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New suite of free training modules from Google equips SMB owners for success online


Google has launched a free training platform to help small businesses develop the digital skills they need to grow and thrive online.

According to John Ball, Head of Google Marketing Solutions Australia, The Digital Garage includes 90 training modules covering a range of topics including website design, search engine optimisation, online marketing including social media, and more. Further, he said participants can complete the whole online course for a certificate from Google supported by IAB Australia.

Ball identified research by Deloitte, which identified inadequate digital skills as a barrier to making the most of the web. Compared with low levels of digital engagement, highly digitally engaged SMBs are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, 7 times more likely to be exporting, 8 times more likely to be creating jobs and 14 times more likely to be innovating, than those businesses with low levels of digital engagement.

“Australian SMBs have much to gain from boosting their digital skills but with the daily demands of managing a business and technology changing so rapidly, more than 90 per cent of SMBs are not taking full advantage of today’s digital tools,” Ball said.

“We believe everyone should have access to the digital skills they need for their business to thrive, that’s why we’re launching The Digital Garage.

“Small businesses make a major contribution to Australia, both through economic activity and employment, so thriving SMBs mean stronger economic growth and a boost for local communities.”

Richard Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing, Google Australia spoke to Dynamic Business about the learning opportunities The Digital Garage affords small business owners:

What do business owners take away from the course?

“Completing the Digital Garage course means you’ve mastered the fundamental principles of digital marketing. You will have completed all the training modules and passed the associated quizzes on each topic, as well as the comprehensive final exam. Someone who has completed the course will have a solid understanding of the fundamental tools and strategies, from Google and from across the industry, needed to grow a business online.”

What weight does the completion certificate carry?

If participants complete the whole online course they will receive a certificate from Google supported by IAB Australia. This certificate will be sent by email after they’ve completed the full Topic Library and successfully passed the final exam. The certificate can be promoted on a LinkedIn profile.”

What went into making each module user-friendly?

“Firstly, we wanted to make the content bite-size, keeping in mind how busy business owners and employees are. They need to solve specific problems and fit learning into a very busy schedule of running their business and delighting customers. In addition, there’s a tailored learning path that narrows down the full library to those topics of highest interest. Content is accessible from any device. The modules use everyday terms and descriptions, plus we have included a jargon-busting resource to help decipher unknown topics. Finally, we’ve included practical examples from real business owners who have applied these concepts and tools to their own businesses.”

What is the duration of  the whole course?

“Each video is about 4-5 minutes. At the end of each topic you will be asked to complete an assessment quiz. If you pass, you’ll earn the badge for that topic. There is no limit on the time you can spend on each module but it’s designed to deliver, bite-sized lessons. The full topic library is around 10 hours of content.”

Will the platform evolve to include new modules?

“Yes, The Digital Garage will evolve just as the industry and technology trends change over time.”