More and more businesses of all types are taking advantage of pay-per-click advertising. But it can be daunting, especially if you’re trying to go it alone. You need to learn the language, the mechanics of how it all works and – most especially – the nuances of each step that will help you put PPC to work most profitably.
So maybe you’re just starting out. Or perhaps you’re already working in the PPC environment and have hands-on experience with AdWords, in which case it’s time to delve deeper or learn about the latest AdWords updates direct from the source.
Wherever you are in this continuum, you can gain the knowledge you need by studying toward Google AdWords Professional certification.
Create your own personalized Google AdWords Study Guide.
Customizing the process will assure you’re getting the most from this comprehensive opportunity to learn. You’ll find detailed study material in the Google Study Center, divided into 15 progressive chapters:
- AdWords account and campaign basics
- Advertising formats and guidelines
- Targeting and placements
- Bidding and budgeting
- Policies and ad quality topics
- Billing and payments
- Display advertising on Google’s Display Network
- Display advertising on YouTube
- AdWords Tools
- Performance, monitoring and conversion tracking
- Google Analytics
- Optimizing performance
- Managing multiple accounts
- Selling and representing AdWords
Study one section at a time. You don’t necessarily have to learn everything at once. You can start at the beginning and work your way through the learning material with certification in mind, or pick and choose study topics based on your specific needs and interests.
To earn your certificate, you’ll have to pass the Advertising Fundamentals exam plus one of these three advanced tests:
- Search Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Reporting & Analytics
Not sure which one to select? Smart, savvy analytical skills are always valuable throughout the online marketing world. Just make sure your Google AdWords Study Guide covers everything you’ll need to know.
Google no longer requires hands-on “minimum spend” experience to take the certification test, but experience always helps. The real key, of course, is preparation. So as you’re structuring your personal Google AdWords Study Guide, pay particular attention to these competencies:
- Make sure you fully understand billing options and mechanics, Display Network and search targeting details, the various bid management and advertising options solutions, best practices for ad creation and the editorial guidelines.
- Know where to find information and reports in tabs.
- Become comfortably familiar with the AdWords editor.
- Watch the videos, which may cover information you won’t find elsewhere.
Talk to others who’ve taken the test.
Reach out to friends or make new friends that can help you learn about AdWords and specifically about studying for the test. You’ll find numerous online resources, including AdWords discussion groups. Linked In has one, of course, and there are several Google-based groups.
Joining these communities can also help you in your work, with friendly, knowledgeable advice for ongoing AdWords campaign design and management.
Know how the test itself works, to avoid potentially nerve-wracking last-minute surprises.
There will be lots of questions and limited time, so follow the same advice you got from teachers in school: answer everything you can quickly, then go back and revisit the questions you skipped.
If you have a second computer you can make it an “open book” test by using your second screen to look up answers. After all, an important part of learning is knowing where find additional information. But since it’s a timed test, prepare as if you’ll have nothing but your “test paper and pencil.” Do remember to assemble good notes to have at your fingertips.
Google AdWords qualification authenticates your PPC expertise and gives you additional credibility. That can open doors, letting you put your knowledge and imagination to work to expand your career. You’ll be more proficient at handling your own in-house PPC campaigns, or you can be the new expert at work. You may want to transform yourself from happy PPC hobbyist to paid professional.
You could even become a Trada Optimizer. Joining Trada’s unique crowdsourced crew let’s you work as part of a team on the advertising projects that interest you, based on campaign characteristics and/or your own areas of expertise. It’s a work environment that’s flexible, fun, stimulating and profitable. And to think it all started with your very own, customized Google AdWords Study Guide!
Photo courtesy of Flickr user albertogp123
Check out our other posts on AdWords- Google AdWords Certification: Passing the Test