Steps to Learn Google AdWords and Become an Expert5 Minute Read

If there are two things you should remember while you read this post and learn Google AdWords, it’s that: 1) you need to target your ads based on a goal, and 2) you need to A/B test your ads to see which approaches work better than others.

Both topics will be covered somewhat briefly and then the infographic will be below.



Your overarching goal for AdWords, and any ad for a matter of fact, will be different based on what part of the sales funnel you’re focusing on.

Without goals, you will get nowhere in your marketing efforts.

There are five different stages in the customer journey, according to Dave McClure, a founder of 500 Startups:

Acquisition, activation, retention, referral, revenue.

Below is a table describing them:

AARRR Pirate Metrics Table


As you can see, it makes sense to target someone based on the phase in their journey.


Conversion Tracking

“With AdWords conversion tracking, you can see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity, such as website purchases, phone calls, app downloads, newsletter sign-ups, and more.” – Google

It would be foolish if you don’t set up conversion tracking for any and all Google Ads.

If you haven’t already done this for your Google AdWords, then learn how to set up conversion tracking here.

This is a huge part of helping you measure your goals and track how visitors use your site.


Acquisition and Awareness

If you want to spread awareness about your brand, you can do that. However, don’t expect to see any significant or immediate return on investment aside from getting some email subscribers.

Google AdWords are expensive. Use your money wisely and don’t overdo your ad-spend for something like this.




If you want email subscribers, then you can direct people to a specific landing page designed to help you get conversions.

Account Signups

When it comes to getting people to sign up for accounts, you can most easily place ads and market people to sign up for free accounts so they experience some benefits of your product or service. Free trials work well and freemium products work well, too.



You can help retain your current users by using the remarketing tactic, by using your existing list of customers, or by using a segmented audience from your email list of subscribers who actively engage with your emails whether it’s by open rate or clicks.

When targeting repeat visitors, you can set up a goal flow within your analytics, let’s say it’s Google Analytics, and target each user that’s completed three or more page views in a session.

The more page views, the more interested the person is about your product or service.

In addition, you can upload data files of individuals’ email addresses and market to your “Customer Match” audiences.

So if you have a set group of people in a spreadsheet that you want to target, you can do that.

Pretty sweet, eh?



Referral marketing is an awesome way to get new visitors and potential site-users.

When one person refers another person, the referrer is vouching for your product or service. That creates social proof, and social proof is very good.

Referral marketing can also go viral if you’ve built a virality aspect into it.

You can hold referral contests to win something cool where the more people you refer, the more entries you get to win.

This is a great viral tactic.

Or, you can create a referral program where referrers get bonus perks from you that will help them, get money, or get credits towards one of your products.

With campaigns like these in place, putting up ads for them can make your product or service go viral.

The key to starting virality with this using Google AdWords, is to target people who already use your website. Pixel tracking codes or remarketing can help you target these people.

Similarly, you can search for similar audiences of your returning visitors.



Let’s say you’re looking to get people to purchase your product or service.

You’ll want to target the same demographics of the people who’ve already purchased from you. You can use remarketing for this.


You can target people who are searching Google for keywords that correspond with purchasing a product or service like yours.

Five examples:

  • “x product comparison,”
  • “top productivity software”
  • “productivity software pricing comparison”
  • “cheapest payroll software”
  • “Quickbooks pricing”



A/B Testing

This is a pretty simple concept. You want to test the click through rates of people clicking on your ads by using two ads.

One of them is your control and the other is the variable with ONE change in it.

The purpose of the test is to test a hypothesis that the variable ad will get more clicks because of ________________. (you fill in the blank)

The change could be a change in color, it could be a different tagline, or a slight change in your call to action (CTA).

Once you get between 300 and 400 views for each, compare the click-through rates for each one. Whichever is highest is the winner.

The winner becomes your new control and create another ad as a B-test to find the better performing ad.

Don’t stop until you’ve found some real winners.



12 Steps to Becoming a Google AdWords Expert [Infographic]


Additional Learning

Google AdWords Academy

Take the Google Academy AdWords course from Google – it’s free!

Additional free AdWords Tips, Strategies, and Resources from Google.


Learn Copywriting

Copywriting is the way you will make your ads work for you. It is the act of wording your ads to attract potential customers.

All AdWords experts have learned a significant amount about the best practices for wording their headlines and ad-copy.

Write Great Headlines

How to Write Headlines That Drive Traffic, Shares, and SEO

Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule



If you take the above steps to learn Google AdWords, then you will no doubt be on your way to becoming an expert.

To become an expert in anything, it takes time. Exercise patience, be diligent, and your proficiency will most definitely increase.

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