| 30 June, 2016
The Most Important Google Certifications for Marketers
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Google offers several certifications for their products, and it can be tough to tell which ones are worth adding to your marketing toolkit. For us, there are two that stand out when it comes to marketing with Google. Here's why we chose them for our own team and recommend them for yours. 

Google Analytics

With the changing landscape of online marketing and the rapid evolution of Google's search algorithm, it is essential to not only be able to gather data for your website or app (which is the main objective of the Analytics tool), but to distill that data down into useful information. As with any other area of marketing, it is important to make informed updates to your site or app that are supported by data and relevant to your marketing goals and objectives. Being able to accurately interpret the data you receive from your Analytics account will help you build a strategy that addresses your weak points or leverages your strengths. Anyone can look at the data collected in the Analytics tool and see general patterns. It takes experience in the tool and a trained perspective, however, to craft actionable solutions and improvements based on that data. The Google Analytics certification arms you with both.

This certification will walk you through proper reporting in the tool, diving deeper than the basic "visits" and "bounce rate" data. For example, one of the first things you will learn is how to segment your data and set up event flows, goals, and multi-channel funnels. These multi-channel funnels will highlight the successful channels on your site (the pages which are drawing and maintaining visitors' attention) and pinpoint the exact channel where traffic is leaving your site. Equipped with this information, you can now work with your team to change the copy, update visuals, or tweak the design of your site to increase engagement.

Both Google Analytics and the Google Analytics Certification are free! For more detailed information on the certification, check out Google Analytics IQ.

Google AdWords

While Analytics helps you increase engagement with people who already visit your site, Google AdWords leverages new content and pay-per-click advertising to reach those visitors who may not have found your company's website on their own. AdWords allows companies that don’t have organic SEO clout to compete in highly contested market segments with immediate visibility. 

While launching your first search engine marketing (SEM) campaign is pretty straightforward, it's much more difficult to master SEM. The purpose of the Google AdWords certification exams is to make sure that you know how to optimize each campaign so that you see the greatest return on investment. You'll start by learning how to use Google Editor and Google API tools (the tools that allow you to manage tens of thousands of keywords and ads). You will then begin to learn more advanced segments like running reports that will demonstrate which ads and keywords are helping you achieve your SEM goals and which are just costing you money. 

While a Google AdWords account and certification are free, you will need to become a Google Partner before you can gain access to the exam. Read more about becoming a partner and starting the exams straight from Google.

Not sure where to start with SEO? Contact us for a free SEO audit and we'll evaluate your current site and give you actionable next steps.

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