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!

Web Analytics

Web analytics is defined as the analysis or the measurement, collection, and reporting of data found on the internet in order to understand and optimize usage on the web.  Web analytics is a tool that can be used for measuring web traffic through providing stats, such as the number of visitors or the number of page views.  It can also aid in business and market research; it can be used to assess and further improve a website’s or a web page’s efficiency and success.

Google offers a very powerful and FREE tool – Google Analytics.  Google Analytics allows you to measure your advertising return on investment (ROI), as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.  It enables you to learn how internet users find, browse, search, and buy on your website!  The best thing is, it is free!  All you have to do is sign in or sign up with a Google account!
Web Analytics

Onsite vs Offsite SEO

Through training in digital marketing you will learn that search engine optimization (SEO) is the process or method of increasing the visibility of a website or a web page by obtaining a high-ranking placement in a search engine’s (such as Google’s) “organic” or unpaid search results.  SEO helps ensure that the website or web page is accessible to a search engine, which improves the chances of the website or web page being found by the search engine.  Usually, the higher the website or web page is in an organic result of search, the greater the likelihood of a user visiting the website or web page.

There are two types of SEO:

  • Onsite SEO
  • Offsite SEO

Onsite SEO are tactics that involve any and all edits made directly to a website’s or web page’s files that will affect the way search engines rank the site.  These “edits” could include the website’s URL itself, page titles, meta-descriptions or tags, headers, content, internal links, images, etc.

Offsite SEO are tactics that do not involve any edits made directly to a website’s or web page’s files.  It includes factors that happen away from the website or web page that will affect the way search engines rank the site.  These “factors” could include posting backlinks to your site on other websites and comments.

Learn more about Google’s Search Engine Optimization!