When I started working at Engage Web back in July, I didn’t really have any knowledge or experience of the world of digital marketing. I had a degree in English Literature and History to my name, and a two-week work placement with a marketing and publicity department at Penguin Random House book publishers under my belt. If you had asked me what SEO, PPC and Google Analytics were though, you would’ve received silence as your response.
So, when I was asked to undertake the Google Digital Garage programme “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing”, I was more than eager to get started and learn more about the online world. Without even knowing it, we’re all the targets of digital marketing campaigns, and there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you’d think. If you’re considering giving Google Digital Garage a go, or you’ve never heard of it before and want to know what on Earth I’m talking about, I’m going to take you on a whistle-stop tour of the qualification.
What is Google Digital Garage?
Google Digital Garage is an online learning platform that provides skills and training on the digital world. It has a whole host of learning modules users can complete, and best of all, it’s free! Users can choose from 146 separate courses or undertake the complete “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” qualification, which was created by Google in collaboration with The Open University, and is endorsed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
What do you learn?
As the name suggests, you learn the basics of digital marketing. This begins with starting up a business’ online presence, and spans to encompass pretty much everything you need to know about digital marketing, including SEO (search engine optimisation), SEM (search engine marketing), PPC (pay per click), Google Search Console, Google Analytics, e-commerce and content marketing. Filled with case studies and packed with key terms of the industry, at the end, you learn how to take a business global.
How do you learn?
For the digital marketing novice, as I was at the start of the course, the terms listed above may sound intimidating, and like a strange new language. However, learning the fundamentals of these aspects couldn’t be simpler with Google Digital Garage.
Each topic is broken down into a module, and each module has several segments. Learners have the option of watching a video or reading a transcript, so it’s a very accessible form of learning that caters to audio and visual learners alike. All aspects are explained in easy-to-grasp terms in a beginner-friendly way, and while it is created by Google, it doesn’t appear biased – wherever it mentions a service Google provides, such as the Google Keyword Planner, it suggests an alternative, like Bing’s Keyword Research Tool.
As you complete each module segment, you are faced with a quick question to test your knowledge. There’s no typing involved – all you have to do is select an option(s) from a list of four statements presented to you, or match up some pairs. At the end of each module, you’re presented with a short quiz, with a few questions where you must fill in a blank or choose the correct statement – again, the answers are already there for you, all you need to do is select the correct one. Once you’ve completed a module, you gain a badge, providing satisfaction and motivation as you watch the number of badges on your profile increase.
One great aspect of this course is that you can do it completely at your own pace and chip away at it little by little. There’s no time limit on completing the segments or modules, although Google does provide suggestions of how long it thinks each one will take to complete. It estimates that the course will be completed within 40 hours, but I personally finished it in under 10.
At the end of the course, there’s a 40-question exam. Again, don’t panic – this is an open book exam with no time limit, and the answers are all there on the screen, you just need to pick between A, B, C or D.
Once you’ve completed the exam, you’re instantaneously granted a certificate – a great addition to your CV or LinkedIn profile, and a satisfying end to the course.
Who’s it aimed at?
This course gives you a great insight into the world of digital marketing from the viewpoint of setting up your own online business. Personally, I learnt a great deal from the topics covered, which I have found a great help in my work at Engage Web. However, I must stress that this is a course teaching you the “fundamentals”, so don’t expect to receive university level education.
Personally, I would say this is the perfect introduction to the online world for someone with little to no knowledge. If you’re considering pursuing a career in online marketing, but don’t want to dive into the deep end straight away, or if you’re a student considering a marketing degree, but want a basic introduction first, this course is definitely for you. Likewise, if you have a business and you’re considering setting up an online presence, this would be the perfect resource to do so.
If your business already has an online presence, and you’re looking to expand it, but don’t really know how it all works, this would also be a great place to start. Not only does the course talk you through the steps of doing so, but if you were planning to hand over the task to a digital marketing agency, completing this course will ensure you know exactly what you’re signing up for when you purchase an SEO package or series of social media ads. You’ll also discover how exactly they work – although here at Engage Web, we always ensure our clients know what they’re signing up for when they purchase a package, and we keep up consistent communication throughout the process.
In summary, Google Digital Garage and its Fundamentals of Digital Marketing qualification is the perfect starting point to begin investing in, or starting a career in, digital marketing. With easy-to-understand material, a flexible learning schedule and certification at the end, it’s a brilliant, beginner level resource to set your feet firmly in the digital realm.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing and establishing an online presence, get in touch with our team at Engage Web today.