Google Analytics vs. Adwords Certification, which one is more important to start with?
Right now, my small film business has neither. Which option makes sense to start with first when we've only just started to establish our business. I've always thought that the certification doesn't matter, it's how you think analytically that will prove your value in the end.
Neither, you own a film production company. Why would you gain Adwords or Analytics certification when you produce films? You get these certifications if you want to either offer those services as an agency (These certifications allow you to be a Google Partner, which is good for convincing potential clients that you know what you're doing) or as an employee that wants to differentiate themselves from the competition. What's your goal? If you want to use these tools to advertise your business - then you can set up an adwords account and generate highly target campaigns. You can teach yourself this and with analytics, you can get marketing intelligence that you can use to tailor and refine your adwords campaigns. You don't need a certification to learn these essential marketing tools for today's business climate.
I've gone through both training programs and even the Bing one.
Honestly the Analytics will serve you better long-term as a business. It teaches you vocabulary that will show up on Adwords but will not be explained in as much detail. Also its a good starting point and quite a bit easier than the Adwords one.
from a business perspective you probably don't need Adwords Certification unless you provide digital advertising services. Google analytics on the other hand are a tool you can master in time and which will help you improve the overall performance of your website and help you increase you conversion rates. So I would say, spend time working with analytics for now and if at some point you reach a level where you feel comfortable taking the test, do so.
Scott Zucker is 100% on target. Those certifications are for professionals looking to offer services to other organizations.
A common trap small (and new) businesses fall into is that they try to save money doing everything in-house, and forget that takes away their time from their core focus. You should definitely understand the basics of both analytics and paid advertising, but the time you spend getting a cert is time you take away from building your core business. When you're ready for advanced analytics and/or advertising strategies, bring in specialists.
No matter how much you train yourself, you'll never know as much or be as skilled as a good consultant who specializes in analytics or paid search - because you'll always be splitting your focus with other areas of your business, whereas the consultants spend 100% of their energies on their respective specializations.
Does your film business focus on digital advertising? If yes, then AdWords might make sense, though I agree with Walter in saying that focus on revenue should be first. The Google Analytics tutorials are good and if you need it for your own website, you really don't need to be certified for it.
All the best!
Analytics applies to a variety of online marketing activities (and some offline) and should be foundational for any business owner and/or marketer who wants to stay on top of what their marketing is doing or not doing and why.
You'll need it to help improve your results from Adwords, too.
If you are going to be selling videos and looking for a complimentary service to bump revenue, I'd say don't bother with certifications at all!
Just explain how you transform their new video assets into a measureable (analytics) marketing funnel that can be implemented without SEO (Adwords.)
I'd tend to agree with Scott's answer, do you want to be certified to be able to provide services around AdWords & Google Analytics? I think it makes sense to start with whatever you feel you have a better understanding of- there are a lot of study materials on both, but you may have an aptitude for one over the other (i.e. I personally find the AdWords one easier based on my background). I think the certification matters if you need to show your expertise in one of these areas specifically for Google products. Otherwise, I agree it's just a certification.
Best of luck!
Zack: I am not sure why a film production company specializing in short films and music videos would need either certification. If you were doing consulting, I would suggest the Adwords certification first. In my experience there is more call for SEM (paid traffic acquisition) than there is for digital analytics. While I personally believe in the "test ==> measure ==> learn" methodology, most folks I talk to and work with are not nearly as in tune with their metrics as they should be. Also if they have to spend money, they will do it on traffic acquisition before they do it on measurement / analytics even though the analytics will tell them where to invest their dollars.
Just my 2-cents.
The analytics training materials are actually pretty good. I'd review those even if you don't need to be 'certified'. I'd generally recommend Analytics first as it's something you should do regardless. Adwords is optional if it's a good marketing tool for you. But it costs money. You should start mastering the basics of analytics to get a feel for how traffic behaves on your site.
I would start with Google Analytics first because it is has a smaller focus compared to the adwords certification. To prepare for the Google Analytics test the first thing to do is practice using it. Second is use googleanalyticstest.com for test questions. (There is another site for preparation that was recommended to me but you have to pay.) What I did with GoogleAnalyticsTest is practice everyday until I scored a passing grade. I am in the process of studying again to recertify.
Adwords certification is a multipart exam. If I remember correctly you need to pass 2 out 3 to receive the certification. The problem with Adwords is that you also need to practice and use it.
Both do help you on a resume.
As a small business owner, it is my opinion that you should concentrate your efforts on generating revenue and growing your business. Adwords may be important, but at this stage you can spend you time, effort and money for better things, such as marketing assistance.
The same with branding. Let it take care of itself while you concentrate on growing your business.