So you just passed the Google AdWords Fundamentals Exam with flying colors, and all you want to do is pop some champagne and break into an embarrassing celebratory dance …
NOT SO FAST! You are only half way to becoming fully Google AdWords certified.
If you’re reading this article you likely already know the value of becoming Google AdWords certified, but, as a quick refresher, this certification is truly valuable for those in the PPC consulting industry to help legitimize their skills when working with clients, find new PPC gigs, and gain a high level of knowledge on one of the most powerful platforms in online marketing today.
As someone who recently went through the certification process, I was a bit intimidated when searching through the wide scope of preparation material provided by Google’s Learning Center. At first the material looked digestible, until I started clicking through the links, only to see them leading to more and more pages of material that needed to be reviewed. For example, the “Performance Monitoring and Reporting” link takes you to three more sections that are broken down into 20 more links of material…YIKES!
Some reassuring news is that a lot of the advanced material reviews what you’ve already learned in the fundamentals, so truthfully there is no reason to panic. With that said, preparation is still needed if you want to pass on your first try. Follow these five tips to take in the information without inheriting a huge migraine.
5 Tips for Passing the Google AdWords Advanced Search Exam
1. Don’t feel like you have to read EVERYTHING: If you’re like me, reading through pages upon pages of online content will sink you into a very deep sleep (no offense, Google!). When I looked into printing the study guides, I saw that the amount of paper it would take would kill a small forest. So I came up with a new strategy – skimming. As I said above, a lot of the material is review, so skim over the stuff you most likely already know, and read the other information in small chunks of time so you don’t overwhelm yourself with a screen-induced headache.
2. PRATICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE with iPassExam or other online testing tools: iPassExam, a platform that helps professionals study for online certifications, was a saving grace for me when preparing for the Google Advanced Search Exam. Their questions are consistently updated to replicate the questions on the actual test, and are asked in a very similar format. You can either take a timed trial test, or mock exams by section, in which you find out if you got the answer right or wrong after each individual question. This really helped me to learn which areas I needed to work more on, and which areas I had a higher level of expertise in and could put off to the side.
3. Write down formulas: There are some situational questions that ask you to calculate things like value-per-conversion, incorporating percentage of word-of-mouth purchases. These aren’t always the easiest things to remember especially if, like me, you’re not a mathematician. But seriously, they can be tricky so when reviewing different formulas, like on the “How to estimate conversion value” page, take note of the stuff you’re likely to forget come test time.
4. Remember, more than one answer may be correct: The trick is to choose the BEST answer. I know what you’re thinking – easier said than done! But I’m just giving you a heads up, Google WILL try to trick you so DO NOT just check the first correct answer you see and move on to the next one. Read each option carefully because certain answers might be correct, but not what the question is specifically looking for. If you read your options carefully though, your instincts will likely (hopefully) point you to the one that is “most accurate,” as ridiculous as that sounds.
5. RELAX: If you do the leg work you will be fine. Google gives you plenty of time to work through the 99 multiple choice questions, and even though you are no longer able to skip and return to the question, if you prepare you will be fine. Breathe, concentrate, and trust your instincts – before you know it you’ll be certifiably ready to take on the PPC world!
So there you have it. Passing the Advanced Search part of the Google AdWords certification does not need to turn your world upside down. It can be accomplished easily with a touch of studying, a sprinkle of practice, and some deep Yogi breaths.
Happy Holidays & PPCing to all!