The best work from home career paths to pursue

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The best work from home career paths to pursue in 2023

By Academy Xi

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The best work from home career paths to pursue

A little old global pandemic accelerated the popularity of working from home and it appears to be a trend that’s here to stay. Read on to discover which careers suit the hybrid and 100% remote set up.

Current and future trends in remote work

Remote working offers flexibility for individuals and companies alike – whether you’re a contractor, full or part-time permanent employee. We’ve scoped out some of the current trends and forecasts.

Hybrid working

As organisations have begun the process of reopening their office spaces, hybrid models have grown in popularity as a stepping stone to eventually returning full time, or for some, the promise of continued location flexibility, with a split between time working from home and at HQ.

Distributed teams

Remote arrangements enable companies to hire talent from anywhere around the globe and has resulted in distributed teams becoming more commonplace. This setup could include people being based in different states, countries and timezones and can be logistically challenging, but also enable a wider talent pool to be tapped into.

Remote work technologies

Supporting collaboration between workers in remote teams has meant an increase in tech options including video conferencing, project management software and virtual reality tools that enable teams to feel like they’re in the same room together.

Work-life balance

A major benefit of remote working is the ability to achieve a better balance between personal and professional life. We can expect to see more emphasis on flexible working arrangements in the future as more companies embrace the possibility as a permanent fixture.


With the increase of remote working also comes the influx of cybersecurity threats. Companies are needing to step up network security and train remote workers to follow best practices when it comes to online security.

Why remote work is gaining popularity

Remote work is gaining popularity for several reasons, including flexibility of being able to work anywhere with a decent internet connection, increased productivity and cost savings for both employees and companies alike. There are also environmental benefits with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with less commuting.

Popular remote and hybrid career paths that are hiring like crazy

The following careers are seeing an increase in hiring for positions that are hybrid and fully remote, making them attractive options for many.

Developer/Software Engineer

As more companies move their operations online, the demand for developers and software engineers has increased. These professionals are responsible for building and maintaining websites, software applications, and other digital products. Skills in programming languages such as Python, Java, and JavaScript are in high demand.

UI/UX Designer

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designers are responsible for creating digital products that are easy to use and visually appealing. They design everything from websites to mobile apps and software interfaces. In addition to technical skills, UI/UX designers need strong soft skills, such as collaboration and communication.

Graphic Designer

Creating visual designs for logos, marketing materials and websites is amongst the mix of a designer’s remit, with the demand expected to continue to grow as companies increasingly invest in their digital marketing efforts. 

Copywriter/Content Producer

Any written content that features on online platforms (think websites, social media, apps) is created by copy and content writers or content producers. Solid writing and editing skills are needed, along with knowledge of SEO and content marketing. 

Social Media Manager

Responsible for creating and executing social media strategies for businesses, social media managers create content, manage social accounts, and analyse engagement metrics. They need to have strong communication and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of social media platforms and their algorithms.

Online Marketer

Driving traffic and leads to websites and other digital platforms is the main goal of the online marketer. Strategies such as SEM, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing can all be used to target the key audiences. 

Virtual Assistant

Remote administrative support is provided by virtual assistants, or VAs, with tasks such as managing emails, data entry and customer service being offered. Some VAs may also manage social media channels and other digital marketing tasks, depending on their skillset. 

Website Content Uploader

Website content uploaders are responsible for publishing and managing website content. They may upload blog posts, images, and videos, and ensure that content is properly formatted and optimised for search engines.

Keen to explore a career you can do from home?

Whether you’re a student, professional or wanting to start a side hustle, Academy Xi offers courses to teach you the skills to thrive in today’s competitive workforce

Better still, we offer training for careers that you can do remotely. Get the skills that employers are searching for with practical and industry-relevant courses in:

If you have any questions, our experienced team is here to discuss your training options. Speak to a course advisor and take the first steps in your remote working career journey.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Academy Xi Blog

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how does it work?

By Academy Xi

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What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Discover how to drive targeted traffic to business websites using the power of paid advertising and strategy.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of online advertising whereby businesses can promote their online shopfront (website) by paying for ads to appear on search engine results pages, otherwise known as SERPs. Paid advertising will often be displayed above or below the organic search results and are labelled as ‘sponsored’ or ‘ad’.

 Advertisers bid on keywords related to their business products or services and their ads are shown to users who search for those keywords. The ultimate goal of SEM is to drive traffic to a website and generate sales or leads. By monitoring and optimising SEM campaigns, business marketing teams can improve their ad performance and maximise their return on investment.

Some helpful key terms related to SEM include:

 Cost per click (CPC)

This refers to the amount of money you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.


The number of times your ad has been shown on a search engine results page is known as the number of impressions.

 Click-through-rate (CTR)

The percentage of people who clicked on your ad after seeing it is the CTR.

 Cost per thousand (CPM)

The amount of money you pay for every 1000 impressions of your ad is referred to as CPM, with the M being the Latin Roman numeral abbreviation for thousand.

SEM versus SEO: what’s the difference?

While both SEM and SEO are strategies used in digital marketing to increase visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs), they differ in their approach and objectives.

 With SEO the focus is on optimising website content, structure, and technical elements to make it more appealing to both search engines and users. The goal with SEO is to improve website ranking in organic search results, increasing the generation of free traffic to a website over time. On the flipside, SEM focuses on using paid ads to target specific groups to drive leads and sales.

The primary difference between the two is that SEO is playing the organic long-game, while SEM is trying to hit marketing goals in the short-term with the paid ad approach. 

How an ad auction works

Advertisers bid on keywords that are relevant to their business offering and create ads using the keywords to display in search engine results pages. When a user searches for a keyword, the search engine runs an auction among advertisers who have bid on that keyword, with the winner being the advertiser with the highest bid and highest ad quality score. The winning ad is displayed in the search results and the advertiser pays the search engine a certain amount for each ‘click’ on their ad.

SEM strategy

Creating and managing paid search campaigns to drive targeted traffic to a website is the foundation of an SEM strategy and it generally involves the following key steps.

  • Defining objectives

Identifying what the objectives of the campaign will be, such as lead or sales generation and then setting measurable goals.

  • Keyword research

Investigating which keywords target audiences are using for their searches and then placing bids on them.

  • Ad creation

Develop compelling ads that incorporate the targeted keywords that will appeal to the target audiences.

  • Landing page optimisation

Create a landing page that is relevant to the ad and optimised for conversions. Also ensure it is optimised for a range of devices.

  • Campaign tracking and optimisation

Monitoring campaign performance and making data-driven optimisations to improve results over time.

  • Keyword volume and competition

The number of searches for a particular keyword or phrase is known as the keyword volume. Higher the volume, generally the higher the demand for a particular product or service – but these higher volume keywords are often more competitive, which means more advertisers are likely to be bidding on them. This can increase the cost per click.

  • Account and campaign structure

These are both critical components of an effective SEM strategy. Keeping your account and campaign structure well organised can help businesses effectively manage and optimise their campaigns, allowing them to target specific audiences and keywords and measure performances accurately. Clear naming conventions, logical ad groupings and effective use of ad extensions and targeting options are all recommended.

SEM targeting types

There are a range of approaches to targeting in paid advertising that can be applied, including:

Keyword: Bidding on relevant keywords as searched by your target audiences.

Location: Targeting users in specific geographic locations, such as cities, regions or countries.

Device: Targeting users by device, e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile.

Demographic: Data such as age, gender, income level is used to target users.

Remarketing: Targeting users who’ve had previous interactions with the business or website, such as those who abandon a shopping cart.

 Major benefits of search engine marketing (SEM)

Immediate brand awareness and instant revenue generation are two of the big benefits of SEM. Other key benefits include:

  • Targeted traffic

SEM enables businesses to ensure their ad spend is focused on the most relevant prospects.

  • Measurable results

Detailed metrics on ad performance, such as click through and conversion rates, allow businesses to measure and optimise the return on investment of their campaigns.

  • Flexibility

Campaigns can be easily adjusted and optimised in real-time based on performance data, empowering people to respond quickly to changes in the market or customer behaviour.

  • Competitive advantage

Businesses can gain an edge over competitors who are not utilising SEM by bidding on keywords and targeting specific audiences.

  • Brand building

Increasing visibility of a brand in search results is a solid benefit and will reinforce association of a brand with specific keywords and phrases.

Best SEM tools

While there are many SEM tools on the market, we’ve rounded up the following options for you to get started with:

 Google Ads Editor: A free tool to manage Google Ads campaigns offline, making it easier to make bulk changes.

 Bing Ads: Platform for managing and running search ads on the Bing search engine, with similar features to Google Ads.

 SEMrush: Suite of tools for keyword research, competitor analysis and tracking SEM campaigns across multiple search engines.

 Google Trends: Tool for tracking the popularity of search terms over time, helping to identify seasonal trends and target trending topics.

 Google Ads Keyword Planner: Another tool from Google, free to use to discover new keywords and estimate search volume and competition for existing ones.

How to get into digital marketing

At Academy Xi, we offer flexible study options in Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing that will suit your lifestyle and training needs, offering you the perfect foundation for your future as a digital marketer.

Whether you’re looking to upskill or entirely transform your career path, we have industry designed training to provide you with the practical skills and experience needed.

After a career change? Take a look at our Transform course: 

Planning to upskill? Our Elevate courses are perfect for you:

If you have any questions, our experienced team is here to discuss your training options. Speak to a course advisor and take the first steps in your digital marketing journey.

what is seo, search engine optimisation

Academy Xi Blog

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how does it work?

By Academy Xi

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what is seo, search engine optimisation

You can build a beautiful website or write a word-perfect blog, but few people will even see it unless the SEO is tuned-up. Find out what SEO is, how it works, and how you can use SEO to boost your brand’s online visibility. 

What is SEO?

The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which refers to the processes followed by anybody wishing to increase the visibility of their website. 

In practical terms, SEO involves optimising the technical configurations of a website, including popular and relevant links, and using written text with commonly searched words and phrases. 

Search engines then analyse your website for the above features, determining how relevant your information is in relation to specific search terms and assigning it a search ranking accordingly. 

As you’ve probably guessed, the better your SEO is, the more likely it is your website will rank highly, which means more eyeballs on your product or service!   

Web traffic that comes from search engine queries is referred to as organic, because it occurs naturally and does not rely on paid marketing. 

Because people are searching the web with a specific purpose, organic traffic is often said to have a higher level of ‘intent’. In marketing, this means organic leads are normally more likely to convert to a sale.  

How does SEO work with digital content?

Search engines use AI to ‘crawl’ content to determine how well it addresses particular search terms. For instance, an AI bot will crawl this article and decide how effectively it covers the topic of ‘What is SEO and how does it work?’. 

AI makes this decision by crawling content in the following order of importance:

  • The title of any piece of content, which is called an H1 tag, and the most important component from an SEO perspective. It should contain crucial keywords and accurately describe what the content will cover. A few simple tips – don’t use keywords more than once, and keep the title short and concise! 
  • A meta description is written in HTML and appears beneath your title in the search engine results, giving more information about the content and helping users decide if it’s relevant. This is the second most important component as far as SEO goes. 
  • H2 tags are the subheadings of your content, such as ‘How does SEO work?’. These are the third most important in terms of SEO. 
  • Finally, the bots will crawl the body text of your writing and search for popular and relevant keywords and phrases. 

Luckily, it’s possible to use SEO platforms and tools to find out what the most popular keywords and phrases are. By incorporating these, you’re likely to boost the ranking of your content. 

It’s also possible to strengthen your SEO by including links to your own articles and webpages, as well as by linking to popular and well-established external websites.  

How does SEO work with websites?  

In much the same way that AI crawls your content, it also analyses each and every page of your website for the use of keywords and phrases. A few simple tips: 

  • It’s important to note the AI favours the appearance of words used at the top of the page, so make sure you front-load your most important SEO terms. 
  • Similarly, labels and headings carry extra SEO weight, so make sure to use your most relevant words with these.

Although certain keywords are bound to feature on your website in various places, it’s wise to avoid duplicating information, since this can lead to your SEO score being reduced. Try to write unique content for all of the following:

  • Home pages
  • Landing pages 
  • Title tags 
  • Product pages
  • Category pages
  • Meta description tags 
  • Image alt text 

Including links to your own content and relevant pages within your website is good practice for SEO, as is making sure your website has a logical structure. If it’s difficult for users to navigate your website, this will detract from your SEO score.   

Finally, the use of images within your website also contributes to your SEO ranking. There are two simple ways to implement solid imaged-based SEO:

  • Include descriptive file titles, which help the AI understand what the image is of and how relevant it is to particular searches. 
  • Include image alt text, offering a short description of the image. Here, be sure to include important SEO keywords and phrases. 

Optimise your website’s loading speed for SEO

If you think this has nothing to do with SEO, think again! Google is very vague about the algorithm rules it uses to test for SEO, but is very specific about the importance of loading speed. If they spell it out that clearly, it’s bound to be a big deal!

For healthy SEO, it’s vital to ensure your pages load as quickly as possible. Your first step is to benchmark your site’s current loading speed, especially on mobile devices (which are more prone to being sluggish). In this situation, it’s handy to use free tools like PageSpeed Insights.

Best of all, PageSpeed Insights will also give you a list of practical ways you can improve your page loading speed. A list of the most common tips includes:

  • Compress Images: Images tend to make up the bulk of a page’s size (in terms of KBs), which is why it’s wise to shrink your image sizes.

  • Use lightweight themes: Bulky WordPress themes can slow your load times down dramatically. If your theme isn’t optimised for speed, consider switching to one that is.
  • Serve images with lazy loading: Lazy loading images appear as your users scroll down the page, which can boost your site’s loading speed by 50% or more. Naturally, this isn’t great for UX, so it’s a tradeoff you’ll need to weigh up.
  • Use CDNs: CDNs serve images and other cached media via servers that are close to your users, improving the quickness of load times.

Top 3 SEO tools and why they’re used

If you’re keen to give SEO a go and boost your website’s visibility, here are a few powerful SEO tools that will give you a competitive edge: 

SEMRush: Semrush is an SEO platform that performs your keyword research, tracks the keyword strategies your competitors are using, runs SEO audits of your blogs, and even identifies missed backlinking opportunities. By far the most popular SEO platform, digital marketers and businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on SEMRush to maximise their SEO. 

AHrefs: Traditionally Ahrefs was known as a backlink checker, offering one of the largest databases of live links. However, its functionality has expanded in recent years. The Ahrefs dashboard helps you keep track of all your URLs, offering live data on URL errors, opportunities for new links, and URL ranking.

Screaming Frog: Screaming Frog’s ‘SEO Spider’ is a website crawler that helps you improve onsite SEO by auditing for common SEO issues. It crawls your website and provides real-time data highlighting anything from broken links to duplicate content. Best of all, the free version of SEO spider allows you to analyse up to 500 URLs a year. Jackpot!

Want to go deeper with Digital Marketing?

Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers. 

Whatever your starting point, our Digital Marketing courses will leave you fully capable of promoting products, services and brands across a range of digital channels. 

Whether you want to venture into a new profession as a Digital Marketer, or upskill and test the waters of a marketing career, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited to your goals and lifestyle:

  • Digital Marketing: Transform – For those who want to kickstart a new career as a Digital Marketer, including 24 weeks of access to a Career Support Program that helps over 97% of graduates straight into industry
  • Digital Marketing: Elevate (self-paced) – For those who want to boost their career with in-demand Digital Marketing skills, while also enjoying the flexibility of self-paced learning

Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match.

What is the Agile methodology

Academy Xi Blog

The Agile Methodology for Digital Project Management

By Academy Xi

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What is Jira, how is it used in project management

Agile is not only a way to work, but also a mindset to work with, enabling the delivery of projects at speed with optimal results. Find out how the Agile methodology is revolutionising the practice of Digital Project Management.

What is the Agile methodology?

Agile is an approach to project management and product development that’s been gathering momentum for about 20 years. The Agile methodology is iterative, which means: 

  • Creating a number of different versions/iterations of a product 
  • Using each iteration to make improvements based on customer feedback

Agile’s especially popular amongst companies working in digital industries, enabling teams to deliver projects faster and with fewer headaches. 

Instead of putting all their efforts into a ‘big bang’ launch, teams following the Agile methodology will deliver a project in smaller, bitesize portions of work referred to as ‘sprints’. 

Prioritising the most important aspects of a project over costly, time-consuming formalities, projects consisting of Agile sprints are sometimes referred to as ‘lean’. 

What is Agile scrum?

Scrum is an Agile project management framework designed to help teams structure and manage their work. It draws on a specific set of values, principles, and practices.

If an Agile sprint defines what gets done and when, then scrum defines how that work will happen.  

Much like a rugby team training for a big game (which is where it gets its name from), scrum encourages teams to learn through experience, self-organise and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously boost their performance.

Want to find out more about Agile scrum? Watch this Explainer video for a simple overview of the scrum framework. 

What’s the history of Agile? 

In 2001, a group of experienced software developers realised they were working as a team to create new products in ways that went against the grain of traditional project management. 

Tech figureheads Kent Beck, Martin Fowler, Ron Jeffries, Ken Schwaber, and Jeff Sutherland all believed their unique approach had the potential to optimise projects everywhere. 

They wrote the Agile Manifesto, documenting their collective beliefs about how a modern project should operate. The manifesto stressed the need for: 

✔️Collaboration over documentation

✔️Self-organisation and autonomy, rather than rigid management structures

✔️The need to constantly iterate, rather than being locked into a single unchanging product design 

The Agile manifesto’s release coincided with the growth of the internet and digital products, helping Agile’s influence grow rapidly. Since the manifesto’s publication, its original principles have stood the test of time. 

How does the Agile approach enhance Digital Project Management?

Though Agile is used with all kinds of projects, because of its connection to software development it will always be synonymous with digital. 

As a result, Agile practices have become the driving force behind modern Digital Project Management. The Agile methodology enhances Digital Project Management in a number of important ways, including:

  • It allows smaller startups with limited resources to quickly and cheaply deliver websites, applications and an array of tech innovations
  • For larger, more established companies, it speeds up their functional processes and allows them to bring new products and features to market faster 

Who uses Agile Project Management?

A number of household name brands use the Agile methodology when managing projects. Some of the most famous examples include:

  • Apple: The US tech giant’s project management and development procedures all follow the Agile methodology. All of Apple’s big teams are divided into smaller ones, with Agile scrum suggesting that the ideal team size is from two to ten people. Apple’s development process consists of projecting, creating, testing and multiple iterations before a final product release.  
  • Microsoft: In 2010, Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online team and Foundation Server team decided to “go Agile,” with all their projects operating according to scrum practices and completed in three-week sprints. Following the success of these projects, Microsoft adopted the Agile methodology company-wide. Since, they have even developed their own software for Agile projects, called Microsoft Project. 
  • Procter & Gamble: The US consumer goods company uses the Agile approach to project manage its consumer research initiatives. Procter & Gamble has set up a group of online communities to gain customer-focused insights about everything from product ideas to ad creative. The research insights are gathered in quick, successive waves (very Agile!), providing the business with up-to-the-moment information at a low cost.

Agile Project Management team roles 

Depending on the size of your company and project, your Agile team might be jam-packed with all kinds of professionals. What are the different roles and responsibilities in an Agile team? Glad you asked! Here’s a high-level breakdown:  

  • Product Manager – Plans the project’s strategic direction, manages stakeholders and co-ordinates the entire team. 
  • Product Owner – Manages the product roadmap and prioritises the backlog.
  • Developer – Completes software development tasks prioritised by the product Owner for a particular sprint​​.
  • Scrum Master – Organises scrums, ensures the Agile methodology is properly maintained, and removes any obstacles blocking the team’s progress. 
  • Team Leader – Organises all the team members one-on-one 
  • Tester – Collaborates with the Product Owner to define acceptance criteria and check for flaws before handing over the product to the client.
  • Architect – Maintains the agreed-upon structure of the product and ensures it properly meets any user/client requirements​​.
  • DevOps – Works on version control, testing, security, integration, and deployment.
  • UX UI Designer – Works with the entire team to come up with user-focussed designs for the product.

How do the principles of Agile apply to Digital Project Management?  

The final piece of the puzzle with Agile and Digital Project Management is to clarify how the methodology’s principles apply in the industry day-to-day. 

Regardless of what Agile project you’re working on, the methodology’s beliefs are bound to manifest in the following ways:

  ✔️The client will specify the project objectives, but the final deliverable is subject to change

✔️The project team will work in iterative cycles, with results always being evaluated at the end through user testing

✔️Depending on the results of testing, the final deliverable may be modified to better meet the client or user’s needs

✔️Deciding what parts of a backlog (outstanding tasks) to complete in the next sprint is settled on by the entire team, and is normally agreed upon in a sprint planning session

✔️Collaboration is essential, involving all team members and project stakeholders. For this reason, you may find the client working alongside the team to define requirements and invited to daily stand-ups and scrum meetings.

How to develop Digital Project Management skills

If you’re looking to upskill and add in-demand capabilities to your resume, our Digital Project Management: Elevate course will give you immediately applicable skills and your professional development a serious boost.  

This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to tap into the latest software (including Jira!) to lead goal-driven teams and deliver high-impact digital projects.

If you have any questions, our experienced team is here to discuss your training options. Speak to a course advisor today and take the first steps in your Digital Project Management journey.

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