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Google has created an online course aimed at helping small to medium sized business owners and digital marketers improve their skills – Google Digital Garage. It covers everything a small business needs to know about using the internet to promote their business.

The Digital Garage is your one-stop shop for mastering digital marketing. If you have what it takes to complete all the lessons and unlock every badge, you can earn the Digital Garage Certificate of Online Proficiency.

While the Internet is inundated with advice offering digital marketing training, this particular endeavour has a few very appealing features:

  • It is Google themselves providing the training so you gain a good comprehension of how the search engines work.
  • The system follows and records your progress so you can learn at your convenience, completing sections when convenient.
  • Once you’ve passed all the tests, including the final online examination you’ll get a certificate showing that you have understood the lessons.

The course is free

All you need is a Google Account which lots of people already have, or you can simply sign up online at Google Digital Garage

Once you’re signed in to Google you can start learning at Digital Garage.

Altogether there are 23 topics containing a total of 89 brief lessons. These topics include useful subjects beginning with ‘The online opportunity’, ‘Make search work for you’ and ‘Your first steps in online success’ then progress through ‘Building your web presence’ then a few sections covering search engine optimisation and marketing etc.

The full course covers all the main areas of promoting a business online from the very basics of getting online, search engine optimisation,  search engine marketing, analytics, social media, the growing importance of catering your web presence for mobile devices, e-commerce, plus advertising options such as video, Pay Per Click and display network advertising.

Each topic consists of 2 to 6 lessons each, all delivered as 3 to 6 minute online videos. It never really gets too technical and the transcript is provided so you can revise the material if and when required.

Each lesson is concluded with a single question to test your understanding and when you have finished all the lessons in a topic you then get a topic assessment test of about 6 to 10 multiple choice questions.

In total there are about 6 hours of online video to work through plus the time taken to complete the end of topic assessments.

Once you have successfully completed all 23 topics, to get your certificate you will need to complete the final assessment test. This has thirty questions drawn from all parts of the course. This means it’s probably best to complete all of the lessons within a month or two otherwise you might have forgotten some elements and have to relearn them.

It really is a thorough and comprehensive introduction that will help you promote your business website or gain a better understanding of what your SEO company is doing and why. It will also equip you with the knowledge and confidence to carry out your own SEO, analytics and marketing if that is what you want to do.

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