The 9 Best Free Google Ads Training Courses for Every Level

Things that are easy to learn:

-How to do the moonwalk.
-How to win friends and influence people.
-How to ride a bike.

training wheels meme

Sure, there are techniques, but a bike is a bike. People are people. And the moonwalk doesn’t evolve every month or have machines learning alongside you…

…like, say, Google Ads.

The Google Ads platform (and consumer behavior) is never in a resting state, so beginners and experts alike need training from resources that are recent, relevant, and reliable. Which is why I’m sharing with you the nine best Google ads training and courses available now. For each resource, I provide:

  • Course format, length, and topics.
  • Learning level and goals it is best suited for.
  • Something that makes it different from the rest on this list.

The best Google Ads courses for all levels

It’s hard to find a resource that is useful for advertisers at any level of experience, but these two fit the bill. You will often find this with written courses since they are easier to update than videos.

1. WordStream’s PPC University Google Ads course

  • Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
  • Good for: all levels of advertisers
  • Length: varies
  • Highlight: benchmark data, influencer-written content

I mean, what award-winning resource doesn’t include itself in a resource roundup? WordStream has been a go-to source for online marketing advice for over 12 years and is the home of the Free Google Ads Performance Grader—an account audit and optimization tool that gets run 10,000 times a month!

google ads account structure tutorial screenshot

PPC University is a series of 5-10-minute articles designed to answer both the questions you have and the ones you didn’t even know to ask. The course is divided into three sections:

  • PPC 101: how Google Ads works, account set up and structure, key metrics, anatomy of an ad.
  • PPC102: keywords, match types, ad copy, extensions, bidding, ad scheduling, budgeting, and auditing.
  • Advanced PPC: remarketing, mobile-optimization, lead qualification, dynamic formats.

The articles are written by top PPC influencers and experts, so you won’t just get what you need to advertise on Google, but rather, to stay competitive, save time, and save money in Google Ads. Plus, our benchmark data is an annual favorite.

2. Google’s Performance Max guide and tutorial 

  • Type: written, interactive content with visuals and screenshots
  • Good for: any level, especially those using Local and Smart Shopping campaigns
  • Length: 15 minutes
  • Highlight: always-updated information, key takeaways, quizzes

If this feels arbitrary, hear me out. Performance Max campaigns have only just become widely available as of November 2021, so there isn’t a whole lot out there on it. And yet, given the ongoing shift to automation—and the fact that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will fold into this campaign type in 2022—learning the ropes is important for any level advertiser.

best google ads training course - google's performance max tutorial

Google’s Performance Max campaign tutorial shows how to use this automated campaign type to advertise across all of Google’s channels with just one campaign. All you need is a free Skillshop account to get access. Through its interactive content, you’ll learn

  • How Performance Max campaigns work
  • How to set them up
  • Best practices
  • Tips for post-launch

And I never thought I’d link to a help article in a course roundup, but here we are. Google’s Performance Max Best practices guide is also super solid. This 10-minute guide walks you through setting up your campaign, with tips throughout every step and a video tutorial. Between these two resources, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your performance with Performance Max.

The Best Google Ads training for beginners

The following two training courses are good for dipping your toes into the Google Ads waters. Between the two of them, you’ll get the key information needed to help you understand the basics of not just creating an account but also forming a strategy.

3. LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab

  • Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
  • Good for: beginners and local businesses considering Google Ads
  • Length: 25 minutes
  • Highlight: Google Local Service Ads, holistic strategy tips

If you’re completely new to Google Ads, there are some key concepts you’ll want to grasp before you even start touring the platform—like how Google Ads should fit into your overall marketing plan, how to build a strategy and measure success, and best practices to avoid common mistakes. Local PPC Lab is perfect for this, managing to turn the complexities of Google Ads into a simple (and very visually appealing!) course.

free google ads courses - localiq marketing lab - anatomy of a google ad

And make no mistake—while it is locally-focused, this course is the perfect fit for beginners and marketers of any business size. You’ll learn:

  • How Google Ads works and how to form a PPC strategy.
  • Keywords, match types, budgeting, landing pages, and ad copy.
  • Google Local Services Ads
  • Whether and how to choose a PPC partner 

4. Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

  • Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
  • Good for: beginners with some familiarity with the platform
  • Length: 34 minutes
  • Highlight: Split testing, and see my three points below

Santrel Media’s Complete Google Ads Tutorial comes from co-founder Nate O’Brien. It’s the perfect way to tour the Google Ads platform once you have the prerequisite knowledge from Local PPC Lab. Yes, the course is helpful, but I also emphatically chose it for three reasons:

  1. He doesn’t spend the first 10 minutes telling you how to earn three figures with online advertising.
  2. He’s not so intense that you find yourself either holding your breath or sweating.
  3. He says right off the bat that he used tutorials like this when he was first starting out.
free google ads course by santrel media

Anyway, in this half-hour training, Nate will walk you through setting up your first ad and get you familiar with the basics of:

  • Campaign types
  • Conversion rates
  • Keyword research
  • Split testing

The course was created on September 8, 2021, so it’s recent (as of writing this post), and Santrel’s YouTube channel has 326K subscribers, so this is 34 minutes well spent. 

The best beginner to intermediate Google Ads courses

These trainings cover intermediate Google Ads strategies and concepts that don’t require intermediate experience.

5. Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course

  • Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
  • Good for: beginners and intermediates ready for Google Analytics galore
  • Length: 4h 40m
  • Highlight: Display advertising and Google Analytics

Simplilearn’s full Google Ads Course is five hours, but there’s a table of contents with timestamps so you can skip to the sections you want. Plus yo

simplilearn google ads training course

In addition to walking through the steps to account and campaign setup, the course educates you on key Google Ads concepts to give you a firm footing. There’s also a heavy focus on Google Analytics and Tag Manager—which are essential for running successful campaigns. The training covers:

  • What Google Ads is and how to create an account.
  • Google Display vs Search Network and how Display campaigns work.
  • How Google Analytics and Tag Manger work and how to set up goals and event tracking.

6. Metics Media Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

  • Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
  • Good for: beginners looking for a step-by-step training
  • Length: 1 hour
  • Highlight: uses a real account, covers keyword match types

The Metics Media Google Ads course was created by Simon Gorges, a full-time airline pilot (!) who has a YouTube channel with over 76,000 subscribers. 

best google ads training course - metics media youtube tutorial

In this training, Simon walks you through running your first campaign, using an actual account so you can see settings that were chosen for particular goals. This is a great way to learn the basics but with context. Here’s the docket:

  • How Google Ads work
  • Account and campaign setup
  • Account structure
  • Bidding
  • Ad extensions
  • Ad groups
  • Keyword match types, negative keywords, Keyword Planner

There’s also a short segment at the end on optimization. Note that this course was created at the start of 2021, before our beloved modified broad match was dissolved into phrase match.

P.S: Look out for our Google Ads auction visual in his tutorial!

The best intermediate Google Ads training

If the beginner courses feel too slow for you but you’re not looking to get cocky, this Google Ads training is the right fit. It is called a beginner course, but it covers some advanced topics in a beginner-friendly way.

7. Jason Whaling’s all-in-one Google Ads course

  • Type: YouTube video—screenshare and talking face
  • Good for: service-based businesses on a budget
  • Length: 1h
  • Highlight: keyword intent, remarketing, ad messaging

Jason Whaling’s Google Ads training course is designed to take you from beginner to advanced in one hour. He educates you on the conceptual level while at the same time moving through tactical steps. You’ll learn how to run a successful campaign for just $5 a day, as well as how to incorporate keyword intent into your targeting strategy.

jason whaling's free google ads training course

The agenda is as follows:

  • Google Ads networks and search partners
  • How to structure your account
  • How to set up your campaign
  • Keyword intent and targeting
  • Offers and messaging
  • Experimentation and bid optimization
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Remarketing campaigns

If you’re an eager beaver who also happens to be fascinated by Google Ads, you’ll be right at home here.

The best intermediate to advanced Google Ads training

If you DO want to get into the weeds of Google Ads but DO NOT want to get overwhelmed, these last two Google Ads courses are your destination.

8. Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial

  • Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare and talking face
  • Good for: intermediates with a conversion-optimized website
  • Length: 13 minutes
  • Highlight: the headache of conversion tracking made simple

Paid Media Pros is a YouTube-based learning hub run by PPC influencers (and WordStream PPCU authors!) Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan. These two are the quintessential approachable experts, with authoritative but friendly advice and easy explanations.

google ads training course: paid media pros conversion tracking

The training shows you how to track conversions without having to import them from Google Analytics, by using the Google Ads Conversion Tracking Tag. You’ll learn three ways to set it up, with a particular focus on the Google Tag Manager (easiest) method. Here’s what to expect:

  • Conversions Manager overview
  • Website-based conversions
  • Conversion action categories
  • Manual Conversion Tracking Tag installation
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Tracking status column options

And keep an eye out for their bloopers video, it’s a treat.

9. Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bid strategies walk-through

  • Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
  • Good for: advertisers looking to optimize budget
  • Length: 20 minutes
  • Highlight: bidding strategies!

Surfside PPC is a PPC-specific training company that teaches marketers and business owners how to promote their business online.  In Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bidding strategies tutorial, you’ll get a much-needed no-nonsense training on Google Ads bidding strategies, including:

  • All of the bidding strategies for Search, Display, and Video
  • Automatic vs manual
  • Which bidding strategies to use for which goals
  • Portfolio bidding strategies
  • How to set and change your bid strategy
sufside's google ads training course on bid strategies

 

Choosing the right bidding strategy can be a headache, but losing money by choosing the wrong strategy is an even bigger one. So take 20 minutes and set yourself up for ongoing performance.

Learn from the best with these Google Ads training courses [wrap up]

Whether you’re looking for a Google Ads crash course to get the quick and dirty, Google Ads tutorials to get the step-by-step setup, or advanced strategies to save time and money, there’s something in here for everyone. Let’s finish off with the complete list.

  1. WordStream’s PPC University
  2. Google Ads’ Performance Max campaign training
  3. LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab
  4. Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
  5. Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course
  6. Metics Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
  7. Jason Whaling’s Google Ads course
  8. Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial
  9. Surfside PPC’s bidding strategies walk-through

Got any good recommendations for the list? Let me know in the comments!

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