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The One Certification That Every New Digital Marketer Should Get

I tell all my students: if you want a job in digital marketing, get a Google Analytics Certification.  It will get you job interviews, it will get you a higher starting salary, and you can use it to start making money as a freelancer right away. (this is great if you have student debt that you need to pay back or just want some extra income).

Getting Google Analytics Certified can be a gamechanger whether you’re already in the marketing field and want to earn more OR you want to get paid to do digital marketing.

What is Google Analytics Certification for Individuals?

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test is a certification that will help anyone who wants a career in digital marketing get an edge. It helps you see who’s coming to a website, which devices they use (desktop/mobile) and how they navigate through the site. It helps you measure the performance of your website so you can improve it.

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) is a demonstration of proficiency in Google Analytics that is available to any individual who has passed the Google Analytics assessment. Qualified users will be effective at leveraging Google Analytics within their organizations and at helping others to do the same. You can earn the certification through Academy for Ads, Google’s online training program.

Google Analytics Logo

Source: Wikimedia

When I meet students graduating with a Marketing degree, and they tell me they don’t have Google Analytics certification, I’m horrified.

Then they wonder why they aren’t getting hired at the top digital marketing agencies in town.

For certain job titles, you need this certification or your resume goes into the trash heap.

Would you swim with both hands tied behind your back wearing a hula skirt?

Surprised Look

Source: Pexels

Nope. Didn’t think so.

Then why would you try to get into digital marketing without a Google Analytics certification?

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions I get:

  • Is Google Analytics Certification worth it?

If you want a career in marketing, website development or management, the answer is YES.

  • Is Google Analytics Certification Free?

YES! It’s free. It used to be $50 but now it’s completely FREE.

  • Is Google Analytics Certification hard? 

Not really but if you have no background in marketing or website development, I guess it could be. The best thing to do to figure out if you enjoy it is to go through the free course (see below) and decide for yourself.

  • How long does it take to study for the test?

It really depends. If you’ve used Google Analytics in the past, you may be able to ace the exam after studying a couple of days.

But I’d reserve 5-7 days to be on the safe side if you have some experience using it.

If you’re starting from scratch, I would study for 3-4 weeks before taking the test if you’re only studying for it a few hours per week.

  • Can’t I just wait till I join a company and then go through certification?

Google does have a program for certified partners and many digital marketing agencies train their employees and get them certified. So you could wait and let your future employer train you but why would you intentionally lower your current market value?

Follow this step-by-step guide to get your Google Analytics Certification:

  1. Start with this course by Google, it will teach you everything you need to know about Google Analytics: What I love about it, is it’s free and it’s by staff experts so you know it’s up-to-date and “right from the horse’s mouth!” I also recommend checking out these videos: (binge-watch instead of your favorite show on NetFlix!). One of the most valuable parts of Google’s Analytical Suite is Google Tag Manager. Many SEO experts use it, and it’s really good to deep dive into it before you sit for the test. Here’s where you can learn about Google Tag Manager:
  2. Take some practice tests. Here’s a site that has some practice tests:
  3.  When you’re ready, go to this website to sign up: You can earn the certification through Academy for Ads, Google’s online training program.
     (you’ll be signing up as an individual, not an agency, so follow the instructions on how to do that).

PRO TIP #1: Once you get certified, don’t forget to download your certificate and add your new certification to your LinkedIn Profile and also your resume. It’s definitely a keyword that recruiters and HR managers use to find qualified candidates.

Remember not to violate Google’s terms of service:

“Your individual qualification demonstrates basic proficiency in Google Analytics. Please note that creating or displaying a Google Analytics IQ badge is a violation of Google’s branding policies and may infringe Google’s trademark rights. Your qualification may be revoked if you create or display a badge. Any member of Partners can earn a Google Analytics individual qualification. Once you’ve passed the Google Analytics IQ assessment, you can demonstrate your achievement with a personalized certificate issued by Google.”

PRO TIP #2: It will help if you are managing a website so you can practice what you’re learning. If you aren’t currently managing a business website, create your own or volunteer to help a nonprofit.

Having something concrete to apply your skills on will make *all* the difference. Plus you’ll have a case study you can present in job interviews to showcase what you’ve learned.

You can even create a small blog to document what you’re learning as you study for the Google Analytics Certification test, to help future test-takers!

Next Steps: 

If you’ve decided to make a commitment to do this certification, comment below and I’ll hold you to it! For example, “I promise to complete my Google Analytics Certification by x date.” It’s a promise with yourself, but once you send it to me, it will feel real!

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