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September 11, 2017

Back to school: 5 online courses to improve your digital skills

September is here. The days are getting chillier and the nights are drawing in.

Autumn is fast approaching and although summer hasn’t officially finished yet, endless #BackToSchool social media posts tell us that the school summer holidays are over.

The end of the holidays will be a relief for some mums and dads and the cause of sadness for others. Some parents may get jealous of the fact that their kids get to learn in comfortable classrooms all day while they have to trudge off to work.

But the lack of opportunity is no excuse for not learning and growing these days – learning new skills has never been easier. There are thousands of free online courses available to anyone who is prepared to work for a few hours each week.

Here are five of our favourite courses to learn new digital skills this September.

Google Analytics training

Analysing your audience, their behaviour and the conversions they generate is one of the most important elements underpinning your marketing work.

If you can’t analyse something, you can’t improve it. Everyone on your team should have a basic understanding of analytics and how the different metrics should inform strategy.

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and easily accessible analytics tools available to digital teams. And the Google Analytics academy makes learning the system incredibly easy.

There are beginner courses for those who are just getting started and more in-depth courses for anyone looking to become an expert. Once you have completed the advanced course, you will be invited to sit the Google Analytics IQ exam. Passing this exam earns you a Google Analytics Individual Qualification badge that you can display on your website.

Google’s Digital Garage training is great for a broader introduction to digital skills.

Subscribe to the Google Analytics training here.

Developing Dynamic Web Applications Using Angular

This course from Microsoft teaches experienced developers how to use Angular to build complicated web applications.

It gives front-end developers the opportunity to dive a little deeper into the open source framework and create dynamic webpages for mobile and desktop web apps.

For companies that aspire to more than a basic web page, Angular offers the perfect set of tools to create more complex online properties.

Delivered through the edX online education platform, the course leads developers through a series of modules covering increasingly complex topics – giving you the opportunity to push the limits of Angular and discover why it is so popular with so many creators.

Subscribe to the course here.

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Digital Branding and Engagement

Want more people to engage with your brand, but not sure where to begin? This course will help you drive brand engagement through creative content production and distribution.

In this hyperconnected world, brands need to create and participate in two-way conversations with their consumers to drive brand awareness and engagement.

Fortunately, they have more channels open to them than ever before. Many of these channels are free, making digital branding a cost-effective way of reaching out to customers.

This course will teach you about the challenges of managing a modern digital brand and how rich and compelling content, combined with effective distribution, are integral to brand engagement.

Subscribe to the course here.

Storytelling in Advertising

Want to inject a little more narrative and depth in to your digital marketing? This course from the craftsmen and women over at D&AD has a lot to offer copywriters, social media folk and anyone else wanting to push campaigns a little further.

The course is long and intensive but full of history and inspiring examples of powerful storytelling in advertising and other creative industries. Its chief aim is to show how narrative can make your brands and products stand out from others.

High profile creative tutors include Sir Alan Parker, Peter Souter, Gary Hoff and Al MacCuish sharing their knowledge and expertise.

To get a flavour of what to expect on the course, check out some of the latest D&AD creative award winners.

Subscribe to the course here.

Search engine optimisation

Delivered by industry experts Moz, the SEO training is geared towards beginners. But for experienced marketers, it can never hurt to revisit the basics of optimising websites for search engines.

Search marketing has advanced so much in the last decade so that even some of the basic principles have shifted dramatically.

This course, which forms part of a broader digital marketing ‘Nanodegree program’ runs through all the basics of on-site and off-site SEO. It includes how to develop a target keyword list, how to optimise website UX and how to execute those all-important link building campaigns.

Subscribe to the course here.

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