What Is Google Ads Certification?
Naturally, before we can explain whether getting Google Ads certified is worth your while at all, we have to explain what in the world a Google Ads certification is.
Thankfully for you, the answer is rather simple: Google Ads certifications are official accreditations given out by Google that certify that you have passed a test that assesses your ability to use certain facets of the Google advertising platform. That’s all there is to it.
Think of it like a certificate that you receive after completing a course and taking the final exam. Of course, since Google themselves are providing it, it tends to have a little more weight on that basis. Moreover, being certified in Google Ads can give you a few extra perks, as we shall see later.
How to Pass Google Ads Certification
We have gone into greater depth in this topic in our dedicated blog post about getting certified in Google Ads. However, passing the assessment for the certification is mostly the same as studying for any other exam that you’ve ever taken in your life—with some extra steps.
The short version of the process is this:
- Sign Up to Skillshop: you’ll first need to create an account on Google Skillshop. It’s best practice to use either your work email or the email you use for logging into Google Ads.
- Choose a Certificate: there are 10 certificates available, each one assessing a different ability. Unless you intend to do all the certificates, it’s best to pick the ones that are most suitable for your needs. We’ll explain a little more in the next section.
- Study Hard: no matter how well you think you know how to use Google Ads, it’s always a good idea to revise your knowledge for the test. That way, you can guarantee that you’ll pass the test on the first try.
- Congrats! You’re Certified: if you managed to pass the assessment, then congratulations! you’re now a certified Google Ads specialist.
There are a few other tips that you ought to bear in mind when preparing for the certification assessment, such as making sure that your computer has enough battery and that you’re keeping healthy.
Which Google Ads Certification Is Best?
Knowing that there are as many as 10 Google Ads certifications, it’s better to really choose which one is the best fit for your particular circumstances. We have delved deeply into this point in our blog post on which Google Ads certification is best, so we suggest reading that in order to have more details on which certificate to choose.
However, the short answer is to choose the certificates that assess the marketing channels that you plan to use. For example, if you’re going to be promoting mobile applications, then the app ads certification is definitely a good option to choose.
On the other hand, we feel that some certificates need to be taken by all marketers as they cover the most basic aspects of Google Ads. Of course, we’re talking about Google Ads channels like search ads and display ads. So, these certificates are definitely worth considering as they will come in handy no matter what.
How Much Does Google Ads Certification Cost?
Of course, one of the many considerations that you need to take into account is the costs that you might incur when becoming a certified Google Ads specialist. In fact, we have seen quite a few people, not ever having used Google Ads, asking, “how much is Google Ads certification? Does it cost a lot?“
The great news is that the official Google Ads certifications are completely free. So, you can head over to the Google Skillshop website right now, do all of the certificates, and not have to worry about spending a cent.
On the other hand, there are certifications out there, given by organizations other than Google, that might come at a cost. It’s best to check well if the course that you’re applying comes with a fee in order to make sure that you can afford it.
Is Google Skillshop Worth It?
Before moving on to explain the benefits and drawbacks of becoming certified in Google Ads, we’re going to first turn our attention to the platform that actually offers the official Google Ads certifications: Skillshop.
The Skillshop website is the official learning center operated by Google that not only teaches you how to use Google Ads through its courses but also provides assessments that, once successfully passed, can certify that you have what it takes to use Google Ads as a professional marketer.
All of the material on the Skillshop website is free, which is great for anyone that wants to learn on their own and on a budget.
However, bear in mind that the lessons that you get from Skillshop are somewhat biased as Google will teach you “their version” of using Google Ads. In other words, they won’t advise you to refine your targeting, how to minimize ad spend, and other such tricks of how to succeed at PPC.
What Is the Benefit of Google Ads Certification?
No matter what anyone thinks on the topic of “are Google Ads certifications worth it?“, facts are facts and they won’t change, regardless of what you think about them. What we mean to say is that no matter if the certification is worth it or not, there are still benefits that you can gain from it.
The following are the benefits that you can get from doing a Google Ads certification:
- Enhanced Skills: you’re obviously going to need to know how to use the platform if you want to be assessed and certified in Google Ads. Therefore, you’ll naturally pick up valuable knowledge and skills in digital marketing when working on becoming Google Ads certified.
- Networking: after getting your Google Ads certification, you’re going to want to display it in just about every place you can: your Google Ads specialist resume, your LinkedIn profile, your Google profile, or maybe even your website. When employers or other professionals in the field see your Google Ads certification badge, this can potentially lead to more opportunities.
- Recognition & Resources: becoming certified in Google Ads is one of the requirements of being a Google Partner, which might be important for agencies and professionals. This is because not only do clients often recognize and trust the Google Partner badge, but Google provides certified individuals with access to exclusive resources, updates, and support, which can be beneficial for staying current in the field.
- Cost: probably one of the best benefits of doing the Google Ads certification: it’s absolutely free to do, and as we all know, free is the best price. In other words, you’re not at risk of wasting any investments and you’re gaining valuable knowledge at no cost.
The above points are objective benefits that you are going to get when taking the Google Ads certification course and assessment. We’ll be going over other subjective benefits in the next section.
Google Ads Certification Pros
As we have already said, this section is about the benefits that are more subjective, in our opinion. What we mean is that these benefits can be gained from other certifications or even through hard work and solo practice. Anyway, read on and see for yourself!
Due to the (annoying) fact that Google frequently updates its advertising platforms, a certification can keep you updated with the latest changes in the Google paid advertising platform, especially since you’re going to have to renew your certification every year.
Becoming a certified Google Ads specialist means that you’re certified in using an industry standard PPC marketing platform. In fact, Google Ads is one of the most widely used advertising platforms, and having a certification means that you already have a foothold in the field of paid marketing.
Thanks to the fact that Google Ads is used pretty much everywhere in the world, you can land a Google Ads specialist role no matter where you are in the world. Moreover, clients and business from all over the world can employ you, so a certification can open up such opportunities.
If you decide to become a freelancer Google Ads specialist or open up your own marketing agency, having a certification can help in instilling confidence in clients. While experienced marketers themselves hardly see much value in Google AdWords certifications, clients who aren’t familiar might see them as a big deal.
In other words, it adds credibility to your resume, which could make you a more appealing candidate to potential employers or clients, leading to more business and higher rates success.
Even despite the fact that a Google Ads certification won’t turn you into an expert marketer, it can still prove to be a valuable learning experience that teaches you new skills.
While it doesn’t always prove to be the case, but having a Google AdWords certification shows your commitment to your profession and your willingness to invest in your career development. In other words, employers can see your certification as a sign that you’re proactive, curious to learn, and willing to improve.
Career Change & Growth
If you’re looking to start a career in Google Ads, the certification often proves to be a great and strong foundation for the field of paid advertising. Moreover, it’s often the case that digital marketing employers look for Google Ads certification, so it could make the difference between being employed and not.
Potential for Higher Earnings
If you do manage to land a job in Google paid advertising, then you expect a very decent salary out of it. In fact, the average salary for a Google Ads specialist is around $55,000 per year, so you can definitely look forward to a nice paycheck.
Finally, being a Google Ads specialist is one of the few jobs out there that affords you the flexibility of working wherever you want, and this is because all you really need is your skills and a laptop. Of course, if you’re employed by a company, your contract might disallow you from working remotely, so be sure to read your employment contract well before accepting a role.
Google Ads Certification Cons
Naturally, there are very few things in life that don’t have their drawbacks (heck, even drinking too much water can be bad for you!), which is why we’re going to provide you with the cons of getting a Google Ads certification.
That way you can better answer the question, “is Google AdWords certification worth it?“, and come to a reasoned conclusion after considering all of the factors for and against certification.
While Google Ads certifications are completely free to do, they still require you to investment time and effort since each assessment is about an hour long. This might seem like a waste of time, especially if you’re in a hurry to enter the Google Ads jobs market.
Being a Google Ads specialist is an extremely competitive role, especially since many marketers are vying with each other to offer the best prices, deals, and so on. And since Google Ads certifications are free and rather easy to do, their value as a distinguishing factor diminishes greatly.
No Guarantee of Success
Related to our previous point, just because you own a Google Ads certification, doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly any better a marketer or that you can pick up a job or a client with a snap of your fingers. Becoming certified by Google is only one factor out of many in order to succeed in digital marketing.
In other words, while the certification in itself can be a useful factor in your digital marketing success, becoming a successful marketer also depends on your creativity, adaptability, your ability to apply knowledge effectively, and how much practical experience you possess.
Limited to Google Ads
Since the certification solely focuses on Google Ads, you won’t gain any insights into the broader spectrum of digital marketing strategies. This is an obvious point to mention but it’s an important one: since these only teach you how to use Google Ads, and not how to be a complete marketer, you maybe ought to consider learning marketing from other sources too.
Not Always Required
While a Google Ads certification is always a good thing to have by your side, it might not always be a requirement for the jobs you apply for. This might make you feel as though the time and effort invested into picking up a certificate have gone to waste (although we would disagree).
One of the biggest pains in the rear end is the fact that Google Ads certifications expire after a a year has elapsed, so you’ll need to regularly renew them. This is obviously annoying as you need to update the certificate year in, year out.
Limited Practical Experience
We have been yammering on quite a bit about the need for practical knowledge in the world of Google Ads, and that’s because its important cannot be understated. And the “problem” with the Google Ads certification is that it can never substitute for real-world experience in managing ad campaigns.
Therefore, try to get as much practical experience as possible and in any way you can, either by helping out a friend with their website, launching your own ads campaigns, or simply by lending a hand to voluntary organizations.
Another one of the most annoying aspects of digital marketing is the constant updates that Google does to both its algorithms and policies. Not only is it a pain to have to keep yourself continuously up-to-date with these changes, it can means that what you learn for the certification may eventually become outdated.
Is Being a Google Ads Specialist Worth It?
Before we conclude this blog post, we’re going to touch briefly upon a subject that we sometimes see aspiring marketers wonder, and that’s “is becoming a Google Ads specialist worth it?” The answer is not as simple and it’s down to largely what you want out of life.
First things first, we have to bear in mind that being a Google Ads specialist is a legitimate occupation, so you don’t have to worry that you’re investing in something that you cannot possibly do, or that’s only reserved for a few lucky people. Anybody can become a Google Ads specialist with the right mindset.
Secondly, to truly make the time and effort invested into becoming a Google Ads specialist worth your while, you need to be passionate about Google Ads and PPC in general. You don’t necessarily have to dream about it (though we’re sure it would help!), but you need to be determined to succeed and curious to learn more.
If you have a fire burning inside of you for pay-per-click marketing, then there’s really nothing that doesn’t justify the journey to becoming a Google Ads specialist. If anything, you gain a number of perks from working this role, like the possibility to work remotely as well as a very respectable pay!
Is Google Ads certification free?
Yes, all of the Google Ads certifications are absolutely free! It was the case in the past that you had to pay for these certifications, but Google made them entirely free a few years ago.
How long does it take to get Google Ads certified?
This will depend on your experience as a marketer. If you are already quite familiar with the Google Ads platform, then you could easily get a certificate in under an hour. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, the process is naturally longer; but you could finish the whole process in less than a week.
Can you really make money with Google Ads certification?
Indeed, you can. If you manage to land a job with a fantastic Google Ads certification salary or else manage to become a successful freelancer marketer after becoming Google Ads certified, then that’s it: you’ve made money with your Google Ads certification!
Conclusion: Is It Worth Getting Google Ad Certified?
Ultimately, the question of “is Google Ad certification worth it?” can only really be answered satisfactorily by one person, and that’s you, dear reader. And that’s because there are so many divergent opinions out there on this topic that it’s not only difficult to give you a satisfactory answer, but it can a little irresponsible of us to tell you what to think.
For example, some marketers emphasize the necessity of getting a Google Ads certification because it tends to set clients’ minds at ease. On the other end of the spectrum, other marketers state that their certifications never made the difference between getting a client or not. It was only their portfolio that made all the difference.
Then there are marketers who take a more balanced approach and argue that the certification is worth getting if you’re starting out, but it’s far from being enough to be a successful marketer. We tend to fall in this last category of marketers. But as you can see, there is a wide spectrum of opinions on this topics.
However, we have tried our best to give you both our thoughts on the matter as well as much information as possible in order to help you decide whether the Google Ads certification is worth doing for you. So, will you get certified?