French musical composer, Michel Legrand said it best, “The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.” We all know how quickly the PPC industry changes and evolves – it’s one of the reasons most digital marketers are drawn to this line of work. The ability to adapt and remain flexible makes us successful, but we also thrive off of the fast pace nature, the energy, the comradery, and the impact we’re making for our clients. And in order to be effective, it’s imperative to remain current with updated features, platforms, interfaces, and the changes that come. Just like you, we gravitate towards the blogs, podcasts, and conferences to learn, but the foundation is from the source — the channels themselves.
So whether you’re adding to your wall of certificates and updating your impressive LinkedIn profile or you’re a newbie joining this industry, look no further. We put together an all-encompassing list of useful links for certifications and continuing education.
Google AdWords Certification
Through Academy for Ads, Google’s online training program, marketers can prepare and take the assessments required for first the AdWords Fundamentals test, then one of the following: Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, or Shopping Advertising to obtain the Adwords certification. The tests are timed and Google requires a score of 80% to pass.
So what’s the best method to prepare? Everyone learns and retains differently. Start with Google’s Study Guide then consider YouTube, joining the Google Advertiser Community, and taking practice exams. Don’t forget to save your notes, you’ll need those to re-certify in one year.
What else? Take your time on test day and don’t rush reading through the questions. And the cost? Free!
Bing Ads Accredited Professional
There’s is no denying the impact you can make with your accounts by advertising on Bing. They even tout the influence and large customer base – 66 million desktop searchers not reached on Google … so becoming familiar with the interface and Bing Ads Editor is a no-brainer. Optimize your campaigns to the unique users that Bing attracts and grow professionally in your PPC career.
Like AdWords, the accreditation is good for one year, it won’t cost you anything, and you must receive an 80% or better to pass. The difference in the test is the unlimited time to complete it and the ability to save your progress and come back at a later date. Again, start with the Study Guide and free training courses and when you feel prepared, go for it!
Want to continue to strengthen your LinkedIn profile with a new badge and really beef up your resume? Yahoo offers you the ability to showcase your proficiency in Gemini and BrightRoll DSP. In Gemini, you can select the certification path that matches your focus: Gemini Native, Gemini Search, or Native and Search combined. Once you’re ready, the exam is free to take and you’ll be faced with 40 questions. After one year, you’ll be required to retake the exam to maintain the certification.
Familiar with BrightRoll DSP? Get ready to master campaign setup and trafficking, optimization tactics, custom reporting, and more. Then choose the Advanced Certification and obtain a deep level of understanding with “real world” scenarios. This certification requires you pass 30 multiple choice and true/false questions.
Of all the training platforms, this is a favorite! And for good reason. There’s a lot of thought that has gone into the robust offerings. Easy to navigate courses on various topics and a detailed curriculum to prepare you to take the following (online proctored) certification exams: Facebook Advertising Core Competencies, then either Facebook Certified Buying Professional or Facebook Certified Planning Professional depending on your track. You’ll need a minimum passing score of 700, scaled scoring ranges from 300 – 1000 to display your competence. Please note, there is a cost of $150/per exam.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification
Get ready to not only impress clients and your boss … but yourself! This robust training center has is all. Amazon offers four role-based paths along with three specialty certifications.
You’ll need to plan for this endeavor – it could take several months to prepare, but don’t get discouraged. The paths are realistic and a foundational level would be more than enough for most PPC professionals (err overachievers). There are no prerequisites and the scope of information is broad, but you’ll understand how AWS is structured and be able to demonstrate your ambition and initiative. The exam for the Cloud Practitioner is $100 while associate level exams cost $150 and professional exams cost $300.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
While recruiters can obtain a certification, marketers definitely weren’t left out in the cold. And while there isn’t currently a traditional certification program in place, we’re provided with guides, videos and webinars, one-pagers, and articles that are available (and totally free) for every product that LinkedIn has available. Best parts? No shortage of material and the organization is impeccable. There’s no question that by utilizing these resources you can place your most thoughtful crafted ad for the most impact.
Twitter Flight School
After selecting a flight path from Marketing Leadership or Executive Leadership, get ready for takeoff! Within the Marketing Leadership path, there are 5 core classes that will take an estimated 60 minutes along with four additional electives to “earn your wings” and credibility. Need more reasons? There is a downloadable resource library, recognition in the marketplace, and quick and accessible courses… and it’s free. Go!
Google Analytics Individual Qualification
To clarify, this exam is for individuals and the Google Analytics Certified Partner is for agencies that provide the service of analytics and conversion optimization. While there is plenty of content available to help you study for this one outside of the Google Analytics Academy, we recommend starting here.
Take your time in the preparation, take notes and get creative with your preparation — take practice tests, watch the videos that are available to help reinforce the teachings and join the Google Analytics Solutions Community. Lastly, plan for time in the interface itself to practice and learn – you’re going to need practical experience. You’ll need to achieve a score of at least 80% to pass and you’ll have 90 minutes to complete the assessment. And the cost? Free!
Valid for 18 months, prove to the world that you know your stuff – that you have mastered the ins and outs of channel growth, content ownership and strategy, and asset monetization. While the program is being revamped for a relaunch next month, we’ll have to stay tuned for updates. Previously, marketers were required to score a 75% or higher on the exam to pass within two attempts.
There’s no denying that experience oftentimes outweighs education, displaying your initiative and setting yourself apart from marketers in the industry is a smart choice. At Clix, we thrive on sharing information. Not only with each other, but with you – our readers through this blog, at conferences, and on various social platforms. And we want to continue to bring a fresh perspective with the latest techniques and tips to utilize the tools in our industry … and education plays a huge part in that.
Let us know how you are bettering yourself and what steps you’re taking to advance this field that we’re in. If you’re preparing for a certification, what are some of your best tips? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!