If you want to have a career in digital marketing you will likely need to know how to use Google Analytics. The free to use Google Analytics platform is widely used across all industries as the go-to solution for tracking and analyzing website traffic.
Google offers an official certification for Analytics that enables individuals to validate their knowledge of the platform.
But many marketers question if the Google Analytics certification is worth the effort.
In this guide, I’ll break down how you obtain the Google Analytics Certification and if it is worth pursuing.
What is the Google Analytics Certification?
Google Analytics is a free to use analytics platform created by Google. It is the most popular analytics solution available today for businesses both large and small. It provides detailed insights into who is visiting a website and what they are doing while they are there.
Knowing how to analyze this information is a powerful asset that enables businesses to fine-tune their strategies and run more effective marketing campaigns.
Google offers an official certification for individuals to verify their knowledge and ability to use the platform. This certification is called the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ).
It provides proof that an individual has passed Google’s assessment and understands the core principles of the platform and how to apply them to real-life situations.
Like using the platform, obtaining the certification is free. Because of this, there aren’t really any downsides to getting the certification, other than the potential waste of time if you were to find that it provided little value to your marketing career.
On the other hand, there are several advantages available to markets and analysts who make the effort to obtain the certification.
Let’s examine the benefits of getting a Google Analytics Certification to see if it is worth your effort.
Benefits of Getting a Google Analytics Certification
One of the most important abilities for a digital marketer is the ability to measure and analyze results. This is not possible without a thorough understanding of the analytics platform that your business uses.
When you know your analytics platform like the back of your hand, you become an invaluable asset to your business or clients.
Here are the most significant benefits to becoming certified in the most popular analytics platform in the world:
It looks great on your resume
Being certified in Google Analytics is a great addition to the resume of any digital marketer. It shows that you not only understand how to use the platform but that you took the effort and self-initiative to study and pass the certification exam.
For certain positions, companies will require candidates to have the certification if they are to be considered for the job. Others may not have the certification as a requirement but it still helps you stand out from the competition in these situations.
It enhances your skills
The biggest benefit of the Google Analytics Certification is that it will significantly enhance your ability to use the platform.
Most business users who do not pursue the certification only have a surface level understanding of all the platform’s capabilities.
However, with the Google Analytics certification, you will know the platform inside and out. You will then be able to take advantage of all the features it has to offer, making you uniquely valuable to your business.
Here are some of the areas you will come to master that are generally beyond the skillset of uncertified users:
Views and filters
Views and filters are an essential part of making the most out of all the data Google Analytics has to offer. Knowing how to properly use views and filters can improve data quality, helping to make decisions with more accurate information.
Despite this, many businesses do not know the best ways to set up views and filters to provide the best quality data. As a result, their reports are often filled with low-quality data that does not give an accurate picture of how the website is performing.
With a Google Analytics Certification, you will learn how to properly set up views and filters to ensure high-quality data that results in better decision making.
This is another area many businesses neglect because it can seem challenging to implement. By becoming certified in Google Analytics, you will learn everything there is about campaign tracking. You can then use this skill to help your business easily understand what is driving results and what is not.
Creating goals within Google Analytics allows you to track micro-conversions such as an email sign up or someone visiting multiple pages. Many businesses do not set up goals in Google Analytics and fail to understand the value of tracking these events.
With a Google Analytics Certification, you will know how to set goals to measure the important events that lead to meeting the business’ higher-level objectives.
Related Certifications to Purse
How to Get Certified in Google Analytics?
Getting certified in Google Analytics is a rather straightforward process.
- Sign up for Google Skillshop
- Read through the Analytics Academy course material
- Read through other study material
- Prepare for the exam
- Take the Google Individual Qualification Exam
I’ve broken down what you need to do into a series of easy to follow steps. By taking action on this guidance you will be able to get your certification without issue.
1. Sign up for Google Skillshop
The first step to getting certified in Google Analytics is to create a Skillshop account.
Skillshop will serve as a hub for preparing for the certification exam, taking the exam, and managing the certification after you have passed.
The platform has topic areas beyond Google Analytics including Google Ads, Google My Business, Youtube, and others. You are also able to gain certifications in most of these subjects as well.
To get started you will need to visit Google Skillshop. You will create your account by logging in for the first time with your Google account. You can then browse the catalog for the different subject areas related to Google.
Analytics Academy is where you will go to continue the process of becoming certified in Google Analytics.
2. Read through the Analytics Academy course material
The next step is to begin learning the material you will need to pass the certification exam. There are plenty of options you can use to help you learn everything you need to know.
To start, Google offers its own free courses that are specifically designed to prepare users for the GAIQ exam. You will need to register for each course with your Google account before you are able to access the material.
These are broken into two sections: Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics.
Google Analytics for Beginners covers the more entry-level material, helping you gain a basic understanding of how the platform works.
It is broken into the following units:
- Introducing Google Analytics
- The Google Analytics Interface
- Basic Reports
- Basic Campaign and Conversion Tracking
The Advanced Google Analytics course dives into more nuanced areas of using the platform. It contains the following units:
- Data Collection and Processing
- Setting Up Data Collection and Configuration
- Advanced Analytics Tools and Techniques
- Advanced Marketing Tools
Both courses contain videos, text, as well as a simulated walkthrough of a demo Google Analytics account.
If you prefer to study just the written version, there are transcripts available for all the videos in the course. Each unit is broken into a subset of lessons. At the end of each unit, there are a set of assessment questions used to test how well you understand the material.
You need to answer a certain number of questions correctly to be able to proceed to the next unit. You can reset the questions as often as needed to be able to answer them again.
For any questions you get wrong, the course will reference the particular unit and lesson where that question is covered so you can quickly go back and review the subject.
You can go through the course at your own pace and come back and review sections as you wish.
The Google Analytics Academy courses provide their own certificate of completion after you finish the course. However, these do not hold the same value as receiving the Analytics Individual Qualification.
3. Read through other study material
Along with Google’s course material, it is beneficial to study other Google Analytics guides to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the platform before taking the exam.
ReliableSoft offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing courses that contains material on every subject you will need to master all the skills expected from today’s digital marketers.
Among this collection of material is a course for Google Analytics.
The course consists of four lessons, 50 pages of material as well as video tutorials, and annotated screenshots that cover everything you need to know about Google Analytics.
It starts with a brief introduction before diving into the basics of using the platform. It then moves to an in-depth analysis of how you can use Google Analytics to improve SEO before covering more advanced topics.
Another helpful resource you can use to get a complete understanding of the analytics platform is Google’s Analytics Youtube channel. There you will find tons of videos providing detailed instructions about how the platform works.
Videos are particularly helpful when learning about Google Analytics as the subject matter can sometimes be challenging for people to understand.
Instead of just relying on trying to discern the meaning of lengthy texts filled with technical terminology, you can benefit from an expert explaining the platform in a conversational style accompanied by a visual aid.
4. Prepare for the exam
Once you have read through Google’s courses and other supplemental material it’s time to begin preparing for the exam.
The best way to do this is to review the previously mentioned material. Focus on the key areas particularly the practice questions provided in the Google courses.
You can also consider taking a practice test online. There are several options available and these tests are a great complement to the Google courses and other material you have reviewed.
Practice tests provide a high quantity of sample questions similar to what you’ll find on the exam. Taking a few of these tests will help you get accustomed to translating your knowledge of Google Analytics into a testing situation.
5. Take the Google Individual Qualification Exam
After you have spent enough time reviewing the material and taking practice tests, it is time to take the exam.
The exam is free to take as many times as you need to.
You can find a link to the exam on the Google Analytics Individual Qualification page of your Skillshop account.
Here is the important information you’ll want to know regarding the structure of the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam:
- The exam is divided into different subject sections: During the exam, you will receive questions for a single section at a time.
- The exam features a mixture of multiple choice and true and false questions.
- The exam contains 70 questions. You must complete the questions in the order they are given and you are unable to go back or skip ahead.
- There is a 90-minute time limit to complete the exam. You are not able to pause the exam. Once you begin, you must finish it in one sitting.
- To pass you need to answer at least 56 questions correct (80%).
If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt you may take the exam again however you must wait 24 hours to do so.
Once you pass the exam, you will receive a link with your personal certificate and its expiry date. As of today, certificates are valid for 12 months after completing the exam. This used to be 18 months but has been reduced in recent years.
To keep your certificate active you will need to pass the exam again once the certificate expires.
This helps Google ensure that certificate holders are up to date and still on top of how the platform works.
Subjects Covered in the Google Analytics Exam
While a complete analysis of all the subject matter the exam covers is beyond the scope of this post, I want to highlight the high-level concepts you’ll need to understand to be able to pass.
The primary areas you’ll want to focus on are the main report sections inside of Google Analytics, how data is processed and collected, and how to set up and manage your account.
The Audience report details how much traffic your website receives and the type of user that makes up that traffic. The report has 15 subsections. Some of the more important ones include Overview, Demographics and Interests, Geo, and Technology
This section plays an integral part in deciding which marketing efforts are attracting the most visitors to your website. It will tell you where your visitors come from whether it is from a search engine, social media profile, or referral from another website.
The behavior section is where you will analyze what visitors do on your website. You can see where visitors enter the site, how they move through it, and where they leave from. This data is the key to making decisions that shape the user experience.
In Google Analytics, a conversion is the successful completion of an activity that is important to the success of your business. This could be a sale for an eCommerce store or an email sign up. You will need to know how to set up conversions and how they are measured within these reports.
Admin and Account
You will need to know how Google structures your analytics account and how to properly make changes and add new websites. This includes an understanding of Properties, Page Views, View Settings, and User Permissions.
Data & Reporting
Along with the primary reports, you will also need to understand how Google Analytics collects and processes data. Below is an example of some of the information you’ll need to know:
Additionally, the first time a device loads your pages a hit is recorded and Google Analytics creates a random unique ID for that new user that lasts for 30 days or until the cookie goes away.
Is Google Analytics Certification Worth it?
Obtaining the Google Analytics Individual Qualification is definitely worth the effort.
The biggest benefit of getting certified in Google Analytics is the skills you will develop during the studying and exam process.
You will gain unparalleled insight into how the platform works and be able to understand website data on a much deeper level.
You can then use this understanding to become a better digital marketer whether you are focusing on SEO, paid advertising, or content marketing.
This will make you highly valuable to all sorts of businesses as many companies are in need of marketers who can make data-driven decisions effectively.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification is a free certificate provided by Google. It confirms the recipient’s knowledge and ability to use the platform.
Being certified in Google Analytics provides many benefits to today’s marketers and analysts.
It looks great on your resume and will help open the door for new career opportunities. The certification also helps you stand out from other candidates who do not have it when searching for a position.
The biggest benefit of being certified is the robust set of skills you will pick up along the way. You will learn how to use all the features in Google Analytics, making you incredibly valuable to your business.
Getting the Google Analytics certification is a straightforward process. You start by creating your Skillshop account which is where you will take the exam needed to receive the certification. You will then need to study Google’s course material in the Analytics Academy.
It is highly recommended to supplement your learning with other courses. Before you take the exam you will want to review all course material and take a few practice tests.
Once you are ready to take the exam, you can start it at any time. It will contain 70 questions of which you need to answer 56 correct in order to pass. You will have 90 minutes to take the exam and will be unable to pause the timer or save questions for later.
If you do not pass you can take it again in 24 hours.
Once you pass the exam your certificate will be available on your Skillshop profile. You will also receive a public link so that you can share the certificate with your employer and clients. The certificate lasts for 12 months at which time you will need to pass the exam in order to renew it.
Overall, getting certified in Google Analytics is well worth the time. Knowing how to use Google Analytics is essential to being a digital marketer today. This means there are no downsides to learning how the platform works. On top of the enhanced knowledge and skills, you also gain an asset that can be used to help your career prospects.
If you have yet to receive your Google Analytics certification, check out our Digital Marketing Course Bundle. In it, you’ll find a comprehensive and easy to follow course on Google Analytics that will help you pass the exam with ease.