How To Obtain Your Google Ads Certification

The Google Ads certification is an important credential for many marketers, whether they be a Paid Media Specialist or a fully-rounded Digital Marketing Executive.

It has become one of the few standardised ways to prove a certain level of digital marketing literacy, showing that you possess capable skills in that area of marketing.

Despite it not being an exclusive badge, such as Google Partner, the Google Ads certification does require a certain level of hands-on experience or content study in order to obtain it.

Due to the devastating impact of Coronavirus, many marketers are now looking for opportunities to upskill and set themselves apart from other job applicants. The Google Ads certification is definitely an opportunity to do this, or at least should be seen as a minimal requirement.

What Is Google Ads Certification?

Google Ads certification is a process by which Google recognises marketers as experts in online advertising.

After passing Ads certification exams, individuals get a personalised certificate and – if affiliated with a company – can contribute to company Google Partner credentials.

Like many Google products, properties, and initiatives, the program has evolved over the years.

The certification program used to be a standalone program and had a cost attached to taking exams.

That changed with the creation of the Google Partners program and has further evolved with the migration to the Google Academy for Ads in 2018, and more recently a rebrand to Skillshop.

Individual certification still works in very much the same way it did a few years ago with training content and exams.

However, the connection with the Google Partners program, the move to a standalone platform, and more recent changes over the years can be confusing for individuals and students.

Certification has become a minimum or expected requirement even for entry-level search marketing roles for agencies and corporations over the years.

Having that base level of subject matter exposure from Google is much more specific than what a school textbook can provide on how Google Ads works.

On top of that, there’s value in being able to affiliate that individual who is already certified with my company’s Google Partner account.

This step-by-step guide provides a walkthrough of how to get Ads certified, as it can be a confusing process when doing it for the first time or when coming back and encountering the new system and format in Skillshop.

Benefits of Google Ads Certification

There are many benefits to obtaining your Google Ads certification.

Demonstrate your expertise - Show current and prospective clients/employers that you're a certified online advertising professional with a personalised certificate that you can print.

Help your company earn the Google Partner or Premier Google Partner badge - To earn either badge, companies need at least one of their affiliated members to be Google Ads certified, in addition to other requirements. By possessing a Google Partner badge, you’ll also be providing social proof to your business which is extremely valuable when it comes to improving it’s conversion rate.

Free promotion - When you get certified on Google Ads and become a Google Partner, they will list you on their verified website of partners. If you navigate to the Certified Partner list, you can see various companies that are certified. Google is personally recommending you to interested customers. They even highlight the specific certifications that you possess.

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Step 1: Create or Select Your Google Account

Start by determining the right Google account to use for your certification.

If you work for an agency or a company, you’re likely to be required to use your work email address.

If you’re an individual and doing the certification on your own, you’ll want to pick a Google account that you want to have your certification tied to personally and publicly.

This can be a Gmail account or a Google account that you create tied to any personal email account.

You can easily create a new account at

Step 2: Get Started in Skillshop

When you’ve completed the creation of signing in of your Google account, make sure you are signed out of any other Google accounts.

When only logged into the account you want to use for certification, go to

Here you will be provided with information on all of the different learning paths. Choose the learning path you would like to start with and click into it. 

Specific overview information will then be provided on the learning path you have chosen. 

When you’re ready to dive in, click on the Get Started button.

You may be required to authenticate one more time with the Google account you have set up and want to use.

If this is your first time in Skillshop, you’ll also be presented with terms of service to accept.

Once authenticated, you’re presented with an option of sharing your account certification status with your company and Google Partners account.

If you’re not a Google Partner or aren’t affiliated with a company, you can select “no” and move past this step in the process. (Plus, you can skip to Step 5 below.)

Step 3: Prepare for Your Exams

Google provides both basic educational info and their more extensive training content.

The specific Google Ads certifications include:

- Search

- Display

- Measurement

- Video

- Shopping ads

- Apps

If you’re brand new to the world of Google Ads and the certification exams, we recommend that you start with the Google Ads Search Certification first.

Search Ads are the most common ads within the Google advertising network, meaning that this certification will likely benefit you the most in your role.

However, depending on your role within the business or the role in which you’re interviewing for, it may be a better idea to focus on a particular area. For example, if you were an E-commerce Executive, it would make logical sense to start with Google Shopping and Display Network certifications.

When you click into any of the specific certifications, you will be presented with options to get started, including a quick knowledge assessment (to gauge your current knowledge of that topic) and other resources.

We suggest investing at least a few hours of your time to thoroughly go through the training content provided for each specialisation, especially if you’re new to the Google Ads platform.

Even If you’ve been managing Ads campaigns, or have deeper exposure, it’s still a good idea to go through the modules. You’ll be surprised with the amount of new information you pick about the individual specialisms!

Unless you have previously been certified and/or have a moderate level of Ads experience – don’t skip the training content!

Step 4: Pass the Assessment

To become certified you are required to pass the assessment in any of the respective certification specialties.

Your certification will then be awarded for that specific product focus area.

You can stop with one specialisation, or continue by going through additional specialisations until you have mastered and achieved all of those relevant for your desired credentials.

Available Certifications

Google Ads Search Certification

Demonstrate your mastery of building and optimising Google Search campaigns. Certified users will exhibit the ability to leverage automated solutions like Smart Bidding and Audience Solutions to boost campaign performance for specific marketing objectives.

Google Ads Display Certification

Validate your expertise in using Google Display to deliver results that get the most from your display advertising investment. Certified users will demonstrate their ability to develop effective Display strategies and campaigns that achieve specific marketing goals.

Google Ads Video Certification

Showcase your ability to get results from YouTube and Google Video advertising solutions. Certified users will demonstrate an understanding of how to tell effective stories on YouTube to reach potential customers along the entire purchase journey at scale.

Shopping ads Certification

Validate your proficiency in using and optimising Shopping ads. Certified users will also demonstrate knowledge of how to create and optimise Shopping campaigns that maximise reach and conversions.


Congratulations, you’re now certified in Google Ads!

While it is a requirement to be certified by many hiring managers and companies, it still takes effort to go through the learning materials and/or to have been working in Ads for a period of time to pass.

Depending on your role and career path, these can be great additional certifications and learning paths to attain as well.

Make note of when your exam certifications expire so you can renew in time.

Also make sure to update your CV and LinkedIn profile with your new accreditations and make them work for you!

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To find out more about how our professionally managed PPC services can save you money whilst increasing your sales, call Ben Keeley on 01323 735800, or email Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form and Ben will get back to you.

Get in touch