Our Top 5 SEO Tips for Apprentices

seo tips blog title

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, some of the fancy jargon and terminology can be a tad intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be. We’ve put together our top 5 SEO tips for beginners and apprentices who are struggling to know where to start with their marketing.

Before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room. What is SEO? Simply put, it’s an abbreviation for a marketing phrase that you’re likely to come across countless times during the span of your career. So, drum roll please…

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of driving more organic traffic to your website through free and natural search engine results. It’s all about taking steps to help a website or piece of content rank higher on search engines like Google, whether that’s on-page or off-page.

On-Page: Building content on your site that’s relevant and provides a good user experience.

Off-Page: Enhancing your website’s search engine ranking outside of the site through backlinks. We’ll get to those later.

Let’s get to the juicy stuff.

1. Keyword research

seo tips: keyword research

In simple terms, keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Having said that, it’s important to not just choose the first keyword you find. Do your research.

When optimising your website content, you want Google to pick your website for being the most relevant. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re using appropriate keywords. To find them, you can use any online keyword research tool which will bring you results for the term you searched as well as any similar ones.

Some useful tools include Ahrefs, Ubersuggest and SEMrush. These tools will also tell you more about the search volume and the keyword difficulty too.

Using relevant keywords within your content is part of what’s known as a “white hat strategy”. You’ll create the best content possible and in return build a sustainable audience. However, you want to make sure that you’re not stuffing your keywords. That’s where one of our next SEO tips comes in.

2. Avoid black hat strategies

seo tips: avoid black hat strategies

Black hat strategies refer to going for quick gains and this is a big no-no with the search engines. It involves duplicating content, keyword stuffing, adding invisible keywords, and linking from sites with irrelevant content. Although this may work in the short term, if your website is found to be doing any of this, search engines will penalise you and could even blacklist your site. Don’t do it!

3. Understand user intent

SEO tips: understand user intent

This is an important one. Google puts A LOT of emphasis on intent. It wants to understand what the searcher is looking for when they type something into the search bar. As the content creator, it’s important for you to understand this as well.

Having a clearer idea on what users are searching for is a head start to being able to optimise your web content. Answer the public is a great tool that shows you popular searches and queries that you can then use to create useful content that matches the searcher’s intent. This could be informational, transactional, navigational, or local. Make sure you’re the one providing the user with the right answer.

4. Monitor the results

seo tips: monitor the results

Next on our list of SEO tips – monitor the results! As with any activity in marketing, you need to make sure that you’re monitoring the results of whatever it is you’re doing. That includes SEO.

If you can see an improvement in your work, great! Keep it going and remember that SEO is a constant marketing activity. You don’t just do it once. You need to keep coming back and checking it.

If you see little improvement or worse, a decrease, then stop. Try some new keywords or maybe a different blog topic. By monitoring the results, you’ll be able to quickly identify any issues.

5. Build trust with backlinks

build trust with backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. They’re crucial to SEO. Authoritative backlinks are one of the most important signals that Google considers when ranking content. Having high-quality backlinks from reliable sources that are relevant to the content on your website is a recipe for SEO success and building trust. It may take a while to build up, but the results are worth it. Guest posting and creating content that people find useful are the first steps in generating backlinks for your website.

The SEO Tips Takeaway

To conclude, SEO features a variety of activities that need regular and consistent maintenance. That includes researching the right keywords, sticking to respectable techniques, knowing your customer, monitoring results and building trust with backlinks.

For more tips and tricks on how to develop your digital marketing skills and the latest apprenticeship opportunities, keep up to date with our blog.

White Hat SEO tips to Elevate your Search Marketing in 2022

Laptop on wooden desk with Google search engine on screen

Whether your an organic search beginner or expert, our White Hat SEO tips will benefit your search marketing far beyond 2022. Read on to find out how.

Wait, what is White Hat SEO?

“White hat SEO” are SEO tactics that follow search engine-approved guidelines. This article will outline what those tips are so you can ensure you’re playing by the rules too. Also known as Ethical SEO, they are the opposite of black hat SEO. We will speak more about those below.

Why is White Hat SEO important?

“White hat SEO” are is important because they set a standard, ensuring Search engine results pages (or “SERPs) contain high quality results, which users find valuable.

Also, not following SEO best practice may result in a lower ranking or Google even banning your website from their result pages altogether. You may also end up with a ban from other search engines too. A disaster for your paid and organic search traffic!

So, what are your top White Hat SEO tips?

The following White Hat SEO tips will ensure your domain stays in the good graces of search engine providers, and search engine users:

1. Optimise for humans, not for search engines

Resist the temptation to optimise for higher rankings, rather than for your end user. It is obvious when a page is set up with rankings instead of customers because the tone of the content sounds robotic. Instead write well-written, high quality for your web users. Doing so increases the odds of them becoming a repeat visitor. Great copy will boost your site credibility, which will result in a higher position on SERPs!

2. Use fresh, relevant content to attract better quality traffic

Poor quality, repetitive, commonplace content will result in a lower result on search engine results pages. Make sure you publish regular unique, relevant and interesting content on your website to contribute to better organic search results. Also make sure your content is free of typos!

3. Ensure you use a natural amount of keywords

Gone are the days when people could fill their webpages with keywords and see their website rank at number one. Now, search engine algorithms are much more sophisticated and savvy.

A webpage should contain a natural amount of keywords, so that the page copy reads well. But how much is a good amount you may ask? Industry best practice recommends about one keyword per 150 words.

Three White-and-black S, E and O Scrabble Tiles on Brown Wooden Surface
Good SEO practices mean better organic search results!

4. Optimise images with alt attributes

Alt attributes allows you to add a text description to your images on a web page. They should be used for all images, as best practice.

Alt text is short for alternative text. If an image does not load due to a poor connection or error, the alt text will be displayed instead.

More importantly, alt attribute are vital for accessibility purposes. Web users with screen readers are able to understand what an image is displaying if you include alt attributes!

5. Link to relevant sites…

Linking to relevant sites helps search engine crawlers understand your website more. By looking at the sites you link to, and your internal links, search engines better understand what your business is about,

6. … And ensure backlinks are quality too

Ensure all inbound links are high quality. This is important because these backlinks act as a signal to search engines that a resource finds your content credible. Therefore if the sites linking to your websites are spammy or low quality, this implies to the search engine that your site is too!

7. Adhere to HTML structural best practice

Make sure your web pages are coded properly, using the appropriate tags. Think title tags, good quality meta descriptions and the other things that make up web pages. Well-structured web pages help crawlers to understand the structure of your site better, which may result in boosted rankings.

So there you have it! If you adhere to these White Hat SEO tips, your organic search results will be the best they can be.

P.S. DO NOT follow these Black Hat SEO methods

Make sure your web pages do not follow the tactics listed below, as doing so violates search engine rules:

  • Poor Quality Content
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Cloaking (presenting uses and search engines with different content)
  • Sneaky Redirects to other websites or pages
  • Duplicate Content
  • Invisible Text
  • Link farming & Irrelevant backlinks
  • Blog comment spam

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Beginners Guide to SEO – Digital Marketing

Beginners Guide to SEO 1

When you’re a beginner to the world of digital marketing one of the most daunting things is getting to grips with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). In this article I am going to explain not just how to get good at SEO but how to move from crappy SEO to building habits to consistently Ranking page 1 on Google Search.

Even if you are following all the basic advice of ‘creating great and engaging content’, ‘adding keywords to your website’ and you’re even ‘making sure your website loads fast. It won’t alone make your website shoot to the 1st page of Google Search. So let’s break down 5 steps.

SEO Step 1 – Find Three Keywords

These are words that you will create content around that is relevant to your intended target audience. For example, if my audience is Gen-Z female gifters then there is no point in me creating content that would resonate with Generation X male gifters. A way to get around this is by using a site like ‘answerthepublic.com’. This site shows questions, prepositions, comparisons that people post on forums, blogs and social media. This content in turn will influence the content you create but also act as long tail Keywords being an easy way for our site to start appearing number one in less competitive searches. This will also have the added benefit of allowing our content and website appeal to the terms our target audience actually want to see.

Another option for finding Keywords is ‘explodingtopics.com’. This is another free tool that lists a bunch of Keywords for new topics in your chosen topic of exploration. Because all the topics are new current trends it usually means that the Keywords associated with them are less competitive than the standard ones. You can even head to this site first and then put the topic into ‘answerthepublic.com’ to get even Long tail Keywords.

SEO Step 2 – Create Epic content

Once you’ve chosen your three Keywords now it’s time for the fun part, now it’s time to make content around these three key words. This step is very important. The internet is full of amazing pieces of content that people have the luxury of picking up for free to assure you content is one of the lucky ones chosen, you are going to have to make the content captivating. I can’t tell you exactly how to make your content stand out, actually If I had the answer to that I’d be a millionaire but what I can do is give some key pointers as things you can do when you onto something to make your content more shareable and linkable.

  1. Publish content that is long and in depth. This will mean there are more touch points for other sites to want to link back to as it increases the likelihood that you have something shareable.
  2. Add something to hook your audience into the content that would make them want to share or link to it. examples of these could be:
    1. Statistic or Data Visualisation
    2. Example Case Study 
    3. Unique Strategy
    4. An innovative brand new tool

Anything that will make someone feel the need to link back to your content.

SEO Step 3 – Optimise the Keyword for you Content

No longer is Keyword optimisation all about stuffing your page with Keywords, now the goal is to help Google’s algorithm understand what topic your site is about. 

The first step is to include your target Keyword in a few important places on your webpage.

This are but not limited to:

  • Title Tag
  • In the first 100 words on the page
  • in the image alt text
  • In the H1 Tag and in the H2 & H3 Tag
  • In the Last 100 words of your page

The next thing to do is to add a little something called LSI Keyword. Without sounding too simplistic LSI Keywords are terms closely aligned with your main Keyword. For example if my Keyword is gifting then my LSI Keywords would be Birthday, presents, christmas and more. Doing this will reinforce to the Google algorithm that your website is about your chosen Keyword Topic. The easiest way to find this is by searching your keyword, heading to the bottom of Google search, and using the ‘Search Related to…’. This brings up a list of potential LSI Keywords for you to use and add your webpage.

Step 4 – Optimise your content for users

Backlinks alone are not enough for your content to rank well in Google’s search algorithm, it must  be optimised for your users. This is because the algorithm pays attention to how users for lack of a better term use your website. If the users click onto your page and then straight off it then it will start to push it down the search rankings. The opposite though is true, if users click and stay on your page then a Search ranking boost shall come your way. 

Here are some tips on how increase the time spent on your site by users:

  1. Front load the important information. 
    1. Don’t buy into the long introduction slow burning the information people are seeking. Give to them upfront so they’ll actually read it and then have the rest of the content be more depth on the topic being discussed.
  2. Make sure the visual design of your site is simple and easy to digest for audiences to consume. This will mean that your great content actually gets viewed as there is nothing distracting the user from what they came for.

Step 5 – Build Backlinks

A backlink for the uninitiated is simple: it is the link on another site that sends users to your webpage. All the best practises discussed above leave you in a good position for backlinks to be made to your site. A great proactive way to build backlinks is to find ‘broken links’. A broken link is as it says on the tin a link that doesn’t lead to a page anymore. These offer the opportunity to message the author of the site with the dead/broken link to replace the link with similar if not the same content on your webpage.

If all these steps are followed this should set your web page and content well on the way to landing on the first page of Google search and you’ll have fantastic SEO. If you found these SEO tips helped and are looking for more support, please head to https://www.apprenticetips.com/ for more content just like this and much more.

Differences between SEO & SEA


There are different digital marketing techniques that can help to get your website out to your target audience; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA). These different techniques will allow you to connect with your target audience when they search for a term related to your business.

Looking for the right method to get the word out about your business depends on:

  • How much time you are willing to spend?
  • How much money you are willing to spend?


SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.


SEO is important as it will bring traffic to your website. This means that people, within your target audience, will be able to see your website more often than your competitors. The more visitors your website has, the more potential those visitors will become customers/clients.


An advantage of using SEO techniques is it will provide results that are long-term instead of something that will be only be seen for a set amount of time. This means you don’t need to worry about having to do a lot of work all of the time as the results will be there. You can easily do SEO work that covers 3 months, then do it 3 months down the line after the work you’ve done. This, in the long run, will increase your SEO ranking without the worry of paying a lot of money to get your ranking up. A disadvantage of using SEO is that it will take a long time before any results appear. As this is an unpaid option in getting your brand noticed, it does mean for any results to come in it will take time. This would mean you to give it a few months until you can see any results from trying different SEO techniques to get your brand up in the rankings.

Even though it does take a while for your website URL to rank high within search engines, it does give you results that will provide good things for your company. These are; increased visibility, increased accessibility, and increased brand awareness. With these things increased, this will mean your website will be receiving more visitors which will, therefore, increase the number of customers you are getting over time.



Even though SEO and SEA sound similar, there are differences between them. SEA increases the traffic to your website through digital marketing advertising instead of SEO techniques. That means your business pays the publisher of the advert (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) every time a visitor clicks on your ad when it becomes available on that search engine. These advertisements are highlighted on the top of the results page where they are on top of the unpaid results or on the right-hand side of them. SEA has other abbreviations that you may have seen or heard of before. These are Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Cost Per Click (CPC), or Pay Per Click (PPC).


An advantage of SEA is that you can control where your visitors go on your website. Whereas SEO techniques are for your specific keywords, SEA offers you the chance to create an ad for every landing page you have within your website. For example, if you would want to showcase a specific service (e.g. graphic design) your company offers, then you can create an ad for that URL. This will, therefore, get more people looking on your page which will. If this happens, it will increase the number of inquiries you have from customers about that specific service.

However, SEA campaigns have a time limit. This means that your SEA campaign won’t be on your chosen search engine for longer than you have set it up for. This means this becomes a short-term solution in getting results. This is because results will only occur when your ad is up and available on the different search engines. Therefore, you would need to work on your SEO to get your URL more visible on the different search engines.

SEA campaigns are a perfect thing for new businesses. This is because it gets the word out about your company’s website faster than SEO can. This can be done by making sure your URL is one of the tops ones that are shown on search when searching a specific phrase or keywords within the search bar of the search engine. Aside from the speed of the results, this can be said to be good for new businesses by the flexibility and possibly low cost of the campaign.


The use of both SEO and SEA within your marketing techniques will get the word out about your website and company to your target audience faster than your competitors who are doing one or the other. Both of these marketing techniques will be beneficial to your business and you can see this by watching your client/customer list increase

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How to Do an SEO Audit: The Ultimate Checklist

Scrabble letters spelling 'SEO'

Let’s face it, there are lots of complex SEO terminology out there, ranging from alt tags to backlinks. Some may be easier to figure out than others, but we are here to help you with this. We’ve chosen 5 core pillars of an SEO audit, to ensure your website is always optimised and ranking high.

What is SEO?

Let’s start simple, what even is SEO you ask? Well…SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, otherwise known as organic search. It’s the process of improving ranking, visibility and user experience of your online content. This can be done by generating links, writing content and updating the overall layout of your website. The search engine algorithms will then analyse your content, looking at whether it is high quality and trustworthy. You should always optimise your website for your user, not for the search engine, as they will cause you to rank well. Learn more about SEO by taking a look at the other blogs we have.

Core Pillars of an SEO Audit

1. Keywords

Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In order to ensure you attract the right customers to your website, you should be using relevant keywords/phrases. There are certain situations where keywords should be used, that I will explain:

  • Content: You have to be careful not to ‘keyword stuff’, meaning don’t overdo it with the keywords in hopes for a better ranking. You should always ensure that the keywords in your written content aren’t over 2.5%, here is a formula to help: keywords/total word count x 100. The end figure should give you your percentage.
  • Meta’s: In your metadata (title and description) make sure you add relevant keywords, to target your customers.
  • Image titles/Alt Tags: Make sure you always add a description under your image, for visually impaired users. They should be short, descriptive and relevant, this is very important for google and rankings.
  • Search/User Intent: Try and look for content opportunities outside your target words in order to attract other people than your regular customers.

2. Technical SEO

Here’s a more in-depth look at the technical aspects of SEO, things that are vital, but may be overlooked:

  • Indexing: You should ensure that your page is indexed, if it has a no index tag it will be very difficult for your customers to find you upon a regular search.
  • Site Ranking: Try and find the ranking of your site. To do this, go into incognito mode and search your main keywords, once you have done this change the google settings to 100. Ideally your site ranking should be within the first 100, if not you need to change what you’re doing to improve this.
  • Site Speed: Did you know that 40% users will leave if the website takes more than 3 seconds to load? You need to optimise your site to ensure your images and site loading speed are very quick. Use Google’s free tool ‘Page Speed Insights’ in order to figure this out.
  • SSL Certificate: A Secure Socket Layer is important on all websites as it shows your customers that your site is verified and safe from hackers. It is also the easiest thing to do in order to boost your SEO
  • Mobile Optimisation: Considering more and more people are using mobiles to browse instead of their computers, is a vital feature to have for all websites. Your website should be as good on mobile as it is on desktop, this may mean that you will have to create a mobile version of your site. It will seem like a pain at the start but it will pay off, due to your customers’ satisfactions.

3. User Experience

As previously mentioned you are optimising your website for the user, not the search engine, so you should be doing everything to ensure they have an easy, smooth experience.

  • Useful: The content on your site should be original, it should fulfil a need and provide value, if it isn’t relevant, remove it from your pages.
  • Usable: You need to ensure that your site is easy to use and simple to navigate around. If the user doesn’t know how to get to the next page, they are most likely to leave. They should be able to get around your site with ease and find what they need to without any issues.
  • Accessible: Content on your pages need to be accessible to people with disabilities, always add alt text, allow users to enlarge the font and keep contrast sensitivity in mind.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: First impressions are big with a website, is your site appealing and inviting to use? It should be pleasing to the eye, with a colour scheme that doesn’t clash, use relevant images, ensure navigation is easy to use and never forget to add white space.
  • User Journey: Does it flow? Are there any CTA’s (call to actions)? The user should be directed to follow a journey, without their knowledge. Use inviting CTA’s such as ‘SHOP NOW’, ‘LEARN MORE’, ‘SIGN UP’, as it tells them what to do as well as inviting them to do so. Secondly, ensure that their experience flows, it should be smooth and not random, provide relevant links, and always provide simple, easy to use navigation.

4. Content

There are a few things you need to consider when writing content for your website…

  • Quality: Create a posting schedule, so you know what is going up and when it is. This was you can ensure fresh content, always research relevant keywords for the pieces you’re writing.
  • Quantity: Every website should have AT LEAST 500 words, this will ensure a higher position in Google (2000 is the best).
  • Keyword Density: NO keyword stuffing
  • Where do I look for content? You should have relevant content on your homepage, and if you have a blog make sure it is easy for the user to find.

5. Links

  • Internal: Links that navigate to other pages on the same domain
  • External: Links that navigate to external pages on a different domain
  • Backlinks: External domain linking to your page

Essential Tools for an SEO Audit

A computer showing SEO facts and figures
A computer showing SEO facts and figures

Here are some useful tools for when you’re conducting your SEO audit, there are many more that are available but these are the ones I find useful:

1. Backlinks Tools:

2. Keyword Research Tools:

3. SEO Audit Tools:

Proposing New Tools and Strategies

It can be daunting trying to propose new tools or strategies to your team, however, it shouldn’t be. If you follow these steps and provide them will correct data and evidence, they will take your considerations onboard.

  1. Identify the problem
  2. How can it be solved
  3. Cost benefit analysis
  4. Facts and stats
  5. Provide options
  6. Be confident

To Conclude Your SEO Audit

We hope that our ultimate SEO audit guide will help you to optimise your site and achieve higher rankings. Hopefully it becomes your ‘go to’ post when performing your audits, as everyone need a holy grail post. If you take these points into consideration when checking through your SEO you should be flying high in all things SEO. Remember, always optimise for the user, goodbye and good luck!

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Top 5 Digital Marketing Data Tools

Image of a data tool showing rows of data.

With data becoming the foundation of marketing campaigns and strategies, it is no surprise that data has become a fundamental part of daily routines and digital marketing courses. Throughout the level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship, students will need to understand various data tools to qualify as competent in the technical Data skill.

Data Tool 1 – Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics

Although I was cheeky here to add two data tools in one, these tools are commonly used as the basis of pulling data for campaigns and strategies. If you need to prove an idea or decide on the success of a marketing tactic, using one of these data tools will be the best place to start.

Data gives team’s the relevant information needed to understand where traffic is coming from. Traffic channel data is necessary when confirming the success of a marketing tactic. Furthermore, this data can give you and your team an idea of what traffic channels need optimizing immediately. If a traffic channel is not driving a large volume of traffic or the conversion rate is significantly low, it is an indication to digital marketers that the channel needs improvements; this could be through optimizing a current campaign that is not succeeding or creating a new campaign. Often, this can be a great way to propose a strategy to senior team members.

The best element of these data tools, in my opinion, is being able to compare data points from different time ranges. This can give an indication on the performance of a traffic channel, product or page through determining whether key metrics such as traffic, conversion, bounce rate and revenue have increased or decreased over time. This trend can suggest whether a campaign is performing better or worse and lead to discussions on why this may be and how to improve this.

Data Tool 2 – Microsoft Excel

Personally, Excel is a favourite tool for pulling data insights! With reporting tools such as Adobe Analytics, Excel can provide detailed visualizations that can be easily shared with the team. If you have a passion for data in your digital marketing apprenticeship, I recommend studying this tool and leveraging the basic formulas to provide your team with regular performance updates. Moreover, use conditional formatting! I use it to colour code positive and negative data points. This is clearer for the team and myself to see an overview of our performance.

Furthermore, you can easily share data and insights. Use Microsoft Cloud to work within the same documents as colleagues to collaborate together.

Data Tool 3 – ContentSquare

Analysing web pages has never been simpler. ContentSquare gives a whole new meaning to using data in digital marketing. With the Chrome extension giving digital marketers the ability to analyse heat maps on live web pages, this is a tool you don’t want to miss in your apprenticeship.

Optimizing your site for SEO? Testing new content on different pages? This tool will allow you to compare visitor engagement on pages over time. You will be able to see whether the changes you have made have had a positive effect on customer engagement. Likewise, it is important to monitor any negative impacts.

Understand the engagement of your audience with this tool. Then, take key insights back to your team to explain why certain pages are performing better or worse than others. Use these insights to inform next steps in content and SEO planning.

Data Tool 4 – Google Search Console

A range of data tools is important to find insights that align with different marketing goals. As a digital marketing apprentice, you will need to understand Search Engine Optimization. This will determine a site’s organic search performance. If a page has a low ranking on the search engine results page (SERP), it will have low visibility to the target audience.

Interested in learning what pages on your site are performing well and which need optimizing? Google Search Console has many features that can provide these insights. Personally, my favourite feature is the average page ranking for a given URL. This data can give marketing team’s reasons behind Organic Search performance. It can give marketer’s the incentive to run a SEO strategy. Then, you can understand whether the strategy is working through continuing to monitor how the page rankings change through the trend graph.

An image of someone working on a laptop, using a data tool.
Data Tools are important for marketers to build campaigns that are valuable to the goals of the business.

Data Tool 5 – Google Trends

Another SEO tool, Google Trends is a useful data tool to find the volume of searches for certain keywords. When conducting keyword research, it is important to find keywords that are both high enough in volume to reach a significant audience, but also with low enough competition so competitor brands don’t take all the top ranks.

Furthermore, this tool can be interesting to look into branded keywords, especially if your company is trying to understand whether they are more engaged with their audience than a competitor. This tool allows you to see the volume of searches for your company’s branded keywords compared to that of a competitor.

Data Tools – Conclusion

These tools are useful for their own reasons. However, the level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship standard focuses not only on being able to pull and read data, but you must also be able to provide recommendations and insights to others. Take note of where I have mentioned sharing data to recommend marketing campaigns based on data trends.

If you are interested in learning more about key digital marketing tools, check out our article on keyword research tips for SEO.