Transcript – Google Ads (AdWords) Certification – It’s NOT REALLY Worth It
Are you Google Ads qualified? Have you passed all of the exams to get that nice, little certificate from Google to become a qualified Google Ads practitioner? If the answer is yes, this video might resonate with you quite significantly because the Google Ads exam, in my opinion, is not worth the time.
Now, of course, there is some nuance within that but when you look at the questions when you look at how to run a successful campaign and all the caveats and nuances within running a Google Ads campaign, I think that the exam is not fit for purpose.
In this video, I’m going to go through some very specific examples of questions from the actual exam and explain to you why they are terrible, terrible questions. What you could do instead of taking this exam and where you could find additional knowledge for PPC. Stay tuned because all of that and more is coming up.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of the bigmarketer.com here and my job is to make you a better marketer. Now, if you’re new to this channel, I’m Darren Taylor a digital marketing trainer and consultant. I specialize in PPC and SEO. If that sounds up your street, you should consider subscribing to the channel and in this video, we are looking at the Google Ads certification program and to see whether or not it’s even worth it or even more importantly, whether or not you can call yourself a good PPC marketer just because you’ve passed this exam. In my opinion, I think no.
Before I get ono the bad stuff, let me start off by saying, Google needs a certification program because otherwise, how else would they decide who is qualified or not to give advice on Google Ads. They need some kind of basic framework of things they can agree on in order to determine who is a good advertiser and who isn’t, and who needs to improve and the things to do in a campaign.
The only problem with that is that there’s a lot of nuance in Google Ads. You can’t just say, “This is a good campaign because it ticks all of these boxes”, because a lot of those boxes that you think need to be ticked, could really hurt your campaign performance. I’m going to go into some specific examples in this video but before I move on, I want to praise Google for one more thing.
To be fair to Google, they recently updated their certification program making the materials a lot more interactive and a lot more interesting and a lot more engaging as well which is great because new advertisers to Google can actually take on the knowledge and learn in a much easier environment and an easier way.
If you’re a Google Ads veteran like me, then you remember that you used to have to study a massive block of text about every single type of campaign, and a massive block of text about every piece of functionality in Google Ads so that was an absolute nightmare. That is a very good thing Google have done there.
Now, let’s move on to the bad things I think about the Google Ads certification program and why I think it’s pretty much a worthless certificate. Before I do that, if you like what you’re hearing so far, don’t forget to hit the like button and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and let me know, in the comment, if you are Google Ads certified.
I reply to pretty much every single comment I get so I’d love to hear from you down there.
Let’s carry on with the video. One of the biggest problems with the Google Ads certification program is that they entertain the idea that advertisers should use broad match keywords. Now, if you’ve been on this channel before, you will know my thoughts on broad match keywords, and that you shouldn’t be using them in search campaigns.
You should be using a modified broad match instead which is a lot more accurate. It gives you a better quality of traffic and broad match is pretty much saying to Google, “This is kind of what I want, just let me know if there’s anything in this kind of region or ballpark that matches this and I’ll be happy to pay for the traffic”, which is a terrible, terrible idea.
The fact that Google have actually got questions in their examination like this one right here on the screen, asking you about using broad match keywords and the results you can expect is a problem.The thing is I understand Google need to explain all of the functionalities and ways you can market your campaign on PPC, and broad match keywords is a functionality they need to explain. However, putting it in an exam as a positive thing to do is not a good idea.
Using that example, how will bidding on the broad match term television help Bob? Well, I’ve got a clue for you, it won’t. It will make Bob bankrupt so Bob please don’t bid on the word television because it’s not going to work for you. This is exactly an example of what I mean about the certification program.
Now let’s take a look at another example of another question that’s a real cause for concern in the program. In this question, Google are essentially saying that the search partners and opting into the search partners is a good idea. Listen, I have campaigns in the search partner network as well because I want to expand volume but it doesn’t say that generally speaking the conversion rates of the partner network is lower than that of Google.
I’ve seen in pretty much every single campaign I’ve run and because of the tolerance for the CPA in campaigns that are successful, and the volume needed to increase, I was okay putting the campaign onto that network as well into additional partner networks. However, generally speaking, you’re going to see a lower conversion rate from these networks. Of course, Google can’t say that but Google have all the data and I can guarantee you, they know this to be true.
If they look to all of the data they have and all of the campaigns that we’re providing them, because of course they can see a lot of the data and functionalities we’re using, they will be able to see that campaigns opted into the partner network or even isolating the partner network traffic alone is going to be less successful than the main Google Ads traffic on Google. This is something I’ve seen on all of my campaigns.
Let me know if this is something that you have seen as well. Hit me up in the comments and let’s discuss because I think I’m right. Finally, this question here is another cause for concern.
Now, if you don’t know recently Google have been using something called an optimization score. It’s essentially a score out of a 100, it’s a percentage and essentially ranks your campaign’s performance based on how many settings and functionalities you’re using in your Google Ads campaign. Are you using smart bidding? Are you using as many ad groups as you need to?
Are you using as many ads as much as you need to? Are you using all of the repertoires of functionality within your Google Ads accounts to get your score to 100%? Which sounds like a really good idea until you realize that optimization score isn’t everything. Now, I’m going to do a video on optimization score which will explain in a bit more detail why it’s not the best idea and why it can be difficult to justify trying to get campaigns to 100% score.
It sounds positive and to new advertisers, it sounds like something that you should be doing but it’s not something you should be doing because your campaign performance comes first. If your campaigns are working perfectly and you try to do something that’s been suggested in the optimization score, like changing your bid strategy, and you see it’s not working very well, don’t think you can’t revert back to manual CPC if you’re not getting results.
There are a ton of reasons why smart bidding doesn’t work for some people, and for some campaigns and I’ve linked up a video on this very subject down below so you should check that video out too. Really and truly speaking, you need to think of your revenue and your campaign performance first, because don’t let Google score put you off in thinking it needs to be 100% because you simply don’t. Take their advice. You can trial and test things but if things aren’t working that they suggested, don’t be afraid if you score six and 50%.
Looking at these examples, you can see why I am not going to sing the praises of the Google Ads certification program because there lots of problems with it because there’s no nuance, it doesn’t take things into consideration but I understand completely what Google are trying to do.
They’re trying to make a basic framework for advertisers who are new to the platform to really understand how the system works and what they should and shouldn’t do in specific scenarios.
Of course they need to sell the elements of their products even the elements of the products that advertisers like me who are experienced with Google Ads, think are a waste of time. For example like I said, broad match keywords there are still functionalities in Google Ads that they need to promote.
Overall, would I advise you go out there and take the examinations and get Google certified? Well actually, you’re going to be surprised by this but yes. The only reason is because it ticks the box. Sometimes you just have to tick the box in order to prove your knowledge and it’s very easy to do, once you’ve done a few times, to take the examination without studying and just go in there and score high enough to pass the test.
It’s ticking the box, it’s making your employers or your clients more comfortable and confident that they’re working with good marketers, but don’t take it to heart when you get that certification. It’s not a sign that of if you’re good on Google Ads or if you’re not. If you’ve got 100% score on your examination, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be the best person at running a PPC campaign.
Only experienced and exposure to campaigns in setting up and managing clients could do that for you. If you haven’t got that, but you got 100% of the score, you’re still not as good as the person who’s been managing clients and campaigns. Don’t forget that, don’t get disheartened, but go out there and take the certification just to tick the box.
Thank you guys so much for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you’re going to go ahead now and take your Google Ads certification and what you think of this new certification program they’ve launched recently. More important than that, check out the other content across my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.