Preparing for the Google AdWords Certified Partner exams
What is a Google AdWords Certified Partner?
These are individuals and / or companies who have met a certain criteria within Google AdWords and decided to undergo a number of exams to achieve a certification status. These partners generally run their own businesses or act as freelancers helping people to create, manage and optimise Google AdWords campaigns. Google AdWords Certified Partners must continually maintain this criteria set by Google and also renew their exams each year to ensure that they are always educating themselves about Google AdWords.
Why become a Google AdWords Certified Partner?
Different individuals have their own reasons for becoming Google AdWords certified but two of the main reasons are for self assessment and public exposure. Joining the Google AdWords Certification program entitles an individual to various benefits with inclusion to the Google Partner Search being one of the most valuable. This search tool allows Google AdWords users to connect with Certified Partners according to their own requirements; it is basically a directory of AdWords experts around the globe.
Google AdWords Certified Partners are also given their own online verification link and badge to go along with it which they can display to the public. This can either be presented on their own personal website for visitors to see or used to show potential clients that they have been officially qualified under Google AdWords criteria.
Anyone joining the Google AdWords Ceritification program also has the opportunity to greatly expand their knowledge in preparation for the exams. This new found expertise allows the individuals to carry out practical application of the AdWords tools which in turn improves their ability to manage campaigns of their own or those belonging to clients. The certification is not only beneficial from a business perspective but also from that of an employment one as individuals are granted permission to include this on their resume and therefore showcase their knowledge to potential employers.
What is required to become a Google AdWords Certified Partner?
The answer to this question depends on whether you wish to become certified as an individual, company or both. An individual is required to pass the fundamentals exam and at least one of three advanced exams which include Search Advertising, Display Advertising and Reporting & Analysis. It is also important that they adhere to the terms and conditions set by the program which are already accepted on enrollment.
Company certification requires at least one individual to be certified and linked to the company account, have a MCC with a managed spend of at least $10,000 (or currency equivalent) over a 90 day period and also to be fully compliant of the terms and conditions.
How to prepare for the Google AdWords Certified Partner exams?
Learning the AdWords platform inside out ready for the exams might seem like an incredibly daunting task but there are numerous excellent resources at your disposal which makes studying a whole lot easier. My first suggestion would be to familiarise yourself with the interface as much as possible, the best way to learn about an online product is by using it and exploring different features of AdWords is very beneficial. The fundamentals exam covers all aspects of AdWords but you will have a choice for the second exam you take, if you decide to take the Reporting & Analysis exam for example then it's worth spending more time examining the reporting side of the AdWords interface.
Becoming familiar with the interface is a good start but you will be required to have a more in-depth knowledge of certain situations, strategies and possibilites when using AdWords. You can get an idea of what will be included on your exam by checking out AdWords Certification Program Learning Center, simply select the exam headline that you will be taking and the lessons applicable to that course will be highlighted allowing you to cover the entire curriculum for that particular subject.
A more general but massively knowledgeable source of information is that of the AdWords Help Center. Here you will be able to find everything you need to know about AdWords, the only difference is that you will need to search for exactly what you want to know about meaning that you might need to refer back to what will be on your exam. It is still a great tool for strengthening areas where you might have a weaker understanding or on aspects of AdWords that you might need to refresh your knowledge with. Let's say you were preparing for the fundamentals exam for example and suddenly realised that you aren't 100% confident when it comes to how quality scores are calculated, a quick search in the Help Center will present you with detailed articles covering this.
An obvious source of information is this AdWords community itself. Google employees contribute priceless information on a regular basis while both Top Contributors and valued members continue to provide answers to a massive selection of AdWords related questions on a daily basis. You only have to scan through the different categories and questions on the forum to read about real life examples which crop up in the world of AdWords, then if you have your own question you have a whole community eager to help you find the answer you need. The wiki section also has excellent articles created by leading experts and is again constantly being added to so it's always worth coming back to see what has been introduced.
There are also a collection of videos in an official YouTube channel which covers different topics related to AdWords and Analytics.
Tips to Summarise
- Keep using the interface - Explore the AdWords interface inside out and become familiar with as many of it's features as you can.
- Make use of resources - There is a wealth of knowledge online to help you study for the exams. Remember to check out the Learning Center, Help Center and also to use the community.
- Relax! - Don't become too anxious before and during the exam, if you fail you can always try again while also getting an indication of the areas you need to improve in.
I have been managing AdWords accounts for over 8 years now at an international marketing agency level and also as a freelancer. I am very passionate about Google's PPC platform and pretty much anything else that is Google related. My theory in life is to learn something new every day and this community is definitely a good place to do so; I would recommend anyone reading this to stick around as it's an excellent source of information with great people contributing to it.
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