Sign up for the Google Adwords program is free but a $5 USD deposit is required by them before they will begin to show your ad copy. Google provides an excellent interface to operate with. A pleasant modular design groups all of your work into nice "containers" that can be controlled and viewed in a variety of ways.
The system coverage is by no means real time but the delay on their results display is palatable when comparing them to the other major PPC provider, Yahoo-Overture.
A good feature that sets AdWords apart from other PPC suppliers is your advertisements display nearly instantly after you put them in their own system. They have constructed a lot of their editorial guidelines into the advertisement entry system.
Their system will flag your ad if it doesn't fulfill their terms of service before you can enter it. That's a good deal better than waiting 2-5 business days to find out if your advertising had a problem or not. Time is money.
Also supplied with your AdWords account are quite a few free tools to help you with your effort management.
While several of these tools are excellent starting points I've found the need to augment what Google supplies through tools, my own personal online research and applications in addition to ebook purchases.
It goes without saying that should you would like to get an edge here you will need other resources to supplement your knowledge other than what Google provides.
Having stated that the Google AdWords system remains extremely strong . Supplying you with key word suggestions, automated bid management, campaign optimization (by Google staff), geo targeting, roi tracking, and all the reporting you'll be able to handle, their system enables you a b degree of control over your spending as well as the ability to truly identify who your customer really is.