Want to make more sales? Then it’s time to take a few digital marketing courses.

No matter what you’re selling, digital marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for getting your product or service in front of as many eyes as possible. Think about it—we spend hours upon hours every day looking at screens, scrolling through social media, swiping and tapping and of course, buying things.

Every eye-catching ad and perfectly targeted sponsored post you see is the handiwork of a skilled digital marketer. Digital marketing is big business—according to Statista, brands around the world spent $378.16 billion on digital advertising in 2020. And that’s just digital advertising, a subset of digital marketing.

Best digital marketing courses
Be savvy in choosing the best digital marketing course for you. Illustration by OrangeCrush

To help you become a dynamite digital marketer, we rounded up a list of marketing courses that will teach you specific skills you need to compete in this competitive arena.

Choosing the most valuable digital marketing courses for yourself

If you already have some digital marketing experience, you probably don’t need to start at the very beginning with super-basic digital marketing courses. Similarly, if you’ve been tasked with just one or two aspects of digital marketing—writing SEO blog content, for example—you can skip right to the courses that focus on the specific areas you need to level up in.

illustration of a peasant holding a beer and an upward sword
T-shirt design by Alexandra G Mocanu

Choose your teaching method

There are lots of ways to develop your digital marketing skills. One is to immerse yourself in digital marketing communities and “talk shop” with others who have been in the industry longer than you have. Another is to enroll in a traditional professional or college program and take courses a la carte or alongside others to count toward a degree. But in this blog post, we’re focusing on online, largely self-paced courses.

Self-paced means that instead of having a start date, end date and otherwise adhering to a set schedule (like class is from 12-2 every Wednesday, for example), all the material is online and available for you to work through at a pace you can handle. With this kind of course, you get the kind of focused, linear instruction you would get in a traditional classroom, but with the benefits of being able to learn at your own pace, anywhere in the world. And best of all, many of these courses are free! And the ones that aren’t are still significantly less expensive than a traditional academic course.

Research the topics on offer, beforehand

In order to choose which digital marketing courses are right for you, take a look at the topics each one covers. Click on each course’s page to read reviews from past students—some pages include these, others don’t. If a particular course doesn’t list testimonials from previous students, do a Google search for that course to see if there are reviews to be found online.

clever digital logo for digital marketing agency
It’s smart to come prepared. Logo design by Angstrom Alliance

We did our best to include the best digital marketing courses 2021 has to offer, but if you have more specific needs, you might need to look beyond these to find a course that teaches the kind of content you’re looking to learn.

The best digital marketing courses 2021

In each entry, we give you a brief overview of the course, what it costs, which topics it covers and approximately how long it will take you to complete. This way, you can plan your perfect courseload—either one at a time or a build-your-own semester!

    1. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
    2. Audit your Online Visibility with Semrush
    3. Content Marketing Fundamentals Course with Ashley Segura
    4. PPC Fundamentals Course with Joel Bondorowsky
    5. Internet Marketing for Smart People
    6. Google Universal Analytics Essential Training
    7. Social Media Marketing for Small Business
    8. Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing
    9. Digital Media and Marketing
    10. Digital Marketing Specialist

1. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

screenshot of Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Via Google Digital Garage

Price: Free

Duration: 40 hours (approximate)

Skill level: Beginner

Topics covered:

      • Analytics and data
      • Ecommerce
      • Business strategy
      • Content marketing
      • Display advertising
      • Email marketing
      • Local marketing
      • SEM
      • SEO
      • Mobile marketing
      • Social media
      • Video marketing
      • Web optimization

Self-paced: yes

When you’re looking for a solid foundational course that touches on just about everything an up-and-coming digital marketer needs to know, this is your course. Google provides one of the most comprehensive free digital marketing courses through this Google Digital Garage offering that’s accredited by The Open University and Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe. If you’re just dipping your toes into digital marketing and you’re not sure where to start, start here.

Learn more about Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.

2. Audit your Online Visibility with Semrush

Fundamentals of Audit your Online Visibility with Semrush
Via Semrush

Price: Free

Duration: One hour

Skill level: Beginner

Topics covered:

      • Assessing your website’s performance
      • Benchmarking your website against competitors
      • Improving your backlink authority
      • Reporting your SEO stats

Self-paced: Yes

SEO is one of the most important skills for any digital marketer to learn. This is how a website ranks in search engine searches—and if you aren’t ranking on the first page, that’s a problem you need to fix. Learn how to gauge your current SEO performance and fix problems like showing up on page two in this free course taught by Kelsey Gettis of Semrush.

Learn more about Audit your Online Visibility with Semrush.

3. Content Marketing Fundamentals Course with Ashley Segura

Screenshot of Content Marketing Fundamentals
Via Semrush

Price: Free

Duration: Two hours

Skill level: Beginner

Topics covered:

      • Content ideation
      • Competitor and audience research
      • Implementing a content marketing plan
      • Content creation
      • Creating a content calendar
      • Optimizing and distributing your content

Self-paced: Yes

Another offering from Semrush, this course focuses on the fundamentals of content marketing. Taught by Ashley Segura of Semrush, this course includes topics like establishing business goals for your content, conducting audience and competitor research and auditing your current content. Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, so when you’re looking for digital marketing courses to follow up the previous Semrush course, this is definitely one to consider.

Learn more about Content Marketing Fundamentals

4. PPC Fundamentals Course with Joel Bondorowsky

Screenshot of PPC Fundamentals
Via Semrush

Price: Free

Duration: Five hours

Skill level: Beginners to PPC; previous digital marketing experience can help

Topics covered:

      • How PPC campaigns work
      • Search advertising
      • Display advertising
      • Shopping campaigns
      • Multi-touch conversions
      • Universal app campaigns
      • Budgeting for PPC campaigns

Self-paced: Yes

The last of our digital marketing courses from Semrush, this course teaches you everything you need to know to implement a pay per click, or PPC, campaign. The course begins with an overview of PPC advertising, then dives right into developing your own strategies as you develop PPC campaigns for your brand. The course’s instructor, Joel Bondorowsky, is a 20-year veteran in the PPC world, with experience working with more than a thousand businesses.

Learn more about PPC Fundamentals

5. Internet Marketing for Smart People

Screenshot of Internet Marketing for Smart People
Via Copyblogger

Price: Free

Duration: varies depending on your pace

Skill level: Beginner

Topics covered:

      • Developing the ideal offer for your audience
      • Cultivating a respectful, engaging relationship with your audience
      • Tried-and-true direct response copywriting techniques
      • Content strategy
      • Accurately valuing your offer

Self-paced: Yes

Writing copy that converts effectively is one of the most important skills for a digital marketer to learn. This course, which is delivered via email, covers the four pillars of online marketing success: relationships, direct response copywriting, content marketing and offering something that’s worth selling. In this course, you’ll learn how to effectively sell that offer through persuasive copy and content.

Learn more about Internet Marketing for Smart People

6. Google Universal Analytics Essential Training
Screenshot of Google Universal Analytics Essential Training

Via LinkedIn LearningPrice: Monthly subscription to LinkedIn Learning, $29.99

Duration: 2 hours, 39 minutes

Skill level: Beginner

Topics covered:

      • Creating a Google Analytics account
      • Setting up a tracking tag
      • Graphing analytics data
      • Working with and annotating analytics reports
      • Understanding behavior and acquisition reports
      • Visualizing funnels
      • Using filters within Google Analytics

Self-paced: Yes

The first thing you’ll probably notice about this course is that its title is a mouthful. Think of it as a precursor to the subject area covered—Google Analytics is big, and there’s a lot to cover. In this course, you get a comprehensive overview of Google Analytics, one of the key tools digital marketers use to gather information on who’s visiting their websites, how long visitors are staying on their websites, how their websites and individual pages are ranking on Google and the behavior patterns of people visiting their websites. By learning how to use Google Analytics, you can manage your own website’s analytics reports or handle analytics for clients.

Learn more about Google Universal Analytics Essential Training

7. Social Media Marketing for Small Business

screenshot of Social Media Marketing for Small Business
Via LinkedIn Learning

Price: Monthly subscription to LinkedIn Learning, $29.99

Duration: One Hour

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Topics covered:

      • Key social media terms
      • Identifying social media goals
      • Implementing social media marketing strategies
      • Engaging with audiences
      • Gauging conversions

Self-paced: Yes

These days, if your business isn’t on social media, you’re leaving money on the table. Stop missing out on valuable reach, engagement and sales by developing an effective small business social media strategy now. In this course, you’ll learn not only how to build Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles for your business, but how to optimize them for conversions and get the most return on your social media investment through them.

Learn more about Social Media Marketing for Small Business

8. Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing

screenshot of Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing
Via Simplilearn

Price: $2,250

Duration: Six months; 5-10 hours per week

Skill level: Advanced: candidates must have at least two years of digital marketing experience and a bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission

Topics covered:

      • SEO
      • Online reputation management
      • Search psychology
      • PPC strategy
      • Advanced ad features
      • Campaign and ad group organization
      • Keyword research
      • URL management
      • Language targeting
      • Web analytics
      • Content marketing
      • Website management and optimization

Self-paced: No

Despite the generic-sounding name, this course is anything but generic. Provided by Purdue University, this post-graduate level online bootcamp is a rigorous introduction to digital marketing as a career. This course differs from the other courses we’ve covered so far in a few ways. For one, it’s a traditional college course, and that means candidates are selected for admission, rather than an open door policy. It’s also held in regularly occurring classes and ends with a certification from Purdue.

Learn more about Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing

9. Digital Media and Marketing

screenshot of Digital Media and Marketing
Via Duke Continuing Studies

Price: $3,195

Duration: 12-month access to the program. The course takes approximately 350 hours to complete

Skill level: Advanced—students are recommended to have some industry experience before taking the course

Topics covered:

      • Social media marketing
      • Mobile marketing
      • Web analytics
      • PPC
      • Email marketing
      • Content marketing
      • Website conversion rate optimization

Self-paced: Yes

Much like the Purdue program we discussed above, Duke’s program is an advanced course meant for people who already have some digital marketing experience. The topics covered are the same topics you’ll find in other courses, but in this course—which requires all students to hold Digital Marketing Certified Associate certifications before enrolling—goes deeper with them, teaching students how to do digital marketing like pros.

Learn more about Digital Media and Marketing

10. Digital Marketing Specialist

screenshot of Digital Marketing Specialist
Via Simplilearn

Price: $1,499

Duration: One year of access; course is self-paced

Skill level: Advanced

Topics covered:

      • Web analytics
      • SEO
      • Social media mastery
      • Mobile and digital strategies
      • PPC
      • Content marketing
      • Access to Harvard Business case studies for digital marketing

Self-paced: Yes

Another advanced course, this course will give you the skills you need to become a professional digital marketing specialist. This course is actually comprised of seven distinct courses for each students receive a Master’s certification upon completion. With advanced instruction in every area a modern digital marketer needs to know, this comprehensive course is an all-encompassing foundation for building a digital marketing career.

Learn more about Digital Marketing Specialist

Ready to start a digital marketing course?

Start your journey to become a master marketeer to find the conversion rates you’re after. These digital marketing courses all offer something a little different so you should find your path to getting that solid digital marketing plan in place. And what’s the next step after this? Finding the designs of your dreams, of course, to bring your vision to life.

Need branded designs for your next marketing campaign?
Our versatile designers can sort it.