So it’s the month of October, and for most of us it is now the perfect time to pass your Google AdWord accreditation, as the Google accreditation year runs from October and you need 2 accredited professionals per agency in order to be eligible for the Google Adwords Professional Company accreditation. Without it you won’t be able to display their fancy logo your front page. Last month I blogged about how to revise for the test, as I found it hard to obtain information about the test from one source. People blogging about AdWords tend to focus on one aspect or functionality of the service, so my aim here is to give advice to PPC managers on how to pass the test. (“60% of the time, it works every time”, Brian Fontana, 2004)
Grammar will give you some of the answers… (ctrl+scroll)
I graduated from University three months ago, and knew ever since I joined Site Visibility that I was going to go for the Google AdWord Accreditation in October. This gave me three months to get up to speed with AdWords and pass the test; if I did it, so can you!
1. The theory
In my post on revising for the Google AdWord exam, I explained that the Google AdWord manual was a necessary step into the world of paid search advertising. It explains very clearly (in the style of a “Dummies guide to…”) the different terms that are necessary to fully understand not only how Google works, but how Google refers to itself and its services, as these two can sometimes vary…
Here is a list of the terms you need to know before you spend $50 on the test. I am not going to explain them, as I could write an entire book about PPC I love it so much, but will simply tell you that if you do not know what one of these means, look it up!
To make things fun though, I have given them a star-rating: 1 means that you should know them if you are reading this blog, 4 means this is term special to AdWords that you need to revise. But overall, you need to know all of these.
Ad Group **
AdWords Editor ****
Call to Action ***
Click through (+ Rate) **
Content site **
Content targeting ***
Contextual advertising ****
Conversion (+ Rate) ****
Cost Per Click **
Destination URL ****
Dynamic Keyword Insertion Tool ****
Geo Targeting ****
Image Ad ****
Keyword Matching Options ***
Keyword Tool ****
Keyword Traffic Estimator ****
Landing Page ***
Mobile Ad ***
Negative keyword ****
Return on Investment (ROI) **
Sponsored Link *
Text Ad *
That’s the theory, hopefully you should have all that terminology stuffed in your search box (no not Google.co.uk, your head!) and should be ready to actually do the learning…
2. The Practice
Taking the risk of repeating myself, one of the most important things to do to revise any subject is to actually interact with it. If you want to learn to cut hair, then you cannot really practice on a Lego character… instead, do what I did: try it on your younger brother.
The best way to learn everything about a program or software is to spend time on it. I am a firm believer in self teaching, and have met so many people who taught themselves Dreamweaver, C++, Java script, Adobe Premiere etc… It would be shame to think to not do the same for AdWords. Use the interface as much as you can, but download the Editor as well as I find they work best in combination.
Create a couple of fake campaigns, just to make ads appear on a web page – I found that seeing my first ad on Google made me very proud, let alone my first conversion… Make them pretty poor so that no one clicks on them. However, if someone does, that’s not a problem: it simply shows you the nature of the internet; people go for attention grabbing headers. Remember that in your ad title and text further down the line…
Next thing, try and find a SERP that does not have ANY sponsored link on it, and try and understand why: is there a big brand #1 in the natural search results? Do the keywords relate to an institution or government? Good. Now you have your niche (eg my test keywords were responsive dinosaur). Your aim is now to create an ad that will divert a users’ attention from the natural results listings thanks to your compelling ad title and text. Aim for 100% click through rate. If you don’t get it, that’s ok, but find out why! 100% click through rate is virtually impossible, but anything above 5% will be good in real life.
Experiment with your ad, play around with your keyword(s) and have a look what happens when you change match types etc.
3. The Big Day: The Test
It’s just a multiple question test, you will be fine. You only need 75% to pass the test, out of 122 questions that’s 91.5 right answers. If I got 80% after only 3 months work on PPC (that includes dreaming about CPCs at night, I’ m not joking) you should be fine. Also, after the test, don’t beat yourself up because you only got 85%, remember there are a lot of ambiguous questions in the test, and some of them refer to advertising formats you might not use such as image, video, mobile….
However, some of the questions are the same as the ones on the Google accreditation test revision page, so make sure you get 100% on that one! I know it off by heart now!
Further Reading & Work for revising the test
Google Analytics – although not necessary for the test, understanding how Google analytics interacts with your campaigns is important to get a good understanding of the way conversions and tracking work
Visibility Magazine – http://www.Visibilitymagazine.com gives a lot of ideas an insight into PPC and more generally search marketing, and can allow you to develop a greater understanding of SEM.
PPC Hero – http://www.ppchero.com is a great source of information and advice for PPC managers. Visit them, read their posts, leave some comments, I guarantee you that will lead to extra points on the test!
Good luck on your test everyone, and remember: if you ain’t converting, you ain’t properly working!