Life as a Digital Marketing Apprentice – Series 2

Welcome to series 2 of my first-hand experiences as a digital marketing apprentice, I highly recommend you have a read of the first series if you haven’t already to understand this second series.

The Continuation of my Life as a Digital Marketing Apprentice

As of now, I am already half way through my 14-month digital marketing apprenticeship. As said previously definitely check out the first series as I go into a little more detail about my training course and QA, who are the training industry behind it.

My Experience so Far

From all my courses, up to now I have completed Search Engine Optimisation & Pay Per Click, Photoshop & Video Editing and functional skills ICT workshop. I will be talking about my experiences with these courses and what I’ve learnt that may bring some useful insightful for yourself.

Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click

Throughout this week I turned out to be the know-it-all of the classroom as working with Bright Design has introduced to me the basics along with technical training and knowledge for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  It was a simple week for me however I did learn a few different things so it was still absolutely worth it.

I learnt about a couple of new black hat SEO techniques that I’ve never heard of before. First, if you don’t know what black hat SEO is, it’s to perform questionable and negative techniques to fool or trick search engines to boost rankings. However white hat SEO is the opposite, where you’re naturally getting links and following Googles rules and policies. These types of black hat techniques shown below are not done as much nowadays, as Google has been constantly updating their bots to ensure that they ignore, or even penalize anyone using these negative techniques.

One of these black hat SEO techniques is called cloaking, this is where people gain rankings by showing false sites to Google’s bots and a human will see a totally different version of that page. Here is a brilliant illustration by Elliance which takes you through the steps of how this is achieved:

black hat seo cloaking illustration

Another black hat SEO technique is fairly similar to Cloaking, this one is called Doorway Page. Also known as portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages, entry pages and goes by other names as well, the purpose of it is to make a page on their site with no content and purely is used to redirect a user without their knowledge internally onto another page.

The purpose behind creating these Doorway Pages is to expand their search footprint by creating pages both externally on the web or internally on their current site, with the goal of ranking multiple pages that appears in the search results which will bring more traffic and engagement onto the same page.

Photoshop & Video Editing

Again, in this week I felt like the know-it-all in the class as I’ve had plenty of experience in the past with both photoshop and video editing work, however for most people in the class it was their first time touching Adobe programs. So I as well as a few other people were one step ahead, for me it was because of the interactive media course I attended in college gave me some good skills with Adobe programs.

But I did learn a couple of new things again such as a couple of new tools I can use in Photoshop and Premier Pro. For example, the magnetic lasso tool is an extremely simple way of selecting around a similar colour in an image to cut out the shape you want from that image. I won’t be talking too much about new skills I learnt but more about the experience of that week.

The Short Film Story

The start of the week consisted of doing theory and practise with Photoshop the first day and completing the assignment the following day. It was interesting learning about new tools I can use but the highlight of the week was the last three days. Here we were tasked with creating a short film as a practice and then doing the assignment task afterwards.

For the practice short film, we weren’t given any specific task and no rules except to not make it inappropriate! We got into a group and weren’t given cameras but instead had to use our phones, which was probably for the best as someone in our group (I’ll call him Jeff for this), could record his phone videos in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second – fancy! Our idea was to make a documentary type video about the life of Birmingham.

So our group ended up walking around the centre of Birmingham which devolved into over an hour of interviewing random people and even a police officer, cracking out jokes as well as generally making a fool of ourselves. We also got to see the beautiful sites and stunning architecture such as the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Birmingham Museum Art Gallery

(Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, source)

Finally we got back inside to transfer the footage from our phones to the computer, however since 90% of all our footage was recorded using Jeff’s amazing 4K phone, it ended up being a whopping 25GB file size! This was because Jeff recorded the whole thing in its entirety instead of stopping and playing for smaller sized videos.

So the whole thing got trashed, all that hours long work gone and had to grab some footage online to edit individually for the practise short film, which ended up being fine. But I think the moral of the story is that it no one was worried or annoyed that the footage was all gone, (okay maybe a little bit). However, we weren’t that annoyed as we had such a great time filming it and ended up bonding together. It’s always fun to talk and hang out with people who are the same age who also have the same interests as everyone in the course works in the digital marketing industry.  Which I think is the nice takeaway from this story.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at QA, from learning super interesting new skills to making new friends; it’s been great. I’m looking forward to the next half of this course and I hope you have enjoyed my articles.

If you’ve got any questions for me I’d love to connect with you and share my experiences. Leave a comment below or tweet out to me @SamBaylis2 and I will get back to you promptly.

black hat seo cloaking illustration