Google Ads Certification
It is almost a given that anybody who wants to run a Google Ad campaign is expected to have AdWords certification these days. The certification is required to display the logo and become a ‘Google Certified Partner’. Clients and customers will also probably request that at least one or more employees have been AdWords certified before deciding to work with your agency, or choose your business. There is a bit to understand when looking at getting certified, so keep reading to find out the details, and good luck comparing your options with us at Course Peek.
What is the AdWords certification
Depending on what exactly your role is with your company, you could really benefit from the AdWords certification. The certification is a course you need to complete to become an AdWords certified partner (or make your company into a certified partner), and it shows that you have learnt and practiced how to set up and run advertising campaigns (there are many different types) through Google’s AdWords program. It is most definitely not an expert status, and doesn’t speak to what kinds of results you can get from your campaigns, there is a lot more involved in that. The AdWords course will give you the roadmap to getting campaigns setup, but doesn’t teach you to drive, or any sophisticated shortcuts.
Taking AdWords training courses is how you become certified, and you’ll do modules online where you listen to lectures and do tutorials by experts, and then be tested on how well you understood the content and can navigate the AdWords interface. At the end you will take the AdWords tests, and you’ll need a score of 80% to pass.
There are six AdWords exams, covering the basics of what you need to operate your own campaign in each area successfully.
- AdWords Fundamentals
- Search Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Mobile Advertising
- Video Advertising
- Shopping Advertising
You don’t need to pass all six exams to be certified as a professional, just two is enough to start, and you can work on the others after that if you choose. There are advanced options, which you can look into further.
It makes sense to choose the two areas you most need for your own business or employer, and you can prepare for them by studying with the help of 3rd party providers. You can access a lot of content through Google’s help centre to prepare for the exams, but for a broader industry perspective you might want to choose an external provider.
As you can see, the list above covers the main ways that Google serves up ads to web users (your potential customers and clients). The details of campaign setup and monitoring are different for mobile compared to PC, and for businesses using video ads compared to pictures of products with a link back to an online shop. No matter what you or your clients use, when you have passed these tests you should be qualified to run a campaign in each.
How difficult are the AdWords exams?
The AdWords exams are designed to give you the blueprint you need for running campaigns, and get you familiar with the user interface, so you can confidently say to an employer or client that you know how to set up a functioning ad. This is the basic level of understanding you need before you can get good at running campaigns, and is a sort of ‘industry standard’ that people look for when hiring SEO and AdWords professionals.
Each exam is completed in 120 minutes, and includes 99 questions, and the structure is very general, from a pool of about 180 questions. It gets everybody who takes it up to a similar level of understanding.
There is less pressure on taking the exams now that it has been around for a number of years and is so widely required. You are now allowed to use Google’s help centre and search for help when answering the questions, but you don’t really have time to do that when the whole exam has to be completed within 120 minutes (just 2 hours). You cannot skip questions either, so have to submit or guess at a final answer before you can move on, which you should be doing every minute and a half or so to finish the exam in time.
In terms of preparing for the exams themselves, there are a lot of ways you can study and you can take practice exams. There are many providers, and courses on places such as Udemy, which say they can prepare you for passing the exams within 2 days, but this will depend on how willing you are to dedicate time and effort to study, and your learning style.
Just as everyone learns differently at school, everyone learns differently as an adult, and it can be hard to find the time and concentration to learn the material you need to know to pass. The questions in the exams are ‘Google biased’ and you are instructed to ‘think like a Google employee would answer’ before choosing.
Most or all of the questions in each exam are multiple choice, but there can be more than one correct response. You are expected to read each one carefully and choose the MOST correct response, according to your learning from the training and preparation you have done.
Why become an AdWords certified partner?
Mostly becoming an AdWords certified partner is a requirement of the job, as clients will probably be requesting it. Having the certification is something that a potential client can relate to, they know what basics you understand and the services you provide. This cuts out a lot of debate about what you can do for them, and what they should expect from you in many cases.
Apart from the expectation (many companies might ignore a CV or candidate that doesn’t list this certification) AdWords certification is a great entry point into the world of digital marketing, and will be highly relevant. It is definitely a qualification that you will use, because AdWords campaigns are so important to marketing most businesses. With this grounding you will be able to establish yourself as a digital marketing professional, and get a feel for what other courses you might want to take to develop your skills. You can specialize within the six fields of AdWords advertising, and build a niche, or add on a broader SEO certification that gives you knowledge and skills for setting up a website from scratch and marketing it.
Whether you decide to get certification with Google, or choose something from a 3rd party provider such as Course Genius or Coursera, you can weigh up the pros and cons and see what’s on offer right here.
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