Google Digital Garage Course, which includes certification.
The online opportunity
Your first steps in online success
Build your web presence
Plan your online business strategy
Get noticed locally
Build your online shop
Sell more online
Get started with search
Search engine basics
Think of something you'd like to research and try searching on a few different search engines. Compare the results. Can you find different types of information using different search engines?
How search engines work
Each search engine uses their own software programs, but the way they work is pretty similar. They all perform three tasks: First, they examine content they learn about and have permission to see (that’s called crawling). Second, they categorise each piece of content (that’s called indexing). And third, they decide which content is most useful to searchers (that’s called ranking).
How search engines see the web
If you have a website, open a web page and view the source code for the page. How? If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, you can find this by navigating to a web page, clicking “View” in Chrome’s top navigation, then selecting “Developer”, then “View Source”. Can you find your page titles, meta descriptions and images? Are there areas that need improvement?
Organic search explained
Think of some words and phrases you're interested in, then try a few searches for them to see what appears in the organic results. If you have a website, try searching for related keywords to see if you appear. You can also use a search operator to see if your pages are in the organic index. Search for this, replacing the bracketed text with your URL, to see what shows up: site:[your-website.com]
Paid search explained
The next time you search, take a moment to study the results page. Do you notice any ads? Can you see the correlation between your search and the ads you see on the page?
Google search console
Visit Google Webmasters and set up Google Search Console for your website. If you’ve already done that, review your reports to do a check-up on your website’s health and visibility in Google Search.
Get discovered with search
Intro to search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search for a word or phrase in a few search engines and identify the paid and organic search results. Take a look at the top organic results. Why do you think those websites appear higher than the others?
The importance of an SEO plan
Start creating an SEO plan by considering how to perform better in organic search for your most popular product or service. Which keywords seem important but aren't sending you much traffic? How could you fix that? You can use Google Trends to research keywords.
The SEO process
How to choose keywords
Brainstorm a list of keywords for your most popular product or service. Research the search volume for each keyword. What are the most specific long tail keywords that apply to your product or service?
Setting realistic SEO goals
List your business goals. Do you want to increase revenue? Expand your customer base? Now list the things you want visitors to do on your site that contribute to these goals. For instance, more visitors who order fresh fruits and vegetables contribute to your revenue goal.
Make search work for you
Making your web pages search friendly
Get started in search engine optimisation by improving the pages on your website. This video explains the elements that you can tweak to make your website easier for search engines to understand. We'll cover:
title and description meta tags
Do a search for one of the products or services you offer. Take a look at the results with a close eye on how other businesses optimise title tags and meta descriptions.
How other websites can work for you
Visit a social media page of a company you admire. What kind of information are they sharing? What type of content gets the best response from customers? Think about this as you create your own content strategy.
Cross borders with SEO
Find three companies in your industry or business niche that target other languages or countries. How do you feel about their localisation approaches? Do they translate all content on the pages? Customise content such as currencies and navigation? Which options do you prefer for your internationalisation plan?
Be noticed with search ads
Introduction to search engine marketing (SEM)
Do a search for a product or service you're interested in buying. Take a look at the paid ads that appear - who do they seem to be targeting? Are they similar to what you searched for?
The SEM auction
Search for a handful of keywords relevant to your business. What do you notice about the advertisers for these keywords? Which ads appear at the top of the page? Which ads appear lower? Can you see a correlation between relevance and ad position? Jot down your observations for future reference
What makes a good keyword
Make a list of keywords you think are relevant to your business. Now, have a look at them with keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner. How much traffic can you expect? What’s the estimated cost? Can you find other keywords you hadn’t thought of?
Make your ads stand out
Does your business have any offers or promotions that you can use in your adverts? Brainstorm a few calls to action that will help potential customers understand what they should do when they reach your website.
Improve your search campaigns
Achieve relevance with good structure
Use a spreadsheet, a document, or even pen and paper to create 3–4 ad groups for the Wedding Photography and Baby Photography campaigns that you saw during the lesson. Need a hint to get started? Think about the types of products that might belong to these two categories.
Get the most from your keywords
Use one of the research tools linked on the right. See if you can find five keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, see if you can find three irrelevant keywords that you can use as negative keywords.
Fine-tune with keyword match types
Use one of the research tools linked on the right to see how your estimated traffic and costs change if you restrict the keyword match types from broad to phrase or exact. Use the tool to help find the right balance between relevance and traffic. Think of it as the story of Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, just right.
How to know what’s working and what isn’t
Review your website and brainstorm at least one conversion that you want to track. Then, search for “conversion tracking” tools that are offered by the search engine marketing service you’re using, like Google or Bing.
Helping people nearby find you online
Using digital to advertise locally
Look for the advertising options that would make sense for your business. Start by entering the names of businesses similar to yours into a search engine and take notes. What directories do they appear in? Are they using paid advertising? These are the options you will want to think about. Also, ask your customers where they hang out on social media. This will give you other ideas about where you can connect with new customers online.
Reaching locals on their mobiles
Search for a nearby business on your mobile. Note the number of businesses you recognise. Next, click on a few results and browse the websites from your mobile. Are they easy to navigate? Are the layouts appropriate for a smaller screen? Lastly, see if you can find a local business that offers an app. What sort of functionality is being offered? What could you offer in an app for your business?
SEO for local businesses
Get noticed with social media
Social media basics
The right social media sites for you
Setting your goals for social media7
Consider your social media goals. Are you trying to build awareness? Are you looking for a way to communicate more with your customers? If you had to choose one goal to start, what would it be? How can you begin to put it into motion?
Getting on social media
Deep dive into social media
Get started with content marketing
Intro to content marketing
Get to know your online customers
Choosing the right format for your content
Writing for online audiences
Help your content be seen
Measuring your success in content marketing
Connect through email
Email marketing basics
Your email marketing options
Crafting great marketing emails
Managing successful email campaigns
Measuring success in email marketing