The 15 best online marketing courses and certificate programs in 2021

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Young woman taking an online marketing class
Sites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer free or affordable online marketing courses and certificate programs.
  • Understanding marketing, social media, and SEO can help you move up in your career or business.
  • Sites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer free or affordable online marketing courses.
  • Below, we outlined the best online marketing courses and certificate programs.

Online marketing is all around us, from social media ads to our Google search results and even sponsored blog posts. If you're a business owner, are contemplating a change of careers, or simply want to learn new in-demand skills, understanding the ins and outs of online marketing can be a game-changer.

There are different types of marketing professionals. Some may dedicate their time to creating print or digital advertisements, while others focus on social media channels or work with content writers to find the best keywords to boost their SEO ranking and Google search results.

As with many professions, there are a lot of learning opportunities available online, from free introductory courses to in-depth certificate programs from platforms like edX, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Skillshare. Whether you want to expand your knowledge (or even just see if a marketing career seems interesting enough to commit yourself to), taking an online marketing course can help take your career or business to new heights.

The 15 best online marketing courses and certificate programs:

Online marketing courses

Online marketing certificate programs

Online marketing courses Introduction to Marketing
man using laptop

Available on edX

This University of British Columbia course is designed for beginners and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of all marketing jargon as well as strategies and techniques. Students learn a range of topics including market research, how to gain customers, and how to use social media.  

Digital Marketing Foundations
Screengrab from Linkedin Learning Digital Marketing Foundations course

Available on Linkedin Learning

Whether you're a novice or have some experience with online marketing, this relatively short class teaches you how to figure out your audience and target customers by using SEO, digital ads, and social media to meet your goals.

The Complete Digital Marketing Course
Graphic depicting a cardboard box with multiple social media and web browser icons inside.jpg

Available on Udemy

Whether you're considering a new career, want to expand your professional skillsets, or want to get your business off the ground, this intensive and immersive course can help. Topics range from market research, Google Adwords, and using WordPress for copywriting.

Digital Marketing Analytics: Tools and Techniques
Woman working in library

Available on edX

If you want to learn how to analyze marketing data, consider this self-paced course from the University of Maryland that covers what you need to know and the tools to use for a positive marketing presence that actually gets results. Topics include search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, Big Data applications, and more.

Digital Marketing | The Complete Google Ads Masterclass
Screen grab from Digital Marketing - The Complete Google Ads Masterclass on Skillshare

Available on Skillshare

One of the many aspects of online marketing is creating advertisements on Google. This class is geared for anyone who wants to grow their business or wants to expand their skills, where you quickly learn how to use ads to increase traffic to your website, convert your target audience into customers, analyze ad campaigns, and more.

Digital Marketing Strategy: Profitable Sales Funnel Fundamentals
Maggie Stara teaching Digital Marketing Strategy: Profitable Sales Funnel Fundamentals on Skillshare
Instructor Maggie Stara provides tips and tricks to commerce on social media in this course.

Available on Skillshare

Designed for marketing novices, this course teaches different strategies on how to turn your target audience into customers and increase your sales by understanding metrics and using different pricing scales. 

SEO Foundations
Screen grab from SEO Foundations online course

Available on Linkedin Learning

If you're interested in honing your SEO skills for your job or your own business, this course is designed with that in mind. The class focuses on using the principles of SEO, such as using keyword search, internal and external links, as well as implementing an SEO strategy to achieve notable results.

Online Advertising & Social Media
Young woman using laptop in a library

Available on edX

Knowing how to use social media as a marketing tool is a skill in its own right. This University of Maryland course covers everything you need to know, including the importance of SEO, lead generation, video advertisements, and content marketing.

Social Media Marketing
Graphic depicting world with social media icons surrounding it

Available on Udemy

This course is specifically designed for business owners who want to finetune their social media marketing skills. It teaches students how to use different types of social media and create a social media strategy, while also covering the risks involved.

The Strategy of Content Marketing
Woman sitting on couch working on laptop

Available on Coursera

This University of California, Davis course highlights the importance of content writing and how to use it to attract customers, create a strategy that you can measure, and write engaging copy. This course also features assignments for hands-on learning.

Google Universal Analytics Essential Training
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Available on Linkedin Learning

Digital marketing is complex, but if you want to understand all the happenings behind the scenes of how your business comes up in search engines and how people interact with your website, this class is for you.

Online marketing certificate programs Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate
Screengrab from Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate video

Available on edX

Curious about all the marketing jargon and different strategies that are used to target customers? This fundamentals certificate program from the University of Edinburgh explains everything you need to know to conduct a competitor audit as well as create your own marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Specialization
a person types on a laptop

Available on Coursera

A series of three courses, this Specialization from the Digital Marketing Institute is designed for beginners who want to learn about various aspects of marketing, including social media and content writing, as well as how to design and implement a marketing strategy that effectively converts your target audience into customers.

Digital Marketing Specialization
Data science Harvard courses person using laptop

Available on Coursera

Part of the University of Illinois's online MBA degree, this Coursera Specialization covers the data analysis and web tools needed to identify a core audience before diving into the principles of digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization
using laptop at home

Available on Coursera

Understanding how SEO works is crucial for any business or organization. This four-course Specialization from the University of California, Davis teaches you the basics of SEO, from conducting a keyword search to optimizing a website and analyzing web reports. Upon completion of the certificate program, you'll be able to identify and recommend SEO best practices to future clients. 

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