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How To Get Google AdWords Certified

How To Get Google AdWords Certified

Getting Google AdWords certified can be a must have for many industry professionals, with some marketing companies not even giving your CV a second glance if you do not have the credentials clearly present. However, for many marketers getting AdWords certified is a nice way to strengthen your overall offering, build your career and prove that you really know what you are doing when it comes to leveraging the power of search advertising.

Search the internet for how you should go about getting these certificates and the information can be hazy and even contradictory in parts. In this article we put this right and highlight exactly what you need to do in order to get that sought-after stamp of approval from Google. 

Why get Google AdWords Certified? 

Getting Google AdWords certified is no small feat by any means. So, you may start by questioning – why bother? This is a well-deserved question, but when you look at the bigger picture it becomes clear why getting this certification is a great step for the future.

If you take into consideration that in 2017 the digital advertising industry created a massive $209 billion in revenue, with $110 billion of that share being attributed directly to Google. It is clear that this is a huge market with huge numbers and sizes of potential customers, it is also likely to grow as more see the power of the medium throughout industries. Combine this with the fact that Google owns 71% of the search market share and that their display ads reach 80% of global internet users and the challenge of selling yourself as a digital advertising expert without a thorough understanding of Google AdWords seems like an impossible challenge.

One other major benefit of getting certified, which is often overlooked is that fact that you get free promotion. This occurs due to the fact that all those that become certified partners of Google get added to their list where potential customers can search for a partner that best suits their needs.

Finally, getting certified allows you to increase credibility and boost your resume meaning more opportunities will come your way and you will be able to act on those opportunities with more power. 

Key steps 

Ok, let’s start with the basics. What steps are you going to need to complete in order to get Google AdWords certified? We run through them below:

Step 1: Create a Google account 

It is pretty unlikely that you don’t have a Google account already. But if you don’t, you are going to need one to complete this process. You can do this by visiting the sign up page on Google. Just type in your details and hit ‘next step’.

Step 2: Register for a Google Partners account 

Once your personal account is sorted you can then sign up for a Google Partners account. When doing this make sure you are only signed into the account you wish to link to Google Partners. Visit the Google Partners page, select the ‘Join Google Partners’ tab and hit the ‘Join Now’ button to start the process.

Step 3: Complete your profile

 This may seem like a very simple step, but it will be the profile that is registered on the Google Partners directory and that which is tied to your certification, so you must ensure that it represents you well. At this point you can also select to be affiliated with a particular company, this is key if you undertaking the certification through an employer.

Step 4: Prep and take the exams 

At this stage you will be prepping up and physically undertaking the Google AdWords exams. We will cover these in more detail later in this guide.

Step 5: Celebrate

If/when you pass, give yourself a pat on the back. These aren’t easy exams to pass and you have just secured a great addition to your CV and helped any organisation you own or work for establish themselves significantly better in the market.

What do I need? 

Before you dive head first into the process of prepping up and starting the exams you will want to make sure you have everything you need to hand. These items include: 

  1. A reliable computer. This one is pretty obvious as you will need to access the course details, study content and complete the exam online.
  2. Reliable internet. Same points as above, your connection will need to be reliable in order to complete the exams in the time limit without interruption.
  3. A notepad. For jotting down notes and go-to information from your research and prep.
  4. Your writing weapon of choice. Pen, pencil…quill?
  5. Any other study essentials. Highlighters, sticky notes, a lucky mascot etc.
  6. Some serious concentration. Coffee may help.

How to do it 

Now we have highlighted the basic steps that need to be taken in order to get to the exam and highlighted all the potential pieces of kit that you might need in order to be successful, we will run through the important bits, how to prep and physically take the exams. 


This step is often over looked, but also the biggest killer when it comes to exam failure. To coin and overused phrase “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is very apt in this situation.

Even if you are a Google AdWords wiz already, it is well worth preparing extensively for this exam. Not because you lack any ability in using the tool, but because they are looking for specific answers based on what they recommend. You may do things differently based on your experience…but they don’t care.

Prepping for the fundamentals exam is fairly run of the mill and you can find all the information you need by reading through and taking notes on the  Google Partners Help AdWords Fundamental assessment study guides. This content takes you step by step through everything you will need to know when it comes to the fundamental exam assessment. It is easy to follow and broken down by page with graphics and videos used to explain certain and complex elements.

If you search for further reading on the fundamental exam you are likely to find lots. Although some of this content is written by professionals that have a lot of experience in getting people through the exam, the Google provided content should still be your go to. This is because as the exams change Google will update their content to fit, whereas outside sources may be slow to pick up on these changes, putting you at a disadvantage.

For the advanced modules you should follow a similar process in preparation as above. You should pick one of the following modules that relates best to your knowledge, career goals and current position:

  • Search Advertising
  • Display Advertising
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Video Advertising
  • Shopping Advertising

You can access the respective study materials for each module by visiting the Google assessment study guide page. Take plenty of notes at this stage as it generally becomes a lot more complex, this will help you substantially when you come to take the exam. 


Taking practice exams and questions is an excellent way to build your confidence as well as identifying areas where you can improve and should undertake some further study. However, it is important to use an established provider in order to ensure that the questions accurately represent those that you will take in the exam.

The most popular test question site is which offers 50 test questions relating the exam. However, some of the questions do have errors both in the question itself and in the answer, so results should be taken with a pinch of salt. Undertaking this test will however result in identifying gaps in your learning. The team at have also created an excellent practice test. However only around 50 questions are free before you need to pay for the additional practice.

Taking the exams 

Once you are satisfied that you have completed the full breadth of study and have identified any gap and filled them through practise questions then you are ready to take the exams. At this point it is worth noting that it is recommended that you study and take the fundamental exam before moving on with the advanced exams to give yourself the best chance of passing them.

Although failing an exam is not a good feeling, it is good to know that the only real penalty for doing so is that you have to undergo a short waiting period before you reapply. If you do unfortunately fail, make sure to take note of which areas you need to improve and seek to remedy them before taking the exam again.

In this guide we have covered everything you need to know about getting Google AdWords certified. This has included a run through of exactly why you should seek to achieve it and the key steps you need to complete to do so. We also highlight what you need to prepare and have to hand in order to undertake the exams. Finally, we walk through the major steps in prepping and taking the exams with considerations for giving yourself the best chance for success.

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Peter Johnson
Peter is a Google AdWords specialist, with associated skills in Bing Ads, Twitter Ads and Facebook Advertising.