Before taking, I knew that there would be a fair amount of studying to do. I am like most Marketers, who maybe have used GA in smaller capabilities over the years. If you are completely new, then you need to spend a few hours “dinking” around in the program, so you are familiar with where things are. Now the difference between those who use it for marketing and those who are “qualified in Google Analytics”, can be a bit of night and day. As most use GA simply as an over complex hit counter of sorts.
Google Analytics can do alot more, and alot more than can get you better and faster answers about your data.
To sum things up better, once you’ve went thru the process of learning, taking the test and being able to proclaim certification….you will have an understanding of – Segments, Event Tracking, Campaigns, Filters, Expressions (to some extent), Regex, Site Search, Goals, Advanced Segments and Cross Domain Tracking to name a few
Most users of GA – Open it up, check the dashboard readings and move on (aka – over complex hit counter of sorts)
All that “stuff” may sound intimidating off the cuff, but trust me…..1 step at a time, go thru the lessons…and read all the links and suggestions. You’ll come out a winner
Even if you don’t pass the first time…………just know that in preparation alone, you will have become somewhat of a GA guru and be able to do alot of stuff. My takeaway is this – You won’t want to keep blowing $50, so it makes you prepare more. Having a GA Certification says alot to employers, that you really know your GA (rather than a casual – “oh, ya I use Google Analytics all the time!!”)…aka deep internal confidence. Let’s face it…. you probably have looked at the job market, and while their are jobs…there are alot of resumes going around that claim SEO, analytics., SEM…etc
(alot of those applicants are smucks – who like to seed resumes with keywords)
(I said alot, BUT NOT all) So tool up, nut-up, and become the marketer you were designed to be!!!
Finally – My biggest takeaway of all – With it comes more value = higher salary = bigger bargaining chip
(it also separates you from the other analytics smucks you might be competing against – who don’t have qualifications)
Think your bad ass without the certification?
OK, take the FREE TEST over at http://www.googleanalyticstest.com/ – to see how you do
BASIC NOTES FROM GOOGLE:
Google Analytics Individual Qualification – US English Only
Available in US English. The Google Analytics IQ test challenges your knowledge and understanding of Google Analytics. Upon receiving a passing score on this test, you will receive a proof of qualification.
You have 90 minutes to answer the questions, but you can pause the test and come back to it later. The clock stops while the test is paused and your answers are saved. You must complete the test within 120 hours (5 days) of starting it or the test will expire.
QUICK NOTES ON THE TEST:
– It’s not easy, though you don’t have to be Web Developer either pass the test
– If you pass, your certification will show up online in your account
– If you pass, you WILL be added to the GA database as being certified (by name)
– If you pass, it may take a day “before” it shows up in your account (the actual certification)
– Yes the test has changed, there are a few questions on the V5 Google Analytics (new version) – Get familiar with both
– Certification lasts for 18 months (then you’ll have to take the test again to update to another 18 months….blah..)
– Multiple Choice Questions, though the harder ones may have more than one answer
– Yes, you can MARK questions that you want to come back to or are unsure of you answer (do this!!)
– Have all your notes available with chapters or sections tabbed (you have to reference answers under 2 minutes per question)
– Yes you can pause the test and come back later (Total allocation 120 hours (5 days))
– Must pass with 80% correct or higher
– Test costs $50 (though you can do searches on the Web for maybe a discount code – I got mine for $25!!)
– Correct, there are no shortcuts, only good preparation, good studying, and listening to each of the reference articles and materials
– Pay attention to many of these articles, as they give you HINTS on what you should be studying
WHAT ABOUT A SCREENSHOT/s OF THE QUESTIONS?
This is frowned upon, and that’s why there are none. Certification Holders like being Exclusive, after all they DID the work and PAID the money, and therefore can only point you in the direction of materials, but not a cheat sheet.
Though for reference I’ve included 1 blurred screenshot, so you can see what the questions look like.
FYI – The test is limited to 90 minutes, consisting of 70 multiple choice questions with 2 to 5 answer choices
The TEST: (Need to sign up for an account to purchase Test)
YOUR TRAINING LIST
You should read, reference or print all these to prepare yourself:
Analytics Help Files:
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES THAT HELPED: (also read the comments for tips!!)
Guide “large” Booklet (Alot of Material – I didn’t use this for the test, but it provides an extra manual to reference)
Several Recommended Articles here (See more under Related posts:)
Good Guide (recommended)
How to Pass Guide (recommended)
MOST IMPORTANT: (YOUR LESSONS) – All are updated to match the test you’ll be taking
Google Analytics IQ Lessons
1- Go thru each Presentation
2- Copy the Notes from each presentation (click icon – then go into the notes tab)
Print these out! – and assemble into a reference book
3- Make sure and “screen capture” some of the slides that include coding to add to your booklet
(Note I had to flip to alot of these very quickly – this may not be needed, but it helped me alot as some of the “NOTES” don’t contain what’s in the slides)
UPDATE: Notes are now available from the 2012 Google Analytics Lessons – Make sure to grab part 1 and 2
YOU NEED THIS PAGE FOR THE TEST (for the Expressions Question)
This page will help you with CAMPAIGNS
WHAT ABOUT “EXPRESSIONS” – those look difficult?
There are some questions on expressions, rather than thinking you have to learn coding…you should just know where to reference the materials to answer the questions, you’ll be given multiple choice answers and have to pick the right expression (as an FYI)
SPECIAL TRAINING (A FREE PRE-TEST SITE)
I highly recommend you taking all the modules before hand JUST to experience the complexity of what “kind” of question could be asked. With that being said, I did go thru all of the modules and found that as a whole the questions were trickier and based more on an expert level than what you would need for the formal GAIQ test. (not all, but some)
One observation was that the GAQT often uses multiple variations of a concepts in its answers. Many of these variations are simply not at the top of most GA user’s heads, which means you either have to try each variation in GA to get the answers or be able to summon every aspect of every table in your head.
For GA1Q test takers – I recommend taking these, knowing that you won’t get all the answers correct and takes notes on the trickier questions to reference later. (The questions require you to think thru alternatives)
In all, I didn’t find this to be an easy test. The countdown is nerve wracking, so what is recommended is “marking” all the ones questions that you need more time to think (you can “mark” questions to review later) Get thru the ones you do know, then pause the test and spend some time looking for solutions to the harder questions (it’s an open book exam). Pausing means you can PAUSE, close the window and return the next day once you have better answers. The test will still be their to pick up and continue (though only for 5 days)
The harder questions were usually the ones where you could make multiple choices. As in, select all that are True. Note: you may get 3 out of 5 selections listed, but you need them all to be right for the question to be marked correct,
Other questions while not necessarily trick questions are still tricky. your options might involve small things you’ve learned over the course of several pages, making it difficult sometimes to sort all in your head.
The point of the whole process, is that by preparing taking and hopefully passing the GAIQ exam, you will become highly proficient with GA just in “preparation alone”. You may still not be at the level of a Google GA consultant (who I imagine would be quicker and more proficient at determining best avenues) but you’ll be on your way to understanding most of the concepts, AND implementing them.
The GA Certificate is a great tool to have in your resume or portfolio as it simply says to the client or employer, you are bad ass in web analytics (or assumed). An SEO who can master analytics, projects a deeper understanding at analyzing the data beyond standard SEO tactics. (aka…sure you know all the tricks, metas and page optimizations…but can you read the results of your work and recommend best future directions…???)
You’ll of course want to know “what” you should study, of which the articles listed above do a good job at listing. You also should take note that after you go thru all the courses, you should review all your notes to make sure you know or “know where” important subjects reside. (TAB YOUR NOTES)
WOW THAT’S ALOT OF MATERIAL TO REVIEW – SHOULD I REALLY STUDY ALL OF IT?
YES – dont fool yourself into thinking you don’t
– Passing Google Analytics Qualification Test
– Tips on Passing Google Analytics Qualification Test GAQT
– Study Materials for the Google Analytics Qualification Test
– How to become Google Analytics Qualified