However, you won't ever pay more than your bid amount. Ad placement prices will fluctuate throughout the day.

It's important to check your average position number and your impressions number in the reporting table. If your keyword is getting no impressions, then it means your bid is too low and your ad isn't showing up. If you are getting impressions, but your keyword has a very low average position, this indicates that your ads aren't showing on many of the searches, and when they are showing, they are at the bottom of the page. Being the number 1 or number 2 ad will definitely result in more clicks, but you can still do quite well in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th positions.

Selecting the best keyword match type will help you using your bid money for only the keywords that are relevant for your desired customer. Keeping a high quality score, as discussed in the ad groups section, will also help keep bid prices lower than your competitors.


Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to add keywords and change bids.

Adding Keywords & Changing Bids (Demo)

Lecture Summary:

Learn how to research keywords to use by using the Keyword Planner tool.

Finding Keywords with the Keyword Planner Tool

Keywords (Quiz)
4 questions
Ad Extensions
2 Lectures 04:39

Additional Resources:

Enhance Your Ad With Extensions

Lecture Summary:

Ad extensions are free, and they improve your ad. Here are some of the ad extensions that exist:

1. Sitelinks - these are basically hyperlinks at the bottom of your ad that can link to any other page on your website, such as the Contact Us page, the promotions page, or another product's page.

2. Call Extensions - call extensions let you add your phone number to your ad. They're especially handy for mobile users, since a person viewing your ad can click directly on the call icon and give you a ring.

3. Location Extensions - By linking your Google My Business account to your adwords account, your ad can show helpful information like your business address or hours of operation, right on your ad.

4. App Extensions - these let you link to your business's app page right from your ad.

5. Review Extensions - these let you write in positive reviews about your business that people have left on a reviews website. People really respond to positive reviews, so it's very helpful to show these reviews right there in the ad copy.

Note: Google is always adding new types of ad extensions. Always be on the lookout for new extensions that can continue to spice up your ads. Click on the "Google Support: Ad Extensions" link for the latest information.

Ad Extensions

Lecture Description:

Watch the demo to learn how to set up ad extensions.

Setting up Sitelinks & Other Ad Extensions (Demo)

Ad Extensions (Quiz)
3 questions
Weekly Management
5 Lectures 16:18

Lecture Summary:

Read the text document for a guide about the things you should do each week to manage your Adwords campaigns.

Weekly Management Intro

Additional Resources:

Understanding Your Data

Monitoring Your Ads and Keywords

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to read the data for your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.

Reading the Data (Demo)

Lecture Summary:

You should have 3 ads running at a time per device. So, if you're running ads that are specific to Mobile as well as to Desktop, then you'll have 3 of each in my ad groups.

Pause the ads that have the highest cost/conversion (check the "cost/conversion" column in your data table under the ads tab for your ad group).

Make your new ad slightly different from your best-performing ad, or try something completely new. An easy way to create a new ad that's only slightly different from your best one, is to hover over your best ad, click on the arrow, and select "Copy and Edit".

Whenever you have a promo, or a limited-time deal that you want all of your customers to see, you should pause all of your ads and create a new ad specific to that promotion. This will ensure that all of your visitors looking for the keywords in that ad group will see the promotion when you want them to. When the promotion ends, be sure to un-pause your top 3 converting ads.

A/B Testing Ads: Always Have 3 Running

Additional Resources:

Adding Negative Keywords to Your Campaign

75 Negative Keywords Every Campaign Should Use

Lecture Summary:

Negative keywords are your best friends. Basically, they tell Google what keyword searches you don't want to show up for. Negative keywords will end up saving you hundreds of dollars in ad spend.

Common negative keywords to add: "free", "careers", "jobs", "employment", and "salaries", "classes", "course", "textbooks", "what is", "what are", "articles", "how to", "reviews", "ebay", "amazon", "lyrics", "youtube", "sex", or "craigslist".

It's also a good idea to exclude the names of states or cities where you don't sell your product.

Negative Keywords: Your Best Friends

Additional Resources:

Adding Negative Keywords to Your Campaign

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to add negative keywords.

Negative Keywords (Demo)

Weekly Management (Quiz)
4 questions
Bonus Section: Display Ads
2 Lectures 07:12

Additional Resources:

Supported Ad Sizes/Specifications

Google Web Designer (Google's internal system for building display ads)

Picresize (for easy cropping and re-sizing to get your image to the right size and format)

Gimp (free photoshop-like tool for editing images)

Powerpoint (Easy place to drag your images, write in text, and then save as a picture)

Lecture Summary:

Display ads aren't as effective as search ads, since they show to people who aren't necessarily looking for your product. However, they do help to get your company's branding and messaging in front of large amounts of people. Basically, display ads are a great way to gain awareness and to make people realize that you exist.

Generally, display ads are also cheaper than search ads, and so they can really give your website traffic a quick boost, even if this traffic isn't as high quality as the search traffic.

Use the tools linked above to see which ad sizes and formats are supported on the Google Display network. I've also included some design tools you can use to get your images ready to go!

Display Ads

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to launch your first Display Ads campaign.

Creating a Display Ad Campaign (Demo)

Display Ads (Quiz)
2 questions
Continue to Improve Your Campaign
3 Lectures 06:54

Additional Resources:

Improve Your Return

8 Tips to Reduce Cost Per Conversion

Lecture Summary:

Ways to save money by getting more quality clicks (and therefore, getting more conversions for your money).

1. Use Negative keywords. I can't talk enough about negative keywords. Check your details - keywords tab often, like we talked about, and keep adding negative keywords so that irrelevant clickers will stop. wasting. your. money.

2. Scheduling. Can your business only take orders certain times of the day? Are people clicking but not converting at certain times (like midnight to 7am)? Then turn your ads off at these times and save money! You can do this in Settings - Advanced Settings - Schedule. You can view which times of the day are most effective for you, by looking at the data in the Dimensions tab and by clicking on View: Hour of Day.

3. Use Google Analytics. Look in Analytics at your Adwords section, and see which keywords are leading to conversions, and which keywords are leading to high bounce rates. Adjust accordingly so that your money is being spent on the best keywords.

4. Geography. Make sure you’re only targeting the people that you want to! Check your campaign settings tab again. Are you showing your ad nationally, when you're a local company? Do you not ship to certain states? Or, which geographic area is converting the best? Optimize for that area. Don’t be afraid to exclude geographic areas that are not converting. You can view lots of great location data in Settings - Locations - View Location Reports.

5. Quality Score. As we've talked about, the better your quality score. the cheaper the cost! The very best campaigns have very few keywords per ad group, making the ad and landing page completely specific to that keyword. Keep all your ad group keywords VERY similar to each other.

6. Match Type. Use Broad Match Modifier, Phrase Match, and Exact Match instead of broad match. This will prevent you from wasting clicks on un-related keywords.

7. Lower Your Bids. Do it incrementally, and be sure to check that you aren’t slipping too low in average position. Also be wary of your highest-costing keywords and perhaps get rid of them, if they aren't converting. Don’t stress too much about losing spots 1 and 2. They cost more, and people ready to convert won’t be that quick to click on the first ad they see. Check the Details - Auction section to see how you are comparing to your competitors.

8. Bid Adjustments. You can adjust your bids according to time of day, location, or device-type by clicking on the settings tab of a campaign, and then on the locations, ad schedule, and devices buttons. This lets you adjust your bids up or down for certain times of the day, for certain locations, or for certain devices. This lets you put more money towards states, days of the week, or devices that are converting better, or putting less money towards things that aren't converting. You can also go right into your keywords tab and increase the bids for keywords that are converting more. This will give you more impressions and clicks for your best keywords.

9. Ad Extensions. These are free, and they always help. Add sitelink extensions, phone extensions, location extensions, and review extensions. These will beef up your ad and lead to more conversions.

10. Make New Ads. Always have at least 3 ads runnings in each ad group. Every week or so, pause the worst ad and test out a new one so that you can keep honing in on the best-performing ads.

Ten Ways to Lower Your Cost Per Conversion

Additional Resources:

Google Support: Linking Analytics and Adwords

Lecture Summary:

Watch the demo to learn how to link your Analytics and Adwords accounts.

Link Analytics to Adwords (Demo)

Improve Your Campaign (Quiz)
2 questions

Thank you for taking this course! Once you get past the tricky stuff, Adwords can be tons of fun, and be a great part of your digital marketing tool belt.

If this course was helpful for you, Please either:

1. Share this course with your friends, or other businesses and entrepreneurs who you feel like could use a little Adwords in their life.

2. Or, leave a positive review on the Udemy course page. I want to keep making courses like this, and your help can allow me to do that!

Even though an online course is a bit one-sided in terms of interaction, I'm sincerely grateful to have been part of your learning experience. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any more questions, or if you'd just like to say hello.

Don't forget to download your Certificate of Completion. You can get this by clicking on the little green trophy near the top of the page (here's some more info if you can't find it: Put it on your wall, put it on your boss's wall, or make a world-class paper airplane out of it. You earned it!

Thanks again, and best of luck in the world of Adwords!

Course Conclusion & Request for Help
About the Instructor
Travis Hancock
4.2 Average rating
32 Reviews
1,432 Students
1 Course
Certified Google Partner, Chief Digital Marketer at Eli Kirk

Travis currently works as the Chief of Digital Marketing at Eli Kirk, a well-known web and design agency. Travis is responsible for the creation and management of all digital marketing accounts, including SEO, social media, paid search, remarking, and e-mail marketing.

In the past year Travis has operated the Google AdWords accounts for dozens of clients and has been certified as an official Google Partner. Travis owns and operates, helping digital marketers worldwide learn the basics of getting quality website traffic.

Travis is also a budding actor, entrepreneur, traveler, and blogger. He has built several websites and uses his digital marketing expertise to draw in thousands of visitors each week.