Employing Google Ads for Online Courses [Find Students]

Employing Google Ads for Online Courses

What is the biggest knowledge base of the modern world? It has to be Google! Of course, nothing compares to the millions of books in the libraries!

But, Google does a fair job as well, thanks to its powerhouse search engine. Keeping up with the legacy of learning, Google is also a great place for paid online courses.

You can learn anything from new language skills to digital marketing and graphic design. Taking a cue from the dynamics between Google search (free web) and Google Ads (paid web), you can also create a course as a side hustle.

As it is, Google Ads is a great way to market your course. Find students who are actively seeking to learn what you have to teach.

Here is your syllabus for setting up an online course using Google Ads.

Before you market in Google Ads, find your niche

First things first! Let’s get real! Online courses are already available in dime-a-dozen. Users can find thousands of courses in almost any niche.

For example, consider this niche: Google Ads courses. A lot of aspiring marketers want to make a career in managing Google Ads.

Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Skillshop, and Etsy have thousands of courses on this topic. In addition, Google itself has a thing called Skillshop, which is a major draw for students.

So, can you survive such a powerful competitive landscape?

Therefore, invest in developing a solid course first. No matter your specialization, don’t try to sell half-cooked ideas!

Self-help books are a good example. A great number of these books are just fillers, grown upon practically a one-liner! People are not fools, and assuming that they are can have social media consequences.

In conclusion, before you pitch your course, earn your ability as a master of that craft.

Google Ads for courses in the marketplace

A popular avenue for selling courses online is to upload them at the platforms mentioned above. However, it’s immensely competitive, and new users usually prefer learning from the most popular ones.

Here’s why you may lose the competition.

  • These may have hundreds of positive reviews already, and these words matter!
  • They may not even browse through the categories far enough to access your course.
  • Besides, these aggregator sites come within the definition of Google marketplaces.

This means that there are specific rules on advertising your course via these sites on Google Ads. In addition, it also depends on whether the said marketplace even allows advertising on Google!

Make your own website for promoting on Google Ads

Here’s probably the best piece of advice you are going to get! Promote your course on Google Ads only after you have your own website/landing page. Invest in making it a good one.

This is because landing page quality is a major aspect of whether your site will even be up on Google. The biggest benefit of having a personal website is that it becomes extremely convenient to run a campaign with the same.

Choosing the right ad format on Google Ads

Let’s talk about Google Ad formats. As it is, you can choose any one of the following formats to campaign your course.

  • Search ads
  • Shopping ads
  • App ads
  • Ads on the Google Display Network
  • Video ads on YT

Shopping ads and app ads are not applicable for marketing an online course. They are ideal for e-commerce and smartphone apps, respectively.

Video ads would require making an attractive video on the course. It can be promoted before, after, or in between relevant YouTube videos.

However, it is easier to create catchy text for search ads rather than spend money on videos. Besides, YouTube ads still depend on passive intent from users.

On the other hand, search ads capitalize on active intent. Hence, they are the best options for running Google Ads on online courses.

Google display ads for online course

The Google Display Network deserves a separate category. It encompasses millions of partner sites across the web, covering all and any niches.

The banner ads will come to show when the user visits a relevant website, part of the GDN. These ads focus on the passive intent of users, and are great options for running remarketing campaigns.

Keyword management to Google Ads for online courses

The success of your campaign will depend on how good your keyword strategy is. However, if you choose the default smart campaign mode for Google Ads, it only requires you to provide a few keyword themes.

Google will do the legwork for you, and set your campaign up for the keywords it seems fit.

Here’s the catch, though. You don’t get to know which keywords Google will choose. You don’t even get to know where and when they will feature your ad. Neither will you have any control over the spending.

In short, by choosing the convenience of smart campaigns, you relinquish the control to Google. Instead, you should try the Expert mode right from the beginning. This mode allows you to manage your campaigns manually.

Keyword management in the manual mode involves setting up match cases for the keywords. Google Ads allows for three match types.

  • Broad match/loose matching (ads shown on searches broadly related to your keywords)
  • Phrase match/ moderate matching (ads shown on searches that cover the meaning of your keywords)
  • Exact match/ tight matching (ads shown on searches of the same meaning as the keyword)

Using tools to manage Google Ads for online courses

One of the biggest advantages of using Google Ads is that you gain access to several tools to manage campaigns. Apart from several in-house tools in the Google Ads platform, you can also use third-party tools.

For example, Google Analytics is a powerful tool to integrate with your Google Ads campaign. The same goes for Google Keyword planner.

However, if you may, there are several free tools for Google Ads that you can find online. These cover everything from keyword planning to preparing Google Ads reports.

You can also find tools that generate campaign scores to let you understand how much potential the campaign carries. Also, there are tools for A/B testing, and to devise the best bidding strategy.


Marketing an online course via Google Ads is a good strategy to find students. However, there are several key aspects to consider in this respect.

You need to be familiar with the format of Google Ads above all things. Take help from a master in this topic so that you are on the right path.

If you need my help with managing your Google ads campaigns, you can always reach me out through the contact page and we can grow your business together đŸ™‚

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