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What Are Google Certifications and Are They Worthwhile?

google certificationsIf this is the first time you are hearing of Google certifications, let me write a quick introduction.  Google has essentially created a platform for learning more about all of their products that they offer and a way to be certified that you know what you are doing .  And while not everyone thinks this process is worthwhile, I do.  Before I go  through the main two reasons it holds value, let me introduce the certifications that are available.  

AdWords Fundamentals:

  • How online advertising and AdWords can help your clients meet their advertising goals.
  • Google Search Network and Google Display Network campaign creation and management.
  • How to measure ad performance and optimize campaigns.
  • Industry best practices and strategies.

Search Advertising

  • Search Fundamentals Review
  • Ad Formats
  • Ad & Site Quality
  • AdWords Tools
  • Performance Monitoring and Reporting
  • Optimizing Performance
  • Performance, Profitability, and Growth
  • AdWords API
Display Advertising

  • How ads on the Display Network can help your clients meet performance and branding goals
  • Display ad campaign creation and management
  • Display ad formats
  • How to reach different groups of people through specialized targeting
  • How to measure ad performance and optimize campaigns
Video Advertising

  • How video ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network can help your clients meet their advertising goals
  • Video advertising campaign creation and management
  • Video ad formats
  • How to measure ad performance and optimize campaigns
Shopping Advertising

  • Merchant Center account creation and management
  • Product data feed submission and optimization
  • Creating and managing Shopping campaigns in AdWords
  • How Product Listing Ads work
  • Shopping campaign bidding and optimization
Mobile Advertising

  • Mobile consumers and how your app or mobile site can help them make decisions
  • Mobile-specific bidding and targeting strategies
  • Mobile ad formats
  • How to measure ad performance and conversions

With so many categories (and with many tests taking hours to complete), are they worth it?    We say yes and this is why:

  • Learning straight from or Google carries more weight than reading articles from experts in the field.  That’s not to say reading articles by 3rd party experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and Larry Kim aren’t valuable, they are.  But ultimately, Google develops the confines we all work in and it is important to know at least the basics of each offering they provide.
  • These exams are serious and are not for lightweight digital marketers.  Passing these things requires an intense amount of knowledge…or cheating (and I’m a glass half full type of person so I write this off).  Simply put, if you’re are not an expert, you won’t pass.

This doesn’t mean that agencies with certifications are all experts or that agencies without them are all idiots.  These certifications can take a long time and for a busy agency (the sign of a well run agency), time is at a premium.  In fact, Sharp Guys’ mostly focuses on the most valuable ones (like Google Analytics)  that are the foundation of every other certification.  Ultimately, only real world experience getting client’s great results should be used as a determining factor when deciding on an agency.

Once you complete the test you will get a profile page and badges will be added like the ones shown below.  

certifications

At Sharp Guys’ we have a team that has passed not only AdWords Fundamentals and Search Advertising, but also Shopping Advertising and Display Advertising (with the other certifications coming soon). 

If you are going through the process of finding a new agency, take a look at their certifications but more importantly, chat with some of the clients they have worked with in the past and learn more about their process and what type of results they have been able to provide.

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