Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Exam
Recently, I studied for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam. My company, Blue Corona, wants to be the second Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP) in Maryland, and I think that we are well on our way! For a company to be a GACP you need to meet the following requirements: proficiency, business, and preferred qualities.
The Proficiency Requirements demand a record of three authentic, paid Google Analytics case studies. Each case study must have a unique client who will verify the results. The case studies should demonstrate an ability to generate exceptional results for the client and a comprehensive knowledge of web analytics. Check. Blue Corona has multiple clients who have seen tremendous growth in their businesses. At least one of the case studies should show the use of website testing with Website Optimizer. In addition, your company must provide evidence of expertise in the field, such as influential blog posts, speeches for conferences, and management biographies. Blue Corona is also on top of this one. Our CEO, Ben Landers, gave a lecture for students at Georgetown University recently on the importance of web analysis and online marketing.
The Business Requirements demand that you actually represent a business in your locality and have an electronic system to track customer support requests. The most important requirement in this section is proof of Professional Indemnity/Liability Insurance, which is one million dollars in the USA. My CEO said he is working on this one so hopefully Blue Corona will clear this hurdle soon. The company website must also have a link describing your web analytics services. It is also important that at least one employee be GAIQ certified. I think that at least two employees should be certified for good measure.
Google also requests a promise to fulfill all of the program requirements, including an agreement to send one employee to the Google Analytics Certified Partner Summit in Mountain View, California. Sounds good to me. Also, you must agree to send Google a summary of all Google Analytics projects at the end of each quarter. Google also holds the right to terminate the partnership at any time for any reason. Yikes. I do not foresee this being a problem unless there is a serious failure to deliver the quarterly reports or provide quality client feedback.
Ben Landers said he would take care of the one million dollar insurance policy so I had to uphold my end of the bargain and pass the GAIQ exam. I studied for the exam using the old version of Google Analytics; however, Google is going to update the exam to reflect the new version of Google Analytics in January 2012. I used the information on Conversion University to prepare for the exam. The video presentations on this website are an excellent source of information. It is important to take notes on each one of the presentations because the GAIQ exam will pull information from each one of them. Have an idea of where information can be found in each presentation. This will save you time when you are taking the test. Google will offer the presentations for the old version of Google Analytics on Conversion University until Friday December 23, 2011. Afterward, Conversion University will host the course information for the new version of Google Analytics. If you are preparing to take the GAIQ exam for the old version of Google Analytics, then I would do so by the end of this week because the video presentations on Conversion University are an invaluable source of information. I do not think that the differences between the new and old GAIQ exam will be drastic, but it is important to review the new Google Analytics capabilities and reports if you are taking the exam in January.
How did I prepare for the exam? Like I said before, I relied heavily on the information on Conversion University to pass the exam. I also referenced the Google Help Center for information on tracking, filters, and funnels. It is also worth having the URL Tool Builder in front of you during the exam. The exam is 70 multiple-choice questions, and it is 90 minutes. It is important to know that the exam can be paused and completed at a later time. Once the exam has been started, you have five days to finish the exam. It costs $50 to purchase the exam at the Google Test Center. If you pass the exam, your certification is valid for 18 months after the date of completion. I passed the exam with a 91 percent!
Some of the trickiest questions require you to select two answers or all of the answers that apply. The following are a few points to remember for the exam: Google does not use personally identifiable information, Google tracks the most widely-used search engines by default, and Google uses first-party cookies. Make sure you understand the meaning of _trackPageview and the different types of filters. It is also important to understand the use of funnels and goal conversions. The presentations that I referenced the most when completing the exam are the following: Goals in Google Analytics, Filters in Google Analytics, Regex and Google Analytics, Cookies and Google Analytics, E-commerce Tracking, Domain and Subdomains, and Event Tracking and Virtual Pageviews. However, Google will include information from the presentations in the Interpreting Reports and First Steps sections of Conversion University to mix up the material on the exam.
Good luck on the exam! Comment below with any questions you have about the exam, and I will do my best to help you answer them.