Are you looking for ideas for New Year’s resolutions? How about investing in education and boosting your career growth? If that sounds appealing, consider obtaining Google or Microsoft ads certifications. Here’s why and how.
The number of experienced online marketers is growing fast, and it becomes even harder to stand out, especially if you are at the start of your PPC career. If that’s the case, every line on your CV counts. And nothing boosts an online marketer’s resume like Google and Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional status.
Advertising certification is a process by which Google and Microsoft recognize marketers as experts in online advertising on their platforms. Certifications allow marketers to confirm their skills in different areas and across a range of products. Besides being a great status to have, certification is also a learning opportunity and leaves you with expert knowledge, which will definitely help you get ahead in your career.
If you want to prove that your PPC knowledge is sound and are willing to take the certification test, read on about how to go about it.
What is Google Ads Certification?
Google Ads Certification is accreditation that you can get for free if you successfully pass one of Google’s six certification programs.
A singular individual or a whole business can be awarded the certification. While completing the certification program as an individual will distinguish you from your competitors, registering as a business will also allow you to apply for the prestigious Google Partner badge.
Even though the tests are multiple-choice-based, they are challenging and usually require thorough preparation.
How to Get Google Ads Certification in 5 steps
- Create a Skillshop account
- Decide which certification exam to take
- Prepare for the exam
- Take the exam
- Maintain your status
Getting a Google Ads Certification Step-by-Step
1. Get a Skillshop account
Google Skillshop is where you can find all online courses offered by Google product experts and is the go-to place to become Google product certified, including in Google Ads, Google Ad Manager, and Analytics Academy.
Therefore, the first step would be to create a Skillshop account, click ‘Log In’ in the top right corner and link your account to the email address you manage Google Ads with. You’ll use this account to access the Google Ads assessments required to become certified.
If you’re applying as a business, use the company email address, the one you will want to manage ads with for your Google Partner company.
You can create an account at Skillshop even if you are not planning on getting the certification. It is an excellent resource for learning, and anyone involved with Google Ads is recommended to check it out.
2. Choose Google Ads Certifications
Google offers a variety of digital marketing topics that you can become an expert in. Therefore, you can choose what area interests you the most and learn about it. See all the topics below:
- Google Ads Display
- Google Ads Search
- Shopping Ads
- Google Ads Apps
- Google Ads Video
- Google Ads Measurement
Each certification category requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of the product. If you struggle to choose, try the one you find most interesting. Alternatively, you can become certified in an area you have most experience with or know best. Remember that you can get certified in more than one area! So why not start with something easier?
It’s worth noting that businesses cannot apply for Google Ads Measurement, though.
3. Prepare for the exam
Google provides free resources for Skillshop account users to prepare for the certification exam. Sample questions are handy as they come in the same format as the actual exams’.
There are also a lot of online resources that can help you deepen your understanding of a topic.
You can take as much time as you need for the preparation. Please don’t skip the training content; it increases your chances of passing!
4. Take the exam
To become certified, you must pass the assessment in any of Google’s ads specialties. Your certification will then be awarded for that specific product area. You will later on be able to pass more assessments for the different products if you choose to.
The test is challenging and is aimed at specialists with hands-on experience with the products. You’ll have 75 minutes for one of the six certification assessments. You will need an 80% or higher score to pass. If you fail to pass an exam, there’s a one-day waiting period before you can retry.
If you started but were unable to finish (due to any disruption such as your battery dying), the exam will be marked as a fail, and you will be able to retry in a day.
5. Stay certified
Unfortunately, the certification is only valid for a year. Therefore, once this period expires, you’ll have to retake the exam to reclaim yourself as a Google Ads-certified professional in the chosen area.
If you, as a business, have obtained a Google Partner badge, you can display it on your website and promote your company as one that has this Google Partner status.
What is Microsoft Ads Certification?
Microsoft Ads Certification, also known as Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional (MACP), is a status awarded by Microsoft upon completing its corresponding courses.
The certification indicates that an individual is proficient in using the different ad products offered by Microsoft. Microsoft has recently rebranded the program, making it more difficult to pass and, therefore, more prestigious to have.
To become a MACP, you will need to demonstrate a deep understanding of Microsoft advertising platforms and strategies, as well as proven experience in creating effective digital campaigns.
How to Get Microsoft Ads Certification in 4 steps
1. Pick your path
2. Prepare for the exam
3. Pass the exam
4. Download your badge
Getting a Microsoft Ads Certification Step-by-Step
1. Pick your path
The first step to becoming a Microsoft Ads certified professional is choosing your learning path.
There are three diverse paths that you can choose from. Each of them aims to provide you with the fundamentals of different advertising types. Microsoft also claims that their learning paths offer real-world experience of using Microsoft’s various ad products.
Search Advertising Learning Path
The search ads path focuses on the basics of search engine marketing. The modules include creating ad campaigns, bidding, choosing keywords, and managing the budget. This learning path includes online courses, videos, webinars, and practice exams.
Native And Display Advertising Learning Path
The path teaches you the essentials of creating effective display ad campaigns using Microsoft’s advertising tools. This course will help you gain hands-on experience in targeting through paid media channels. This learning path consists of tutorials, e-books, webinars, and sample projects.
Shopping Advertising Learning Path
The shopping advertising learning path covers setting up and managing a successful shopping campaign using Microsoft Shopping Ads. By the end of the course, you should expect to gain a deep understanding of shopping ad products and know how to reach customers looking to buy online. This learning path includes video lessons, downloadable course materials, and practice quizzes.
2. Prepare for the exam
You can access a complete list of available courses once you log into your account on the Microsoft Ads website. For example, those include PPC, bidding, budgeting, copywriting, etc. The classes are taught in modules, divided into sections by themes.
These online courses provide a comprehensive learning experience and prepare you for the exam. Depending on your chosen learning path, there’ll be videos, real-world scenarios, and quizzes. There is no deadline for finishing the course; you can do it at your own pace. You can also come back to some topics later.
3. Pass the certification exam
Once you are positive you understand the material well, you can schedule a time to take the certification exam. The exam will test your knowledge of the core concepts covered in the different advertising learning paths. You will take the test online, and there will be 50 questions. You will need to get an 80% score to pass.
You will not receive a certification if you do not pass the exam. There will be available options for you to continue your learning, and you will be able to retake the exam later.
Once you have completed all the necessary certifications for each advertising type, you can also take the extensive Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional (MACP) exam.
4. Download your certification badge
After passing the exam, you will receive your certification badge directly from Microsoft by email. You can share your badge online or embed it on your website or resume. It is a prestigious sign of excellence in digital marketing, and whoever receives it should be proudly displaying it!
General tips for successful digital marketing exam-taking
- Treat the test as an opportunity to learn rather than simply as a resume booster.
- Take the test only when you are ready, don’t rush into it without developing an understanding first.
- If you fail to pass on the first attempt, treat it as a chance to learn from your mistakes and pay attention to the questions you got wrong.
- Research the information on top of what the courses offer.
- Make sure you have a stable internet connection.
- Make sure your computer is plugged in, so it doesn’t run out of battery.
- Set aside at least two uninterrupted hours of your day for the exam.
- Take your time with each question.
- Practice self-care before the test. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and eat well.
If you want to deepen your understanding or to show that you are a professional already, consider taking one of the online advertising exams and elevate your career.
Earning Google and Microsoft ads certifications will show potential employers that you are an experienced digital marketing professional committed to continuous learning. It will enhance your resume, website, or LinkedIn profile.