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Three web skills that every modern employee should have

Today's businesses rely on the internet as their primary means of marketing, customer service, and business development. For some, the internet provides their primary sales channel as well. For those businesses, getting every facet of their online presence right isn't a trivial matter, it's a business imperative. To make that happen, it is essential for all employees to have a firm grasp on the basics of internet marketing and web content best practices.

The good news is that the internet itself is a fantastic resource for teaching rank-and-file employees everything they need to know to help a business thrive online, as long as you know what topics to focus on. To help, here are three web skills that every employee should have, and that employers can use to great advantage in today's digital market.

The basics of SEO

On the internet, a business is only as successful as they are visible, and search engines are the gatekeepers that can decide a company's ultimate fate. For that reason, a whole industry has sprung up around search engine optimization (SEO), or the practice of crafting a web presence specifically to rank well on search engine results pages.

As any SEO professional can tell you, however, getting and keeping a solid ranking on Google, Bing or Yahoo takes more than a one-time effort – it's an ongoing challenge requiring constant attention. That's why it's essential to make sure that every employee understands SEO best practices so they can contribute accordingly when called upon to do so. Fortunately, there are plenty of free basic SEO courses available on platforms like Udemy and Coursera that can provide the needed knowledge. It's also a good idea to make sure all employees learn about local search engine optimization since it now plays such an outsized role in marketing success on the internet today.

Content marketing skills

One of the ways that modern businesses draw in potential customers online is by providing industry-specific knowledge and expert information in the form of blog posts, videos, and how-to articles. For most companies, the best possible source of such materials is their own employees, who should have the best handle on what the average customer will find useful and appealing.

Putting all of that experience and know-how to good use requires that contributing employees know how to create compelling content as part of a coordinated content marketing campaign. They should learn the basics of how to write for the web, how to leverage social media to generate brand awareness, and how to encourage feedback to facilitate campaign analytics. Finally, they should become well-versed in the business's overall content marketing strategy so they can help to identify new opportunities to share what they know within the context of the business's overall goals.

CMS use and maintenance

Today, almost half of the websites on the internet rely on some kind of content management system (CMS) to operate. That's good news for businesses, as it allows for constant updates to existing web properties, and extends the useful life of websites to maximize return on investment. To make the most out of a CMS, however, it is necessary to make sure that the broadest possible number of employees are trained to use it (and for mission-critical websites, mistakes can hurt the business).

This is especially vital for businesses that have engaged their workforce in a coordinated content marketing campaign, as it will allow contributing employs to self-manage their own blog posts and additions to the company website. In general, the best way to do this is to organize training sessions where IT staff or the responsible outside vendor can teach employees the ins and outs of the specific CMS that is in use. If possible, the training sessions should be recorded and provided on the company intranet for the benefit of the employees who could not attend in person.

Building a digitally literate workforce

Companies that encourage their employees to gain new skills in the three areas listed above will gain significant benefits, both to their marketing efforts as well as to the engagement of their employees and customer base. With these skills, every employee can take a more active role in the success of the business, and engage with customers more often than would otherwise be possible. That helps to create a virtuous cycle that will boost the company's bottom line and enhance its reputation among the public – and that's an outcome that is good for everyone involved.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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