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Why Not Teach Yourself Google AdWords?

Why Not Teach Yourself Google AdWords?

The majority of modern digital marketers loves Google AdWords with a passion. With an average of 3.5 billion searches on the platform every day, Google provides an unprecedented level of exposure to users looking to purchase all types of products and services.

But running campaigns on the AdWords platform can be a daunting process. With so much to learn, set up and tweak, it can be difficult to even know where to get started. You may ask yourself, is going through the process of learning what to do really worth it?

In this article we take a look at the practicalities of doing paid search in house and why it might be better to work with an agency.

Is it possible to learn? 

So, is learning how to do Google AdWords yourself a reality?

Of course it is. With the internet comes the ultimate accessibility to learn just about anything you want.

There are countless online courses that can help you get to grips with AdWords. These span from free and paid for courses run by third party AdWords experts through to the Google owned and run courses, helping you to get to grips with the basics of the platform.

If you are going to go down the route of learning AdWords yourself, we fully recommend starting with Google’s own course. As the platform changes so rsapidly, it is the only place that you can guarantee finding all of the most recent and relevant information.

Time investment 

One thing you need consider when looking at whether to learn AdWords for yourself and run your own campaigns is the time investment you would be putting into getting to grips with the platform. When working this out, you need to consider a number of aspects which are going to come into play. 

The learning process

The first and most obvious of these is the upfront investment in time of going through and studying the material used to give you a fundamental understanding of the tool. This really needs to be done before any major investment is made, otherwise your ROI has the potential to be very low on your PPC campaigns.

The research stage

Once you have worked out how long it will take you to learn and retain the information you need, you can move on to estimating how much time setting up and running campaigns may take you.

Initially this may involve a fairly lengthy keyword research process, finding which search terms are going to return the best results for your business. You will also need to ensure that these terms are not too hotly competed, or that they are worth paying a high price to target.

Setting up

The next step is to set up your accounts and campaigns. For beginners this can take a lot of time and some aspects will often need to be repeated as you learn and as errors are made and remedied.

Ongoing maintenance

When you have gone through the set up process and have got to a point where you are happy to hit the go button, you will need to invest an ongoing amount of time in your campaigns.

This time will be allocated to monitoring, analysing the success of and reporting on your campaigns. Given your findings, you will also likely need to make tweaks to your campaigns to ensure you are getting the best possible results moving forward.

As so many external factors can impact the success of your campaign, even if it is performing excellently at launch, the process of monitoring and analysing will still need to be undertaken.


It is quite obvious that taking a do it yourself approach to Google AdWords can be a huge time investment, especially in the initial stages. This can lead to a huge time gap between decision and implementation of your PPC strategy, leading to the potential loss of any number of opportunities.

Working with an agency lets you get your PPC strategy moving quickly. Agencies facilitate this by having in place the plans and processes needed to launch campaigns quickly, as well as having the relevant experience needed to bypass many of the potential and timely issues that may be faced. 

The benefit of experience 

Working with an established agency brings the added benefit of experience. In many cases, this will include experience with literally hundreds of large and complex AdWords campaigns.

This experience will benefit your business in a number of ways. Firstly, the process of running PPC campaigns can be complex and filled with potential pitfalls. The agencies experience in dealing with this will help you avoid many of these and deal with others in the most efficient way possible.

Secondly, they will have the knowhow and access to large amounts of historical data which they can call upon in order to make your campaigns work harder for you. This is particularly important in order to make sure a good return on investment is made from your business’s spend.

The experience that agencies brings to the table can also ensure that you are focusing on realistic goals and targets for your PPC campaigns.  

Increased access 

Businesses invest a lot of time and money into producing the best product or service possible.

This is no different for agencies that support other businesses with their PPC campaigns. Many will invest in the infrastructure, tools and talent needed to make the most out of the Google AdWords platform.

Ultimately employing these tools will allow agencies to find you better keywords, increase your quality score and pay less for your results. Although the majority of these tools are available to individual businesses, often the results you will see will be nullified by the upfront cost. Equally, agencies can call on their experience to use the tools that are worth the investment, taking the risk out of your hands.

Return on investment 

We have mentioned the return on investment PPC campaigns a few times already in this guide, but really it deserves its own section.

The first thing to consider is that outsourcing your AdWords effort to an agency will usually come with a large upfront investment. However, this should not be taken as a given and ensuring it is worth that investment is the key to success.

Although it is difficult to tell when you have not run campaigns in house before, using an agency should lower your cost per result as well as help boost your overall results. It should also save you a large amount of time to focus on other aspects of your business where your time and skill set may be better suited.

Although running PPC campaigns with an agency is a long term relationship. If you fail to see any of the above returns on your investment after a reasonable amount of time, you should consider trying a different provider.


Getting your AdWords working at their peak performance is somewhat of an art, which takes some significant dedication to get right.

If you decide to bring your PPC in house and take it seriously, to get both the expertise required and the time required to do this properly means you would need at least one person working full time. Outsourcing to an agency ensures that both these aspects are met with a much smaller financial investment than employing an in house specialist.

The dedication that agencies show to PPC marketing also means that they constantly monitor platform updates and trends as well as investing in additional training and development of their staff. This can be difficult for in house marketers to maintain, whereas working with an agency lets you tap into this with ease.

Our recommendation 

It is clear that bringing your PPC campaign management in house is a real possibility for marketers. This is made possible by the open nature of Google’s learning materials, as well as other supporting information available online.

However, choosing this route will see a huge investment from your business, both in terms of time and money, in order to get your campaigns running to a high standard. Working with an agency lets you get the job done significantly quicker as well as tapping into their experience and access to the tools and data which will make your campaigns a success.

If you have a thirst for knowledge, we recommend that you do teach yourself some of the fundamentals of Google AdWords. This can easily be done by using free online resources. Once you have learnt the basics, this will make you an ‘intelligent customer’, being able to better brief and ask the right questions of the agency you work with.

On the other hand, if all the time investment seems a bit much given your busy schedule, working with a trustworthy and experienced agency like Search South will let you tap into the benefits of PPC campaigns without the hassle.

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Peter Johnson
Peter is a Google AdWords specialist, with associated skills in Bing Ads, Twitter Ads and Facebook Advertising.