Free Education

Google, the rightful King of Brand Creep, now provides free-to-student digital marketing and AdWords training courses. In their latest attempt to bring the Internet to every corner of the globe, Google has made it even simpler for small business owners to create an online presence. In conjunction with their “Online Marketing Challenge,” the company has invited students to complete provided course modules and AdWords certification. Interested in the challenge or not, this initiative is a great resource for any student studying digital marketing, or anyone planning to start a small business.

A series of narrated videos and accompanying downloadable worksheets illustrate and explain a variety of topics from search engine optimization, analytics, to digital marketing and advertising techniques. Organized into eight-course packs, the information is detailed and easy to understand. As I make my way through the course material, I find that I have stumbled upon a comprehensive and well-formatted pool of teaching materials perfect to supplement my current education.

This first video, which serves as an introduction to the course, is titled Why Does Being Online Matter? and it simply and effectively explains just that. The video discusses the importance of developing virtual real estate to be found in today’s global marketplace. A business can utilize a website for various purposes including to direct the consumer to a brick and mortar location, to sell products online, or to educate the consumer about their good or service. An optimized online presence is an invaluable asset in an effort to grow sales and expand a market.

Other than a direct website, this module mentions the value of review sites and e-commerce websites. The power of a positive rating from a third party is not to be underrated. It opens a new avenue for the customer to find a company. E-commerce can even provide a new way for the customer to buy a company’s product. A wider variety of distribution channels can mean more sales.

Of course, in order to optimize the effectiveness of all of these, there are many social media avenues to uncover. In addition to page creation throughout the multitude of sites dedicated to social media, Google’s video also stresses the significance of a professional blog to reinforce expertise and transparency.

With resources like these readily available, it is the personal responsibility of any business owner to become informed.