5 Tips on Passing
the Google Adwords Qualified Professional Exam
We make sure of is that all of our writers pass the Google
Adwords Qualified Professional Exam before writing for the
blog. We just added four new people to our team and we’re
still growing. But now that they’re finished with their
PPC training, it’s time they prepare for the Google
The Google Adwords Qualified Professional status can be obtained
at either the individual level or the company level. In order
to receive the company level status at least 2 employees have
to pass the exam. Unfortunately, your status expires after
2 years, so you may have to take it multiple times in order
to keep your individual or company status. The exam costs
$50, and yes, you have to pay that each time you take the
exam for each person.
Here are just a few tips on how to successfully pass the
exam with flying colors – without giving away any answers.
1. Utilize the learning center – You do have an hour
to take the exam, and I believe there are 75 – 100 questions
in the exam. With that said, you can use your notes, use Adwords,
or look up answers online. However, most of the questions,
if not all of them, are taken from the Adwords learning center
itself. So take the time and go through the learning center
tutorials and reading material. It will make a serious difference.
2. Know Google Adwords ad text policies – t\The one
thing I remember most is they ask you a ton of ad text guidelines
and policies questions. What can you say in your ads, what
can’t you say, how many characters are in the title,
description, destination URL, etc. Know your ad rules!!!
3. Put yourself in scenarios – Especially for the ad
text, when studying for the exam, test yourself by using scenarios.
Example, Here is an ad text – tell me all the items
that violate the GA ad text guidelines. Then you have to choose
between a. b. c. or d. Also, there are scenario questions
about ROI and CTR and how to know when you need to pause an
ad or keyword and when you should increase or decrease their
4. Know how to calculate ROI – If you only work on lead
based PPC accounts or click only accounts, you better learn
how to calculate ROI. There are questions that put you in
a scenario where they show ads or keywords with a certain
ROI, and you have to know which ad or keyword to pause. So,
if you don’t understand ROI, learn it now.
5. Know where things are – You will be asked questions
on which reports you can run for certain information and where
you access conversion tracking codes, etc.
Although there is a separate Google Analytics exam, you should
know the essentials of Google analytics reporting, goals,
Taking and passing the Google Adwords Qualified Professional
exam is great to have on your website and resume and can be
a great selling tool. As we talk about trust symbols and certifications
to put on your landing pages to increase conversions, this
is one of them! Just be sure you adhere to the Google certification
logo guidelines before posting it everywhere.
If you think you need more explanation or teaching other
than the tutorials you can watch these great videos on YouTube
called the Google Business Channel. They give you videos obviously
and offer more of a visual representation of the learning
material. If you have more questions about the Google Adwords
Qualified Professional exam and their qualifications you can
check out their FAQ.
PPC Campaigns is a Science and an Art Form
managing paid search campaigns require a mixture of science
and art. The scale probably tips more toward the scientific
elements when it comes to optimizing your performance. However,
in order to create a successful, well-balanced campaign, you
can’t completely disregard either end of the spectrum.
Here are some skills/traits that you need to manage your
PPC campaign effectively:
Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection,
analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation
of data (according Wikipedia). This is the main driver behind
PPC analysis and optimization. Having a thorough knowledge
on how to collect and interpret data within your account is
You also need to understand how to present this information
as well. This presentation of data could be within your team
or, even more importantly, to clients. Your clients (or upper
management) are not in the accounts every day and they don’t
have as clear of a picture as you do in regards to the direction
of your campaign. Providing the right statistics in the easiest
way possible is a must.
I know what the standard definition of information architecture
is but I like this phrase so I’m going to re-appropriate
it for my own usage. This skill/trait refers to the logical
categorization of similar search terms into themed groups.
Or other in terms, creating awesome PPC account structures.
You have to be able to find themes, patterns, and parallel
user intent within disparate phrases in order to create an
account structure that is likely to generate excellent results
as well as enhance your AdWords Quality Score.
Psychology (Human information behavior)
The psychological element is the middle ground between science
and art. As paid search marketers, we need to understand the
thought patterns and intentions of our search engine audience.
What are they thinking? What are they looking for? How can
they be convinced that I have what they’re looking for?
When conducting keyword research, creating account structures,
writing ad copy, and optimizing landing pages, these are the
questions we’re trying to answer.
You need statistics to give you some great insight to answering
these questions. This is why ad text testing and landing optimization
are so important. However, from trying to understand the online
buying cycle to determining why a certain ad has a higher
click-through rate involves understanding the mindset of your
audience as well as hard-fast stats.
Now we’re getting to the artistic end of the spectrum.
Writing great PPC ad texts requires a certain finesse that
goes above and beyond ordinary copywriting skills. This is
because you only have 70 characters to tell someone who you
are, what you have to have offer, why they can trust you,
and why they should disregard everything else on the SERP
and click on your ad.
This requires tapping into your creative side. You need make
bold, convincing statements within a very, very small amount
of space. When every character counts (literally!), you need
to have a strong command of the English language (or whatever
language in which you write PPC ads) in order to truncate
a great deal of information into a few brief phrases.
This where your landing page optimization comes in (and this
is an artsy skill). Yes, you need data in order to tell you
how your landing pages are performing. And performance data
can tell you what is appealing best to your audience. However,
you need analytical and artistic skills in order interpret
this information and turn it into images, copy, and an overall
design that engage your visitors.
As you can see, successful paid search management requires
a blend of scientific and artistic skills. This is what makes
our industry so interesting! And there are many more skills
that are helpful to generate great PPC results, but hopefully
this list will get you thinking about your strengths and weakness.
Where can you improve?
Things that May Be Hurting Your PPC Account
There is so much going on within any PPC campaign that it
can be difficult to keep track of all the moving pieces. You
can be a proactive PPC manager but there could be elements
of your account that may be quietly hindering your performance.
Actually, when an account is performing well, this is when
you need to be most vigilant in searching for these “quiet
killers” because they may be harder to notice blatantly
Incorrect campaign settings
When you create a new campaign, I am sure you check all of
your settings to make sure they’re correct. However,
if you launch numerous campaigns at once or if you add campaigns
frequently, something may get missed. This doesn’t mean
the campaign is broken but it may not reaching its full potential.
As a proactive step, you should make sure that these settings
have the correct information for your campaign’s goals:
• Location targeting
• Networks, devices and extensions
• Bidding and budget
• Position preference, delivery method
• Ad delivery: ad rotation, frequency capping
Just do a quick review all of your campaigns just to make
sure everything is correct. If you no errors, great! However,
if you do find a setting that is incorrect, you can make great
progress with just a few clicks.
Neglected ad text split tests
Continually testing your PPC ad texts is the key to click-through
success. However, you may have launched a test, or perhaps
a few tests, that you have not recently checked in on. If
your account is performing well, then you may over look following
up on a split test. It happens. Now is a good time to run
an ad text report to see if there any ads that are under performing.
You should make sure that each ad group has a statistically
valid sample size in order to determine the clear winners
Under performing keywords that hide in good ad groups
If your account is performing well overall, that’s
great. And you may not even have any ad groups that stick
out like a sore thumb due to poor performance. However, this
doesn’t mean that there are no rouge keywords that are
generating traffic but few conversions. You should run a keyword
report to hunt down those terms that are not performing well
and adjust accordingly.
Irrelevant search queries are not always obvious
If you are utilizing broad match or phrase, when was the
last time you ran a search query performance report? This
report is easy to run and can help you hone your campaign
by building your negative keyword list. In fact, you should
make it a point to run a search query report at least once
a month in order to monitor which queries are matching to
Poor converting sites on the content network
The content network may be working great for your account
but I bet if you looked closer, you would find a handful of
sites that have a higher-than-average cost-per-conversion.
Similar to poor performing keywords, the content network as
a whole may be doing great but I’m sure there are a
few sites that are quietly hindering your campaign. And these
sites can get away with this when everything is going well
in an account.
There are numerous other elements that can negatively and
quietly effect your campaign’s performance, but this
is a quick check list for you. Remember, if your account is
generating great results – it can always do better!