By providing a high quality service, it's our duty to provide high quality people. One way to do this is encourage your staff to undertake courses and qualifications in their areas of expertise. When the digital frontier changes as often as it does, it's imperative to ensure your staff are on the ball.
Last year, Chris Mastris undertook his Google Adwords Certificate and passed with flying colours! We asked Chris about his experience:
What does it mean to be Google AdWords certified?
Essentially, getting AdWords certified is a way of demonstrating expertise in Google pay per click (PPC) advertising. Or, to quote Google:
“The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords.”
More specifically, being good at using AdWords involves choosing the most suitable campaign types (e.g. search or image ads), setting up advertising effectively, and optimising AdWords campaigns once they’re live.
Beyond achieving the basic AdWords certification, I went a step further and passed the Google Specialist Challenge.
What did you have to do to get qualified?
To get the regular certification, you need to pass the AdWords Fundamentals exam (fundamental concepts and best practices) and one of the specialism exams (more advanced concepts for a specific campaign type) with a score of at least 80%.
However, for the Specialist Challenge I had to pass the Fundamentals exam plus all five advertising specialisms: Search, Display, Mobile, Video, and Shopping.
What does it take to pass?
The exams and study resources are free, so all it takes is a fair amount of time and perseverance.
It probably took me around 5 hours to study for each exam, and the exams themselves are between one and two hours long. However, it helped that I already had a fair amount of experience using AdWords. I found the best way of learning was to just read through the study guide material while also checking things out for myself in AdWords.
What was easy, what was hard?
The studying itself was probably the easiest part- Google provides a well-written study guide for each exam, including links to more information, which makes it easy to read through and digest the content.
In terms of the material itself, it helped that I was already reasonably familiar with Search and Display advertising. However, I found the Mobile, Video, and Shopping exams a bit trickier.
Why did you decide to do the qualification?
For me, it was mostly about learning the material rather than getting a certificate- although being formally recognised for your abilities is great too. Essentially, I wanted to develop my AdWords skills so I can contribute to even better performance for the accounts we manage at Optix.
What have you gained since becoming Google Certified?
As well as polishing up my existing skills, I’ve learned a lot about the campaign types I was less familiar with before. I’m confident that this will really help, particularly when we’re exploring which types of paid advertising could be the most beneficial for a client.
How have clients benefited from you completing the qualification?
As well as being more effective when it comes to day to day AdWords optimisation, since passing the Specialist Challenge I’ve already contributed to a Shopping campaign, which I wouldn’t have known much about before. Soon we might also be looking at setting up a Video campaign too.
What next for Chris Mastris?
For now, I’m mainly going to focus on contributing to my personal digital marketing blog and Unwritten Digital, as well as generally keeping up with any important industry news. However, I might look at taking on the Google Analytics certification in the future.