Google Ads is one of the most profitable digital marketing channels. Businesses across industries are able to consistently earn double (or more) the amount they spend on their ad campaigns.
To help advertisers understand the platform and create more effective campaigns, Google has created the Google ads certification program.
In this post, we will examine how Google Ads certifications work and the steps you can take to get certified quickly.
What is a Google Ads Certification?
A Google Ads certification is awarded by Google to individuals who successfully pass one or more Google ads exams. Google ads certification holders demonstrate proficiency in having basic and advanced Google Ads skills.
Google currently offers six Google Ads certifications: Google Ads Search Certification, Google Ads Display Certification, Google Ads Video Certification, Shopping ads Certification, Google Ads Apps Certification, and Google Ads Measurement Certification.
The Google Ads certifications are available in 22 languages.
Why Get a Google Ads Certification?
While there is no strict certification requirement to use the Google Ads platform, making an effort to get certified can bring several significant benefits.
Become a Google Ads Certified Professional
Getting certified is an effective way to learn the ins and outs of Google Ads.
Each certification requires you to pass an exam. These exams test both basic and more advanced concepts on how to use Google Adwords.
By getting a Google Ads Certification, you will set a strong foundation to help you eventually become a Google Ads specialist.
Land a New Job And Get More Clients
A Google Ads Certification is considered one of the best Google certifications and can also help you land work throughout your career.
Whether you want to work in a company’s marketing department or as a freelancer that gets their own clients, others will want to see that you know what you are doing.
A certification does just that and allows you to showcase your skills.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Despite all the benefits of the certifications, there is still a rather low number of qualified marketers that have them. Plus, there is a strong demand for digital marketers with Google Ads training.
These combined factors help to make you even more valuable to companies or clients when you get certified.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, like those used by Google, are often the main focus of online marketing efforts for companies across industries.
By developing these skills, you can improve your marketing in other areas and will have a better understanding of how digital marketing works.
How to Become Google Ads Certified
- Create a Google Skillshop Account
- Choose your Google Ads Certification
- Prepare for the exams
- Pass the exams and Get Certified
1. Create a Google Skillshop Account
The first step to obtaining a Google Ads Certification is to set up your Google Skillshop account. This is the online hub where you will complete the Google Ads Certification training and take the certification exams.
The platform is free, and the signup process is simple. You only need to go to the Skillshop homepage and sign in using your Google account.
This will create your Skillshop profile. You can then browse the platform to review the different certifications and their corresponding learning material.
2. Choose your Google Ads Certification
Next, you will want to decide which Google Ads Certification you want to get.
There are six Google Certifications available. Each showcases your knowledge and expertise in a different area of Google Ads.
Google Ads Certifications
|Google Ads Display Certification||Demonstrate your expertise in managing Google Ads display campaigns.|
|Google Ads Search Certification||Demonstrate your ability to set up, run and optimize campaigns on the Google search network.|
|Google Ads Measurement Certification||Demonstrate your ability to make informed decisions based on metrics from Google’s measurement solutions.|
|Google Ads Apps Certification||Validate your ability to create effective Google App campaigns displayed on Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.|
|Google Ads Video Certification||Showcase your skills on using Google Video advertising and Youtube to reach more customers and increase sales.|
|Shopping ads Certification||Demonstrate your ability to generate revenue using Google Shopping campaigns.|
Google Ads Display Certification
The Google Ads Display Certification shows you how to use display ads to achieve campaign results.
These ads are shown to users as they browse the countless sites in the Google Display network. To pass the knowledge exam for this certification, you will need to understand the following concepts:
- How to create a Google Display strategy
- How to increase awareness, consideration, action, and retention using display ads
- The different types of Google Display ads
- Using Google Display Audiences
- How to use automated bidding strategies
Google Ads Search Certification
To pass the knowledge exam, you will need to know the following:
- How to develop a search marketing strategy
- Using Google Ads extensions
- How the ads auction works
- How to reach existing customers
- Planning campaigns using the Performance Planner
Google Ads Measurement Certification
The Google Ads Measurement Certification verifies your ability to use Google’s measurement solutions to measure and optimize campaign performance.
Some of the key concepts covered by this certification include:
- How to translate your marketing objectives into measurable goals
- How to set up conversion tracking to measure sales or leads
- Analyzing insights from your conversion tracking data
- How the different attribution models work
Google Ads Apps Certification
The Google Ads Apps Certification validates your ability to create effective Google App campaigns.
These ads let advertisers showcase their mobile apps. They are displayed via Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.
To pass the certification exam, you will need to know the following:
- How to create an App campaign to meet a specific marketing goal
- How the Apps ecosystem works
- The different Apps campaign goals
- Understanding the various App campaign results
- Optimizing the app experience
- How to expand an App’s reach across markets
Google Ads Video Certification
The Google Ads Certification for video ads shows that you know how to use Google Video advertising and Youtube to reach more customers and increase sales.
The certification exam will test your understanding of the following concepts:
- The various video ads formats
- How to use YouTube video ads to grow awareness, increase consideration and drive action
- How to use YouTube to drive direct response
- How to use YouTube audiences to create more relevant ads
Shopping Ads Certification
The Google Ads Shopping Certification shows your ability to generate revenue using Google Shopping campaigns.
These ads are displayed in the Google Shopping comparison engine when users look for products. They are also displayed on Google partner sites.
To pass the certification assessment, you must understand the following:
- Promoting online and local inventory with Shopping campaigns
- How to use local inventory and catalog ads to increase traffic
- How to use Showcase Shopping ads
- How Google helps connect retailers with shoppers
3. Prepare for the Google Ads exams
After you determine which certification you want to pursue, you can begin preparing for the knowledge assessment.
The exams are not overly difficult. However, without proper preparation, you may find it difficult to pass.
Google Skillshop provides study material on their platform that you can use to learn all the key concepts needed to pass the exam.
The courses consist of a mix of text-based lessons and practice questions. There is no set learning requirement, and you can complete the lessons in whatever order you see fit.
When you complete a lesson, a green checkmark will appear next to it in your Skillshop account, notifying you of such.
Each certification also has a Knowledge Check Assessment you can use to get ready for the test. These assessments consist of questions similar to those on the official test.
When you complete the practice assessment, Skillshop will tell you your score, which questions you answered incorrectly, and the correct responses. You can take this practice assessment as often as needed.
Google Ads Courses
There are other resources that you can use to prepare for the exam,
I’m a big fan of third-party Google Ads courses as they help to provide a stronger understanding of how Google Ads works.
4. Pass the exams and Get Certified
Now that you’ve done the necessary preparation, you can go ahead and take your Google Ads exams. The specifics of the exam will vary depending on the certification.
The Google Ads Certification Exam
Each exam has a 75-minute time limit. Candidates that are well prepared often state that they can complete the assessment in far less time. Each exam also requires a minimum score of 80% to pass.
Where the exams differ is the number of questions. For example, the Google Ads Search Assessment consists of 50 questions. On the other hand, the Shopping Ads Assessment has 46 questions.
When compared to the testing requirements of the Facebook Blueprint Certifications, the testing procedures for the Google Ads Certifications are far less restrictive.
With the Facebook certifications, you need to either go to an in-person testing center where the exam is monitored by a proctor or take it at home in a completely empty room with a desk clear of any items.
The online option also requires you to install a program that prevents you from opening any other program while taking the test. Additionally, you need to have your webcam on, and someone will watch you.
However, with the Google Certifications, you simply need to open the exam from your Skillshop account, sit and complete the test. No one watches you, and you can open other programs while you take the test.
Some marketers even choose to Google the answers to questions they are uncertain of.
When you take a Google Ads exam, you will know immediately whether you passed or failed.
If you pass the Certification assessment, the certification will be available on your Skillshop account. You can then add your certification badges to your LinkedIn profile.
If you fail the exam, you can retake it as often as you need. However, you will need to wait 24 hours between attempts.
Google Ads Exam Questions
The questions on the Google Ads Exams are relatively straightforward. Some will require a bit of critical thinking to ensure that you thoroughly understand the concepts, but these are not too difficult.
The questions are a mix of true/false and multiple choice. Below are a few examples of the types of questions that you can expect to find on the Google Ads Certification exams:
- What is the benefit of online advertising using Google AdWords?
- Is it useful to create multiple ad groups?
- Your campaign is getting clicks, but the conversion rate is low. Which approach could help improve your conversion rate?
- Each campaign in your Google Ads account should have a single?
- What metric shows how often a click leads to a conversion?
Google Ads Certifications: FAQ
These are the most common questions people ask about Google certifications.
- Do Google Ads Certifications Expire?
- Is a Google Ads Certification Free?
- Are Google Ads Certifications Recognized?
- How much do Google Ads Specialists Make?
Do Google Ads Certifications Expire?
Yes, Google Ads Certifications expire. They are only valid for one year from the date that you pass the respective exam.
Google limits the validity of the certifications to ensure that certificate holders retain their understanding of how to use the platform.
To renew your certification, you need to pass the certification exam again.
If you fail to complete the exam before the certification expires, your certification will no longer be active. In this situation, it will no longer appear in your Skillshop account.
You can take the certification exam at any point during the year it is active.
Is a Google Ads Certification Free?
All Google Ads Certifications are free. To get a certification, you must create a free Skillshop account and pass the knowledge exam.
This makes Google Ads Certifications accessible to everyone and an easy way to bolster your marketing career.
Are Google Ads Certifications Recognized?
The Google Ads Certifications awarded through Skillshop are not the only certificates for Google Ads.
However, the Skillshop certifications are the most regarded as they are implemented by Google and thus officially recognized by the company.
If you want recognition for your Google Ads skills, these are your best option.
How much do Google Ads Specialists Make?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for Google Ads Specialists in the United States is $71K annually.
This amount varies based on experience, company, and specific location. The lower end of the range is $40K. The upper end of the range is $128K.
According to Upwork, the standard rate for a freelance Google Ads Specialist is between $15 and $40. However, these numbers are more applicable to less experienced specialists. Those with a proven track record can charge $80 or more.
If you decide to sell your Google Ads service by starting your own digital marketing agency, the amount you can make will vary based on how many campaigns you manage, their budget, and how many people will help you manage your account.
Agency specialists can choose to charge a monthly fee, an hourly rate, a percentage of ad spend, or a set fee based on results.
Google Ads Certification Jobs
One or more Google Ads Certifications can make you a strong candidate for a variety of digital marketing jobs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common jobs for professionals with Google Ads Certifications:
- PPC Specialists
- Google Ads Specialists
- Digital Marketing Specialists
PPC Specialists manage the strategy, implementation, and analysis of pay-per-click campaigns.
Because Google Ads are the most common form of PPC campaign, a certification is highly valuable for this position.
PPC experts are not limited to just Google Ads however and they can manage campaigns across other online platforms.
In addition to running campaigns, specialists need to have a strong understanding of keyword research and landing page design. These skills allow you to find the right phrases to target while ensuring the business’ site is optimized for conversions.
Google Ads Specialists
Google Ads Specialists are similar to PPC specialists. The difference is that they focus solely on Google Ads.
Successful campaigns require ongoing optimization, so businesses that otherwise lack the time or resources to run campaigns effectively rely on Google Ads Specialists to get their desired results.
Google Ads Specialists often work at an agency. These specialists are in entry to mid-level positions and report to an account manager that handles the overall strategy and client relationship.
Bigger companies are more likely to hire in-house Google Ads Specialists to handle their campaigns.
Digital Marketing Specialists
Digital Marketing Specialists handle a company’s online marketing campaigns. It is a more generic position that can handle search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content marketing, as well as PPC.
Digital Marketing Specialists with a Google Ads Certification are more valuable than those that are less versed in handling PPC campaigns.
The Google Ads certification program is one of the oldest and most trusted in the digital marketing industry. Becoming a Google Ads certified professional is not as difficult as it sounds.
You can start by going through the suggested learning plan provided by Google Skillshop or third-party courses.
Once you feel confident that you have a good understanding of how Google ads work, you can attempt the exams and get certified.
To further enrich your knowledge, you can pursue a digital marketing certification. A digital marketing certification is the most valuable accreditation you can get if you want to earn a higher salary and unlock new career opportunities.