Join 19K+ subscribers

TPE #42: how to become (and stay) great at Google Ads

May 15, 2023

Read time: 4 minutes

Hey, it’s Miles here!

Today’s issue of The PPC Edge is going to be a bit different than usual. Instead of giving an actionable tip, I want to show you the path to becoming and staying great at Google Ads (from beginner to senior and beyond).

People often ask me: “what’s the fastest way to master Google Ads?”. If you give me 4 minutes, I’ll show you how, based on my own experience.


The path to becoming and staying great at Google Ads

On your path to Google Ads greatness, you’ll go through 5 phases:

Phase 1: beginner — learn the basics (for free)

Phase 2: junior — learn by doing

Phase 3: medior — learn from a mentor

Phase 4: senior — learn by experimenting

Phase 5: beyond senior — keep your axe sharp


Our mission at PPC Mastery is to help Google Ads Specialists excel in their careers and we want to be strategic partners for all of you — whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned expert.

Let’s look at how to develop yourself in every stage (if you’re already a medior/senior, feel free to skip the first two phases).


Phase 1: rookie — learn the basics (for free)

When you’re starting out, you have no experience and knowledge of PPC. You need to soak up as much information as possible. I recommend starting off with free YouTube videos or cheap entry-level paid courses like Isaac Rudansky’s “Ultimate Guide to Google Ads” on Udemy (costs around €19,99).

This is not an affiliate link, just something that was useful in my career when I started out.

Mind you: a lot of beginner courses are quickly outdated, but they’re fine to get you started.

On to phase 2.


Phase 2: junior — learn by doing

Once you get a basic understanding of the game, you need to transition from learning from YouTube/courses to learning by doing. The only way to truly master Google Ads is by DOING Google Ads.

How fast you grow, depends on the number of problems you encounter and solve.

From here, you can go 3 ways:


Option 1: work at an agency

I started my career at Reprise Digital in Amsterdam (formerly Traffic4u). I worked there for 2.5 years (until I reached senior level). The biggest benefit: I got paid to develop my skills and worked on big accounts like G-Star RAW, Jumbo, Nestlé, Rietveld Licht, and many more.

Working at an agency is not for everyone. It can be really stressful because there’s always too much to do and you get a lot of responsibilities.

However, I believe it’s the fastest way to grow in PPC because you’ll get exposed to a lot of problems that you have to solve somehow.


By the way, agency life is not ALWAYS stressful. I was fortunate enough to work with a lot of great clients. Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of a client meeting + lunch I hosted with a colleague in my home, right when the pandemic hit in 2020. Fast-forward 3 years, these guys have become friends for life.

Ok, moving on :).


Option 2: work in-house

If the agency life is not appealing to you, you can also work in-house (at a brand/business). Your growth will likely be slower than at an agency, but it’s also probably less stressful.

If you want to grow fast, I don’t recommend working in-house. Rather, start at an agency, then move to in-house (you’ll get a much higher salary because of your valuable agency experience).


Option 3: get a client and work for free

If you don’t want to work at an agency or in-house, you can try to find your own clients. If you’re starting out, I recommend offering someone to work for free.

Tell them you’ve been studying the game and that you’re willing to work for free (as long as they pay the ad spend), in exchange for a case study and testimonial if the results are good.

Do everything you can to make your client happy with great results and communication. The testimonial and case study will help you get more clients later on.


Phase 3: medior — learn from a mentor

You can reach medior (intermediate) level through learning by doing. As you get more experienced, you’ll encounter more complex problems that are harder to solve.

In this phase, you need guidance from a mentor. Someone with a lot of experience, that can help you get unstuck fast.

This can be a senior colleague or any mentor you trust.

I had several mentors when I still worked at the agency — shoutout to them.

If you’re freelancing, this phase is even more crucial because you have no colleagues to ask questions. Invest in mentorship from someone you trust. One-on-one mentorship is best, but group coaching can also be fine (as long as someone can help you unstuck, fast).


Phase 4: senior — learn by experimenting

This is the phase where everything starts to compound. You have a great understanding of the fundamentals and advanced concepts, and you have a mentor to help you get unstuck.

In the next phase of your growth path, you learn by experimenting. Test everything from new features Google is pushing to advanced strategies you find online.

Through experimenting, you learn what (doesn’t) work for you — and you can back it up with real data. That’s exactly what we do all the time (and we share our learnings with you).


Phase 5: beyond senior — keep your axe sharp

Congrats, you are now officially great at Google Ads! The last phase in the growth path is designed so that you STAY great, forever.

When I reached senior level, I made a huge mistake: I lost my hunger to learn and got complacent so I stopped investing in my skillset. As a result, I was no longer on the cutting edge of PPC.

I had to be honest with myself and picked up courses and coaching to get back to my A-game.

Now, even though I like my current skillset, I still invest in myself.

At least twice per year, I buy coaching programs to keep my axe sharp.

And I deepen my understanding of the game by:

→ Testing everything on my clients
→ Sharing my learnings with you guys


The cool thing about senior level is that you already know the fundamentals. You can stay on top of your game with a few strategic investments per year.

So here's my warning: don't get complacent.

New, hungry talent is on the come up...

And they will overtake you once you stop developing yourself.


Final thoughts: stay hungry and don’t get complacent

So there you have it: the path to becoming and staying great at Google Ads:

Phase 1: beginner — learn the basics (for free)

Phase 2: junior — learn by doing

Phase 3: medior — learn from a mentor

Phase 4: senior — learn by experimenting

Phase 5: beyond senior — keep your axe sharp


Best of luck on your path to Google Ads greatness!


Bob & Miles


And whenever you're ready, here's how we can help you further:


1. Join our global community of world-class Google Ads Specialists:
Stay up to date with all developments, get trained by us all year round, and learn & grow together with like-minded PPCers.
Become a member of The PPC Hubย (1.200+ members).

1. Upgrade your Google Ads skills in 4 short weeks with our most advanced training program to date.
Sign up for theย May '24 Google Ads Masterclass
(2.700+ students // waitlist).

3. Alternatively, you might like one of these self-paced products: