This is such the truth! Getting on the first page of search results in Google is no easy task. It is very frustrating at times. – if not, the whole time! I can sure attest to this! Do not give up, though! You can always earn training in digital marketing, and/or search for digital marketing tips!
Digital marketing basic principles and policies have remained and will remain fairly consistent; however, the “game” of digital marketing seems to change rather frequently. Therefore, you should always try to reeducate yourself and stay up-to-date with the ever-changing search engine algorithms. Two great tools that you should bookmark and refer back to in order to stay up-to-date are:
- Matt Cutts – Matt Cutts is currently the head of Google’s Webspam team. He has a great blog that provides some insights into Google. He is a great speaker and very easy to understand. You should check out some of Matt Cutts’s YouTube clips.
- SEOmoz – SEOmoz is an excellent site. It provides accurate information and tips (that are easy to understand) about what experts in the field feel every digital marketer should know about search engine optimization. This site is probably one of the best – if not, the best – resource out there for digital marketers.
I passed the Google AdWords Certification Exam!
The AdWords certification covers the fundamental aspects of online marketing and advertising and campaign management, using Google tools like AdWords, Analytics and DoubleClick. Obtaining the Google Adwords certificate requires you to take and pass two of three exams:
- Advertising Fundamentals
- Advanced Display, and
- Advanced Search.
You are required to take the Advertising Fundamentals exam, in addition to either the Advanced Display or Advanced Search exam – the choice is up to you. The Advertising Fundamentals exam covers the basics of AdWords and online advertising. It is composed of 90 multiple choice questions, and you have two hours to complete it. You need to receive at least an 85% to pass. The Advanced Display exam covers intermediate-to-advance best practices for marketing and advertising on the Google Display Network, and on YouTube. This exam is also composed of 90 multiple choice questions, and you have two hours to complete it. But for this exam, you need to receive at least a 70% to pass. The Advanced Search exam covers intermediate-to-advance best practices for managing campaigns in AdWords. This exam has 99 multiple choice questions, and you have two hours to complete it. This exam requires you to receive at least an 80% to pass.
Now don’t get me wrong, I did not take these exams for pleasure. It is a requirement for my Digital Marketing course this semester. Not only do we have to pass, but we have to get a good passing score in order to receive full credit! I am required to take a screenshot of my score once it is displayed. Note: Google does not care about what score you get, and no one (not even you) can see your score once you exit the screen that it is displayed on when you finish the exam. So just focus on passing!
In order to be prepared for these exams, you have to study…A LOT! Google actually has a huge study guide to help you prepare. When I say huge, I mean HUGE – the study guide for the Advertising Fundamentals exam alone is 335 pages!
When I took the Advertising Fundamentals exam the first time, I did not study for it at all. However, I had some basic understanding of AdWords from my Digital Marketing course. I just wanted to see what the questions were like, and how they were worded. It only took me about 45 minutes to take it. I ended up getting a 53% – not bad!
You have to wait 7 days until you can take an exam again. When I took the Fundamentals exam the second time, I actually skimmed the pages of the study guide for about a week beforehand. I also ended up printing the study guide out. It is very helpful to have it near you to look up content if you are unsure! Even looking up some answers, I had plenty of time to spare! This time I received an 89%. Although I passed, I still wanted to see if I could get a higher score.
I also decided to take the Advanced Display exam, because I am more interested in this area, as opposed to the Advanced Search. I ended up receiving a 56%. The Advanced Display exam was much more difficult than The Advertising Fundamentals exam, even with studying! I cannot comment on the difficulty of the Advanced Search, because I did not take it.
After waiting and studying for another 7 days, I took both exams again. This time I received a 99% on the Advertising Fundamentals exam and a 70% on the Advanced Display exam. I was very happy with the Fundamentals exam score. Although no one can see what scores you get, I needed to screenshot this percentage so that I can receive almost full credit for the course! Although I passed the Display exam, I was not happy with that score. So I took it again in another 7 days and received a 93%. It is not quite as high as I would have liked, but my brain was fried, so I took a screenshot and made it my “final answer”!
Passing the exam does not seem very beneficial now, but when I am searching for a career a few years down the road, I am hoping it will make me more marketable!