Many advertising businesses, especially those who do online marketing, place advertisements on websites and search engines to drive in customers. One of the biggest of these advertising platforms is Google. Google, with its 110.9 billion dollars in ad revenue last year, uses a platform called AdWords to partner with interested businesses to market their products and services on relevant Google searches. Google also offers an AdWords certification, which they have broken up into different topic areas, for those who are ready to take the next step in their careers. This article offers a breakdown of those areas and some resources you can use to prepare for the exams.
Google’s AdWords works by placing ads on Google searches and in apps owned by Google (like YouTube or the Google Play Store.) You create these ads (or ad campaigns) in the AdWords dashboard and then select the demographics you want to market your products to. You can hone in on your demographic by picking what sites or methods of advertising you want to use, picking terms or “affinity audiences” to market to, or locking your ads in for one target location. Once you’ve made a commercial and decided where to have it shown, you can set your budget to as low or as high as you want and run your ads. After your ads have run, Google will give you a customized breakdown by age and by the number of clicks to see if your ads are working effectively.
Getting AdWords Certified
Google offers a professional certification in its AdWords platform. This professional certification can open doors to many specialized advertising jobs, as some companies have positions available like “AdWords Specialist” and “AdWords Expert”– and these positions generally are well-paid. Google breaks the actual AdWords certification into a few different topics with their tests. Topic areas include AdWords Fundamentals, Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising and Shopping Advertising. Google requires a passing score on the foundations exam and one specialized topic area before granting the AdWords certification.
Preparing for the Assessments
Google offers a free service called the Academy for Ads, where you can complete modules and practice test questions before you take each exam. The Academy for Ads site requires a simple sign up before you can access the preparatory materials. You can also opt to take each exam through the Academy for Ads website rather than an external site if you wish. If you want to prepare for the test on your own, Google also offers plain study guides for each assessment. There is also additional content through the Academy for Ads site, but these supplementary materials don’t contribute to your certification.
Google requires this exam for every certification. The AdWords fundamentals assessment covers the basics of AdWords. Topic areas include the benefits of AdWords advertising, campaign management strategies, and how to optimize your campaigns. On the official website, Google recommends having some basic working knowledge of AdWords before beginning the test. The exam itself is 65 multiple choice questions with a time limit of 90 minutes. If you get 80% or more of the questions correct (52 out of the 65 items,), you will pass the exam.
Google gears this exam more toward basic and advanced topics on the use of their Search Network, like how to create, manage, optimize and measure the results of Search Network ads. You must retake this exam on a yearly basis to maintain your certification. Similar to the Fundamentals exam, you will need an 80% or higher to pass. But, instead of being 65 questions, this exam is 100 questions, meaning you will need to get 80 or more correct. Accordingly, the time is longer– you have 120 minutes to complete this exam.
This exam, which measures proficiency on the use of display advertisements, is also 100 questions long. It has a pass rate of 80% and also has a time limit of 120 minutes. If you fail this or any other exam, you can retake it 24 hours after beginning the test.
This exam is on the bidding, targeting demographics for advertisements, and running mobile campaigns. Google recommends that you have experience with running mobile ad campaigns for this certification. It is a shorter exam, coming in at only 70 questions and 90 minutes for a time limit.
Another shorter exam is the one required for the video advertising certification. Although this exam mainly focuses on video advertising on YouTube, some topics are applicable to the Internet as a whole. It comes in at 74 questions with a 90-minute time limit.
This exam focuses on managing ad campaigns for e-commerce sites by optimizing product data. The Shopping Advertising certification also focuses on the use of the Google Merchant Center. To complete this exam, you will have 90 minutes to answer the 63 questions.