Best Free Certifications For Digital Marketing

If you’re trying to find the best way to get started in digital marketing, these certifications can be a great place to start. They each take a different approach but all teach valuable skills that will help you succeed in the field. We hope this list has given you some ideas on how to improve your knowledge and skill set!

In this post, we review the Best Free Certifications For Digital Marketing, which are the most important certifications for digital marketing, and digital marketing course online.

Best Free Certifications For Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a growing field, and there are many certification options to choose from. These certifications will help you stand out in your industry, as well as prove your expertise to potential employers.

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ)

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) is the highest level of certification in Google Analytics and one of the most sought-after certifications available. To become a GAIQ, you must pass an exam that tests your knowledge of advanced concepts in using Google Analytics data to improve user experience.

The GAIQ requires passing a pre-test, so if you have not taken a course on Google Analytics or read up on the topic, you will need to do so before registering for the exam. Once registered, there are two testing options: paper-based or online proctored exams (e-learning). The paper-based option allows for use of books and other reference materials during the test but does not offer any time extensions or extra attempts at questions. The proctored exams are administered through Pearson VUE testing centers around the world at set dates and times; they offer more flexibility with regard to timing than their paper counterparts but require traveling to take them (or hiring someone else to administer them).

Google AdWords Certification

Google AdWords Certification is a voluntary certification program that validates your knowledge and skills in Google AdWords. It is a way to show your proficiency in managing and optimizing Google AdWords accounts, as well as gaining access to new features such as enhanced reporting and better integration with other Google products.

Why should you get certified?

  • To prove your expertise in digital marketing
  • To be recognized as an industry expert by potential employers or clients

HubSpot Content Marketing Certification

The HubSpot Content Marketing Certification is a great way to show that you know the ins and outs of creating and distributing content. The certification is free, but there are some requirements to get it. If you’re interested in receiving this certification, check out the following steps:

  • Go to hubspot.com/certification.
  • Click on “Content Marketing Specialist.”
  • Read through the study guide for preparation for the exam and review questions at the end of each chapter before taking any practice exams or projects from their library of resources. The exam covers all aspects of content marketing, so be sure to prepare yourself accordingly by reading through these materials thoroughly!

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certificate

The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certificate course is a free certification that’ll take you through the basics of inbound marketing. You’ll learn how to create an effective marketing strategy, including creating content and using HubSpot to execute it. The curriculum covers topics like content marketing, SEO, email marketing and social media.

You can complete the program in as little as 10 hours—you don’t have to go back-to-back at all! And if you choose not to complete it in one sitting (or over several sittings), you can still access all of your materials for up to 90 days after registration.

SEMRush Academy

SEMRush Academy is a free training program that teaches you how to use the SEMRush software. The training program consists of videos and other resources, so you can learn at your own pace.

SEMRush Academy is a great way to learn about SEMRush and how to use it. If you’re looking for free certifications for digital marketing, then this option may be right for you because it will teach you all about the niche without charging any money.

SEMRush Academy isn’t just for beginners, though; even if you have some experience with SEMRush already, there’s plenty here that will help improve your knowledge and skillset further!

You should get certified because it provides you with a competitive edge in the world of digital marketing. When you get certified, you’re demonstrating that you know your stuff and can be trusted to deliver results for clients. You also demonstrate your ability to solve problems, which is vital for any job in the digital marketing industry.

It’s important to note that some certifications will only make sense if you want to work at one specific company or industry. For example, if you want to work at Google as an AdWords specialist then getting their Search Advertising Professional certification makes perfect sense; however if this isn’t your goal then there are other certifications that would probably be better options for your career goals (e.g., Digital Marketing Certified Professional).

which are the most important certifications for digital marketing

Whether you’re trying to land your first digital marketing job or you’re a current digital marketing professional looking to take on new responsibilities, specialized training can help you develop the skills you need to be successful.

Digital marketing certifications can add credibility to your resume as you pursue new opportunities. With so many marketing tools and software available today, certifications are a great way to show employers that you have expertise in a particular area.

Learn about eight digital marketing certifications that could help you reach your full potential as a marketer.

What’s the Difference Between a Digital Marketing Certification and Certificate?

It’s easy to confuse certifications with certificates. Some websites use them interchangeably, but there are slight differences in meaning. Certification refers to a designation you receive after passing an exam from a trusted organization in your industry, while a certificate is something you receive after completing an educational program administered by an academic institution.

Both certifications and certificates can be excellent options for growing your digital marketing knowledge. Certificate programs—such as Wharton Online’s Digital Marketing Certificate—may be more well-rounded, giving you an overview of multiple digital marketing concepts, while certifications are more likely to focus on one particular tool.

Why Become Certified in Digital Marketing?

According to Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide, 94% of marketing and creative leaders have difficulty finding skilled professionals to fill open positions. That’s because many digital marketing careers are highly technical.

Obtaining a digital marketing certification is one way to show employers that you’re familiar with industry tools and techniques—even if you’re relatively new to marketing.

Other benefits of earning a digital marketing certification include:

Which Digital Marketing Certifications Are Best for Me?

The best digital marketing certifications for you will depend on your career interests and your work experience thus far. Do you want to focus on email marketing? Social media?

You should also consider whether the jobs you’re applying to list any specific tools or software in the job description. For example, if a job listing mentions HubSpot, you may want to look into obtaining one of HubSpot’s multiple certifications.

Here are a few digital marketing certifications to get you started.

1. Google Ads Certifications

All of the certifications are intended for beginners and can be completed for free. The only requirement for earning certification is passing an assessment exam.

For each certification, Google offers free training courses and videos that teach you the core concepts needed to pass the assessment. Whether you want to complete the extra learning materials or skip straight to the exam is up to you—but if you’re new to Google Ads, we recommend going through the training.

This is a great certification for aspiring paid search marketers or business owners who want to know more about how to advertise their business on Google.

2. Google Analytics Individual Qualification

Google Analytics is the premier tool for tracking website traffic. Because the data comes straight from Google, it is generally much more accurate than third-party tools.

The Google Analytics Individual Qualification is designed to measure your ability to effectively configure and navigate your Google Analytics account. It covers topics such as data collection, segmentation, custom reports, and how to export data.

Similar to the Google Ads certifications, earning the certification is free and simply requires passing an assessment. Google also offers two training courses for Google Analytics—one for beginners and one that goes over more advanced topics.

3. Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification Course

If you’re interested in social media marketing, you may want to look into the Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification Course. Hootsuite is a platform that allows you to manage multiple social media networks from one dashboard. You can schedule posts, interact with followers, and measure engagement analytics.

Hootsuite’s social marketing certification is designed for beginners who want to learn the foundations of using social media to grow their business. It is made up of several instructional videos and ends with a 60-question exam.

4. HubSpot Email Marketing Course

With the HubSpot Email Marketing Course, you learn the basics of email marketing and how to apply these concepts to HubSpot’s email marketing tool. The certification course covers how to create an email marketing strategy, how to craft a high-performing email, and how to test your marketing emails for better results.

The certification is free and requires completing nine video lessons. There is a quiz after each lesson that you need to pass before moving on to the next.

5. HubSpot Marketing Software Course

The HubSpot Marketing Software Course is a useful certification for marketers who use HubSpot in their day-to-day work. According to Marketing Automation Insider, HubSpot owns about 42% of the small business automation software market, so the chances you’ll end up using it at some point during your marketing career is fairly high.

The HubSpot software certification teaches you how to navigate the HubSpot Marketing Hub and how to use different tools found within HubSpot.

You can access some of the educational resources included with the course for free, but taking the quizzes and earning the certification requires a Pro or Enterprise subscription to HubSpot.

digital marketing course online

Once upon a time, in the early days of the internet, digital marketing was an elite skill for a specialist group of professionals. It’s weird to imagine that today. Digital is so intertwined with marketing in general, it’s almost impossible to separate them. As anyone who has ever been online knows only too well, digital marketing is everywhere! From search engines and social media to mobile apps and advertising, every organization uses it one way or another.

While digital marketing is still a specialist skill, it’s no longer an elite one. Today, thanks to the same internet that spawned digital marketing in the first place, anyone can learn it. Whether you’re self-taught, are taking a certified course, or are topping up your existing skills with the latest trends and tools, there are countless ways to learn.

In this post, we provide a round-up of the best online digital marketing courses for 2023. Starting with free programs and working up through the price brackets, we’ve aimed to include something for everyone. Use the clickable menu to jump to the heading of your choice:

Without further ado, let’s get going!

1. CareerFoundry Digital Marketing Program

Who is it for?

This course is perfect for those with a genuine interest in digital marketing, who want to study on their own terms, under the guidance of both a mentor and tutor.

How does it work?

The CareerFoundry Digital Marketing course teaches you all the fundamental skills, tools and processes required to become a digital marketing expert. Working with an industry expert mentor and tutor, you’ll build projects that you can use in your digital marketing portfolio, preparing you for a career change into the field. CareerFoundry is so confident in their approach and curriculum that they also offer a Job Guarantee: land a job in your desired field within 180 days of graduating from your program, or your money back.

How long does it take to complete?

All of CareerFoundry’s programs are self-paced, meaning there’s no scheduled lectures or seminars to attend. Instead, you can choose to work part-time at 15-20 hours a week for seven months, or full-time at 30-40 hours a week to graduate in four months.

How much does it cost?

The full program costs $6,900. You’ll also benefit from a 5% discount if you’re able to pay upfront.

However, if you’d like to test out the curriculum for yourself before committing to the full tuition cost, you can try out the free, 5-day short course.

Learn more:

2. LinkedIn Learning Become a Digital Marketing Specialist Course

Who is it for?

If you’re new to the mechanics of digital marketing, this course is an ideal introduction to the fundamentals. Think you might be interested in starting a career in the field but aren’t ready to commit the time or money to a paid program? Then dip your toe in first.

How does it work?

This foundation course offers a collection of bite-size video tutorials, each about two hours long. Each course on the program introduces a new digital marketing topic. Starting with the basic framework and concepts, you’ll go on to learn about the foundations of search engine optimization (SEO), Google Ads, content and social media marketing, and more. As a high-level introduction, don’t expect to come away with in-depth knowledge. But this course offers an excellent overview. It’ll also provide enough insight to help you figure out which areas might interest you, helping you decide what to expand on if you choose to take things further.

Just as a note, LinkedIn Learning is the new face of Lynda: a well-respected online training provider purchased by the social media giant in 2015 and rebranded in 2021. You can guarantee the quality of the content. There’s a whole swathe of additional courses to choose from, too.

How long does it take to complete?

The entire program includes 20 hours of content across 11 courses. Even if you only check out the first course in the program, you’re only committing 2 hours and 9 minutes. Worth a go!

How much does it cost?

While this program is free, to access more of LinkedIn Learning’s digital marketing programs, you’ll need to subscribe. This costs between $19.99 and $29.99 a month, depending on your payment plan. They do offer a month’s free trial though. Since most of their courses are only a few hours long, there’s plenty for you to get your teeth into.

Learn more:

3. Google Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Who is it for?

While LinkedIn Learning’s course is great for those looking to dip a toe in, Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing offers a slightly more consistent experience. It’s ideal for small business owners or those looking for a career change.

How does it work?

While the first program on our list is a mish-mash of courses from different tutors, Google’s program is produced entirely by the company’s trainers. Over 26 modules, it explores the basics of digital marketing, ranging from content to finding success with basic analytics.

The program consists of bitesize videos and quizzes that test your knowledge. The final quiz, or exam, includes 40 questions. Pass and you receive a digital certification for your LinkedIn profile and resume. This is more than just a vanity certification: it’s accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and the Open University.

How long does it take to complete?

This 26-module course contains 40 hours of learning, which you can carry out at your own pace.

How much does it cost?

The course is free, and accredited to boot, so that’s pretty good!

Learn more:

4. Copyblogger Content Marketing Tools and Training

Who is it for?

As a content marketing resource, Copyblogger primarily targets writers. Beyond that, its audience is not too specific. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a low-effort way to learn, or an experienced professional keeping up with the latest trends and opinions, Copyblogger will help.

How does it work?

Copyblogger is part blog, part training resource, part newsletter. Unlike courses that demand a given time commitment, you can sign up to Copyblogger to receive 20 emails exploring content marketing topics from copywriting and SEO to keyword research and more. Because it comes straight to your inbox, you can choose when to read it, rather than feeling pressure at the prospect of making notes in front of tutorials.

While Copyblogger isn’t a course in the traditional sense, it’s hugely popular in content marketing circles. Another reason it’s on our list is that digital marketing trends evolve so quickly. While a formal course can teach you the fundamentals, the specifics go out of date fast. With new tools, fads, and thinking always emerging, digital marketing professionals need to keep up with these trends via a site like Copyblogger, or similar. If you find that it’s not for you, no problem. But we highly recommend finding and following a similar blog.

How long does it take to complete?

Less of a course and more of a resource, there’s no time commitment to make here. Consume as much or as little as you want!

How much does it cost?

Copyblogger is 100% free, so there’s zero harm in signing up.

Learn more:

5. Udemy Complete Digital Marketing course

Who is it for?

This course is ideal for those looking to upskill on the job without splashing too much cash. Companies including VW, Apple, and Eventbrite all use Udemy’s Digital Marketing course to help develop their staff, too. Udemy is also great for individuals wanting to expand their skill set when starting their own business.

How does it work?

While Udemy is another course that relies on video tutorials, it takes a pragmatic approach, focusing on learning by doing. Combining videos, quizzes, sample projects, and checklists, the program gradually builds your skills. The 12 courses cover the full digital marketing lifecycle, from market research to building a website in WordPress. Rather than simply explaining the range of digital marketing techniques, it also aims to give you the practical experience of applying them. The aim is to help you create a tailored marketing strategy that’s either free (or very cheap) to implement. With over 600,000 students, this is one of Udemy’s most popular courses. There are many more digital marketing courses to choose from, too.

How long does it take to complete?

Udemy’s digital marketing course contains a total of 22.5 hours of learning, supported by articles and downloadable resources that help you to ‘learn by doing.’

How much does it cost?

According to Udemy, the base price for the course is $149.99. However, Udemy offers regular (massive) discounts, suggesting that this is a bit of a marketing gimmick (but hey, you’re already learning some digital skills, right there!) The last time we checked, the course was reduced to $16.99, suggesting it’s usually very affordable.

Learn more:

6. Coursera Digital Marketing Specialization course

Who is it for?

This course is pitched at beginners with a relatively modest budget. It has a good depth of content, though, so you’ll be well-prepared once you’ve completed it.

How does it work?

For a longer course of study that doesn’t break the bank, this Coursera program has you covered. Coursera’s ‘specializations’ are a series of courses combined to build skills in a particular area, in this case, digital marketing. This particular specialization requires the completion of six courses, but you can take each one at your own pace, and if you want to take a break in between, that’s fine, too.

Each Coursera specialization includes a hands-on project (which follows the courses) that you’ll need to complete to gain certification. For this digital marketing course, you’ll apply your newfound skills to a real-life project created in partnership with industrial supply company, Grainger. Whether industrial supplies are your area of interest or not, the bigger picture here is that you’ll be learning the skills and processes that real employers need. Bonus! You can’t put a price on that.

How long does it take to complete?

If you follow Coursera’s suggested pace of study (5 hours per week) the course will take you 8 months to complete. However, you can set personal deadlines, so if you want to finish it sooner, you can!

How much does it cost?

The course promotes ‘free enrolment’ but you’ll have to pay the monthly Coursera subscription fee of $79 to do the whole thing. As an 8-month course, that’s around $360 if you only subscribe for the duration. However, the subscription also gives you access to thousands of other courses so it’s not bad value for money.

Learn more:

7. Springboard Digital Marketing Career Track Bootcamp

Who is it for?

This course doesn’t strictly preclude beginners but is geared more towards those with some fundamental writing skills and knowledge of statistics. Given the price tag, it’s probably more suited to those ready to commit to a career in digital marketing. This likely includes people with digital marketing experience already under their belt.

How does it work?

An option on the higher-end of the digital marketing course scale, Springboard offers a mentor-led, community-driven, full-stack digital marketing certification. This takes things up a notch from the standard video tutorial approach. Despite being online, you’ll have regular video calls with a mentor (an industry professional) as well as access to a peer network for support. While you’ll learn the so-called ‘full stack’ of digital marketing skills (from SEO to social) you’ll hone your skills through real-world projects, rather than relying solely on video tutorials.

Springboard also focuses on career readiness. You’ll build a marketing portfolio and a career coach will prepare you for interviews, reviewing your resume. You’ll also have access to a professional network to help you secure your first digital marketing job. There are limited slots available, though, and you’ll need an undergraduate degree to apply.

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