Google Analytics is well known as the most widely used analytic software on the market, and has been for some time.
Many businesses, big and small, use Google Analytics to assess and improve their marketing strategies in order to make the most of their investments.
You don’t have to be certified in Google Analytics in order to use the program, however.
In fact, the majority of people don’t take the time the get certified because in order to do so you have to pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam.
So is it worth it to try to get certified?
What are the benefits?
Read on to learn more about this as well as the process to get certified, and then you can decide whether this is a path you want to journey down in the future.
The Certification Process
Step 1: Sign up for Google Partners
The first step you need to take is to sign up for Google Partners, because you have to be a Partner in order to take the GAIQ.
This in itself can be a career booster, because Google Partners comes with a badge that shows you’re certified in different areas of Google (providing you pass the content exams).
Others will see your badge and recognize you as an expert.
This is great to put on your resume or LinkedIn profile, and to have associated with your business.
So definitely take this first step.
Step 2: Take the GAIQ Exam
Technically the next step after signing up for Partners is to take the exam, but unless you’re already an expert in Google Analytics, we recommend doing some studying in between steps 1 and 2.
At least take the time to learn about the exam – how it’s broken up, time limits, question formats, etc. (which we’ll explain below).
Search Engine Journal’s Complete Guide to Google Analytics is a great starting-off point for anyone looking to learn more about Google Analytics.
Thankfully, Google offers IQ courses in order to teach people about their programs and to help prepare them for these certification exams.
These courses are targeted for everyone from beginners to the most experienced users, so there’s something for everyone.
We recommend reviewing material from the following courses (but of course you should tailor the study material to your skill set – no need to start at the beginning if you’re already an advanced user):
- Google Analytics for Beginners.
- Advanced Google Analytics.
- Google Analytics for Power Users.
- Getting Started with Google Analytics 360.
The 2018 Google Analytics Bootcamp by Udemy is also a great resource for all things analytics.
While Google has a lot of resources for getting certified, they aren’t great for those who really want to learn the practical, real-world applications.
A data bootcamp for both Google Analytics and Google Tag, this course covers all the knowledge and best practice tips and tricks you need to master both programs.
In addition, there’s a Google Analytics YouTube Channel that has great reviews for anyone wanting to learn more about the program.
Once you’ve exhausted the content, you should take the time to learn about the test itself.
The GAIQ is broken up into modules, so you take the exam one subject at a time.
The website states that you have 60 minutes to take the exam, but you actually have 90 minutes from start to finish.
There are 70 questions total and they consist of multiple choice and True/False.
As soon as you begin the exam the timer begins counting down, and you are unable to press pause for any reason.
A passing score is 80 percent or higher.
If you fail, you’re required to wait 7 days before taking the exam again.
Finally, we recommend taking several practice tests prior to beginning the real exam.
You can find free practice tests here. This site isn’t officially associated with Google, but it gets great reviews.
Also, these practice tests have been said to be more difficult than the real GAIQ, so if you pass a few of these chances are you’re ready for the real deal.
Once you pass the GAIQ you’ll receive a certificate, which will be reflected in your Google Partners account (that badge we were talking about earlier) and everyone will know you’re an analytic genius.
But Is It Worth It? What’s the Point?
Getting certified is clearly no walk in the park, so is it really worth it to go to all this trouble?
In short, yes.
But not just for the certificate, or the badge, or the extra bullet point on your CV.
Chances are you’ll pick up a lot of useful analytic knowledge in preparation for the test; much more than you would if you just use the program in passing here and there.
You’ll learn in-depth information about specific Google Analytics features that you can then pass on to your employers and colleagues.
You’ll be considered a qualified web analyst, which should open job opportunities or ensure job security as this is a very in-demand position right now.
Analytics is the foundation of SEO, social media, local marketing, search engine marketing and more.
And if all this isn’t enough to convince you, just remember that you’ll have the opportunity to share your passion (and your knowledge) of analytics with anyone else who wants to learn.
Be proud of your newfound skills, and use them to improve the lives of others.