Google AdWords’ New Certification Program for Account Managers

You may not be aware, but Google has a new certification program for professional account managers such as myself. The old program called certified account managers Google AdWords Qualified Professionals or Google AdWords Qualified Individuals.

Now, Google has a new program called Google AdWords Certification. All professionals previously certified as Qualified Professionals, Qualified Companies or Qualified Individuals have six months to retest in the new program. Additionally, the account manager must now pass two tests instead of one. One is the AdWords Fundamental Exam and the other is one of the manager’s choice. The topics for the second exam are on search placement, the content network, or on Google Analytics.

I have already passed the Fundamentals Exam with a score of 97% and am starting to study for the Search exam. Additionally Google states that all certified businesses and professionals will need to take the Fundamental exam once a year and the higher level exam once every two years. Instead of retesting every two years as in the old program. This makes sure that all account managers that are certified in Google’s program are up-to-date with the changes Google enacts on their system.

As a business owner you should be aware of these changing certifications, so you can make sure your own account manager is certified with the knowledge to help you.

I have to say that additionally individuals with poor knowledge of AdWords will be weeded out by these new stronger certification programs and standards. The Google AdWords Certification program will mean that your account manager not only has the knowledge but the real world skill to effectively manage your account.


Dell Customer Support Gets My Top Ratings

I have two Dell laptops one of which just had some issues this last week. My son and I started on troubleshooting it last weekend. We finally figured out when it would not reboot that maybe it was more than a bad hard disk. My husband thought it was the motherboard.

When I finally got enough information from the Dell forum, I started the repair process with Dell just to find out that the 2 year warranty had expired on June 7th and I was phoning Dell the morning of the 8th. With a gentle push, Dell agreed to sell me the extended warranty and cover all the problems on this just one day over two year old computer which originally cost about $1,700.

Since then I have received a new motherboard, hard disk, heat sink, and keyboard. Not only was the support desk helpful and incredibly knowledgeable, but courteous. Yes, it was an awful problem to have and I did have to pay $279 for the extended warranty and get a bit pushy to get it initially, but my problem has been handled quite well.

The support personnel from India were very knowledgeable and when I had them spell their names so I could pronounce them properly, they really warmed up to me. I need a new laptop as one is so old that for me I would think of no other place to start shopping but Dell. However I may actually buy the extended warranty for it up front. I have found that the difference between the paid extended warranty help and the free support is worth the extra fee.

I am not being paid by Dell for this post, just wanted to share my real world experience and let you know that yes, there are good people out there helping make things right for customers.

Thanks EmNiel, Bhupesh, Mohammed, and all the rest from Dell Support!


Nancy McCord Proves Mastery of Google AdWords!

Yesterday Nancy McCord proved again her mastery of Google AdWords by passing the new Google AdWords Certification Fundamentals Exam with a score of 97%. This shows that she doesn’t just have understanding of the Google AdWords system, but mastery!

Nancy has successfully taken the Google AdWords exam for certification now four times over a period of eight years. This new exam is just one of two she will take to migrate her Google AdWords Qualified Individual certification into the new Google AdWords Certification and Google AdWords Partner program.

Upon passing the second exam, Nancy will not only achieve the new status of Google AdWords Certification, but will be able to certify her entire business as a Google AdWords Certified Partner.

If you are looking for an expert on Google AdWords, look no further. You want someone to set up and manage your account who is not only qualified, but shows mastery, that person is Nancy McCord.


What Do You Really Need When It Comes to Facebook Interaction?

Okay so you have a Facebook Fan page, now what kind of interaction do you really need in order to grow your visibility? From personal experience, I have found that fans will typically not jump into discussion or forum-like interactions. They will however share your video links from YouTube and even comment on interesting status updates.

It is important when you set up your own Facebook Fan Page to try different things to see what your own fans like and don’t like. I have found for myself that Fans won’t take the time to join in heavy discussions on industry specific topics. My fans like YouTube videos and small informational snippets.

When you set up your own Facebook Fan Page, I recommend that you try out different approaches for about 30 days to see what your fans like. I even recommend asking them. Running contests and doing polls are just a few ways you can elicit a response from your own fans.

Facebook makes it easy for you to know what your fans like by sending you a weekly activity update so you can identify how many times fans have interacted with your page and how many new fans you have gotten.

I feel that it is important for a business to have a Facebook Fan page with the strong acceptance and use of Facebook. Facebook is a mainstream application and another great and fun way to share information with customers, prospects, and business colleagues.


Blogging Your Way to Better Organic Placement

Although it is hard to quantify if blogging will help your website place better organically, I have to say that from reviewing four different clients in the same industry, blogging can definitely make a difference.

Here is one concrete example, we have four clients in the same state, three of which are located in the same general service area. Three blog, one does not. Monthly I review site placement and prepare placement reports for several of these clients.

One site we have been blogging for since 2006 has garnered top Google placement on many keywords, another site that we designed but just started blogging for is moving up in placement. One site we did not design, but blog for is now placing organically on terms it had not placed on before., and the other fourth site we designed, but is not blogging, placed well initially but now after three month is starting to drop in the search results. Of specific interest is the site for which we did not do the design for is now placing organically, but on the blog posts not the website pages.

From this I can unequivocally say that blogging does help your organic placement. When blogging is teamed with great SEO web design, you can definitely move up in the organic results. Additionally, we have found that when we blog heavily on specific phrases for over 30 days at a time, we can additionally garner placement on these terms. This is particularly important on location or geographic specific terms.

One big note however is to remember that the results you can receive are all based on on-domain blogging versus off-domain blogging. Blogging can be an excellent way to position your website organically, just do it the smart way.


Should Local Businesses Use Twitter?

Twitter is the big buzz on the Web, but if you sell or service locally should you consider Twitter a must have in your marketing arsenal?

Personally, I feel based on strong Twitter use for my own business and that of my clients that Twitter is best used by businesses that are selling nationally or globally. Typically we see responses to tweets from around the world and just not the local service area. Based on that interaction, unless you have the budget for Twitter on top of money set aside for Google AdWords and Facebook, I would not consider tweeting practical for targeting local customers.

I do however feel that if your budget is limited that you should still consider social media, but maybe move Twitter down on your list or priorities.