Google Ads Intro & Tips

I finished Brad Batesole’s LinkedIn Learning course on Google Ads (Google AdWords) Essential Training. His course shows how to set up search text and display advertisements in an organized and effective way.

Google Ads is a powerful tool to reach customers directly who are searching specifically for your type of product or service, or viewing a website with related content.

It’s measurable, easy to track, and helps to drive customer purchases or website traffic.

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Google Analytics

What is It?

Google Analytics is an powerful tool that helps you track the flow of traffic to your website and tells you more about the users that are coming to your site.

Knowing Google Analytics gives your company a competitive edge because you will see with great clarity what parts of your digital marketing efforts are driving the most traffic and where you should spend money within your campaigns.

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Learning Content Marketing

I finished the course, Learning Content Marketing with C.C. Chapman on

C.C. Chapman is an award-winning marketer, author, and content creator who has worked with clients such as HBO, Verizon FiOS, and The Coca-Cola Company. He published Amazing Things Will Happen and Content Rules and is the founder of Digital Dads and the Cleon Foundation.

Content marketing is all the photos, video, written word, audio–everything that you create to share your brand’s story online.

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Editorial Calendars

I finished the course, Creating an Editorial Calendar with Brian Honigman, the CEO of a content marketing consultancy based in Philadelphia.

An editorial calendar is a written document that organizes timing content production, publishing, distribution for collaboration or strategic purposes. Editorial calendars help an organization plan on a detailed or broad scale, coordinate collaboration across departments and assist buy-in from the boss.

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SEO for Online Marketing

I’m going through the Online Marketing Foundations course with Brad Batesole. Right now, I am learning more about SEO, Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

Thousands of people find businesses through search engines like Google every day. Local business owners can do basic research in SEO in order to improve their rank in Google and other search engines.

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Writing for the Web

I just finished the course, Learning to Write for the Web with Chris Nodder.

Basically, Nodder’s point is that web readers are scanning for information so you have to have concise text with a good summary so that visitors to your site know they are in the right place.

  • Always show first, and cut down on your writing so that it is easy for people to read
  • Use headlines, sub-headers, and bullet lists to make your content readable
  • No teaser headlines
  • Write at a 5th grade level
  • Use photos that help the reader understand what your product is about or how it can be used instead of generic stock images
  • Remove jargon and make sure you are writing with facts

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Learning to Write Marketing Copy

I just finished the Learning to Write Marketing Copy course by Ian Lurie. Ian Lurie is the founder and CEO of Portent, a digital marketing agency that practices search, social media, content and analytics for clients like Fox Television and Fender Guitars.

My biggest takeaway from this course is that it is really critical to block off a chunk of time and to just write for a whole hour or 45 minutes with a distraction-free environment.

Some advice from Lurie:

“Now, turn off your instant messaging, silence your cell phone, close email and any other devices, channels, transmitters, distractors that you have that might interrupt your thinking.

Quick aside here, if you’ve watched this course start to finish, you’ve noticed by now that I’m kind of obsessed with avoiding interruptions.

Why is that? Because in my experience a five minute interruption means 25 minutes of time getting back into the flow of your work. I’ve had great ideas ready to write down, only to have a rogue house cat jump into my lap or colleague ask a question, and poof, the idea is gone.”

I just started doing this while being at home. It is incredibly hard, if not impossible, to create a distraction-free environment during the day with a three-month-old daughter who wakes up after a 15-minute nap and starts screaming because of a wet diaper. I’ve learned that the best time to try to get work done is either in the early morning or late evening, when my daughter is the most likely to sleep for a longer stretch of time.

The first step is to freewrite, where you jot everything down that comes to your mind, without interruption and without editing. After that, you go back and edit for clarity, grammar and spelling.

Start to think about who your audience is for the copywriting, what collateral you will use to reach them, what tone of voice is appropriate for the writing. The type of writing you would use for a Facebook or Twitter post is very different in tone from a piece you would write for printed materials.

As with any good writing, simplify as much as possible. Cut out words that are unnecessary, make the writing clear and concise.

Also important is to include a call to action when copywriting. Be direct and tell the consumer why this product matters to them. Why should they care?

An example of a call to action from Lurie: “Want to learn what makes the HH1 bicycle helmet the most advanced, most protective, lightest bicycle helmet on the market? Read on.”

Overall, this was a very good course from Lurie on marketing copywriting and I will be posting a copywriting sample for my writing portfolio soon. If you would like to learn more about the fundamentals of marketing copywriting, check out Ian Lurie’s course here.

The Costs of Taking a Break from the Workforce

I just watched the Skillcrush webinar, The Future is Bright: Why You Need to Invest in Yourself with Ellevest CEO and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Krawcheck was CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, of Smith Barney and of Sanford Bernstein.

It was a little sobering to hear about the costs of leaving the workforce for a few years. I recently left my job to stay at home with our baby after she is born in July and have been planning to work part-time or work from home after getting adjusted to having a newborn.

Krawcheck crunched the numbers, saying if you take a break from working, you’re not just leaving your previous annual pay for the years you take off. You are also setting yourself up for a pay cut when you come back, which means that you will get raises off of the lower level through the course of your career. Also, in the time you’re off, you’re not contributing to a 401K or Social Security, so the financial hit is pretty significant.

“What I tell women is, the kiss of death can be–and it’s not too late, but–the kiss of death can be stepping out–fully out,” said Krawcheck.

“Imagine if you were in the senior marketing world five years ago and you stepped out,” said Krawcheck. “So, you left a world that was all about brand-building and you’re coming back into the world that is about brand-building and multi-touch attribution analysis. That’s an enormous change over what doesn’t seem like an extraordinarily long period of time.”

“What I tell everybody is either take a class, be with [Skillcrush] on the tech classes, go to General Assembly for marketing classes or volunteer [with] some nonprofit who can use your skill set so that you kind of keep your capabilities up or doing a little bit of consulting or do part-time, but something to keep your toe in the water.”

I was already planning on building marketable skills through learning online and volunteering, but her talk was the extra boost I needed. If you’re not keeping up on skills that you will need to get a job in the future, the world will pass you by. Technology and ways of doing business change quickly within a few years, so it’s best to keep reading, keep going to classes, keep learning new things.

It’s important to not become too complacent if you are deciding to become a stay-at-home mom. It’s best to prepare for the crisis scenario, that day that your husband loses his job or finances get really tight. How will you step in?

Honestly, I was pretty scared about this life change. I don’t know how to stay at home and have housework and chores be the main focus of my day. Depression and isolation is a very real threat to new moms because you go from having financial independence and going to a job where you interact with people every day to a situation where you’re at home, cooking/cleaning/taking care of the baby and maybe not seeing a single adult person until your husband comes home at 6 p.m.

The best way to combat this is to keep your mind engaged. Read the news. Listen to NPR. Take a business course online. Do whatever it is you need to do to keep focused.

If you’re interested in watching the full Skillcrush webinar with Sallie Krawcheck, I posted it below.