Digital skills are undoubtedly the most important skill on-demand as civilisation is entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Over the past twenty years, technologically advanced countries opened thousands of jobs to people conversant with digital problem-solving skills. Also thousandslost jobsas other non-intellectual skills were redundant in today’s world. As the Digital Revolution is progressing insuppressibly, digital skills are the modern trend.
Early internet pioneer Douglas Engelbart idolised the Digital Revolution by saying that it was “far greater than the invention of writing or printing”, solely because it constituted an open educational platform for everyone. Ergo, Education 4.0, a new methodology of education built from modern technological advancements, created according to the pace of the student. The aim of Education 4.0 is to “prepare students with set skills for the digital world”. In contrast to traditional education (Education 1.0), Education 4.0 aims at personalised learning for students, with interactive learning modules and study materials, without the need of a teacher. With such a goal in mind, Google Digital Garage offers a free course on “The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing”, a certified course that is internationally accredited, which aims in teaching everyone about marketing and promoting a business online.During this time of lockdown, I started doing the 26-module course on digital marketing having a total duration of 40 hours. The 26 modules go through the basics of digital marketing. From creating a webpage to running ads, this course explains every lesson with an easy-to-understand video and some end-of-lesson quizzes. To complete this course, all you need is the proper composure. The modules are divided into several categories, such as webpage layout designing, running ads on the internet and expanding businesses globally. The videos and quizzes prepare you for the final goal, to complete the 40-question exam that will determine your certification. Here are the few things I learnt from the course in toto:
Optimised Website and Mobile apps
To be alluring to potential customers, websites have to be very responsive and optimised for different devices. User behavioural data recorded on Analytics can help to show what difficulties users are facing through different devices. Better user experience is perchance the most important thing to keep in mind while advertising. Mobile apps should also be integrated to work in the same way.
Analytics and Analytical Tools
Businesses often use specific software, known as Analytics, to view insights of the website’s traffic, how and with what users interact with, and through which devices and platforms users usually access and interact with a website. Analytics uses different Analytical Tools, which help to gather and sort the data.
This is usually a few lines of special code which have to be embedded into the website. While it will remain hidden, the code will gather specific information, such as user interactions. Businesses can then use this information to make future decisions and set goals. Analytics can prove to be very important, per se.Basic search promotion through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The very basic way to promote a website or business is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). A very basic example of this would be when someone is searching for something related to your business.
This could be the type of service you offer or the entire business. Using this technique, businesses can often be freely promoted. Businesses can likewise be promoted without the need for a website. This is done by being listed as a business in a local directory, e.g. a map. Relevant searching for your business is achieved by keywords, title tags and metadata.
Importance of Keywords, Title Tags and Metadata
Keywords play a vital role in marketing. They are everywhere, in websites, YouTube videos and social media pages and posts. They can help search engines, which search the web through a process known as “web crawling”, to easily match websites which are relevant to the users’ search query. There are many ways to assimilate keywords. Some keywords have attributes which show the website only when the search query contains those terms. Some even prevent the search engine from showing the website. This will prove to be favourable when a business will begin using search result ads. Meanwhile, title tags help the search engine figure out what the website is about, and Metadata (or the body description) figures out the contents of the website. Search engines use these three factors to determine whether a website is relevant to the search query.
Ad Management and Content Marketing
Remember how we see advertisements in billboards, newspapers and television? Well, ads across the web work in almost the same way, with a plethora of functions. Search ads appear when someone searches for something relevant to the business, or the service it provides. They are also known as pay-per-click ads (PPC) as businesses only pay when their ads are clicked on. For such an ad, keywords are very important. They help the search engine find relevant ads to show according to the attributes of the keywords. Display ads show up on other websites, and businesses have to pay to keep the ad running. Through the advent of internet cookies, display ads are shown to users who have previously searched for relevant materials. Moreover, display ads are also used to advertise to previous customers through content marketing. These include special offer and discounts that can be sent at specific times, such as when customers are near your shop!
Expanding a Business Globally
Digital Advertising has made it very easy for businesses to seek new customers. Once a business is properly established in a country, using Digital Marketing, it can expand abroad. Statistical Data Analysis is convenient for this.
Before expanding a business globally, you have to research the target market and competition abroad. With digital advertising, you have to research about search traffic and pricing. This knowledge will facilitate when expanding a business abroad.
I learned about a few basic steps one should follow to take business abroad, such as considering setting up a new website in the local region, with a proper local set. This will ensure good customer growth in other countries.
The entire course was lengthy but fun! The instructional videos were easy to comprehend as they included fun scenarios, pleasing animation and so much more. Also, the lesson-end quizzes were easy, so were the module-end quizzes. I enjoyed learning about the topic, and honestly feel proud getting certified. However, I think of this as, yet again, another achievement for children, which again proves that children can accomplish quite anything in this world. If you feel interested, you too can try. Google Digital Garage, the place where I completed this course, can be your starting point for such courses. Likewise, it is a great way to pass the time during the lockdown period. But always remember, if you are determined, you can do anything,!
Hissan Khandakar, a student of Standard VIII, Playpen School