Become a Google AdWords Professional with Free Training
Get Your Certification at the AdWords Learning Center
A gift isn't often handed to you on a silver platter, but the Google AdWords Learning Center does just that.
For those who aren't yet familiar with it, AdWords is Google's online advertising program. Advertisers place their ads on Google's network so they appear for targeted search engine keywords within Google's search results and/or the search results of Google's partners. They may also appear on web content pages that accept Google ads. In most cases, advertisers don't pay anything unless and until their ad appears and someone clicks on it.
The Google AdWords program is the online advertising outlet of choice for millions of advertisers. It's been wildly successful, appealing to all types of businesses, from very small home operations to large Fortune 100 corporations. Managing a Google AdWords campaign involves:
- Keyword selection to determine what search terms to target
- AdWords campaign setup -- grouping ads using various versions of keywords and ad text
- Creating dedicated landing pages for those who click on AdWords ads -- this step isn't necessary but it's much more effective than steering someone to the site's home page
- Writing one or more versions of ad text, the actual copy that displays in the AdWords listing
- Managing the campaign budget, testing ad variations and monitoring results
How Google AdWords Learning Center Can Help You
Search marketing or SEM is a subset of Internet marketing. Technically, it means both organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC), but many in the industry still refer to paid search as SEM and organic search as SEO. Some Internet marketing companies offer only SEO while others offer only PPC, and still others offer both because many potential clients want them to work together.
Having this knowledge and some experience provides the basis for an Internet marketing services career, and these professionals are in high demand. You may be able to work from home, for an agency, or freelance your services through sites such as Guru, Upwork and others.
The Google AdWords Advertising Professionals Program
Google's Advertising Professionals Program provides free online training so you can learn the ins and outs of AdWords and pick up tips on what works and what doesn't. Other advertising programs, such as Microsoft's adExcellence, are based largely on the same concepts, so becoming certified in Google AdWords opens the door to successfully advertising with other platforms, too.
The Google AdWords Professional program is available in two levels:
- Individual -- perfect for the home business entrepreneur because you don't need assistants, partners or employees
- Company -- requires two qualified individuals in the Google Advertising Professional program
Google AdWords Individual Professional Requirements
Google outlines the steps required to earn a Google Advertising Professional designation as an individual:
- Sign up for the program and be in good standing.
- Agree to the program's terms and conditions.
- Pass the Advertising Fundamentals exam and one advanced level exam.
Google has removed the requirement that you manage a minimum $1,000 ad-spend in the three months prior to being certified, but now you have to pass two exams instead of just one.
The AdWords Learning Center
Google's free online AdWords Learning Center provides you with access to detailed information on setting up and managing Google AdWords campaigns so you can learn the ins and outs of Google AdWords and pass the exams. Lessons are available as either text or multimedia. They're completely online and free of charge, so training costs nothing.
The exams are administered by third party Google training partners and these cost $50. In addition to the AdWords Fundamentals exam, one of the following three exams is also required:
- The Search Advertising Advanced Exam covers intermediate to advanced best practices for managing AdWords campaigns.
- The Display Advertising Exam covers intermediate to advanced best practices for advertising on YouTube and the Google Content Network.
- The Reporting and Analysis Advanced Exam covers intermediate to advanced best practices for maximizing account performance using Google Analytics, Website Optimizer, the AdWords Report Center and other analysis techniques.
What You Get with Google AdWords Certification
Becoming a certified Google Advertising Professional gives you credibility. Google allows you to display the Google Advertising Professional logo on your website. It's a great opportunity for a new career or home business in an already-thriving and still growing field: pay-per-click advertising. What about Adwords versus Facebook Ads?