Why do you need a Google Ads certification study guide? Easy: because you need to pass your Google Ads Certification exams!

Whether you’re a newbie studying to make a career in online advertising or a marketing professional wanting to brush up on your paid marketing skills, Google Ads certification is a great place to get started.

When you’re certified by Google, it shows everyone that you are an expert in the field. It is a mark of distinction that lets people know they can trust an advertiser.

But nailing the Google Ads certification exams is no easy task. That’s why we created this study guide!

They demand knowledge and practical experience in every aspect of digital advertising, including best practices for managing and optimizing Google Ads campaigns.

You’ll need to show that you not only understand how to run your own advertising campaigns but also the underlying causes for their success or failure.

Let’s get into the details.

What Is the Google Ads Certification?

The Google Ads certification is a professional accreditation offered by Google. Those who receive it must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in their understanding of Google Ads.

According to Google:

A Google Ads certification allows individuals to demonstrate that Google recognizes them as an expert in online advertising.

The certification is available through Skillshop, Google’s online training, and certification program.

There are six assessments available, each with corresponding courses and study materials from Google.

This assessment tests your ability to create an advertising strategy for the Google Display network, including using Google Display to generate brand awareness, increase customer retention, and reach new and existing customers.

This test examines how well you can create Google Search campaigns and optimize them for conversions or other metrics based on your goals. It tests your use of Google Ad tools, like Smart Bidding and Audience Solutions.

In this test, you’ll demonstrate how well you can use Google Analytics to monitor campaigns and track performance metrics such as sales, app downloads, and lead generation.

This assessment tests your ability to create and optimize video ad campaigns for YouTube and Google Video.

This exam tests your knowledge of successful Google Shopping ad campaigns, including demonstrating skill with Showcase Shopping ads and Smart Shopping campaigns.

This assessment tests your ability to create, optimize, and analyze Google App ad campaigns.

There’s something else you need to know.

  • You have 75 minutes to complete each exam.

The exams range from 46 to 50 questions each.

  • You have to score 80% or higher to pass most of the exams.

The one exception is the Google Ads Apps certification exam, which only requires a 70% to pass.

What if you fail the test?

  • You have to wait a full day before you can take it again.

The best part?

  • The assessments are all completely free.

Once you pass your exam, your Google Ads Certification is valid for a full year. At that point, you’ll need to take the test again to keep your hard-earned certified badge.

Now that you’re familiar with the certification, it’s time to prepare to ace the test!

How to Prepare for the Certification Exam

The Google Ads assessments drill down into specific areas of expertise, focusing on your ability to competently serve ads in the Google Search Network, the Google Merchant Center, and on YouTube, as well as target Display and Mobile ad campaigns.

This is no small undertaking you’re about to embark on, so let’s make sure you’re 100% prepared.

Step 1: Get On-the-Job Experience

This is the first thing Google recommends to prepare for their certification:

We recommend that you have on-the-job experience using Google Ads. You should be familiar with online advertising concepts and best practices, and should have experience managing different types of Google Ads campaigns.

To pass any of the Google Ads certification exams, you need to not only understand the underlying theories behind online advertising but also be able to create, serve, analyze, and optimize real-life ads as well. These tasks are much easier if you have firsthand experience with Google Ads. And if you’re familiar with the platform, you’ll have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses with the tool and know what topics you need to study.

Step 2: Choose Your Google Ads Certification Exam

If you’re not sure which assessment to pick, the Google Ads Search and Display certifications are good places to start. These tests cover a range of best practices for Google Ads, and the skills you learn for them will be widely applicable across company types. The Shopping Ads certification is also useful for marketers working in retail or eCommerce.

The Skillshop page for each assessment contains links to free courses and study materials, so you’re able to fully prepare for the test.

Step 3: Study, Study, Study

To access your study materials, simply go to the main Google Ads certification page in Skillshop and choose your exam.

The assessment pages contain study guides to help you plan and track your progress.

Google Ads certification study guide

Google Display Ads certification study guide

The links in the study guide take you to Google courses that teach you about different subjects the exam will cover.

Google Ads certification course option

Google course option for the Display Ads certification

You can also browse the Google Ads section in Skillshop to make sure you’re familiar with the fundamentals of Google platforms and products.

Each topic within this section contains a fundamentals course as well as the Google Ads certification assessments, so you can bone up on your knowledge of the basics.

The fundamentals courses are not posted on the assessment pages—you’ll need to go to the main Google Ads section to access them.

Google Ads section in Skillshop

Google Ads section in Skillshop

Google also has curated playlists of Google Ads video lessons for anyone who prefers a more visual learning experience.

Besides Google’s own study materials, third-party learning platforms, blogs (check out AdEspresso’s The Ultimate Google Ads Guide), and study groups can also be helpful for preparing for the exams.

Just remember that although the Google Ads certification is a free assessment, third-party providers like Lynda and Udemy will charge for their materials, so make sure to vet the best option for you or your team.

Step 4: Practice!

Once you’ve studied, it’s time to test your knowledge. Try using different types of ad formats, new ad extensions, or new bidding strategies. Practicing the tactics you studied will help solidify your knowledge for the assessment.

Besides testing skills on the Ads platform, you can also check your knowledge by using Google’s practice tests in Skillshop.

Taking the practice assessments will help you see what areas you may need to study more.

Step 5: Take the Test

The assessments are found in Skillshop on the same pages as the study materials.

Click on the link and Google will review the assessment rules before you get started.

The allotted time limit will display on your screen when you take the test.

You cannot pause or close out of your browser, so make sure everything is set before you sit down to take the exam.

Once you’ve passed the exam, congratulations! You’re officially a Google Ads certified professional.

This is a skill you can share on LinkedIn for your network to see. Google even provides guidelines for communicating your Google Ads certification status.

Google Ads Certification Isn’t Just About Learning

While it may seem like a lot of work, working hard to pass the Google Ads tests is worth the effort.

The certification shows your colleagues, your employer, and your network that you are an expert in your field.

And, most importantly, preparing for the test will make you a better marketer.

You’ll learn how to build more successful campaigns and analyze their performance with Google Analytics.