There’s a lot of uncertainty at the minute, the current lockdown in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has led to many shops and businesses shutting their doors or moving their operations online for the duration of the crisis.
But, if you’ve found yourself sitting at home twiddling your thumbs after exhausting all that Netflix has to offer, you’re in luck.
Just because your business may not be able to operate as normal in the current situation, doesn’t mean you can’t get your digital marketing strategies in shape for when we emerge from this period of self-isolation hibernation.
It can be the perfect time to finish off odd-jobs or complete that project that’s been hanging around the bottom of your to-do list but always gets bumped when something more urgent comes in.
Of course, no one will be operating at their peak productivity with everything going on at the moment, and no one expects you to be. But, having a project or goal to focus on can help you keep your mind active and make this strange time pass a little faster.
A number of industry top-dogs and internationally recognised institutions have released free online digital marketing courses and resources for users for the duration of the lockdown.
So, whether you’re thinking about giving your website’s design a facelift, you’ve been meaning to freshen up your SEO understanding or you want to finally start that blog you’ve been putting off for a rainy day; now could be the perfect time to commit to learning a new skill or refreshing your existing digital marketing knowledge.
We’ve rounded up the best free online digital marketing courses and resources (and more) for you to swot up on during this time of self-isolation.
Free online SEO courses
No one is expecting you to know your longtails from your latent semantic indexing, that’s what our digital marketing agency in Cornwall is here for. But, understanding the basic principles of search engine optimisation is an invaluable skill for anyone with an online presence.
When you understand how SEO works, how to correctly identify valuable keywords, construct cracking meta descriptions and top-notch titles (among many other things) you can create a strong presence in the search engines, one that gets you more visitors.
To help you get to grips with the fundamentals of SEO, a number of industry-leading sites have made their SEO courses available for free.
SEMRush – All courses
SEO experts SEMRush have made all their SEMRush Academy courses free in response to this period of self-isolation caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The courses cover everything from site audits and keyword research to gaining backlinks and technical SEO.
They’re industry leaders for a reason and these courses, broken down into digestible ~ 10-minute video modules are a great resource for anyone looking for easy to understand expertise.
Moz – All courses
Another SEO heavy hitter has made their entire catalogue of training courses available for free until the 31st of May 2020 for all their members.
Moz has helpfully broken down its courses into beginner, intermediate and advanced, so you can select a course based on your current level of SEO understanding. All you need to access these resources is a MOZ account if you don’t already have one you can sign up for free to get started smartening up your SEO knowledge.
BlueArray Acadamy – SEO Manager Certification
BlueArray Acadamy has made 10 sections of their SEO Manager Certification course available to preview for free for users who register with their website. The course usually costs £997 or £99 per month, so this is a great way to get a taste of what’s involved in the certification before committing to purchase.
Springboard – SEO Learning Pathway
Springboard provides paid and free digital learning pathways covering a whole host of topics. Their SEO learning pathway, now available for free, is a great resource for beginners looking for a straightforward navigation of the fundamentals of SEO.
LinkedIn Learning – Improve SEO for your e-commerce site
LinkedIn Learning, previously Lynda.com, has one of the few SEO online courses we’ve found that is tailored specifically to e-commerce websites. Access to the course is free with a premium membership to LinkedIn Learning, costing £24.95 per month.
However, you could exploit their free trial promotion by registering for a free month-long trial of the service, accessing the course, and then cancelling before your first month’s billing is due.
Yoast – All-around SEO training
Yoast is a great resource for search engine optimisation and are experts in making SEO accessible for everyone. The Yoast WordPress plugin checks your content and offers tips on how to best optimise it for the search engines.
But, the people at Yoast don’t just offer plugins, they’ve also made their All-around SEO training course available for free. The course will show you practical tips that you can implement straight away including; doing SEO yourself, outsmarting your competition and how to improve your rankings immediately.
Udemy – SEO tutorials for beginners
Udemy is a fantastic database for online learning and has made a number of its courses available for free during the Covid-19 crisis.
In just 44 minutes across 11 lectures, Udemy’s collection of SEO tutorials for beginners promises to help you to:
- Get up to speed with the fundamentals concepts of SEO
- Discover how to find the best keywords for your website (keyword research)
- Find out how to increase your site’s visibility in the search engine results (on-page optimisation)
- And learn how to build more authority in your niche than competitors so Google puts your at the top of the search results (Off-Page Optimisation)
Google Webmasters – Search Console Training
Who could know more about optimising for search engines than the most used search engine across the world, Google?
Throughout this series of 8 Youtube videos, all between 3 and 13 minutes, Daniel Waisberg, Search Advocate at Google takes you through the essentials of Google Search Console; an essential analytical tool for anyone looking to optimise their search presence and grow their organic traffic.
Free copywriting courses
Content marketing is a massively useful thing to have in your business’s digital marketing toolbox.
Creating a blog or news section for your brand can help you to grow your authority as a thought leader in your sector and turn your website into a destination for high-quality, useful information for your customers.
Creating useful content that’s highly relevant to your target audience helps you to hook in top of the funnel customers who are still at the awareness stage.
Whether you share tips on how to use your products, report news and developments from within your industry or take another approach, hooking audiences in at the top of the funnel with blog content increases your brand awareness.
So, when readers are ready to make a purchase, they’ll remember your brand. Check out these free online digital marketing courses and resources for copywriting that have been made available during the lockdown.
AHRefs – Blogging for beginners
AHRefs are another big-name in SEO. They know what content ranks and what doesn’t.
With this business-orientated blogging course, AHRefs aims to teach you how to “grow your blog past 100K monthly visitors and turn thousands of your readers into paying customers”.
With 10 comprehensive modules covering everything from finding great content ideas to promoting your content and building links, this is one of the most complete blogging focussed courses available. And, it’s currently completely free, all you need is an AHRefs account.
Copyblogger – Content writing workshop
Last week Copyblogger, the copywriting experts, hosted a free online content writing workshop. The hour-long workshop explains how to ‘harness the power of language to attract (and keep) more clients and customers’.
While the live workshop has passed, there is a full hour-long recording of the workshop available on the Copyblogger website. So, if you’re wanting to know more about how to use copywriting to grow your business, be sure to check out the recording.
Free video and image editing courses
Want to level up the imagery for your brand’s website or social media channels? Or think you might be a dab-hand at creating video content? Maybe you want to give your logo an update?
Whatever you want to develop your image or video editing skills for, these free courses will show you how to use professional quality editing software without any previous experience.
Udemy – Adobe Photoshop for web design for beginners
This course from Udemy teaches you the fundamentals of using Adobe Photoshop for web design. From brilliant brushes to tricky text editing, this free course spread across 19 lectures will give you a solid foundational knowledge for how to use Adobe Photoshop for your web design needs.
Udemy – Professional logo design in Adobe Illustrator
If your logo could do with an update, now could be the ideal time to experiment with Adobe Illustrator to create your perfect logo.
This course from Udemy will take you through the basics of logo design, including choosing the right typeface, designing with simple shapes, adding shine, texture, bevelled edges, and transparency, designing with negative space, choosing logo colours and preparing your final files.
Udemy – Adobe Premiere Pro: Ultimate Beginner Course
Being able to shoot and edit your own videos is a great skill to have, and it’s not a complex as you may at first think. With the cameras on smartphones now being such high-quality, with a little knowhow, some editing guidance and the phone in your back pocket you can produce professional-quality videos yourself. This course from Udemy gives you a basic overview of editing with Adobe Premiere Pro.
Lunch break boredom busters
This time of self-isolation shouldn’t be all work no play. It’s a stressful time and having some fun activities to do in the evenings or on your lunch breaks can provide some welcome relief and escapism.
From a whole host of box sets to stream and calming meditation sessions to guitar lessons and high-intensity workouts, there’s plenty of free resources to stay entertained with during self-isolation.
Fender guitar lessons
Cult guitar brand, Fender, has made 3 months of their online guitar lessons available for free. So, if you’ve never been able to dedicate the time to learn how to strum like a rock star before, now could be the perfect opportunity.
Workout with Chris Hemsworth
If you’re usually the kind of person that hits the gym multiple times a week and have suddenly found yourself without a workout routine, why not workout with Chris Hemsworth.
Yeah, the guy who plays Thor.
We can’t guarantee you’ll come out looking like a Norse god but, with a 6-week free trial, it can’t hurt to try the at-home workout plan created by the trainers who keep Hemsworth in shape.
Meditation with Headspace and Calm
If you’re in need of a little calm amongst the stresses of everything that’s going on, the meditation and mental health apps Calm and Headspace have made some of their resources available to users for free.
Taking a few minutes to concentrate on your breathing or practice some meditation techniques can be incredibly useful if you ever start to feel overwhelmed.
BBC iPlayer box sets
With the nation on lockdown, the BBC has gone back through its archives and filled the iPlayer with tonnes of great box sets, perfect for streaming in the evenings or on your lunch breaks.
Hopefully, these free online digital marketing courses and resources will help you to stay occupied during this time of self-isolation and lockdown. But, however you spend your time, the most important thing is that you follow the Government and NHS advice and stay safe and stay inside to slow the spread of Covid-19.