5 Reasons Every Marketer Should Learn to Code
You’ve probably heard it a couple times already – read a clever article on Moz or from your smug colleague’s boasting over a cup of coffee in the morning: the next marketing must-have skill is coding.
It may sound scary at first. You may think coding is just for geeks who misinterpreted math as a hobby at school and now get free gym, beer and M&M’s, working for some fancy cool tech start-up. Or is it, really?
I thought all those things too, originally. Then one day I enrolled in a free online coding course. Next month, I started saving hours of work thanks to my – frankly very basic – coding skills.
And to be honest, it doesn’t even involve math.
Which coding language should you pick?
The choice is overwhelming and no matter how many of your techie friends you will ask for some pointers, everyone will give you different advice.
But, this totally makes sense: each coding language is suitable for something different.
Guys from Carlcheo have put together this funny flowchart to illustrate a few of the options you have.
1. Understand your website
My first big achievement was when I opened the source code of my company website, and… it started making sense to me. SEO is so much easier when you understand how websites work!
In order to make some basic optimisation – title tags, meta descriptions, image alt texts, link attributes or canonical links – you need a basic knowledge of HTML.
Even such a simple task as uploading your new blog post, video or article can benefit from a few HTML or CSS tricks. You will be able to correctly embed videos, make text prettier and images tidier, without needing to ask your agency or dev colleague.
2. Boost your Google Analytics
- Classify your content in Google Analytics dynamically based on length of the post, type of a headline, author, number of images, etc.
3. Manage your spreadsheets in Google Drive
You can use it to automate mundane tasks, or even to create your own private apps. The possibilities and use cases are endless.
4. Use schema markup for more organic traffic
Structured data markup is a great way to make your website easier to understand for Google and other search engines. There are plenty of options to annotate your content and improve the way your website looks in search results: highlight your articles and events, or add your logo to the knowledge graph, etc.
A great guide to different types of schema markup was published by Search Engine Land last year.
5. Automate your Google Adwords campaigns
Where to learn?
Everyone prefers a different way of learning and there are options to cater for everyone. Enrol in a local course in your neighbourhood, ask your friend for some lessons or start with books. A convenient and effective method is also online courses: self paced, with elements of gamification, it can be even fun to learn. Another bonus: many of them are free.
Here are some sites, which provide online coding courses:
Paid coding platform ($29/month), which also offers many free courses and content. Great as a follow up for what you’ve learnt at Codecademy.
Great selection of free and paid courses, including more in-depth nanodegrees.
More advanced platform for programmers to improve your coding skills in a fun way – through video games.
By Pete Reis-Campbell - 11/04/2016