Google Adwords Certification

Google Adwords Certified

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!

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Google Adword’s Keyword Planner: In Depth

google-adwords-logo

The Google Adword’s Keyword Planner just recently replaced the Google Adword’s Keyword Tool.  You now have to access the Keyword Planner through your Google Adword’s account.  The interface is different from the Keyword Tool; it seems to be more targeted towards advertisers.  However, you do not have to advertise to use it!  In Keyword Planner, you can only view exact matches for keywords; the Keyword Tool used to show a broad match for average search results – if you wanted to, you could change the search to phrase match or exact match.  Also, with Keyword Planner, there is no longer an option to show closely related terms to the keywords you enter.

Although Google Adword’s Keyword Tool is gone, all is not lost!  The Google Adword’s Keyword Planner is really powerful and provides some great keyword research options!  It allows you to:

  • Enter your product or service – the keywords you would like to search,
  • Select your product category,
  • Target a certain market through location and language, and
  • Customize your search with filters and options.

Once you have arrowed your search, Google spits out hundreds of “Keyword Ideas” that it suggests.  This list can be downloaded as an excel file!  Each keyword shows “Average Monthly Searches,” “Competition,” and “Average CPC” (Cost-per-Click).

A second option for doing keyword research is entering or uploading your own keywords.  This gives you two options – get estimates or get search volume.  Lastly, you can use a multiple keyword list, which is a quicker way of entering multiple keyword combinations.  you can create two lists of keywords and Google combines the lists and searches for matches based on the keyword combination!

More About Keyword Research

Digital marketing training courses will cover keyword research extensively.  Keyword research is a practice used by SEO professionals to find, and of course research, actual search words people enter in the search bar of search engines (such as Google) when conducting a search.  SEO professionals research these keywords in order to gain better rankings for their desired keywords.

Keyword research is usually the first step to every internet marketing campaign.  It allows marketers to find the perfect keywords to use to target their specific market.  There are several tools available to everyone that find keywords, show how often those keywords are searched for, and the average CPC (cost-per-click) for each keyword.  One such tool is the Google Adword’s Keyword Planner.  This tool is very easy to use; it provides very quick and accurate results.  However, you do need to create a new or use an existing Google account to login and use this great tool.