Paid search advertising is always changing. (Which is one of the things I love about it.) It takes a concerted effort to keep up with the times.
Paid search changes at such a rapid rate, in fact, that you have to look extra carefully at work experience. For example, if someone says, “I’ve worked in paid search advertising for 12 years,” that doesn’t tell me much. Sure, they might have excellent management experience and good contextual understanding of PPC advertising, but if they haven’t touch an AdWords account in the last two years, they would be woefully unprepared to directly manage an account.
This isn’t to suggest that industry experience isn’t important. It is. I like to think that I’m quick to learn and adapt to paid search changes because I’ve already weathered so many of them.
At the same time, this rate of constant change presents excellent opportunities for those willing to fully immerse themselves in paid search. Which is why paid search advertising has become an attractive option for self-starters who’re looking to get ahead. I know several PPC superstars who’re new to the field but get excellent results.
For all these reasons, my resolution this year (and I invite you to make it yours) is to keep learning!
(For those of you keeping track, “stay organized” was our PPC resolution last year. How did you do?)
But then the question is HOW we can make learning a priority when we’re all pressed for time?
Today, I’ll share with you my three favorite strategies:
1. Leverage Twitter
Twitter is a great resource for keeping up to date with the latest paid search trends, strategies and changes.
Start by following your favorite industry experts, then browse your feed occasionally to see what they’re posting. I’ll often do this while waiting for meetings to start.
When you find something you’d like to read, copy and paste the link into a list and circle back to it later.
Another way to use Twitter is to ask and answer questions.
For example, I recently used Twitter to ask a question about Google Ad Grants:
And I received some helpful replies:
I’m always amazed at (and grateful for) the help I receive. People in our field are incredibly generous! And I try to pay it forward by responding to questions posted by others. You should too!
2. Collaborate With Your Team
It’s easy for team members to to end up in their own silos, with little cross-collaboration. But your team is one of your best resources for learning what’s changing in paid search, sometimes minute by minute!
You can foster cross-collaboration and learning by scheduling regular group meetings and dedicating part of those meetings to sharing updates and new discoveries.
My team and I meet weekly as a group. We use this as an opportunity to share knowledge. Often, team members will remind me about tools or functions I’ve forgotten about. Or they’ll come up with new ways of using them.
For example, we’ve had a number of discussions about AdWords labels. Labels are such a versatile tool, my team is always coming up new ways to use them. And I have no doubt that this knowledge has helped all of us work more efficiently and accurately.
3. Schedule Time for Learning
Part of continual learning is scheduling the time to do it. Personally, I make Fridays my learning day.
I try not to schedule meetings on Fridays. Instead, I use the time to catch up on tasks. I’ll also use it to step back from the day to day and get some perspective. I’ll often work on my blog posts and articles, which gives me the perfect excuse to do some reading and research to see what’s happening in the world beyond my desk.
You don’t have to dedicate an entire day to this, of course. An afternoon or even just a couple hours a week can make a big difference. And if you can be consistent in scheduling this time from week to week, you’re much more likely to stick to it.
Your PPC Learning Should Never Stop
If you want to take things further with your learning, I invite you to check out my list of paid search educational resources. I wrote up this list a couple years ago, but you’ll find that most of it is still current. There, you’ll find paid search conferences, associations and online resources to further your paid search expertise.
Keeping up with PPC is a challenge. So give these strategies a try to keep yourself current.
And I can promise you, you’ll never get bored!