A few weeks ago, Google launched a new "Digital Marketing Certification" course meant to help entry-level aspiring marketers to get a better understanding of the world of digital marketing, as well as to help companies better understand their own digital marketing. So, we figured it would be helpful to you, our clients and potential future clients, to summarize and break down the new pieces of information that we have gleaned from the course, as well as look into some information that Google ended up having to correct.
A quick summary of what the Google course aims to accomplish. It wants to help your business with:
“Developing digital marketing and e-commerce strategies
Attracting and engaging customers through digital marketing channels like search, social media, and email
Measuring marketing analytics and sharing insights
Building e-commerce stores, analyzing e-commerce performance, and growing customer loyalty”
The course itself is actually pretty impressive in terms of the quality of hands-on experience you get. We're talking stuff most recent grads with a degree in marketing haven't even had hands-on experience with. Throughout the course, students get introduced to and learn the basic level of: Canva, Constant Contact, Hootsuite, HubSpot, MailChimp, Shopify, Twitter, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. If you're in marketing, you know how helpful some experience in all of those at once would have been at the beginning of your career. And if you're not in marketing and don't know what some of those are used for, trust us when we say they're industry standards.
First Key Takeaway:
If you are looking to hire an entry-level marketing employee, put this certificate on the "a plus if" list.
Ok, now, the reason this really came to our attention was because of an error that Google made that then had to be clarified/retracted. Before we get into the error, let's first make sure we talk about Keyword Density.
In the world of Search Engine Optimization, you want to make sure that each piece of content is attracting the right clicks, so you want to make it clear to the search engine (let's just keep using Google for this example) what question you are trying to answer, or what information you are trying to provide. Because when indexing your page or post, the algorithms will analyze the text, deciding where in the results your page or post will appear. Basically, it calculates relevancy to any given query based on keywords.
So, keyword density is the percentage of the overall text that is taken up by a given keyword. Example: if the keyword is "Google error in new certificate" (keywords can be phrases, not just single words), but it is used in every paragraph, your keyword density is going to be high. And there is a sweet spot between 'scarce' and 'stuffing'. Previously, the consensus was that if the keyword density was too high, then Google's algorithm will dock the post/page's authority as spammy.
Second Key Takeaway:
Keyword Density is the percentage of overall text that is represented by your target keyword.
However, in Google's new certification course, there was (when first going live) a part of the course that said that keyword density should be limited to 2%. This came as quite a bit of a shock. Why? Well, here's a quote from a past HubSpot article about Keyword density:
"What is a good keyword density? While there are no hard and fast rules for keyword density beyond always-relevant "don't keyword stuff" advice, many SEOs recommend using approximately 1-2 keyword for every 100 words of copy. That factors in to about 1-2% keyword density."
So here's where Google had to come out and clarify. Specifically, Danny Sullivan, part of Google's Search Team, came out and said that that piece of information can be disregarded, as the people who designed the course did not do so in conjunction with the search team. So, the bad news: people were learning incorrect things. The good news: now that it has come under scrutiny, the course will likely be picture perfect in the coming updates (as an overcorrection).
Final Key Takeaway:
Even Google makes mistakes. When moving quickly and trying to produce the best products and services, we can all have blinders on at times. But it's how the mistakes are corrected and made up for that really measures a company. So we'll see how Google makes changes to this in the coming weeks and months. The Digital Marketing Certification course shows promise, and could help every single company up their marketing game. And as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.
If you think you might need some outside help in the marketing department, then schedule a call with us. We're always happy to analyze your website, and show you what we would recommend changing or implementing. And then if you think we'd be a good fit, then we'd be happy to work with you.