Google AdWords Certification allows an inbound marketer to show clients and/or the agency they work for that they have passed both an Advertising Fundamentals exam and one of two advanced exams provided without charge through the Google Partners program.
Why would an inbound marketer be interested? Because the success of a Google AdWords campaign depends on the experience and expertise of a marketer well versed in keyword research, targeted content creation, and analytical practices.
First, Some Recent Changes
As of September 30, 2013 Google made changes to its AdWords certification program:
Everything that was part of the Google Certification Program has moved under the umbrella of Google Partners.
In order to participate in the AdWords certification training and exam, you must be a Google Partner. The good news is that this doesn’t cost you anything.
With the change to Google Partners, exams are also free. Previously it cost $50.00 to take an exam.
If you previously displayed a badge for “AdWords Certified Partner”, it will no longer be permitted after November 13, 2013. Individuals will only earn an AdWords Certificate and be acknowledged as an individual Google Partner.
Badges will only be given to companies which are Google Partners (which must have at least one AdWords certified individual AND a My Client Center Account that has spent at least $10,000 in 60 of the past 90 days).
Since it costs nothing to become a partner and the exams are free, this is a good opportunity to be on the list to receive current information on changes in Google’s set of best practices. You just need to take the fundamentals exam once every 2 years and an advanced exam each year to maintain your certification.
As Google mentions, you will have a way to show prospective clients and employers your expertise with Google AdWords, one of the largest CPC programs around the internet. After studying for the exam you should be well versed in AdWords tools and best practices.
The advanced exam covers search, display, reporting, and analysis practices. As an inbound marketer you know how important each of these practices is and be able to utilize them for successful PPC campaigns. Other things Google offers its partners are specialized marketing tools, access to current research, and continued education opportunities.
Additionally, as a Google Partner you will be able to set up a My Client Center to help you manage multiple AdWords accounts. With the reporting and analytics Google can give you, creating and tweaking campaigns will be pretty easy.