100% of Our Direct Access Digital Team are Google Adwords Certified – Including Our Designers


AD Adwords Certified Canadian Digital Marketing AgencyAt Direct Access Digital we like a challenge. And let’s be fair, anyone working in digital marketing is competitive.  It’s an inherent part of our DNA, we have to be to win the internet for our clients.  While our expertise in search is well-known because we won The Google Search Excellence Award two years running, we felt it was important for all of our team to be certified.

It didn’t go unnoticed.  One of our Google Canada representatives remarked, “Digital marketing has never been more dynamic. Google certification helps marketers stay current with best practice developments. 100% agency certification is an achievement Direct Access Digital recently achieved. The milestone is a reflection of the commitment to digital excellence and transparency at Direct Access Digital.”

So we did this to get engagement from the team…

We sent an email with the link to the tests.  To everyone.

We didn’t tell people they had to, we didn’t create a competition, there was no pizza, or group sessions, no threats, no incentives we simply sent a link and it was game on.  President and founder, Don McNeil says, “This speaks volumes about our hand-picked team – individual engagement, enthusiasm and expertise prevails.”

It helped that Google said they’d send a framed certificate.

Take Digital Campaign Manager, Joanna Macari.  She plays competitive soccer, hockey and took all of the Google Certification exams to achieve The Google Adwords Specialist Designation.  It’s six exams.  The exams are tough.  Rodgers says, “Joanna’s achievement represents our core focus at Direct Access Digital.  She is determined to do her best – whether furthering our organization or exceeding our clients’ goals.”

Joanna Macari - Specialist Designation - Google Certification - Direct Access Digital

Joanna Macari – Specialist Designation – Google Adwords Certification – Direct Access Digital

Amazingly, not only our search and display teams became Google Adwords Certified but our designers, admin team, account managers – pretty much everyone but the cleaner (and we’ve sent them the link). One of our Graphic Designers, Tyler Sepa, has completed six of the exams.  He too is now a Google Adwords Specialist. To be certified you only need to pass two by 80% each.

The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. An AdWords certification allows individuals to demonstrate that Google recognizes them as an online advertising professional.

Adwords Certification - DirectAccessDigital.com, Nicole Wang

Nicole Wang- Google Adwords Certification – Direct Access Digital


While it seems like a no-brainer for digital marketers to be certified the exams are difficult with some answers being all correct but you need to understand what the best way to proceed is.  It’s very pedantic. Some of our team doesn’t work directly in the platform and they still took the exam – the exams are very Adwords platform specific, so they studied hard.  To stay certified you have to take the exam annually.

Do you know the answer to these? These are sample Google Certification Exam questions.

  • What type of video still is best for an advertisement?
  • True or False: Filling in gaps of niche and mass-marketed sites is one benefit of using AdWords targeting options, even if you use display advertising through other ad networks besides Google’s.
  • When do TrueView in-state ads show on YouTube?
  • How are +1s calculated for your ad and Google+ page when using the social extension on your ads?
  • What is one benefit of not using a predetermined budget for AdWords advertising, compared to radio, print, and TV advertising?
  • One factor the AdWords system uses to calculate an ads actual cost-per-click (CPC) is the:
  1. A) actual cost-per-click (CPC) of the ad showing one position lower on the page
  2. B) location targeting of the ad showing one position lower on the page
  3. C) cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) of the ad showing one position lower on the page
  4. D) Ad Rank of the ad showing one position lower on the page


Google provides study guides:Google Adwords Logo


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Senior Digital Strategist, Ceri Nelmes. With 16+ years’ experience in digital, Ceri began as an SEO at a UK agency after working as a Canadian journalist for seven years. She’s worked on almost every vertical in almost every digital role end-to-end from wireframes, content, UX, testing, site architecture, content, social media, ecommerce, affiliate, monetization, lead generation, media sales/buying, to advanced SEO and marketing for big brands, start-ups and not-for-profits like Chapters Indigo, Danby, Ancestry.ca to Bank of Scotland, BBC, and University of Toronto. She can be found scribbling on wipeboards and playing with her Hurricane Katrina Plott Hound, Taffy.

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