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Which is the best Google Ads training or certification course?

The Best Google Ads Training Courses (Free and Paid)

Taking the right Google Ads training course can help supercharge your marketing campaigns. You can learn how to use various features, understand the strategy behind a successful campaign, and even walk away with a certificate.

But all that is conditional because there are various courses for Google Ads professionals out there, and not all of them are worth your time.

This article will introduce you to the best Google Ads courses to take. But first, let’s discuss what makes a great course.

What makes a good quality Google Ads course?

Simplicity

Google Ads can be a daunting subject, so the first and possibly most important factor is clarity. Your course should break down the lessons into bite-sized pieces, complete with step-by-step video tutorials and additional reading material.

Theoretical background

You can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach with Google Ads because each campaign is different. So the course needs to help you understand the basics of every step you take, keywords to how to inform your decisions using analytics data.

Instructor experience

Like other aspects of marketing, Google Ads are all about generating results. Therefore, you should look for a course taught by an experienced marketer; you need to learn from someone who’s launched hundreds of campaigns with the traffic and sales to back up their lessons.

Duration

Let’s be honest, we don’t all have the capacity to study Google Ads theory while running our businesses. If you’re planning on becoming a PPC professional, you’ll not mind spending 20 hours or more to get certified, but business owners might prefer to get the basics in 4 or 5 hours – so bear this in mind.

Certification

Do you need an actual certificate on completion of your Google Ads training? If this is the case then some providers might make more sense than others. Working as a SEM professional, you will most likely need some sort of accredited certification, so keep an eye out for courses that are recognised by the industry.

Why do I need Google Ads certification?

Anyone looking to become a professional search engine marketer will need a certificate that they can competently manage PPC ads. With the technical knowledge required, and the money at stake, certification gives people confidence in your abilities and means they’ll trust you to manage their campaigns.

For business owners, you might not feel like Google Ads certification is important for you. But having at least a basic understanding of managing your own PPC ads can give you a big advantage, and even save you money if you’re trying not to hire a PPC agency.

Some of the courses on this list can offer a certificate after just a few hours training, so it can be worthwhile spending an evening studying. This knowledge could even be the foundation of your future marketing skills.

Is Google Ads certification free?

Some Google Ads certifications are free, but others are paid. Even though two of the courses on this list are free, they offer amazing value and are definitely worth considering.

So even if you have the budget for a paid course, consider taking Google’s free training because it’s as close to the source as you can get.

Which Google Ads course is best?

Depending on whether you’re studying Google Ads to improve your own small business marketing, or if you’re thinking of offering PPC management as a service, there is no simple answer.

Yes, the Google Ads certification is likely at the top of your list, but these other courses might also make sense for you. So we’ve put together this list of the best Google Ads courses for every need.

1. Google Ads Certification – Google

Google Skillshop is the number one place for Google Ads training

The Google Skillshop tops the list, not just because it’s provided by Google, but also because of its expansive content. (Plus, it’s free!)

There are multiple courses available in the Google Skillshop, including training for Google Analytics, Ads Manager and YouTube.

If you’re looking for professional industry certification, or you want in-depth knowledge, the Google Ads training course is for you. Aspiring PPC professionals will most likely need the certification for future progression or to win the trust of clients. 

It’s broken down into 7 individual courses, averaging about 3.5 hours each. You will learn about Search Ads, Display Ads, Measurement and analytics, and more.

The good news is that you can learn at your own pace. So either pick any one of these individual courses, learn, and get certified, or you can commit about 25 hours to take the full training. We recommend starting with the Google Ads search certification and build from there.

Pros

  • Exhaustive modules that show you EVERYTHING about Google Ads
  • Certificate from Google
  • Industry recognised certification suitable for PPC professionals
  • Focus on search, display, shopping and other Google Ads formats at your own pace

Cons

  • Might be too in-depth for those who just want a simple understanding

2. Ultimate Google Ads Training – Udemy

Udemy offers lots of great training courses, including Google ads certifications

The Ultimate Google Ads Training is another valuable gem if you want to learn to create Google Ads that work. It’s taught by Isaac Rudansky, a marketing expert with over a decade of experience.

The course is exhaustive, and it covers everything from setting up your ad account to writing your ad copy and keeping track of your profits.

There’s overwhelmingly positive feedback on the course from learners. As a result, you can expect to walk away with a solid knowledge of running Google Ads and the basic rationale behind some of the decisions you’ll make.

Pros

  • Over 24 hours of video, plus reading material
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Seamlessly switch between learning on PC and mobile

Cons

  • Udemy certifications are not recognised by professional bodies

3. Google Ads for Beginners – Coursera

Coursera is another popular place to find training for PPC ads

Even though it’s shorter, Coursera’s Google Ads course is more immersive because the platform handles both the lessons and your application of what you learned. 

It’s a guided project which means your desktop screen will be split in two – one half for instructor videos and the second for your Google Ads dashboard. 

This course is great for learners who have trouble with implementation because it’s designed to walk you through every single step. 

The Google Ads for Beginners course is taught by Isita Sinha, an experienced marketer, and it’s free for everyone with a Coursera account.

Pros

  • Nice and simple course with immediate hands-on application
  • A certificate from Coursera is recognised by some industries
  • You can gain useful information in just two hours

Cons

  • This short course is not suitable for PPC professionals

4. Google Ads Essential Training – Linkedin Learning

There are lots of resources for learning Google Ads management on Linkedin Learning

Linkedin’s Learning platform has some great resources for anyone upping their business skills. And this Google Ads course covers the essential information to get your ads performing in no time.

At just over 2.5 hours, it’s perfect for those who want to get their Google Ads knowledge up to speed within a morning, or in an evening. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive for this course, with most stating that the instruction is clear and actionable.

The course instruction Brad Batesol is an experienced marketer with 15 years experience in the industry. Mostly video based, you’ll also be tested with some quizzes and have access to course notes.

Linkedin Learning is free for one month with a trial, and then after that you’ll need to pay a subscription (between $26 to $50 a month). So factor that in too…

Pros

  • Top rated course with useful and actionable information
  • Short course is perfect for those who want to get basic info
  • Free with a trial 
  • Linkedin certification looks good in your Linkedin profile

Cons

  • Not suitable for PPC professionals

5. Designing Effective Google Ads Campaigns – Hubspot Academy

Learn Google Ads PPC training with Hubspot

Hubspot offers some great resources, including this very useful free course for Google Ads campaigns. Using a mixture of video, text and quizzes, you can quickly get the knowledge.

You’ll learn some nifty tricks such as audience targeting and how to set up your first Google Ads campaign. Although this is a short course, Hubspot offers multiple courses if you want to learn other aspects of marketing. 

Hubspot courses are recognised as being top quality and can be a useful tool if you’re progressing in your PPC career. Although they are not industry certifications, they are definitely useful to have.

Pros

  • Short course offers useful and actionable strategies for Google Ads
  • Hubspot courses are always free 
  • Certification can be useful as a PPC professional
  • Other courses are available so you can easily add to your training

Cons

  • Although free, often requires Hubspot premium subscription to get the best out of the course

6. Wordstream PPC University – Wordstream

Google Ads training courses on Wordstream are free and good quality

This flexible PPC training course offers several modules that you can choose to study (or not). You can start with PPC Ads 101 (for beginners), skip straight to Advanced PPC, or if you have been meaning to level up your Facebook Ads marketing, focus on that instead.

One of the benefits of this flexibility is that you can come back to the next module whenever you feel ready. So get your Google Ads certification and then, if you need, get your Facebook Ads certifications a few months later.

Although it’s totally free, the course is mostly text based and there is no certificate awarded at the end. So if you need certification, as opposed to just the skills, you’ll need to choose a different course.

Pros

  • Flexible modules mean you can jump in where you want
  • Comprehensive course covers Google Ads, Facebook Ads and social media ads in general
  • An award winning course that is completely free 

Cons

  • Text only mean no handy video walkthroughs
  • No certification

7. PPC Fundamentals – SEMRush

Free expert training for PPC ads  professionals on Hubspot

As the name suggests, this course from content research giants SEMRush goes slightly beyond the basics. At 5 hours, you’ll be getting expert advice and insight from self-proclaimed PPC addict Joel Bondowrosky.

There are also extensive course notes which you can access after completion, and of course you do get a certificate. And it’s free too…

If you’re looking to go from beginner to intermediate PPC manager then this is probably your best option.

Pros

  • Great course for beginners looking to get a good level of knowledge
  • Totally free course
  • Experienced course instructor
  • Certification is useful for PPC professionals 

Cons

  • Not comprehensive but offers good level of knowledge for beginners

8. Complete Google Adwords Professional – SkillUp

Skillup training for Google Ads professionals

Don’t be put off by the fact that this course uses the old word for Google Ads. This highly rated course for beginner PPC marketers offers some in-depth learning on all things Google Ads.

At 13 hours, you get another level of knowledge compared to the other courses on this list. And another reason is that certificates issued by SkillUp are recognised by professionals.

This course is free, but you will need to complete it within 90 days.

Pros

  • Free course with recognised certification
  • The instructor is an ex-Google employee
  • Comprehensive course goes beyond many others on this list

Cons

  • Need to complete within 90 days
  • Focus on Google Adwords is *slightly* dated but still relevant

9. Google Ads Tutorials – Google/YouTube

Google Ads training on YouTube is also available

If you want the skills from Google themself, but without doing the full Google Ads training course, you can also access tutorials on-demand through YouTube.

This playlist of Google Ads tutorials means you can access the salient information when you need it. There are over 70 videos available, so whatever your Google Ads query, you’ll probably find the info here.

No, this isn’t certification. But it can be incredibly useful if you just need to know how to do something specific.

Pros

  • Access on-demand information through YouTube
  • Google’s own information without needing to do the course
  • Totally free (of course)

Cons

  • No certification

10. Local training providers – various 

Prefer to attend a course in-person? Chances are there is the option to access a class based Google Ads training course near you.

Search ‘Google Ads training in [Your city]’ to see what is on offer.

The perks of these courses are obviously that you can ask the course tutor for their help and feedback. And being in a classroom you also get to do some networking which is always a nice touch.

Some course providers will also offer certifications, but check before you sign up.

Prices also vary hugely. Some local government agencies will offer free training to local business owners, others might charge a fee anywhere from a few $100 to thousands. The price normally reflects the value of the certification, the experience of the instructor or the level of support – so check before you sign up.

Pros

  • On-hand support can be invaluable
  • Usually offers some sort of certification
  • Local chamber of commerce or government agency might offer free training for business owners
  • Opportunity for networking with other professionals

Cons

  • Some can be very expensive and may not offer more value than similar online training
  • Scheduled classes means you need to make time to attend
  • Depending where you are in the world, the instructor may have limited knowledge/experience

How many hours does it take to learn Google Ads?

The short answer for this is that it depends. But we both know that’s nowhere near satisfactory enough. So here goes the long answer.

If you’re looking to set up and launch a Google Ad campaign as quickly as possible, you should set aside about 3 hours to study a basics course. The entire Coursera Google ad course takes about as long to complete, and so does the ​​Google Ads Search Certification module.

If you’re running any form of PPC advertising, you do need to have a good understanding of the platforms and processes. 

But if you’re looking to become an expert in Google Ads, you’ll need to set aside a couple of years.  It’s all about execution and learning from your results. And as we all know, experience is worth much more than any certificate.

Should you take a Google Ads Scripts course?

Google Ad scripts are a way to automate specific actions in your Google Ads account through JavaScript code. If you plan to run constant ads, Google Ad scripts can save you hours of work every week and make your campaign run smoother.

The biggest obstacle for most people is that it requires knowledge of javascript. You need to write your own code with instructions on what you need to automate.

Fortunately, this fear is greatly exaggerated because you only need beginner-level knowledge. Plus, the odds are that you can find, tweak, and implement someone else’s Google Ads Script without starting from scratch.

So if you plan to run a lot of Google Ads in the future, it might be worthwhile to take a Google Ads Scripts course.

Optimizing your Google Ads

Once you’ve got your Google Ads training certificate from your chosen provider, you’ll be looking at how to improve campaign performance.

We’ve got lots of useful guides right here to help you, although we don’t offer certification (sorry about that).

Check out our Google Ads guides for professional marketers:

Don’t forget that if you’re running any form of paid campaign online, fake traffic is always an issue. 

Bots, competitors, click farms and other non-genuine clicks cost advertisers billions in lost revenue every year. Chances are, around 15% of your ad budget is lost to invalid clicks, which means you’re missing out on genuine clicks from customers.

Read more about click fraud in our complete guide.

Run a traffic audit with ClickCease for FREE for 7 days and see who is really clicking your Google Ads (and Facebook, Instagram or Bing Ads).

Natan Golden

2 comments

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  • Although it’s not for beginners, I would also recommend God Tier Ads for anyone who wants to take their PPC skills from basic to advanced. Ed has created a great community and is constantly pushing out fresh ideas and content in his Forge community, definitely worth checking it out.

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