Google Adwords Professional Exam Helpful Hints
UPDATE – AUG 2010
Despite what I say later in this post, there is no longer any minimum spend requirement for passing the Adwords certification exam. Here are the current requirements for your reading pleasure. The new tests are pretty darn tough, but rest assured that the tips below are still valid. Enjoy and good luck!
Even though it seems that the SEO/SEM industry is somewhat immune from the economic downturn that’s affecting most of the U.S., it’s still a very good idea to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to increase your value to your company and your clients. And because our industry is still in its toddler stage, professional qualifications and certifications are limited – making them all the more important.
Google’s Adwords professional qualification status is probably at the top of the list for most recognized – which is why you need to take it as soon as you’re able. I recently did just that (and passed first time through, …whew!) – and I thought that I would share some helpful tips to make YOUR exam experience as smooth as possible.
Obviously you know that you can’t take the test until you’ve met all the requirements. Once you’ve completed those, it’s time to get to studying.
10 Adwords Certification Tips
- Get very, very familiar with all the topics covered in the adwords learning center. Don’t rely on only the quiz sections to get you through it. Read ALL the info in both the beginner and expert sections. Note the differences in multimedia and text lessons -I’d advise going through both sections, even though Google says you don’t have to.
Understand the different billing options and how they work.
Understand in depth the differences in content (now display network) and search targeting.
Know exactly where to find information and reports within the different tabs.
Have a solid grasp of the different bid management and ad optimization solutions.
Don’t think that just passing the practice exam will guarantee success. The real test is substantially tougher – at least mine was. (New certification tests are even harder!)
Download the NEW Adwords editor (if you haven’t already) – know it inside out.
REALLY read the adwords editorial guidelines – know what you can and can’t have on your landing page. Make notes and keep them handy.
If you have dual monitors – use them. There is no restriction on using sources while taking the exam, but you’ll quickly realize that there’s just not much time to look stuff up – roughly 100-120 questions in 1 1/2 hours. Spend too long looking it up, and you’ll find yourself scrambling at the end. (UPDATE: scratch that. The new testing browser you have to use prevents any other open applications from appearing, no matter how many monitors you have. Now as for extra laptops, I have no idea….)
Sleep well the night before – eat a good breakfast – avoid all distractions while taking the test.
(super secret tip) – there’s a little check box at the top right of the exam page which allows you to mark a question for later review. Make SURE to check it, otherwise you’ll never make it back to the beginning questions before time runs out (you have to manually click back through each question if you Don’t check it). I know this, because I forgot to do it – I left several questions unanswered early on, thinking I would just return – but alas, I ran out of time. Fortunately, I must be some kind of genius, because I still passed with a pretty decent score. 😉
If you take my advice, I feel pretty confident that you’ll more than likely pass without too much difficulty. Either way, you won’t have to wait too long to obtain your result score -if you don’t pass the first time, you can try again in a week (and pay the extra $50 again, also). But if you DO pass, you’ll get the joy of being able to place a cool little badge on your site and promotional materials, as well as some other nifty perks.
Study Hard and Good Luck!