So, you’re thinking about getting your Google Analytics Certification but don’t know where to start? There are so many questions to ask before going down the Google Analytics (GA) rabbit hole, but trust me, there’s a whole new world down there worth exploring if you want your campaigns to work smarter for you. Read on to find out why I believe a Google Analytics Certification will give you the tools needed to get the most out of digital analytics and gain an edge in your career.
First thing’s first: What is the official Google Analytics Certification? To get certified, you need to pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam. According to Google, the GAIQ is an industry-recognized test that demonstrates your proficiency in Analytics. The exam covers basic and advanced GA concepts, including:
But it’s not just for beginners - it’s also a very powerful tool for experienced users. For instance, it can help you be effective at leveraging GA within your organization and at helping others do the same.
Here’s everything you need to know about the QAIQ exam:
So, why use Google Analytics? For starters, it’s the most widely used analytics software on the market. Therefore, understanding and getting the most out of GA as an SEO professional is essential. To quote business mogul Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.
Digital analytics is the foundation of SEO, social media marketing, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and more. Without data, it’s impossible to understand how effective (or ineffective) your digital strategies are. It can help you find out what’s working and what’s not working and then why. This, in turn, can help to make improvements that determine the success of your campaigns.
Make no mistake - the GAIQ is not just a pretty certificate to hang on your wall. There are so many more advantages to being Google Analytics certified. Let’s have a look at my top 3 reasons to complete the exam:
1. Gain new digital analytics skills
Did you know that 61% of respondents in a recent HubSpot survey said generating traffic and leads is their most significant marketing challenge? Don’t be a part of this alarmingly high number. Skill up and get certified in GA. Chances are you’ll also pick up a lot of useful analytics knowledge preparing for the exam - much more than you would if you just used the program in passing here and there.
2. Open the door to more job opportunities
Most businesses, big or small, are using Google Analytics to assess and improve their marketing strategies. So if you want to prove your ability to prospective employers, having your GAIQ gives you a leg up over the competition. Getting certified is a tangible validation that you understand the fundamentals of digital analytics and means you can:
3. Ensure job security
Knowing the ins and outs of GA means you can share your passion (and knowledge) for digital analytics with anyone else who wants to learn. By preparing and passing the GAIQ exam, you’ll learn in-depth information about specific GA features that you can then pass onto your employers and colleagues. It also gives your business the Google badge, which is a career booster in itself.
Now you know what it is and the advantages of getting Google Analytics certified, you might be asking, “How long does it take to get the GAIQ and what’s involved?”
Let’s break this question up into 2 parts. First, how long it takes. There is no black and white answer - this is up to you. You can prepare for the exam at your own pace and when you’re ready, go to the exam site to begin. And of course, it will also depend on how much prior knowledge you have of GA.
Secondly, what are the steps involved?
You have to be a Partner to take the exam. This is an online vehicle for Google’s interactions and collaborations with digital marketers and agencies. Once you’ve signed up for your FREE Google Analytics account, you can take the next step.
To help you prepare for the certification exam, particularly if it's your first time, Google provides a number of helpful resources through their Google Analytics Academy. This is home to a handful of FREE Google Analytics courses (primarily made up of step-by-step video lessons) that you can take in your own time. Google recommends completing the following courses at the very least before taking the exam:
You should also seek out Google’s other courses and training tools. For example, the Google Analytics YouTube channel has great reviews.
Once you’ve created a profile in Google Partners, you can sit the exam. Let me walk you through it:
The exam will start in your web browser and your 90-minute timer will start counting down - good luck!
Once you pass the GAIQ exam, you become certified. This will be reflected in your Google Partners account where everyone will be able to see that you are now a Google Analytics certified partner. Congratulations - you made it!
I don’t need to spell it out for you, but it always pays to be prepared. You’re going to need a comprehensive working knowledge of digital analytics and the Google Analytics platform to pass the exam - and this starts with studying.
As I mentioned above, Google has a fantastic range of courses available that you should use as a starting point. But beyond that, here are some other helpful resources & study materials I would recommend checking out:
Don’t forget to take notes - especially on the more difficult concepts that you find hard to wrap your head around. You can come back to these notes when you’re taking the actual test. Plus, they’re handy to have on your person for later use - who knows when you might need them...
Once you’ve studied up, why not try your hand at some practice tests prior to beginning the real exam? This shouldn’t be a problem since there are heaps of practice tests out there.
To make sure you’re fully prepared, have a play within GA before starting the exam. Being familiar with the interface and getting to know the reports, tools and features will make things much easier.
Don’t be overwhelmed by Google Analytics. I know there’s a lot to wrap your head around, but having a handle of this powerful tool reaps many rewards. And it all starts with taking the GAIQ exam. Good luck!
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