For those interested in becoming experts at search engine optimization, improving website performance, and measuring digital strategies, Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there. It is a free web analytics tool hosted by Google that allows you to see how visitors reach and use your site.
The data that Google Analytics gives can be powerful, but it is important to know how to interpret it correctly. To that end Google has provided a free Conversion University service to help train people to use Google Analytics. Once a user feels as if they have a good depth of knowledge about Google Analytics, how it works, and how to use it, they can pay $50 to take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test at Google’s Testing Center (login required, also free.)
However, the test is not to be taken lightly. After spending 4.5 hours studying training videos at Lynda.com, I felt confident enough to take the test. I was wrong, but hopefully will be able to learn from my experience and help others along the way. My lessons:
First, although it costs $25, I would still recommend starting with the Lynda.com training videos. They are not tailored to the tests, but they do give you a very good working knowledge of how to use and take advantage of Google Analytics.
Second, after going through the general training provided by Lynda.com, I would go through all of the Conversion University material and take notes. These presentations will have information more pertinent to the test itself.
Third, take the test. Let me give you some strategy tips.
- All the questions are multiple choice, and you can right click to strikethrough an answer. Do this to eliminate choices as you go.
- You are given the option to mark a question and return later. Take advantage of this.
- Have a simple text editing document open while you take the test, and jot down the questions that you don’t know the answers to.
- When you don’t know the answer to a question, Mark & Skip it.
- When you finish going through all the questions for the first time, pause the test. This will give you 120 hours to research the answers to the questions you couldn’t answer.
- Upon returning to the test, use the “Review” button to see which questions you Marked & Skipped, and which questions you just Marked. Starting with the Marked & Skipped questions, go back and answer while using your research.
- You are only given 90 minutes to complete the test. But I noticed that the timer paused at the review screen. So, my recommendation is to go to a Marked & Skipped Question, read the question and answers, then click Review again to go back to the review screen. While the timer is paused look for the answer in your notes. When you think you have the answer go back to the question, answer it, and unmark it.