The Web Writer

8 free marketing courses that will benefit any small business

7 free marketing courses that will benefit any small business

Professional clutching book in front of blackboard

With everyone glued to their smartphones these days, digital marketing is crucial to your small business’s success. And if you’ve a busy schedule, self-paced courses are a great way to learn the skills to promote your business through channels like online advertising, social media and blogging.

But drop a google search to find a course and you’re bombarded with countless options, all promising superior results.

Being a caring, sharing sort, I’ve picked out the best online courses you can take –completely free– which give the range of skills you need to engage with your customers and grow your business online. Happy learning!

1. Digital Garage from Google

This is a broad intro to digital marketing, broken up into a series of bite-size videos. The concepts are very clearly explained, and if you’re not too computer-savvy or a novice to marketing, this is a great starting point.

There’s an emphasis on advertising options, and woven into the helpful info is a gentle plug for Google’s services. So keep in mind any option that’s promised to work wonders could be more effective for one type of business than another.

2. The HubSpot Academy

I can’t rave enough about how helpful HubSpot’s courses are. In-depth but easy to understand, they give practical step-by-step advice for all aspects of your marketing strategy, from identifying goals to analysing results.

I haven’t listed a particular course, because they’re all excellent. Choose from Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing and Content Marketing, amongst others. There’s quizzes and an exam to help the info sink in, and the option to download a badge for your Linkdin profile when you’re done.

3. Facebook For Business from Lynda.com

While there’s an annual subscription fee, Lynda offers a 14 free trial with unlimited access. So if you’ve got a week or two of lighter schedule you can swot up on some of its many excellent courses (all taught by industry experts).

Lynda’s Facebook For Business course guides you through all the basics – setting up your page and the different ways to connect with followers. There’s also a helpful section on paid promotion and advertising options.

4. SEO Training Course by Moz 

Need to improve your website’s ranking on search results? Udemy presents this guide by Moz, the godfathers of SEO strategy. It’s a compilation of their famous Whiteboard Friday videos for a comprehensive overview of the SEO basics, from sourcing keywords to technical wizardry.

Their advice is based on the result of their extensive testing of Google’s search ranking algorithm. The handwriting is scruffy but colourful, the advice is excellent.

5. Marketing in the 21st Century

Don’t be put off by the dry tone of this short course from the Open University. It includes important insights into your marketing strategy as a whole, with famous examples of when companies get marketing spectacularly right (and wrong) to inspire you.

There’s a handy section on why branding matters. And there’s insight into how global economics can your business, so you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

6. PPC University from WordStream

This concise introduction to the world of Pay Per Click advertising explains the mechanics of Google Adwords, with the focus on boosting your ad’s quality score to give you better results for less money.

Like many other free courses, a sales pitch for WordStream’s services is dropped into the mix. But these guys know their stuff, and you’ll pick up a ton of tips even from the first class.

7. Learn HTML and CSS with Codecadamy

Last, but not least on my list is the chance to learn a bit of code. Not only is faffing with snippets of HTML needed for your website’s analytics, coding comes in handy if you want to make simple changes to your online work without having to rely on (or pay for) technical support.

With the free and interactive courses from Codecadamy, coding is easier than you think – and dare I say it, fun! You can learn HTML basics in less than an hour.

Is something missing from the list? If there’s a course you’d like to recommend, tell all in the comments below. And if you liked this post, why not hit share and give it a wave on your favourite social media?

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