If you type into a search engine “Why is it important to keep Google certifications up?” Google comes back with an answer and it’s really not a bad one.
“It gives you free promotion. Becoming a Google AdWords Certified Partner has countless benefits for any given business or entrepreneur. You can use the certification to build social proof, gain credibility, and even drive more sales with a better value proposition.”
The Changing PPC/SEM Landscape
The PPC/SEM landscape is changing constantly. Every month some kind of change is happening somewhere in paid search, SEO, Shopping, Video (YouTube), or Local. Very often a change in one leads to a change in another area that affects the Search Engine Result Page. That is in just the biggest search engine, Google. Bing, Yahoo, Quora and others also make changes that you have to keep up on.
There are people out there that have said “Just because they are certified doesn’t mean that they know anything” and I completely agree with that statement. Certifications are, however, one benchmark that is at least some sort of standardized way of assessing some level of knowledge. Nothing beats real-world experience.
Good workshops and webinars, seminars, and conferences are vitally important to keep up your knowledge and education so you can best serve your clients. Though, after you have experience in your field, a lot of these might seem redundant or repetitive. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have attended one of the above and came away with “Well, I didn’t learn anything new there.” There are also lots of times where I came away with some real valuable information or at the very least rekindled a way to think about or approach a problem in a unique way, maybe one I haven’t had to do for a couple of years.
BigWing’s Focus on Education
I make all my team re-take and keep their Google Ads certifications up to date. Additionally we require people to take the exams for analytics and Google tag manager and train people on how to use these handy tools. We restrict access to items and use oversight to keep our people ‘doing it right’ All of this requires continual education and re-exposure to education. Follow blogs of people who are doing it right. Keep up your education and you will outperform for your clients.
If you’re looking for a short list of SEM/PPC trainings or people to follow, you can start with the following that my team focuses on:
- Fundamental certifications for those working with Google professional tools and solutions
- Fundamental certifications for those working with Microsoft ads
- Follow the blog of Simo Ahava for GTM news and updates
- Occam’s Razor is great for analytical thinking
- Brad Geddes (one of the few who have been in PPC longer than me!) does workshops at conferences and all are very well done
- AdExchanger is great for keeping up on what’s news in programmatic
- Brian OKelley has older articles with good points
- Check out this advertising operations (AdOps) subreddit, and this subreddit for Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads & PPC to see how others are handling problems, but be wary not everyone who responds or posts is an expert!
Coming soon: We’ll be publishing more blog posts detailing how our other departments train and stay up to date in their areas of expertise. Keep reading up about PPC in the meantime with this blog post, “Click Fraud: What It Is and How to Prevent It.”