In my first post, I discussed our Why. I did this because the best organisations are those that know why they do what they do. The exercise of sitting down and establishing one’s purpose is incredibly useful. I came up with this: Convertd Digital Marketing school exists because we think constant learning is incredibly important, the internet affects everything and we know Google inside out. If you haven’t read it, you can get the full rundown here.

Now it’s time to lay out our What.

So what does Convertd do?

We run a half-day or full-day course called Understand Google (UG) that has taught over 500 people. We teach four groups: executive management teams, marketing departments, law firms and university graduates.

As I argued in our first post, the internet has changed everything. And since Google is the gateway to the internet, anyone in or about to enter the commercial world needs to understand what it does.

Good training should give you answers but also provide you with the knowledge to ask the right questions. CEOs tell us that once they’ve taken the UG course they are better able to interrogate their marketing teams on their Google strategy. Venture Capitalists are better positioned to do digital due diligence to make wiser investments. Law firms can better grasp online media queries and university students grasp the internet from a commercial perspective which never fails to impress future employees.

So which questions do we answer?

Why digital?

One of our core principles is to contextualise every concept we teach. Take language learning. In order to learn vocabulary properly, you need to understand grammar. Words mean much less when you don’t know what a sentence is.

This belief in context drives everything we teach. So before getting into the nuts and bolts of Google, we make sure to set the scene by comparing the online and offline worlds. Why are businesses investing so much in the internet? Why is online advertising growing by 25% year on year? Why are banks closing high street branches and moving operations online? You need to understand these dynamics in order to fully understand Google.

The course starts with an exploration of what we call the Five Pillars of the Internet. These are the online foundations that Google is built on. We won’t run through these now as that would be giving it away! But it wouldn’t be good for you either. Our course is deliberately interactive because we believe learning requires two parts thinking, one part listening and one part doing. We will never give you the answers straight off the bat!

What exactly is Google?

Before delving deep into Search Engine Optimisation and Google AdWords, we go back in time to understand why and how Google was founded. Why was it able to beat other search engines in such a short space of time? How did it go from being a Stanford University academic project to the world’s internet gateway?

Understanding the early days and Google’s core mission will enable you to get the most out of their products. It will also help you understand the internet.

How do I get to the top of Google?

One of the biggest questions people want to know is: “How can I be at the top of Google when someone searches for my product or service?” This has spawned a whole industry called Search Engine Optimisation with agencies selling this service to businesses. Some SEO agencies throw all sorts of techniques and buzzwords around which can be both bewildering and misinformed.

We firstly analyse the elements of the Search Engine Results Page. We then share some of our experiences of working at Google where we dealt with advertisers who had fallen from the first to the eighteenth page overnight following a change to the algorithm. This happens because Google punishes SEO practices it deems underhand. With this in mind, we review the basics of SEO like site architecture, on-site and off-site content and any recent changes to the algorithm.

In short, we’ll tell you what the Google Search engine loves when it indexes the internet in the most simplest terms.  Think bone (your website) to a dog (Google).

What is AdWords?

Many people wonder how Google makes 16 billion dollars every three months. In this next section we explore AdWords, Google’s core advertising product and money-maker. We explain why and how Search Engine Marketing works and run through techniques to master it. We shatter several misconceptions like “people don’t click on those ads”, or “to get to the top you have to pay the most”, or “businesses buy space per day”, or “you shouldn’t trust adverts” or “only big businesses can afford that”. As you guessed, these are all wrong.

We show how it is an incredibly powerful advertising medium that allows businesses to show ads to people who are searching for their products in real-timeBusinesses can also use it to test out new products to new audiences and only pay when people visit their website.

What else does Google do?

Google isn’t just about Search. Our course also covers the Display Network and YouTube which enable businesses to market to audiences across the internet. We look at contextual and demographic targeting and discuss how technology is changing the way ads are sold.

We finish the teaching part of the course with a look at mobile – the fastest growing segment of the internet – and examine how it is changing whole industries. From ordering a takeaway to managing your finances on the move, mobile connectivity is changing how we live and work. Any business needs to grasp these changes if they are to not get left behind.

What does success look like?

We believe every business should be as data-driven as it can be. In fact, another of our principles is “what gets measured, gets improved”. That’s why we love teaching Google Analytics on the Understand Google course. We discuss the differences between a metric and a dimension and show how this relates to SEO, AdWords, Display, Mobile and YouTube. We run through how small and large businesses use data to optimise their sales and marketing results and discuss some of the issues that surround the capturing of customer data.

What’s next?

After the course ends, each attendee receives summaries, cheat-sheets and glossaries of everything we teach so that the knowledge can be actioned in real life. As we said earlier, Understand Google gives you answers and empowers you to ask the right questions. Whether that’s in a board meeting, an investment pitch, in a legal case or a job interview.

There’s more! If you take our full-day course, you’ll put your knowledge into action via a group exercise. We split the group into teams and each is given a product to take to market. With one hour to brainstorm and consolidate learnings, teams have to write a marketing plan and are judged on creativity and use of AdWords, Display, Mobile, YouTube and Analytics.

We’ll dive into the What of the group marketing plan exercise in a future blog.