Tips For GAP Exam - Part 1

I now start my series on Tips For GAP Exam. While you should ideally undertstand all the concepts explained in the Google AdWords Learning Centre, these tips will help you during the GAP exam.

Remember the formulae included in the lessons.
These include:

ROI = (Revenue - Cost) /Investment x 100
Remember that in the problems included in GAP lessons, Cost = Investment.

Cost / Conversion = Total Cost / Total Number Of Conversions

Conversion Rate = Number Of Conversions /Number Of Clicks x 100

Rank No. = Max CPC x Quality Score
Rank No. is same as Ad Rank

88% - A Not So Bad GAP Score

Finally! Burning the midnight oil and all the help from Kamlesh and Nitin in preparing for the Google AdWords Professional Exam paid off. Managed to score 88% in GAP.

My experience in preparing for the exam and taking it has enabled me to think of some tips and advice to all of you who are planning to take the GAP. For now, I need to take a break this weekend. So I'll just relax and enjoy for a while. I'll soon update this blog with my recommendations for GAP exam aspirants.

Coming soon... tips for GAP exam.

Meanwhile, you may want to read tips from Abel Quitoriano here.

GAP Exam - 3 days to go!

It's the 16th of December and I'm taking the Google AdWords Professional exam on the 20th. For once, I woke up early on a Sunday morning just to go through the Google AdWords Learning Centre.

I'm starting with the Tracking Ad Performance lesson and will update some info here for future reference and for the benefit of those who'll be appearing for the exam sooner or later / and those who work on AdWords.


Studying for a test after long

Yes that's true! I am preparing for the GAP test. I've stepped into Search Engine Marketing (SEM) copywriting and thought it was about time I become a certified professional in this field.

Why you should take the GAP?

Google AdWords Professional test prepares you with all that you need to run and manage an AdWords account. You can go through the text or multimedia lessons at the Learning Center.

GAP scores
You need to score at least 75% to clear the test. If you sit through the lessons and try to understand all the concepts well, the score is not difficult to achieve.

But more than anything, at the end of the lessons, the corresponding quizzes and the GAP test, you'll have a strong understanding of Google AdWords and trust me it will help you a great in your SEM copywriting career!

A day in the life of a Copywriter

(This was one of my posts published way back in 2005. I scribbled these lines when I had some 2 years of experience as a copywriter I suppose in 2002 / 2003.)

You wake up in the morning. In fact, late in the morning. Oops! You had to reach early today. A new headline has to be cracked (thankfully, at least the idea had been discussed and internally approved yesterday). The ad has to reach your ‘favourite’ client by noon. You hurry up.

It’s raining heavily. You don’t get the bus. The trains - they have to be late today! You think about the headline all the way. You eavesdrop (You never know from where you may get inspired!). “Know what, she told her that and the whole office now knows about it!” “My God! It’s so difficult to get in at Goregaon. And this Bandra ka public will always block the door!” Those funny mobile ring tones – your biggest enemies when you are trying to think. “Hello. I can’t the train…ya…at Dadar now (give me a break, it’s not yet Jogeshwari!) …call me after 10 mins”. No clues for your headline. These people in the train are useless. Don’t they have anything interesting (read: inspiring) to talk about! The time too seems to be running fast today!

Finally, the train approaches your destination. You manage to get out of that useless clutter. Optimism is the key. You will definitely crack it during your 5 minute walk to the agency. You observe everything keenly – hawkers, traffic, hoardings, shops, school kids, your umbrella (another useless thing to ‘protect’ you from the rains!) and roads. Splash! A heavy Toyota and a pothole filled with that rain water ‘tie-up’ to add colours to your white dress. The perfect way to start your day!

You finally reach office – all drenched and coloured! Time: 10 a.m. The visualiser welcomes you “Hey, give me the headline yaar. My layout is almost ready. And keep the copy short. I don’t have space for your bhaashan.” You ask for half and hour’s time. You start scribbling. Noise. Everyone has to be in this room at this moment. You try to concentrate. A cup of tea does the magic. You are ready with a headline and you are already in love with it. And the copy, as per the ‘instructions’ you have kept it really short. And then the ‘drama’ starts.

Scene 1:
You show the copy to the visualiser. Time: 11 a.m. “Headline makes sense. It gels with my visual.” You smell something fishy, and you smell right. The visualiser continues “Is this subhead necessary?” You stare at him / her. The message is taken. “Ok, ok, now don’t make that face. Look at the copy! It’s so short. I’ll just need two full pages. Now can you please reduce it! I need some white space. You are murdering my layout. Let the client do it.” And who’s murdering the copy? It’s just 5 lines. Your regular convincing business begins now. On your mark, get set, go.

“See, I need to say all this to support your visual. I have already edited it. Earlier there were 3 paragraphs. If I reduce it any further, this beautiful (???) visual will fall flat. If you still want me to…” The visualiser asks for the file path. Mission successful.

Scene 2:
Entry of the client servicing executive. You need special skills to convince this person. And you better be good at it. This ‘intelligent’ person in the agency may commit time to the client and then ask you how much time you would require (or would simply declare an impossible deadline!). Time: 12 p.m. “Is it done? The client was asking about it. I told him half an hour. What’s the status?” This time the copy-visual becomes a great team. “Can’t you understand it takes time? You gave that useless brief last night. How can you commit without consulting us? Minimum 1 hour. Inform your dear client.”

If the servicing guy is actually helpless (don’t forget, he is the only person who has to hear from all – creatives, seniors, media, accountant, office assistants and clients), he would make this typical bechaara face. “Please yaar. Try to understand. The media needs the material by 4.”

Time: 2 p.m. Finally the ad is mailed to the client. After incorporating all the inputs by the servicing and seniors. Not many changes. Just some ‘necessary’ alterations in the headline, copy, fonts and layout. Those necessary ingredients to help the client buy (read: help them sell) the ad. And those necessary ingredients to help the copy-visual team lose interest in it. But don’t lose hope. There are still some chunks in the ad contributed by the creative. You should be optimistic. Read more on my blog As I look at life.

My first blog on copywriting

My total blog count had reached 9, along with being a co-author in Mrinal's blog. And then I was enlightened. Rajesh, my SEO friend, told me that he was surprised that I still don't have any website or blog on copywriting. Some 10-15 minutes of discussion and I was convinced that it was about time I write about writing.

So here I am with my latest blog on Copywriting / Communication. What all you can expect here, that even I'm not sure for now. While I spend some time deciding on the content of this page, please feel free to give me your valauble inputs on what you expect from this blog.

Thanks Rajesh. Did you notice I was fast here too!