I have recently completed my Google Ads Search Certification (yay!), a nice little achievement for a Tuesday evening. For those of you that are new to digital marketing, the Google Ads Search Certification is a set of courses and exams taken by individuals to become ‘certified’ in search ads on Google. In order to be certified with search you need to take the Google Ads Fundamentals and the Google Ads Search course and exam. The whole thing is meant to take around 14 hours to complete, should you thoroughly read all the course information and take the exams once in the allotted time.
Essentially, Google provides free training tools for all its tools so that users know how to use them properly and reap the benefits of them. Great isn’t it?
So, is the Google Ads Search Certification for you?
There are various reasons why you might want to study for and take the Google Ads Search Certification. First of all, if you’ve been using Google Ads for a while but want to make sure you aren’t missing anything important it’s always a good idea to do some studying.
Another reason you might want to complete your certification is to become part of the Google Partner Programme. Getting your Google Partner Badge for your agency is a bit more complicated than taking an exam, but you do need some certified individuals in your company too.
Who is the Certification not for?
If you’re a complete beginner to Google Ads and digital marketing, you might want to start with Google’s Digital Garage (on a different platform, not the Academy for Ads) which explains everything you need to know about marketing online before you dive into the complexities of Google Ads and other platforms.
What do you need to know?
Basically, to become fully certified in Google Ads Search you need to take two, multiple choice exams. There are multiple lessons or ‘courses’ you can take before you take the exam which consist of the basic information needed for the exams. I would note that, if you aren’t familiar with actually using Google Ads, the certification will be very challenging. As noted previously, it is aimed at professionals who work in search engine marketing and who are familiar with the process already but want to A. test their knowledge and B. fill in any gaps in their knowledge.
The exams themselves are actually quite a brain strain and require a lot more concentration then you might expect from a multiple-choice exam. They are written in a way to trick you and make you actually think about what the answer could be (not what might seem obvious). So, make sure you read every question carefully before you answer – because also you can’t go back to a question once you’ve answered it so take your time!
Also, make sure you read up and around any areas that you are a little less competent in. The courses give you the basics but always have suggestions for further reading. Therefore, it is advisable that for the topics that you know less about, the suggested reading is probably a good idea.
Note that you can retake the exams 24 hours later if you do fail and the Ads Academy gives you suggested courses to go back to from the questions that you got wrong. This means that, if you do your revision, you should be fully in-the-know when you do pass the exams and get certified. Additionally, your certification lasts for a year from the date you pass your exams, so the exams need to be retaken once a year to keep up to date with new information and changes to the platform. This might seem like a pain, but things move so fast in the digital space that it is somewhat a necessity to keep your certifications up to date and relevant, and is common with all certifications in the industry.
Is the Google Ads Search Certification worth it?
Obviously, if you need to complete the certification for work then the benefits are obvious. But what about if it’s for personal development? Personally, I was not necessarily required to pass the exams for our agency but was encouraged to do for my personal development and I think it is definitely worth it. Having worked on various PPC Google Ads search campaigns for a range of clients, I already knew quite a lot about Google Ads Search Ads but taking the steps to get myself certified not only solidified my existing knowledge but also filled in any little gaps that I might have had, making me a much better Search Engine Marketer all round.
I also think it encourages you to read around topics and gaps in your knowledge that are probably on your to-do list anyway but you are struggling to get round to. This will only make you a better marketer and enable you to better optimise all your campaigns in future.