GAIQ Study Sheet

Ahh, the wonder that is Google Analytics (GA). As we've all experienced either first hand or while dealing with clients, GA is a complex giant that is often underutilized. In the hands of an inexperienced user, GA consists of pretty graphs and a lot of meaningless numbers. In order to make sense of your website’s traffic and maximize its potential, like anything, you have to practice.

“Practice makes perfect.”

In this case this saying definitely rings true. Since GA is a powerful tool with a steep learning curve, “practicing” and learning the ins and outs can seem intimidating. Adding additional pressure, Google offers a digital badge certifying your qualifications through an exam, the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) .

Personally, I hate tests. Even if it’s something I know in and out, just the thought of being quizzed freaks me out! So, for those hoping to get their heads around GA and pass the GAIQ I’ve put together a checklist of items to complete before the big day.

What is the GAIQ?

The GAIQ is a “proof-of-proficiency test”. The actual test consist of 70 questions that must be complete in 90 minutes* and cost $50 USD. In order to pass, you must score at least 80% and your certification lasts up to 18 months.

* You can pause the test as needed, for up to 5 days.


Create your own site, implement the GA Tracking Code & verify installation

By creating your own site, it will allow you to become comfortable with basic coding and the GA dashboard.

Do you know how to…

  • Change the date range & compare different segments over time?
  • View referring keywords?
  • Identify top landing pages?
  • Search for views from a specific page?

Create Custom Filters

Custom filters process your raw data and allow you to manipulate and create filtered data. Filters can give you specific and advanced views of your data. However, once your data is filtered it cannot be undone so it’s important to maintain an unfiltered profile.

Do you know…

  • How to set up a custom filter?
  • When setting up a filter, what are the best practices?
  • What are the 5 different filter types?
  • How can you use profiles and filters to create customized data views?

Advanced Segments

Advanced Segments allow you to isolate and analyze visits that meet a certain criteria.

Do you know…

  • What are the differences between advanced segments and filtered profiles?
  • How do you create an advanced segmentation with conditions?

Cookie Types

By understanding the different types of cookies, you will be able to better understand who is coming to your site and how GA is tracking visits and unique visitors.

Do you know the difference between…

  • First & Third party cookies?
  • Persistent vs. Temporary cookies?
  • The different types of GA cookies?

E-commerce Tracking

It is important to track sales activity and performance for sites that sell products and services. E-commerce reporting can track sales activity and key metrics, such as transactions and revenue.

Do you know how to …

  • Add the GA Tracking Code to the receipt page?
  • Define: _addTrans() _addltem() _trackTrans()

Subdomain Tracking

Understanding how GA tracks visitors across domains & subdomains is important to understand because it allows you to track a single visit to one visitor.

Do you know how to define & explain…

  • _setDomainName() _setAllowLinker() _setAllowHash() _link() _linkByPost()

Goal/Funnel Setup

Setting goals is a good way to measure business objectives which are important to the success of your company. When setting up a goal it’s imperative to think critically about your business model and identify desired actions. By defining a funnel, you will be able to analyze how visitors are entering and exiting your conversion process and then optimize your site to better suit your goal.

Do you know how to…

  • Set up a goal?
  • Set up a funnel?
  • Identify on what page a visitor left the conversion process & where they navigated to?
  • Identify what the 3 different types of goals are?

Virtual Pageviews and Event Tracking

Since simple tracking won’t log when visitors interact with Flash or Ajax based activities, it is important to understand how you would go about monitoring these pageviews.

Do you know…

  • How to set up a Virtual Pageview with an argument?
  • What are the advantages in using Event Tracking?
  • What are the 4 best practices for tagging links?

URL Tagging

Understanding how to tag a URL and what the different types are is an important step in identifying how successful your marketing campaigns are.

Do you know…

  • What the 5 different tagging variable are?
  • Where the different campaigns appear in GA?
  • What are the 4 best practices for tagging links?

Google Adwords Integration

GA allows you to track and analyze all of your marketing campaigns, which can help to determine which marketing efforts are effective. By integrating your Adwords campaign through Autotagging, you can segment paid from organic traffic and analyze your cost data. It is important to understand the unique ID at the end of the URL and how 3rd party redirects and encoded URLs can affect your ID.

Do you know…

  • How do you track campaigns?
  • Explain how autotagging works and what can prevent it from working correctly. How can you test URLs to see if they work properly?
  • Why might the number of visitors be lower than clicks?
  • How do you see which ad headline performed best for a certain keyword?

Create a Cheat Sheet

Although the word “cheat” has a negative connotation, you are allowed to use any resource during the GAIQ. So, if you find yourself confusing regular expressions or weak on the rules of filter order WRITE THEM DOWN!

Handy Resources

Conversion University

50 Recources for Getting the Most out of Google Analytics

Google’s Analytics Channel


At the end, it all comes down to how you prepare for the exam. So before you hand your $50 over to Google, make sure you take your time studying and dig around GA. I hope the above checklist helps and you pass with flying colors! Happy Studying!

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