Paid Search Certifications

Our parent company is Direct Online Marketing™, who is proud to hold certifications in paid search management and related tactics from each major search engine in addition to outside organizations.  The staff that will perform the audit of your PPC campaigns also owns individual certifications and recognitions as well.  Our PPC recognitions include:

Google Partner

Google Partner Badge

google adwords certified partnerThe most distinguished certification a company can hold, our company has been certified by Google for our knowledge and handling of our clients’ accounts.  We are particularly proud of this recognition as an inaugural Google Partner. This PPC certification replaces the prior Google AdWords Certified Partner program launched on April 26, 2010, of which we were an inaugural partner.  Both programs require stringent testing of employees in areas relating to account management, display network advertising, PPC optimization techniques, and more.  Our account managers have individual certifications in all areas offered including search and display advertising.

The Certified Partner certification replaced the Google Advertising Professional program originally launched in 2004.  We were also certified under that program as a Qualified Google Advertising Company.  Among other requirements, it meant that a search marketing firm must, among other requirements, maintain advertising spend with Google AdWords of $100,000 per quarter or more and have multiple employees pass the Google Advertising Professional Exam. We easily exceeded these ad spend requirements, managing several million dollars in AdWords each year.

qualified googel advertising partner companyWhy this is important: Unless a company is recognized as a Qualified Google Advertising Company, the service Google typically provides is limited to email correspondence, often in form letter response format. Account problems can take weeks or more to receive resolution, if any comes at all.  In contrast, we have a team of dedicated Google representatives available by phone that we communicate with regularly.  These representatives are available to assist with any account issues that arise as well as provide suggestions for ways to optimize the account and perform special research at our request.

Bing Ads Accredited Professional Agency

Bing Ads Accredited ProfessionalMicrosoft rolled out its own certification process for search engine marketers in 2007 back when its pay per click ads appeared on its live.com search engine and throughout Microsoft-owned properties and partners.  Live.com was replaced with bing in the middle of 2009.  The program underwent its most significant transformation on June 10, 2011.  As part of this change, the certification name switched from Microsoft adExcellence Company / Member (see our old accreditation logo below) to the Bing Ads Accredited Professional program (also referred to as the Microsoft Advertising Accredited Professional program for a period).  For a period, Bing also designated our agency a Bing Ads Preferred Agency.  Before retiring this special designation, we were one of fewer than 20 search agencies worldwide to hold this preferred status.

Microsoft adexcellence company certification for bing yahooWhy this is important: As mentioned, Microsoft and Yahoo!’s search merger is now complete, which grew their collective search share to about 50% the size of Google’s.  The Bing Ads platform now handles the ad management for both bing and Yahoo!, as well as their other search and display partners.  Having long-time experience with the Bing platform – from when it handled less than 10% of all paid search volume in the U.S. at the moment – is crucial to running any mid- to large-sized PPC campaign.

Yahoo! Search Marketing Ambassador

yahoo search marketing ambassadorThe Yahoo! Search Marketing Ambassador program was a program set up by a partner of Yahoo! to train and certify paid search marketers on their system.  It was comparable to the individual Google Advertising Program.  The program was officially discontinued in September 2008, although Ambassador confirmation pages are still live.

Why this is important: While Yahoo! Search Marketing no longer exists (YSM’s transition of paid search ads being served by the platform now called Bing Ads completed October 27, 2010), the Ambassador certification helps tell you how long a paid search practitioner has been managing accounts.  YSM stopped accepting new search Ambassadors in the spring of 2008 meaning any search engine marketers carrying this designation have been managing Yahoo! Search Marketing accounts since before that time.  Direct Online Marketing™ has search marketers that have been working with that platform since the days of GoTo.com, the very first pay per click search program.  GoTo.com renamed itself Overture in 2001 and was subsequently bought out by Yahoo! in 2003.

PPC Account Management & Landing Page Optimization

search engine marketing professional organization sempo logoTeam members enjoy certifications from non-search engine organizations like Marketing Experiments for tactics like effective account management and landing page conversion rate optimization.  We’re also a corporate member of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), one of the oldest and most respected professional search marketing organizations in the world.

Why this is important: The biggest mistake many in-house (and some non-specialized agencies) search advertisers make is sending all traffic to their home page.  Landing pages – the first page a person sees after clicking on your PPC ad – are your best chance to get a conversion to something meaningful like a phone call or a sale.  See the side bar to the right and click on the “Convert” tab for more examples.

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In Their Words

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