Basic AdWords terminology for understanding the Google Professional Advertising Program

In order to pass the Google Professional Advertising Exam you will need to be thoroughly familiar with the basic terminology used to track and measure AdWords campaigns for yourself and your clients. As a result, Google’sLearningCentertakes a comprehensive look at terminology used. This article will address four basic concepts that need to be thoroughly understood when preparing for the Google exam: CPC, CTR, Quality Score, and Minimum bids.

Cost-per-click (CPC): Simply put, cost-per-click or CPC is how much you or your client will pay each time a web surfer clicks on your advertising link. Under the cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model, AdWords charges your account for each click your ad receives. If 10 people click on your ad, you are charged for 10 clicks at a set price depending on the placement of your ad in relation to the competitors. If no one clicks on your ad, you won’t incur any costs. It will simply be displayed during  a search query and users don’t click it. No click. No cost.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Clickthrough rate (CTR) is a metric that measures how your ads are performing. It takes into account the relevancy of your ads, how often users are predicted to click on them, and based on a formula a resulting higher or lower CTR is calculated. The system computes your CTR by taking the number of ad clicks divides it by the number of impressions and multiplies by 100.

Minimum bid: When we mentioned the cost-per-click this assigns the least amount you can pay per click in order for your keywords to show up in the listings. Say your minimum bid is 1.00. If the keyword requires a minimum bid of 1.05, your ad for that given keyword will be inactive for the search. In other words, it will be invisible and no one will click on it. If you increase your minimum bid to $1.05, the ad will suddenly show up based on the least amount your willing to pay per click. Very important when trying to advertise

Quality Score: Quality Score is tricky but useful if you are trying to lower cost-per-clicks for your advertising or for your client. It measures the quality of your keyword and ad and based on that computation determines your minimum bid. The Quality Score is determined by your keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR), the relevance or lack thereof of your ad text, the keyword performance in the past and over time and other relevancy factors. What you need to remember when looking at the Quality Score is, however quite simple. The higher your Quality Score, the lower your minimum bid, and as a result, the price you’ll wind up paying per click.

Learning the basic AdWords terminology and understanding the benefits of reading your reports for minimum bid and getting lower pricing by thoroughly understanding the Quality Score will go a long way towards increasing customer satisfaction and return clients. These can be further refined by analyzing how-to use the Google Network, language and location targeting, and site targeting effectively.

What Real Test Takers Are Saying About the Google Professional Advertising Exam

From the forums otherwise known as the virtual nightclubs and bars of the Internet, come words written by actual test takers in the process of testing, folks who have already passed, those who failed and folks who are scared witless and virtually drinking to build their courage to get started in The Learning Center.

We will skip the terrified and focus on three test takers who actually took the plunge. We will keep the names of these folks secret to protect the innocent as we drop pearls of wisdom, screams of anguish and everything in between about this formidable exam. We offer three different perspectives on the exam: one person who passed on his first attempt, one person who failed and a guy who was just ranting about the lack of toughness of the test scoring in general.

Mr. X stated the following:

“As far as it being difficult, I managed to pass first time only 3 weeks after first learning what PPC was and I’m no genius. I scraped through, but it isn’t rocket science. Go through the tutorial, make notes and you should be ok.” – Mr. X

Mr. X makes a valid point. Go through the tutorials and makes notes. This is a really good way to be successful your first time out. He said that he scraped by. Nobody remembers if you pass by 1% or 25%, just the fact that your logo is there.

Mr. Blue didn’t tell us if he passed or failed; however, he ranted a bit about the lack of difficulty in passing the test. I guess Mr. Blue didn’t know Mr. X who “scraped by” at the 75% pass rate. He probably wouldn’t hire him in any case.

Mr. Blue had the following to say:

“If I was Google, the passing score would be a lot higher. Scores of 75% mean that twenty five percent of the time the test taker was wrong. Why should I allow someone with 75% or less on this exam to manage my PPC budget? The title awarded is “Adwords Professional”… that means “expert” if you are using other people’s money. If the required score was 90% – or higher lots of people would work a lot harder and become even smarter about adwords . . .” Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue went on and on, obviously upset by the fact that the Google AdWord Professional Exam was too easy to pass. He may be a rocket scientist on this point.

Mr. Red crashed and burned leaving us to wonder if Mr. Blue is out of his tree when it comes to being a professional but then again, Mr. Red does have trouble with grammar, punctuation, spelling and capitalization. Mr. Blue might have a point. I don’t think I would go with somebody who posted something this poorly constructed. This is advertising through word smith mastery, after all.

“I failed with 68%…, it was stupid because at the 54 th question i thoughted that i have no chance. So get an copy of each question to study latter. I know the questions will be diferent, but with an example it´s easier to know what are the questions about.

When i finished and get 68%, i thougted that if i have revised instead coping the question, maybe i pass.” – Mr. Red

One good point Mr. Red made was that you would want to keep the questions for later. While this is a good idea, with 1.5 hours to get through it, one really wouldn’t have time to cut and paste the questions while trying to take the test. There are, however, sample questions available in theLearningCenterso he was on the right track and if he’d been in theLearningCentermore, he might have found the sample questions and passed, too.

Well, there you have it, three different perspectives on the exam. Take if for what it’s worth. Points to bear in mind from these real-world examples includes the following: study a lot, take quizzes, take notes, ranting about how it’s too easy afterwards is a good hobby and if you are going to post in a forum about how you failed, run your spell checker prior to posting your copy. Lastly, if your goal is to pass the Google Professional Advertising Exam, don’t give up. It’s doable and possible, and like the driving test, you can take it until you pass.