Getting big results from your PPC ads requires more marketing knowledge than the average person. Anyone can run ads and get clicks, but few achieve an exceptional conversion rate of >12%.
How do you rise above the average conversion rate of 2.35%? You need higher knowledge and a stronger strategy. However, you need to learn the ins and outs of each ad platform to supplement your general PPC knowledge.
Whether you’re running PPC ads for your own businesses or for clients, building your skill set for specific platforms will greatly improve your results. Even though all paid ads generally work the same way, each marketing channel is slightly different in terms of strategy, how you target your audience, and the market you can reach. For optimal results, you need to know where platforms share similarities, how they differ, and how to leverage each one.
Certifications will also prove your expertise to clients, look great in your portfolio, and will help you build confidence in your online advertising abilities.
If you’re new to PPC ads, you’re not hitting a conversion rate of at least 10%, or you need tangible evidence of your expertise, consider obtaining the following PPC certifications.
Most businesses that run paid ads rely on Google Ads certifications specifically for the majority of their leads. Google is the top search engine and has about 92% of the entire search market, which makes advertising on this platform essential.
Here’s an overview of the 8 PPC certifications you can get from Google, all of which are at the beginner level and include a series of assessments to prepare you for the exam.
This course takes about 4.7 hours to complete and will train you to “measure and optimizing Google search campaigns performance.” You’ll learn how to translate marketing objectives into measurable actions and derive actionable insights from data.
This course can be completed in around 3.9 hours and will teach you how to use Google’s tools to create “effective ads for Video, Display, App, and Search campaigns.” You’ll also learn how to boost performance by experimenting with ads.
After 2.6 hours of study, this course will teach you how to “connect products and services with shoppers across their purchase journey.” Running an offline sales strategy is just as important as your PPC ads, and you’ll learn all about how they are connected.
With an average completion time of 3.7 hours, this course will help you master “building and optimizing Google Ads Search campaigns.” This is one of the most important courses, and you’ll learn to boost performance with automated processes like Bidding and Audience Solutions.
This course can be completed in around 2.6 hours and will teach you to “deliver effective display advertising to meet specific marketing objectives.” Using Display Audiences, you’ll learn how to reach more customers and align your Display Ads marketing plan with your budget.
Shopping Ads Certification
This course takes about 3.1 hours to complete and you’ll learn how to “connect products and services with shoppers across their purchase journey.” Although the objective is similar to the Grow Offline Sales Certification, this course specifically pertains to Google’s Shopping ads.
With around 4 hours of study, you’ll learn how to “get results from YouTube and Google Video advertising solutions.” These two platforms are essential for paid ads, especially when you’re working with clients. YouTube Ads are an essential component of any PPC campaign. Running ads on videos requires a slightly different approach, and this course will teach you how to navigate this aspect of PPC advertising.
This is one of Google’s shorter PPC certification courses and takes around 2.8 hours to complete. This course will teach you to “create and optimize App campaigns to meet specific marketing objectives.” You’ll learn advanced strategies to elevate your App campaign performance and increase app quality an discoverability.
When you take the above courses, you’ll get video lessons, a knowledge assessment, and preparation assessments to help you pass. The exams generally take just over an hour to complete, and it’s recommended to get certified in every area to get the best results in PPC advertising.
All of these certifications are free, and you only need a Google account to get started.
You can never go wrong with Semrush. Considered a leader in digital marketing, Semrush offers high-quality, valuable resources to digital marketers, and the PPC Fundamentals certification is no exception.
If you’re just getting started with PPC and are a complete beginner, you want to start with this certification. You’ll be asked 35 multiple choice questions spanning a total of eight topics:
To pass this exam, take the free PPC Fundamentals Course offered by Semrush Academy.
This is a basic exam, but it’s essential for beginners as it makes complicated and advanced concepts easier to learn.
You can take the training and get certified for free with a Semrush account.
The Microsoft Ad network displays PPC ads across several channels, including Bing search, Yahoo, and AOL. Next to Google, this is one certification you don’t want to skip if you’re serious about your paid Google Ads campaigns.
As a Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional, you’ll learn how to manage, set up, and optimize PPC campaigns across the Microsoft Ad network. To prepare for this exam, you’ll use a free 232-page study guide that covers an extensive amount of information that will be on the exam.
When you access the study guide, you’ll learn about Microsoft advertising policies and how the platform works. Once you pass the exam, you’ll get a certificate to print and your name will be added to Microsoft’s member directory.
Like Google, Microsoft offers this course and exam free of charge; you only need a Microsoft account to get certified.
PPC advertising on social media is huge, and most businesses use Facebook Ads because that’s where people spend a majority of their time. If you want to promote your business on Facebook, you need to learn how to use their advertising platform.
This certification course will teach you how to create and manage ads, establish your presence on Facebook, and read reports. This is important because Facebook offers some of the most nuanced and detailed audience targeting options. You can even target your competitors’ audiences.
There aren’t many courses or certifications specific to social media advertising, so this is a valuable certification that you can apply to other social channels. To start learning, access Meta Blueprint and select your certifications from there.
This certification is free, and you only need a Facebook account to get started.
This is a 10-hour certification course that covers 13 different aspects of PPC marketing. You’ll learn how to build, manage, and optimize PPC campaigns on any platform.
Compared to other courses that focus more on the details, this takes a more general approach that will help you get started right away. In addition to video tutorials and text lessons, you’ll get access to templates to build ads and landing pages so you can start your first PPC campaign quickly.
Currently, it costs a one-time fee of $99 to access all of the Direct institute courses and certifications. This includes PPC, CRO, SEO, Data Analytics, and Optimization.
Like any exam, you’ll need to study hard to pass your PPC certifications on the first try. Even though most exams are free, that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Here are some tips to prepare yourself to achieve a passing score.
Never underestimate the importance of knowing PPC basics like the back of your hand. Most course certifications place a strong emphasis on fundamentals, so make sure you don’t skip the basics. If you’ve been doing PPC ads for a while, brush up on your general knowledge to make sure you haven’t forgotten any important details.
Sometimes it helps to have a study partner you can talk to and go over points within real time. Text and video materials are helpful, but nothing beats discussing your points of confusion with someone else who might be able to rephrase things for you. You can also make up your own quizzes and run some paid search advertising campaign experiments together.
Most people make the mistake of waiting too long to take exams because they never feel ready. The truth is, you’re probably more ready than you think. It’s important to pace yourself and not rush into taking an exam, but if you’ve done a fair amount of studying, don’t wait until you feel like you’ll get a perfect score. The goal is not to get 100% on every exam. The goal is to pass and then use the feedback from the questions you missed to round out your knowledge and study more.
If you wait too long to take the exam, you’ll forget some of the things you’ve learned. However, if you take it before you’re truly ready, you either won’t pass or your knowledge won’t be retained afterward.
Last but not least, start acting on what you’ve learned as soon as possible. PPC advertising knowledge is important, but nothing solidifies concepts like applying them in the real world. If you want to leverage PPC marketing to get big results, you need to apply what you’ve learned to see how it all works.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Start experimenting with a small test budget as soon as possible and in time, with dedication, your skills will improve and you’ll be able to get the higher conversion rates most businesses only dream of achieving.
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