seo learning

What Are the Benefits of Offering Digital Marketing Education?

Just 50 years ago, the idea of having constant, real-time updates of current events in another part of the world, or a vast social media network exchanging ideas was unheard of. Today, it’s something that people take for granted, especially in cities like Hong Kong.

However, with such immense changes to technology and society comes dramatic shifts in the way we do business and advertise it. Marketing, one of the cornerstones of any successful business, is rapidly changing in the 21st century. 

Successful marketing is now digital marketing, which is why digital marketing education is crucial in today's job market, for a flourishing career, and for any professional interested in staying relevant.

Marketing is constantly evolving

Just two years ago, the Wall Street Journal, proclaimed that traditional marketing was being replaced

There was an understanding that the old methods of marketing, such as billboards on roadsides or even 30-second commercials on broadcast television, were losing their effectiveness. That did not mean marketing was dying, far from it, in fact. It was simply an acknowledgment that the most effective means of marketing was no longer the older, established ones.

With online methods of advertising and engaging consumers, digital marketing education is vital. If traditional marketing is no longer working, then what is? 

“Analog media” such as television, print, and radio are still alive, but they no longer occupy the same niche in consumers’ lives.

Computers have become the nerve centre of most daily activity, whether in the form of a desktop, laptop or the ubiquitous smartphone. In fact, the smartphone is the most popular computing device in the world, with 6 billion phones in use in 2018! That’s a huge number compared to the figures for television viewing, newspaper circulation, or radio listeners. So what will digital marketing education cover in this new, digital world?

Targeted marketing is effective marketing

A recent Neilsen study on television programming and marketing revealed a disturbing trend. The 18–24 demographic of viewership shrunk by about 50% in just five years in the United States. And it is safe to assume the trend applies to Hong Kong as well.

But of course, this younger demographic hadn’t just given up on video consumption. They were still consuming huge amounts of video content; they just weren’t getting it from television anymore. They were watching videos on the internet, primarily on YouTube. In other words, they were seeking out their own kind of content, the type that was targeted at them.

Analog media methods have two major weaknesses for marketers. 

1) Analog is passive, and it is low on data collection. A television ad, for example, is like setting off fireworks. It goes up into the air, and it creates light and noise, and all the audience can do is watch it, then go home. 

2) The extent of the relationship between the marketing, media, and the audience; it’s entirely one-sided. The audience has no way to interact with the media; they can only consume it. And a marketer has no engagement with the consumer.

All of this means that there’s a lot to learn now for businesses, especially those that rely on traditional or analog media marketing. Continuing to invest in conventional marketing will yield lower, less certain results. 

For a new generation of marketers, not knowing how to take advantage of innovative, modern platforms means being hamstrung for relevancy when applying for jobs.

The Benefits of Offering a Digital Marketing Education

here is a growing demand for digital marketing skills, from businesses and students. Getting a digital marketing education benefits businesses that invest in training sessions and courses, students who are looking for employment, digital marketers who want to stay relevant, career changers who want new prospects, and of course, schools that want to increase their profits.

Investing in digital marketing education is a way to future-proof workers who can bring a highly desirable set of skills to the workforce.

Graduates

For people who are still in school, considering graduation and career choices, the increasing importance of digital marketing means career opportunities. 

Unlike other jobs that are vulnerable to automation in the future, digital marketing is something that will always require a human touch. A concentration in digital marketing immediately gives an edge when it comes to applying for jobs in today's digital business world.

Established Professionals

For employers, getting existing employees to upgrade their skill set with a digital marketing education is a wise investment. A trusted employee that already produces good results is invaluable to any business, but to help that employees grow is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the bottom line. 

Employees feel more loyalty to a company that is willing to invest in their skills and help them thrive, and at the same time, the company benefits from a tried and tested asset with an upgraded, modernised skill set.

Career Changers

Nearly $50 billion was spent last year on digital advertising and the figure continues to grow. Many people already in the workforce are aware of how digital is affecting every industry, and they want to either remain relevant to their companies or get better job prospects through retraining and professional development.  

A program or course developed to enhance the skills of working people will boost enrolment rates and the number of qualified individuals who can fill open digital marketing positions. 

Quality Education Still Matters

Program coordinators or business executives who are looking at their curriculum or training sessions understand that education is always changing. 

With new technologies, markets, and industries, there’s a growing need for graduates and employees with relevant knowledge and training in digital marketing. In order to remain relevant, quality education must have its finger on the pulse of the conditions in the marketplace and workforce. Schools need to focus on offering what will get their students meaningful employment while businesses need to provide employees with opportunities to bring more value.

A valuable digital marketing education (for students and businesses) should not look like a diploma mill. The courses and topics should cover strategies, tools, and trends that prepare students for real-life situations and challenges. 

Digital marketing education is an area of professional development that is growing larger with each passing year due to the changing nature of jobs across industries and departments. 

Final Thoughts

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field that continues to grow more important.

It’s not going to go away anytime soon, and organisations that can offer education in this field are future-proofing both upcoming graduates and established career professionals who want to broaden their skillset and prospects.


Source: Digital Marketing Institute

How to Become an SEO Professional

Whether you’re making your marketing content or not, the number of clicks on your page matters. When organic traffic increases, so does potential revenue. Investing time to become an expert in SEO is an essential part of any successful business marketing plan.

You may be switching careers or just starting out; perhaps, you’re a digital or traditional marketer looking to learn more. In any case, the first thing that any SEO professional knows is that SEO stands for “search engine optimisation." SEO is the practice of creating content designed to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site via organic results on search engines.

Search engines have algorithms, “crawlers,” that scan the pages of your site and organise yours and others on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Practicing SEO involves understanding the rules of the search engine’s crawler to make sure your posts skyrocket to the top of the first SERP.

An SEO professional stays current in this quickly moving digital marketing field. Though making your content according to SEO seems like a daunting task, it’s easy to grasp when you take the time to figure out how search engines work and how you can tailor your content to get it into the highest-ranking search results.

Here’s how to become an SEO professional and get as many clicks as you can.

Read, Read, Read

SEO writing is a constantly-changing field because search engines are always changing. It pays to stay on top of any updates to Google and know what current software patents they have.

A useful tool to unravel the mysteries behind the engine is checking out sites like Search Engine Roundtable. Here, authors fluent in SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) create forums and threads about SEM topics. If you’re looking for discussions and information about Google’s recent bugs and tests not only in Hong Kong but in places all around the world, this is the site to check out.

Search Engine Land is another great platform to learn more about what industry experts are saying about current search engine trends. They even have SEO search engine specific content where you can learn about the difference between optimisation on Google and Bing.

A great way to get software-specific information is to check out companies that offer SEO solutions.

Software like YoastMoz ProConductor Searchlight, and Serpstat are good SEO tools that digital marketers use to improve their rankings on SERP. You can run your content through these products to get keyword analysis, backlink tracking, and trend analysis – these all provide useful insight into how to make your content more SEO friendly.

Check out an SEO software company’s blog to acquaint yourself with the kind of services they offer and what you’re looking for. Yoast has a great blog that’s specific to the SEO services they offer. Here, you can keep abreast of the kinds of updates coming to products that Yoast runs on. For example, their post about WordPress’ message to consumers to update their PHP for the upcoming WordPress 5.2.

Get Hands-On

All of that SEO reading can get repetitive and confusing after a while. Take a break and get hands-on by reading through some training guides or getting enrolled in an SEO course.

You’re never going to get better at SEO without practice. Training guides and courses are a great way to get real-life experience without buying the software.

Search Engine Land has a helpful video with Common Craft for beginners explaining how a search engine’s algorithm organises content’s position on SERP according to its words, titles, subtitles, and links.

They also offer a complete SEO Guide on common pitfalls and ways to improve your search rankings. If you don't have time to read the 9-chapter guide, they have a Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors that summarises the guide’s information for quick reference.

Yoast offers a variety of SEO courses designed to improve your SERP ranking. They also offer practical all-around training, specific copywriting training for a writer looking to make their content more SEO friendly, tips for web designers and marketers looking to improve their website’s SEO, more technical SEO training, and coding specific training.

Moz also offers an SEO guide for improving your rankings. Their guide is useful for beginners to people fluent in search engine algorithms. Moz takes a triangular approach to teaching SEO; their guide starts with a general focus on improving rank and then narrows its focus to making your content and website more competitive.

If you want a guide not created by an SEO software company, SEO by the Sea offers consultation, training, and coaching for people interested in being more web visible. 

Be Both Analytical and Creative

SEO is a unique field that blends creative content with the demands of a search engine algorithm. An SEO professional writes content with a two-pronged marketing approach. They must try to appeal to both people and search engines.

There are two types of SEO expert – the developer and the marketer. Website development improves the "crawlability" of the webpages, while the digital marketing aspect makes the links, titles, and diction more SEO friendly.

No matter how much people enjoy what you write, there’s no way it’s going to create traction and generate organic traffic if it doesn’t hit the top of the SERP. On the other hand, nobody wants to read content or buy a product that’s surrounded by a mass of keywords designed to exploit Google’s algorithm.

From January 2018 to 2019, Google searches took up 74% of all internet searches. If you’re not marketing your content in a way that’s Google-friendly, you’re missing out on most potential clicks.

Since algorithms scan and organise your page according to its code, link structure, titles, and diction, it helps to have a fundamental understanding of the technical aspects of SEM before you start writing and designing. 

Anyone Can Become an SEO Pro

It’s not hard to become an SEO pro with a little practice. Anyone can learn how to use search engine algorithms effectively regardless of whether they have a degree in digital marketing or computer science. Whether you’re transitioning careers, just at the beginning of your professional life, or looking to improve your digital marketing tactics, SEO fluency is vital, and it’s easy to learn.

Bill Slawski

Bill Slawski, the editor of SEO by the Sea and Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, attended law school and worked as a legal and technical administrator at the Superior Court of Delaware for 14 years before he joined an SEO agency. Bill Slawski uses his expertise in law to focus on search engine patents and white pages. In Slawski’s words:

"Just because a search engine has a patent on an invention doesn’t mean that they are currently using it. The search engine may have technical or business reasons why they may not be or have decided to follow a different approach. But a patent is a clear signal that a search engine has researched a topic and has had search engineers and lawyers work together to protect their intellectual property and to exclude others from using the processes described in those patents."

Bill Slawski is just one of many people who have used their SEO knowledge to supplement their skills and experience. Understanding how to optimise search engines for your website is a transferrable skill that you can use across fields, businesses, and organisations.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute