Latest posts from the Reprise Blog

GAIQ 2014: How to pass the new Google Analytics Exam!

Monday, July 7th, 2014

I just passed the newest version of the Google Analytics Individual Certification and guess what? I’m angry at you internet!

I’m happy to be GAIQ Certified, but I could have passed it so much faster and with so much less stress.

So I’m writing this guide to help my fellow analytics adventurers in their journey to ace the GAIQ! It’s not really anyone’s fault. But because our digital industry moves so fast, much of the information I read and studied online was outdated.

After speaking to colleagues who passed the exam last year, it seems that the new GAIQ has far less focus on the technical and much more focus on the theory.

You might immediately jump to the conclusion that this is a bad thing because it devalues the difficulty of the exam. But let me explain in 3 simple words why I think it’s actually a smart move on Google’s behalf and why it makes the exam even more valuable.

JUST GOOGLE IT!

For a company that has given humans the ability to access the collective knowledge of the world in a few finger taps, it seems backwards that we should have to rote learn just to pass an exam.

I’m not suggesting that your technical ability for analytics should be any less, but what this reinforces is that you must know where to find the right information and how to ask the right questions to be able to easily troubleshoot the full spectrum of problems you may encounter on a day to day basis.

At Reprise we believe you can’t do SEO without a thorough understanding of analytics, so all SEO staff must keep their GAIQ fresh (it expires after 18 months).

In an industry in which clients often have a chequered past with dodgy SEO agencies and individuals, we pride ourselves on being not only completely honest and ethical with everything we do, but also knowledgeable so that we can provide the highest quality services possible. This means we are a 100% Google Certified Partner.

Google Analytics Certification

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification Secret?

Whilst I do have a few secret tips that will definitely make doing the exam easier, there is no substitute to actually knowing your stuff. There’s also no point in using these tips to pass the exam just for another tick on your LinkedIn profile.

I urge you to do the exam to further your knowledge and improve your skills as a digital marketer, for both yourself and your clients.

I may have found it a little easier to get started with my studying as I’d already been playing with analytics for a few years – but with the great resources available there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to pass. That’s why I will leave the little tips until the end of this post and instead first give you the resources you need to pass the GAIQ.

Google Analytics Certification Training Resources

1. Who better to learn about Google Analytics from than Google’s Analytics expert Justin Cutroni?

There is a solid 6 hours of content to go through in the Digital Analytics Fundamentals course. I’m not sure how you learn best, but I found it useful to take notes as I watched and learnt.

Also make sure that you explore the “Additional Resources” in each module. You will need to know all this extra information for the exam.

Finally, if you don’t have one, try and get your hands on an account with live data so you can try out everything you learn. It will make it much easier to understand and to put into practice. At Reprise we have both user accounts and admin accounts so that we can get people started on training without fear of them breaking anything!

2. The final questions from the course are very similar to what the actual exam was like.

Another website Google Analytics Test has some good test questions also. However, I would ignore the more technical ones (unless you really want to really want to expand your knowledge – in which case use them to research and learn how to answer them).

3. Distilled has put together a really great guide to the GAIQ too.

I would highly recommend reading the “What Else Do I need to Know” section of their guide – there are a few things mentioned here that were in the exam and definitely weren’t in the Google Analytics Academy.

Google Analytics IQ Test Tips

Ok you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things to study. So here are the couple of small tips to help you young grasshopper.

1. You can pause between questions and it’s an open book exam.

Yes that’s right. You can pause the exam between questions and without any limit on the amount of times.

Don’t think this makes it much easier though. If you haven’t studied and don’t know where to look for answers – you will still fail the exam and have a frustrating time. Use this bonus feature of the exam to verify what you already know or if you’re really stuck.

2. You can retake the exam if you fail.

Justin Cutroni won’t ban you from Google Analytics if you get less than 80% correct. Google wants to see you succeed just as much as I do. For $50 you can re-sit the exam. Plus you will have a much better idea of what to expect! In the words of Michael Jordon:

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

If you think you’re a Google Analytics boffin and you want to prove it to your mates, or you simply want to start your journey become one – proving you can get 56 out of the 70 GAIQ questions right is the best way. If you’re a boffin why not even try it without pausing the exam?

Good luck – I hope you get a slam dunk!

GAIQ


Reprise Australia nominated for 4 awards at AMES 2014

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Reprise Australia are finalists for 4 awards at the AMES (Asian Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy Awards) 2014 to be held on May 29th at the St Regis in Singapore.

The 4 award nominations are for;  Kia Motors Australia (2 nominations), Cathay Pacific and ING DIRECT. Reprise and Kia are nominated twice in the Data and Analytics category and will be looking to take home the awards for “Single customer view at scale” and also “Analytics Innovation” with their campaign “Kia – Attribution that works”.

In the Digital Strategy – Travel category, Cathay Pacific are finalists for their “Fighting the Right Fight in Flights” campaign.

Finally in the Digital Strategy – Finance category,  ING DIRECT are nominated for “ING – Spend your lunch well” Reprise Australia CEO, Craig Ellis commented:

“These nominations showcase our digital experience capabilities across Digital Strategy and Data and Analytics. The fact they all fall under an ‘effectiveness’ umbrella is a tremendous result for us and further demonstrates that what we are producing here as a business in Australia is making a real difference for our clients and stands up against the best work in the region, a result we are very proud of!”

#RepriseFamily we’re one step closer . . . bring on May 29th! Good luck to all other shortlisted campaign.


Upgrading to Universal Analytics – Issues with Google Tag Manager

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Google have recently taken Universal Analytics out of beta. This means upgrading the current Google Analytics to Universal Analytics will become non-optional and should be done sooner rather than later to make sure no issues arise with current data tracking. As most of our clients are using Google Tag Manager and Data Layer to implement most of their tracking tags, we expected the upgrade process for tags involving Events and Virtual Pageviews to be as easy as flicking the dropdown option from “Traditional Google Analytics” to “Universal Analytics”, yes?

Unfortunately not.

GTM Tag Update Removes Existing Configurations

When you change the setting from GTM Tag, all the configurations you have set before are wiped out clean and you’ll need to set it up again from scratch.
This is the example of the Event tag with Traditional Google Analytics:

 Traditional Google Analytics.

However, this is what happened when we changed the setting to Universal Analytics:

GTM Universal Analytics

Imagine having to do this for hundreds of GTM tags – inefficient and time consuming. Unfortunately we have not found any quick solution other than having Google update the GTM tag so it can keep the existing configurations. Obviously, we believe their needs to be an almost “save state” available that will allow you to change to universal analytics and still keep your configurations within Google Tag Manager.


If Google Was a Guy – Google Parody

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

We often find ourselves thanking the heavens that we were born into an age with Google in our back pocket. Our second brain, an oracle, we would be lost both literally and metaphorically without it! (Bless you Google Maps!).  If you ask, it will answer without judgement. At your fingertips the power to turn water into wine and self-diagnosis.

If Google Was a Guy Part 1 & 2

College Humour’s great new video ‘What If Google Was Still A Guy’ is a sequel to the video released earlier this year ‘What If Google Was A Guy’, and personifies the role of someone who would have to take care of humanities quest for search. In our opinion the video is a hilarious paradox on an age old saying: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”.

#Viralvote to join the conversation.

Do we use Google to realise valuable information for the greater good? Or has our quest for knowledge become like a junk food addiction, only wanting information that’s easy to get and quick to consume.

 


Schema.org Actions – Latest Update in Schema Markup

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

What is Schema.org Markup

Simply put, these HTML tags (Schemas) allow webmaster to markup different sections of their websites which are better recognised by major search engines. Some of the more familiar ones would be reviews, product and organisation.

Schema Actions

What are Schema.org Actions

Schema.org has expanded its structured data to give websites the opportunity to describe the actions they enable and how these actions can be invoked: Schema.org Actions. The new markup allows us to dictate how your action can be connected. The guys over on Seroundtable received the following answer from Bing on what it means:

The Action vocabulary is intended to be used primarily for describing actions that have taken place in the past [past actions] or could take place in the future [potential actions]. Let’s assume Barry shared an MSN article on Facebook yesterday. This is an example of a past action. Facebook might use schema.org to describe the action by indicating that Jason is the subject (agent) of the action, the action verb is sharing, and the object of the action is an MSN article. Now let’s say MSN wanted to expose the ability for applications to programmatically share an article on their website. This would be an example of a potential action. MSN might use schema.org to describe the potential action by indicating the action verb is ‘sharing’ and that you can perform this action by calling a specific URL

It was also summarised nicely in the comments section:

It’s a schema to add context to a link or block of content. It is a way of annotating content to cite sources and authors and the type of activity that happened between the two… i.e. Joe shared Susan’s post. Linda retweeted Billy’s Tweet. Simon liked Fred’s Photo… with URLs and dates and all the metadata to go along with it.

Schema.org Actions Available

actionStatus: Indicates the current disposition of the Action.
agent: The direct performer or driver of the action (animate or inanimate). e.g. *John* wrote a book.
endTime: When the Action was performed: end time. This is for actions that span a period of time. e.g. John wrote a book from January to *December*.
instrument: The object that helped the agent perform the action. e.g. John wrote a book with *a pen*.
location: The location of the event, organization or action.
object: The object upon the action is carried out, whose state is kept intact or changed. Also known as the semantic roles patient, affected or undergoer (which change their state) or theme (which doesn’t). e.g. John read *a book*.
participant: Other co-agents that participated in the action indirectly. e.g. John wrote a book with *Steve*.
result: The result produced in the action. e.g. John wrote *a book*.
startTime: When the Action was performed: start time. This is for actions that span a period of time. e.g. John wrote a book from *January* to December.
target: Indicates a target EntryPoint for an Action.

At Reprise we have always worked towards implementing such Schema markup and it seems the focus on semantics by Google has increased drastically since hummingbird. Google are regularly updating guidelines and working with the likes of schema.org to improve this process as is evident by a recent Google Webmaster Tools post on helping Google identify your business’s contact and local info.

Schema.org Markup Searchmetrics Study

With this in mind Search Metrics released a US case study on surrounding schema adoption and the affect it has on performance. (likely similar impact in the Australian Index).

Some key takeaways from the study are below. We believe the last point will influence companies to the point of implementation along with the benefits seen in CTRs through Rich Snippets which schema can also provide.

• Only 0.3% of the studied domains were found to include schema.org integrations.
• For only 34.4% of keywords examined, Google returned search results with neither schema.org integrations nor any other structured data involved.
• The share of websites with schema.org integrations is highest in Germany (compared to US, UK, FR and ES).
• The most common integrations are “Movies“, “Offers“ and “TV series“.
• Review and ratings integrations from schema.org are over 60% positive.
• Pages with schema.org integrations rank better by an average of four positions compared to pages without schema.org integrations.

You can read the full study at here.