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8 Digital Marketing Courses Business Owners Can Take for Free

8 Digital Marketing Courses Business Owners Can Take for Free

Calling all business owners who are tired of banging their heads against brick walls due to average digital marketing results. Sound like you? As every business owner knows, sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…at least until you find (or can afford) an exceptionally competent person to take it over. For many businesses, budgets simply don’t allow for outsourcing everything to a digital marketing professional or a content marketing agency. There might be no choice but to dabble in some DIY marketing strategies. The problem is, when we do attempt our own SEO or Pay Per Click (PPC) tweaking, we often don’t know enough to get the results we’d like. And as they say, a little knowledge can be dangerous! If you’ve been experimenting with your own digital marketing like a nutty cyber professor, and your results have been… well…blah…it might be time to think bigger. Here’s a list of 8 free courses and resources available to amplify your DIY marketing prowess. All of these can be done online in your own time. Take your time and investigate them all, or click the link on the list below to jump to the course of most interest. SEO training with Moz Adwords & Digital Marketing training by Google WordStream PPC University Inbound Marketing – HubSpot training Open Universities Australia – Online Advertising GFC Learn Free – Social Media Marketing Canva Tutorials – create fabulous images Wistia Video Tutorials SEO Training by Moz (facilitated by Udemy) Had a crack at your own SEO before? Or do you simply need to wade through the basics because...
Content Creation Tools Used by Agencies and Pros

Content Creation Tools Used by Agencies and Pros

One of our highly regarded friends and professional colleagues has given Article Writers high praise in his latest podcast examining the Ultimate Content Creation Tools Used By Agencies And Pros (above). Moby Siddique, head of strategy at Red Pandas, agrees with us – quality content creation is a key weapon in every marketer’s toolbox. “Sometimes you can’t go past outsourced local writers. My fourth tool would be a friend of mine who runs a content marketing agency in Sydney called Article Writers,” he says. “I’ve actually used these guys in a previous gig. The value is you get to speak to an account manager, of sorts, who can either suggest a process for you, based on your objectives, or possibly work within the parameters of your own process.” We’ve embedded Moby’s podcast above and copied his summary below so you can quickly reference the key takeaways. 1. Content Ideation a. Upcontent What is it? Content discovery tool that finds content, influencers and relationships between other content topics. Pro-tip: push to buffer from here! b. Keyword.io What is it? It is a long tail keyword finder. Keyword io is more persona aligned, it’s more directed to the types of questions they are asking themselves, friends and Google. c. Google AdWords Keyword Planner (accessible only to account holders) Key with keyword planner is using the right filters. Keywords to include “directory” for instance, gave me (2) keywords. Date range, in our example for March 2016 says there was a 20%+ increase in search year on year. 2. Content Creation Some pro tips There are no shortcuts when it comes to content so you will still...

Google Panda 4.1 May be Good for SMEs

Many business owners who rely heavily on website traffic get a little nervous when they hear another Google algorithm update is on the way. But early rumours suggest that most recent update, Panda 4.1, may be beneficial for small to medium businesses – at least for those who’ve paid attention to the content quality on their website. Some say the update may prove to be a bit of an equaliser – allowing SMEs that don’t have a paid army of content writers yet make the effort to regularly update their site with quality content, to rank well. What exactly has changed? As always, it’s difficult to tell because Google don’t publish the details of the ‘signals’ they use to determine quality content. However, the focus of the Panda algorithm is content quality. After each significant update SEO experts around the world scramble to analyse traffic data and compare sites that have experienced big increases or decreases in traffic in the wake of the update. This allows them to identify the factors most likely to be involved. What is fairly clear is that Panda 4.1 has added more signals to help determine quality content. According to the Search Metrics SEO Blog, the losers in this round appear to be websites that have ‘thin’ or low quality content, aggregate content from other sites, and those that don’t refresh content. Winners appear to include news based websites (constantly refreshed content) and sites with a high quality of content. How to impress Google with your content While exact signals aren’t published, the work done by SEO experts suggest the following will benefit your...

The Facebook and Google+ Faceoff for Business Users

In 2013 Facebook made changes to the way stories and brand pages turn up on users’ Newsfeeds. Their new algorithm is designed to ensure high-quality and relevant content is delivered on Newsfeeds, over and above the latest meme photo. Are you one of the many businesses that has suffered a big slump in the level of organic reach on Facebook? You do have the option to pay to ‘promote’ your posts and extend the reach substantially, but is this option worthwhile? According to research conducted by Ignite Social Media, paid exposure can provide an initial increase in reach, but this can sometimes be followed by a sharp reduction – a bit like a “short-term sugar rush” according to Jim Tobin, Ignite’s president. One study by Ignite even found that the impact of organic reach was almost three times (76%, compared to 28%) that of paid content, when tested against the actions of a control group. This doesn’t mean that paying for advertising space through Facebook is never worthwhile; it just indicates it may be more effective to ‘earn’ rather than merely ‘buy’ Facebook success. So how do you earn success on Facebook? According to Ignite, “smart marketing is about help not hype”. In other words it’s about providing some real solutions and value for your audience, over and above producing a flashy ad campaign that pops up in people’s newsfeeds. In addition, social media advertising should form part of an overall marketing strategy and not be treated as separate from it. Marketers also need to think about what their followers want to read and share, and to consider using...

Making Optimal Use of Meta Tags to Improve Site Traffic

There are numerous ways of increasing traffic to your website, and writing effective meta tags is one of them. They can often be overlooked among the larger SEO tasks when building or expanding your business website, but these small bits of text are key in encouraging people to click through to your site from search results. So what exactly is a meta tag? A meta tag is a piece of text that describes or provides information about a web page. While there are a few different types, the main one in use these days is the descriptor meta tag – a HTML or XHTML tag that explains in summary form what a site or a web page is about. Search engines use the tag to display the summary information to users when they are doing web searches. Google refers to this summary as the ‘snippet’ – it’s the couple of lines of text that appear under the title of a web page in search results. This text is important because it gives you an opportunity to explain what’s on the page, and to persuade people to click through to your site. How does it work? The description tag is added to the header section of the HTML code of a web page. For example, the tag for a home page might provide information about the site itself, while one for a product web page might give information on a product or service, prices, or a call-to-action. In addition, the tag for a blog might contain the name of the author, the date and a brief description of the content. Where...

Quality content is the most powerful SEO factor: Google says so!

Are you spending a large chunk of your budget on SEO and as little as possible on content creation? You might want to rethink that in 2013, and instead invest in developing a content strategy and engaging good copywriters. SEO isn’t dead, but it’s certainly changed. Here is all the evidence you need that quality content is the most powerful SEO tool available to you. Google says so You’d have to be silly not to listen to Google on the subject of content creation and SEO. So let’s take a quick look at what they have to say. On page 14 of their publication The Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, they open the chapter on content with the telling statement: “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.” On the Google Webmasters site you’ll find an article containing tips on creating Google friendly sites. The first one opens with: “Provide high quality content on your pages…” In a 2011 post on the Webmaster Central Blog, Google offered a great deal of information on their definition of a high quality website and on what constitutes quality content. The post discusses the aim of the site quality algorithm Panda, and while they state that they are not listing the ranking signals, they do provide a list of 23 points to provide “guidance” on how Google looks at content. You’d have to assume there is a healthy correlation between what the algorithms aim to detect and the list of factors Google believes define quality content. Summarising the guidance on what constitutes good content, it’s...