Marketing is a very dynamic field, and what was considered relevant yesterday may have entirely changed today. Think about digital marketing, for instance, in the past, the only thing that mattered was the results of campaigns being run.
Are your campaigns bringing in enough traffic to the site? Which digital marketing campaign is likely to increase our conversion rate? How many leads will be generated from this campaign? It was all about numbers and the return on investment.
While the focus on results has still not changed, marketers now realize that the data from these campaigns are their most valuable resource yet. Yes, we did get this amount of traffic from our previous campaign, but how can we use the data gained to improve our digital marketing strategy? How can we organize and analyze this data before applying it to our marketing efforts?
If you still don’t have the answers to these questions, don’t worry because many marketers often find themselves in the same boat. Fortunately for you, there is a solution: Google Analytics certification.
The GA certification helps marketers navigate the google analytics platforms, leverage various data points, and reports to run campaigns that are more personalized and drive better results.
How then can you ensure that you pass the google analytics certification on the first try? By preparing for it. Outlined below is everything you need to prepare yourself for the exams.
The Basics of Google Analytics Certification
It is difficult to prepare for something when you don’t know what to expect, so here is an overview of the critical elements of the GA certification.
One of the main reasons why marketers fail the exams on the first try is that they go directly to the google analytics certification exam questions before taking time to familiarize themselves first.
Here’s what you can expect to see in the certification exam:
- Different subject sections – there are different sections of google analytics, and the exam breaks them down into different sections. This allows you to focus on one aspect first before moving on to the next one.
- Multiple choice questions – You are allowed to smile for this one. Yes, these questions are not open-ended, and you get multiple choices for each question. You have to admit that this makes it considerably easier to pass the exam.
- 70 questions – the GA certification comprises 70 questions that have been randomly picked by google from its vast database. You don’t get to skip questions or go back to a previous question.
- 90 minutes completion time – you only have 90 minutes to complete these tests, so you better make the most of it!
- The pass rate is 80% – to get the GA certification, you have to hit the 80% pass mark. This translates to getting 56 questions right, which is very attainable.
- Retakes are allowed – Google graciously allows you to retake the exam after 24 hours if you don’t pass the first time around.
- Pauses are not allowed – previously, you could easily pause the google analytics certification exam, but not anymore. If you decided to take this test, you have to make sure you go through the full 90 minutes; otherwise, you risk failing.
- One year validity – once you pass the GA certification exam, it is only valid for 12 months. This means that you have to retake the test every year, which shouldn’t be a problem as it’s mostly difficult the first time around.
Now that you already know what to expect, let’s dive into how you can sharpen your skills for the google analytics certification!
How to Prepare for the Google Analytics Certification
- Sign up for Google Partners
The only way you can take the google analytics certification exam is if you are a registered partner.1
This process is fairly easy and is equivalent to logging in to your Gmail accounts. The only difference is that being a google partner comes with its own set of benefits. It automatically raises your credibility as a digital marketing expert, which in itself is a career booster.
- Make use of Google Analytics Academy
Seeing as you’ll be taking a test set by Google, it is only fair that you make use of the resources they provide you with.2
Think of a scenario where you are taking your final exams for your undergraduates. Yes, you could make use of the reading materials in the library or even hire another tutor, but the focus will always be on the lecture notes. Why? Because the exam questions will be set based on what he taught during the lessons.
The same applies to google analytics certification; the google analytics academy has everything you need to pass the test.
Google recommends that you take two courses before taking the exam:
Google Analytics for beginners
If you are fairly new to google analytics, this would be a great place to start.3 Some of the things covered in this course are;
- How to create a google analytics account
- How to set up campaign goals, data fillers, and campaign tracking
- How you can implement the tracking code on your website
- How you can easily navigate the google analytics dashboard and interpret the data reports.
Basically, this course introduces you to the features of google analytics, giving you a feel of the whole interface.
Advanced Google Analytics
This is a more advanced course, but it complements the first course.4 Here are some of the things you can expect from this course;
- How to make use of event tracking, custom dimensions, and custom metrics
- The process used by Google to collect and process data from campaigns
- Insights into remarketing and segmentation.
This course is more complex and offers comprehensive insights into marketing and analysis tools.
- Both courses are similar in some aspects;
- They are both broken down into several units
- There is an assessment after every unit
- Each unit covers particular topics
- All topics are accompanied by videos, transcripts, and reading resources.
It is important that you go through the study materials (take note of the additional resources) provided by google before taking the google analytics certification exam. This will help you familiarize yourself with the google analytics landscape and fully equip you for the exam.
These courses are absolutely free.
- Give yourself enough time to study for the GA certification
Like any other exam, the google analytics certification requires you to study and not skim through the notes at the last minute. This exam is by no means easy, so you have to give yourself ample time to prepare for it. Here’s how you can best study for this certification;
- Space out your studying over a designated time frame. The google analytics certification has a lot of notes, and going through them in one sitting may not be effective.
- Set aside at least two hours a week to study for the exams and stick to the schedule. You don’t need to rush the study time since what matters most is the information you will gain.
- Follow the units set aside by google in the correct order. Here’s why; google has structured all the information you will need to pass the GA certification exam in a way that is easy to follow.
Don’t be in a rush to take the google analytics certification exams when you’ve not had enough time to study; otherwise, you will fail on the first try.
- Familiarize yourself with Google Analytics
When you move into a new town or school, the first thing you do is to familiarize yourself with the new environment. You may even get a map to help you navigate the streets and highlight the main landmarks around your location.
Why then would you want to take the google analytics certification without first familiarizing yourself with the google analytics interface? This will only make it more difficult to pass the exams.
Think about it; the only reason you are taking the certification exams is to enable you to make sense of the data in the google analytics dashboard. It then goes without saying that you should first get a feel of google analytics.
As you read through the study materials, it is recommended that you do so with google analytics open so that every time you learn something new, you can easily put it into practice.
One thing that helps is reading blog articles and recent Google Analytics tutorials to get up to speed with the platform.
Before taking any exams, it is always recommended that you take a practice test. This helps you gauge your preparedness and helps you highlight the areas in which you need to study more.
The good news is that there are loads of practice tests out there, definitely not from google, but they are helpful. These tests are usually more difficult than the actual assessment test, so if you pass them, you are likely to pass the google test.
Don’t restrict yourself to one practice test; subject yourself to several of them so that you can build up your confidence.
- Pick a time and choose a quiet place to take the GA Certification
You have done everything that was recommended, you went through the studying materials provided by Google, and you even took countless practice tests. You are confident that you are ready, and all that’s left is for you to take the exam.
So you decide to take the certification exam at your local coffee shop over lunch hour. Perfect right? Except that it is crowded and there’s too much noise and distractions that you can’t even focus, and you end up failing. You just wasted your lunch break and have nothing to show for it other than a half cup of espresso.
Could you imagine spending your spare time studying for the google analytics certification so that you can enhance your digital marketing skills, only to fail? Tragic.
Don’t blow off your chances of getting certified due to poor timing and location. Pick a quiet location with minimal distractions, and at a time when you are certain, all your focus will be on the exam.
Why Should You Take the Google Analytics Certification?
Because it is worth every single minute you spend preparing for it. Other than that:
- It is absolutely free: You don’t get to spend a dime, and the only money you might spend is when you opt to buy additional reading materials.
- You get to learn incredible analytics skills: You probably don’t understand how professional digital marketing experts in Orange County can look at the google analytics dashboard and make sense of the mumbo jumbo. Well, the google analytics certification course provides you with in-depth insights that you can use to make sense of your website data.
- It builds your credibility: The GA certification is a career booster on its own. How else will you convince potential clients that you are good at data analysis?
Other than the other benefits you also get a beautiful certificate that you can print out, frame, and hang on your wall of professional accomplishments.
You Have All it Takes to Pass the Google Analytics Certification
A fable is told of two woodcutters that went to the forest to cut down a tree. The first one dove into his work as soon as he got there while the second one spent half the time sharpening his axe.
Guess who had little difficulty cutting down a tree? The second woodcutter!
If you are sufficiently prepared for the GA certification the passing, the exam will be easy.
However, you need to remember one thing; it is not about getting the certification. It’s all about sharpening your data analysis skills.