How to Get Google to Train Your Entire Staff on Google Analytics—for FREE

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Since we work every day in this industry, it’s easy to think there’s not much we haven’t seen before. But in reality, there’s tons we haven’t seen before.

A few months ago, I came across a site where someone displayed a badge saying his agency was a certified partner in Google Analytics—by Google itself. I’ve seen the PPC certification badges for years, but I had no idea there was certification for Google Analytics (it was apparently launched in 2009).

Becoming a certified partner isn’t easy so to speak. There’s proficiency requirements, business requirements, preferred qualities, and continuing education requirements like agreeing to send at least one employee to the Google Analytics Certified Partner Summit every year at your own expense and reporting about your Analytics work back to Google.

That’s a hell of a lot of hoops. At PushFire, we’re certified partners for Google AdWords since we offer PPC management services as a primary service offering (and we require all of the members of our PPC team to get individually certified as well). We’re more than capable with analytics, but we don’t offer it as a core service, so the certification process seems like a distraction for us at best.

But what caught my eye about the certification program was its Conversion University section. On that page, you learn two things:

  1. There is a Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) test (which requires you to pay $50 to be tested and complete the IQ test of 70 questions in 90 minutes with a grade of 80 percent to pass and has way less hoops)
  2. There is an opportunity to get damn near a “free degree” so to speak in using Google Analytics there—whether you chose to get certified as an individual, partner agency or not.


How We’re Leveraging This Free Training As An Agency

How to Get Google to Train Your Entire Staff on Google Analytics—for FREE!

One of the things that (I like to think) makes working at PushFire different than many other companies is that we’re very interested in ensuring our employees receive continual education in the search marketing space (such as the PushFire Lending Library that is stocked with tons of business and marketing books our team is free to check out and read).

We decided to set aside two hours each week to group train our entire staff on Google Analytics, whether they’re using it is part of their job description or not. We air as many of the Conversion University presentations as we can on our projection screen during that time and have a Q&A with our team led by our more advanced GA users (read, our PPC department) to answer any questions the team has after each video airs.

When we’ve completed all the training as a team, we’re going to pay the $50 dollar fee for each employee who wants to become individually certified—officially—once they pass a practice test (tons of them out there, but I’ve heard good things about Google Analytics, so that’s the one we’ll use), which everyone will be taking. We also plan to offer a $100 dollar gift card to every team member who passes the official Individual Qualification test.

Why We’re Leveraging This Free Training As An Agency

The reasons we’d want certain members of our team (the ones working with Google Analytics) to get this training is obvious. But why the heck would we train the team members who don’t? To increase overall morale, confidence, education, knowledge, and the benefits working at PushFire brings to our staff.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Olivier Le Moal

Rae Hoffman
Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is the CEO of PushFire, an online marketing agency specializing in SEO auditing and PPC management services. A veteran affiliate marketer... Read Full Bio
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  • Michael Rock

    Great Idea for your employees. Not too many employers are willing to do this for their employees.

    Your company, and employees will REAP HUGE rewards from this. The team building and understanding across your two teams (PPC department & Analytics department) will be a BIG win/win for your company.

  • Kaptain Mirza

    Sounds good. Free training.

  • Steven

    This is a very motivating post, Rae and such a fantastic long term investment!

    It’s also the first time I’ve come across and having worked with Google Analytics since 2008 yet still not taken the exam (!), this will come in handy. Not sure I’ll become a certified partner though.

    Very inspiring… Thanks for sharing

  • Rob Duckers

    Great idea. I think anyone working in marketing at any level should have some kind of understanding of conversion funnels, attribution modelling and learning about GA is a good way into that. Good on you for encouraging this kind of personal development

  • Eric Fettman

    Rae, thanks for posting this article. Investing time regularly in training is definitely the way to go.

    As developer and admin of, I can say that many participants have commented that the site was very helpful in preparing for the GAIQ – and that the questions were actually more challenging. This is probably due to the fact that the 222 questions written and/or edited by our content team are designed not only for GAIQ prep but also to test your knowledge of GA in broader range of practical situations. And we have made sure to include very thorough answer explanations, as well as lots of annotated screen shots to make the learning experience more visual and concrete.

    In any case, best of luck with your training and certification initiatives – let us know how everything goes!

  • Michael Black

    This is a very inspiring post, thanks for pointing this out. I have to agree with Michael that not many employers are willing to this for their employees, but they do not realize that it is a great long term investment that will significantly pay off.

  • Denny

    Really interesting article, but training depends on the employer willingness to pay for the employee for the training part.

  • Yvonne Martin

    Very inspiring post. Thanks !

    Been working with GA since 2008 but I am motivated to become qualified .

    Get a certificate and learn some more

  • Tom Wilkowske

    Having a “learning organization” mindset will put you ahead of the curve. Buy-in from the top is key, not just with the concept but commitment as well. You can have a manager who wants to do more with GA but won’t justify the staff time (much less the expense) of training — it’s never the right time because we’re so busy doing our daily work. Sometimes the individual needs to do it on his/her own time.

  • Cisco Chung

    Thanks Rae, great post. This is what all internet marketing companies should be doing. We’ve just established ourselves in HK and most of the companies here are in a very traditional mindset. Most are seeing employees as mindless monkeys and don’t invest in training their staff. This, coupled with a very low unemployment rate has created an environment of high churn.

    We aim to be one of those agencies who will value/invest in their staff, and the insight you’ve given here is great. Cheers!

  • George Psaltakis

    As an employer, I will try to follow your advice about this, thanks a lot

  • David Gadarian


    Nice stuff! I passed the exam a few months back and I have to say that while the exam was great – you are absolutely right in saying that the real value was studying for it. Google does a great job with this program and it is always nice to know what a company like Google is thinking – in this case they literally show you.

    I’ve shared a similar view with a number of folks that the studying for the exam is truly the real value. And yes… it’s nice to be Google Certified too!