Have you ever wondered what it means when a marketing firm advertises that it is a certified Google Partner? When you see that badge on a firm's website, it tells you a lot about the business. Google Partner status isn't just handed out. That badge has to be earned. Not only must employees take courses and pass several tests to gain individual qualification, the business itself must prove that it can meet strict requirements to become a partner.
The process starts with individual employees who demonstrate proficiency in AdWords by studying for and passing both a fundamentals exam and one of two advanced exams. Candidates can access study materials through Google's AdWords Learning Center. They work their way through subjects such as "Introduction to AdWords" or "Managing Multiple Accounts." Each section is divided into a series of smaller lessons.
When they feel they are ready, students pay $50 to a third party testing site to begin a 100 question fundamental examination. Once they start the timed test, there is no pausing or going back. This is a high pressure exam since the minimum score for passing the fundamental exam is 85%. For the advanced exam, the candidate may choose to study and take a test in either Search Advertising or Display Advertising.
Once a firm has an employee with individual qualification, it must meet certain other criteria to become a Google Partner. There are two levels of Google partnerships:
- Company Level Partnerships: A company must have at least one employee who is individually certified and have managed a large enough client base to spend $10,000 in a 90 day period. Once a company attains this certification, it means it has achieved a globally recognized level of expertise in Google advertising.
- Google Premier AdWords Partner: A Premier Partner must demonstrate the ability to offer a high level of customer service. Not only must they have at least one certified employee, they must already have a large base of small or medium business clients and be able to support that base with either telephone or email customer service. They must have the infrastructure available to support thousands of clients.
Companies who can meet these requirements are awarded badges that they can display on their websites. When small businesses owners see this badge, they know that they will be dealing with a company that is able to optimize campaigns.
Google Partners increase clients' brand awareness and improve their relationships and deliver more satisfied customers to clients more often by targetting audiences seeking products and services. They can take the guesswork out of advertising and show their clients their return on investment. That's because Google Partners know the best placements, the best keywords, the best strategies to maximize their clients' investments and give them a flexible, customized advertising solution.