If you own or manage a website, especially for business purposes, understanding how your pages are performing is something you can’t really gloss over. Do you know how many visits you received yesterday? That’s just the beginning.
If you never did it before, setting up a Google Analytics account might seem a daunting task. Luckily, Google itself comes to your rescue with learning material and certifications to test your knowledge.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a thorough web analytics service offered by Google since 2005. Once you set up your account, you receive a tracking code that must be installed on your website to − you guessed it − track your users’ characteristics and behaviour.
Do I need a certification?
Provided you installed the code properly, fetching basic data isn’t rocket science. However, when it comes to more complex metrics, knowing where to look might not be straightforward. There’s no going back after data is processed, so you want to make sure that you follow the best practices.
Moreover, you might need it for your job (e.g. for some digital marketing roles). Even if you are not required to take it, deepening your understanding of Google Analytics will surely benefit your website or blog. Taking the certification is free, so the only thing you need is a little bit of time to invest in it.
How many Google Analytics certifications are there?
The main certification is called Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) and covers material from beginner to advanced. You have 90 minutes to complete the assessment and it expires after 12 months.
To prepare for that, you can head to the Analytics Academy, where you will find several courses and mini-certifications (Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics).
Google Analytics for Beginners
Since this is the starting point, I am going to focus on this certification and reserve more advanced topics for future posts.
Compared to the Google Ads Certification, the approach is more practical. There’s no study guide, but a series of videos and hands-on exercises.
The course is made up of four units of 3-5 lessons each:
- Introducing Google Analytics
- The Google Analytics layout
- Basic Reporting
- Basic Campaign and Conversion Tracking
For every topic there are easy-to-follow video lessons and handy transcripts (which saved my life because, when I studied for this certification, I had a crappy internet connection, loading videos was very frustrating). Moreover, there are links to additional articles if you want to read further.
At the end of each lesson there is an assessment, that usually involves searching for data in the Google Merchandise Store demo account. This is the best thing about the course because, especially if you use analytics for your personal blog, you might not have the chance to experiment with the e-commerce functions.
When you complete the final assessment, you unlock the certificate on your profile.
Stay tuned for more certifications!