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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 Adwords Exam.

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 bids.

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, funnels, etc.

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.

Good luck!

Managing Successful 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 mission critical.

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.

Information architecture

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.

Graphic design

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?

5 “Hidden” 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 and losers.

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 your keywords.

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!

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