In today’s world, there are certifications that can be had for just about anything, and you can get most of them online. Some are easy to obtain, while others are more challenging. Some are meaningful, and sometimes others are viewed as just a useless piece of paper with a name on it. What certifications should matter to you? Here at Horsefly, we are a firm believer in being the best at what we do, and when it comes to digital, there are three certifications that we feel are important to have and maintain.
In my time spent working client-side, I always asked if an agency was certified in the areas of work I was looking for, and found that when selecting an agency, the ones that were certified were always better and easier to work with. For the digital world today, thee of the most important certifications an agency can hold are Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Hubspot, and I’m here to tell you why.
First, we’ll discuss Google AdWords. To become certified, an agency has to meet several criteria. They need to manage a minimum of $10k in media spend over 90 days (we’re well above that btw). They need to pass certification exams in Advertising Fundamentals, Advanced Search, and Advanced Display. These exams are nothing to scoff at – with nearly 100 questions each and a time limit of 2 hours per test, these are the SAT’s of AdWords. We’ve passed all 3, and keep our status current. And finally, a Google Partner needs to show that they are well versed in the best practices of digital marketing in AdWords. We’re happy to report we’re at the top of the pack here, as well (thanks to CJ’s decade+ of working with Google).
So what’s the point in putting in all this effort? You see, AdWords has many options, settings, and nuances that all can lead to improved performance. There’s day parting, campaign extensions, integration of Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, bid adjustments by device, geo, time of day, and so much more. The possibilities in Google AdWords are near endless, and without having an expert on hand to navigate through this, marketing dollars spent can easily become marketing dollars lost. The certification ensures that we’re meeting and exceeding Google’s standards so that we can maximize performance and drive success for our clients. As an added bonus, for new AdWords customers, we’re able to offer free marketing dollars because we’re a Google Partner. Not bad, huh?
Next, there is Google Analytics. Similar to AdWords, there’s an exam that has to be passed in order to become certified. It’s a 90 minute in depth exam that covers the details of Google Analytics. From code implementation to custom options such as event tracking, cross domain tracking, and more, the Google Analytics IQ is an individual test that makes sure whomever is touching your Google Analytics account knows what they are doing. Sure, the basics of GA are simple enough, but when it comes to custom coding and detailed options, there’s a lot to learn – and keep up with. That’s why similar to the AdWords exams, the certification must be kept current and the exams need to be retaken every 12 – 18 months. With how fast technology is changing these days, and all the ongoing enhancements and updates Google makes to their accounts, we think it’s a great idea and that’s why we always have at a Google Analytics IQs on our team.
And finally, there’s Hubspot. This is a new one for us and we’re working on becoming both Inbound Certified and Hubspot Certified. Well, just what does that mean? In today’s digital world, it’s become more important to stop interrupting potential customers across the web and instead attract them, which is Hubspot’s fundamental belief in lead nurturing and marketing automation. To that end, we agree and are working towards adding to our certifications with both of Hubspot’s offerings. What this means, is that we will be tested and trained and fully approved for managing inbound marketing programs and working within Hubspot’s tools and technology efficiently, effectively, and to the benefit of your end ROI. And who doesn’t like good ROI? We all do, that’s why we’re here!
In the meantime, rest assured, we’re already experienced working within the Hubspot platform for our clients (so yes, we can help you with your Hubspot and inbound marketing needs), and the certification and partner status will take things to the next level. So whether you need help on a project basis, or ongoing strategy and support, when it comes to digital, it always helps to know just how much the people you are hiring know. The right certifications and the right partnerships can bring together great people and great brands for even greater results. Interested in learning more about our certifications, or getting started on your marketing program? Just contact us and we’d love to talk to you!