Everything you need to know about the Google Analytics Certification

Google Analytics Certification

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. 


So, what is it?


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:


  • Planning and principles
  • Implementation and data collection
  • Configuration and administration
  • Conversion and attribution
  • Reports, metrics and dimensions


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. 


A snapshot of the exam


Here’s everything you need to know about the QAIQ exam:


  • Absolutely FREE of cost
  • Qualification remains valid for 12 MONTHS 
  • 90 MINUTES from start to finish (even though they say 60 minutes)
  • 70 QUESTIONS in total (randomly drawn from a larger library of questions)
  • Consists of MULTIPLE CHOICE & TRUE/FALSE questions
  • Broken up into MODULES so you can take the exam 1 topic at a time 
  • The timer begins counting down as soon as you begin and you CANNOT PAUSE for any reason 
  • CAN’T FLAG QUESTIONS to go back to during the exam time 
  • 80% CORRECT or higher to pass
  • If you fail, you have to wait 7 DAYS to retake the exam (however, there’s no penalty for failing)


Is it worth it?

The power of digital analytics


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. 


The benefits of the GAIQ


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:


  • Say you’re qualified in GA on your CV
  • Add it as a certification to your LinkedIn profile
  • Have the option to share a link so that people can verify you’ve passed the exam


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.


How do I get it?


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?


Step 1: Sign up to Google Partners


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. 


Step 2: Study for the exam 


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:


  • Google Analytics for Beginners
  • Advanced Google Analytics


You should also seek out Google’s other courses and training tools. For example, the Google Analytics YouTube channel has great reviews. 


Step 3: Take the GAIQ exam


Once you’ve created a profile in Google Partners, you can sit the exam. Let me walk you through it:


  1. Click Certifications
  2. Click See Exams
  3. Hover over the exam section and click Exam Details
  4. Click Take Exam


The exam will start in your web browser and your 90-minute timer will start counting down - good luck!


Step 4: Receive your Google Analytics certification


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!



My top tips for passing the exam 

1. Do your homework 


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:


  • Udemy’s 2018 Google Analytics Bootcamp
  • Love Data’s Free Google Analytics Mini-Course
  • Google’s user case studies


2. Write it down


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... 


3. Practice makes perfect


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. 


4. Familiarise yourself with the GA platform


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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Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy is the Head of Digital at Bang Digital, a boutique digital marketing agency in Perth, Australia. With 7 years experience in Google Ads and search engine marketing, he is passionate about helping his clients succeed online. He uses this passion to lead his search and social teams, ensuring they’re up-to-date with the latest trends in the fast paced world of digital.

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