Business and organizations have more options to get their products in front of potential and existing customers today, thanks to the Internet and search engine giants, such as Google. This means that advertising and marketing professionals who consult and place ads for clients need to fully understand the benefits of search engine marketing to produce the best results. Also, with the amount of tools Google offers for websites, including analytics and applications, it behooves web developers to become familiar with these resources inside an out. Like many other software companies, Google offers certification programs that allow web and marketing professionals to highlight their knowledge and skill sets.
Google is probably one of the most recognizable company names in the world. So when a when a company that offers web marketing services to other eCommerce and web-based businesses is endorsed by Google, it’s very telling of that company’s understanding of, and commitment to, best practices. That seal of approval builds trust with potential clients and shows that they uphold standards set by the certifying company, in this case, Google. Having permission to display a badge on your website is not the only plus; you will also be listed in Google’s partner directory, a list of agencies that are qualified to offer Google-related services and support.
There are two main ways people can find a website when searching on Google: organic search listings and paid listings. The body of a Google search results page displays websites that contain the keywords searched, shown in an order dictated by Google’s mysterious algorithm. Google Adwords helps a company’s website be found via three-line ads that appear in the right-hand column and the top and bottom of a search results page. You must know what keywords to bid on, how much to pay, and how to target readers so those clicks to result in sales. Google offers AdWords certification for individuals and companies. Individuals are given access to free study materials, and must pass a fundamentals exam and one of two advanced exams. As of January 2013, each exam cost $50. Companies that seek certification must have at least one employee who is individually certified, and must also have managed at least $10,000 in ad spending for more than 90 days.
Google is more than a search engine. It also offers products and services for business, education and individuals, such as web-based email, calendar and document tools, a web browser, an ecommerce shopping cart, maps and analysis software. Independent technology companies partner with Google to offer customization, installation and support of these tools. To do so, they must become certified. Google suggests that you have three to six years of professional IT experience, as well as having completed at least three Google App deployments before taking the exam. The fee is $100 per test.
Google Analytics is a tool to tell how your website or online advertising is performing. It’s a robust platform that tells you things like where your traffic came from geographically, and what link visitors clicked to get there, as well as what they did once they got there and how long they stayed. Many businesses offer analytics consulting, and many become recognized by Google to prove that expertise. Companies can become certified in Google Analytics by submitting an application, rather than taking an exam. The application must show proficiency, a verifiable track record of working with clients, and sending at least one employee to Google’s Analytics Certified Partner Summit.
Since 2000 Donna T. Beerman has contributed to newspapers and magazines. Her expertise includes higher education, marketing and social media, and her presentations and writing have won industry awards. She has an MFA in creative writing, is the integrated marketing manager at a Pennsylvania college and founded "Hippocampus Magazine."