Top 10 Free Digital Marketing Certifications to Advance Your Career
Whether you’re switching careers and want to add some qualifications to your resume or you’re looking to broaden your industry knowledge, there are a lot of options to expand your digital marketing toolkit.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go back to school or pay for fancy online courses to access this knowledge –– there is a wealth of free resources and certifications you can pursue, so we’ve outlined our favorites below.
Certifications & Courses
When it comes to free resources and learning tools, Google is pretty much the reigning champ. The Google Digital Garage has over 150 courses in digital marketing, data & tech, and career development, so you can tailor your search to see the available courses best suited to your learning needs.
Google Digital Garage also categorizes their course offerings based on the length of time each one takes to complete, so whether you’re looking for a time investment of a few weeks, or something that can fit within a PD day, there are plenty of choices.
For example, the “fundamentals of digital marketing” course consists of 26 modules with an estimated course length of 40 hours, whereas the “understand the basics of code” course is just 1 module that should take only 1 hour to complete.
These courses aren’t just for beginners, either! Many of the courses are listed as intermediate or advanced, so you can utilize these resources at any stage of your career.
Google’s training hub specifically for learning about Google Ads describes itself as the place to “Grow your skills using Google Ads to advertise your business online, and get Google Ads Certified.”
You can learn about ads: search, display, shopping, and more. Once you choose a category, you can filter the available courses based on duration, difficulty level, and if completing the course earns you an award.
The Analytics Academy offers a handful of courses designed to help you understand Google’s measurement tools, so you can make better business decisions using an analytics-informed approach.
If you’re looking to increase and improve your KPIs, the Analytics Academy is the best place to learn.
Google Skillshop offers a certification for Waze Ads – the driving and navigation app that centers community contribution. Waze Ads is great for local businesses, so if you’re looking to quite literally get on the map, this may be the certification for you.
If you’re not ready to dive straight into the certification test, don’t worry – Google offers some optional fundamental lessons that take about 20 minutes to complete. Add that to the time it takes to complete the exam (35 minutes), and you’ve got yourself a new skill set and certification in under an hour.
Flight School is Twitter’s own online learning platform offering courses to help you master advertising on Twitter. The courses are “bite-sized” meaning you can quickly learn and gain new skills without spending a ton of extra time. Similar to Google’s course selection, Flight School offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced course levels, so everyone from interns to senior managers can learn something new.
If you’re interested in becoming a Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional, you can take advantage of Microsoft’s free training courses and free exam. By taking their courses and exam, you can:
- Increase your Microsoft Advertising proficiency
- Optimize ad campaigns
- Enjoy member benefits
- Maximize your reporting & tools knowledge
Hubspot offers a great course to learn about the principles of Inbound Marketing. You’ll learn the fundamentals, Inbound methodology (such as the flywheel), and how to apply this knowledge to all aspects of your business. The entire course takes under two hours, and even awards you with a badge icon you can display on your LinkedIn profile in addition to a certificate.
Learning how to run ads on Facebook isn’t too difficult, but it’s made much easier by completing Facebook’s Blueprint Modules. You can get so much more out of advertising and marketing on Facebook with a little time and effort learning from these modules. They offer more than 90 online courses and a variety of certification exams so you can learn and demonstrate your knowledge at any stage of your career.
LinkedIn Learning offers various “Learning Paths” that are course bundles specifically grouped together for diving into a particular industry. The digital marketing paths alone are broken up into 12 different sub-paths ranging from 6 hour long courses, like “Become a Content Strategist” to 37 hour long courses, like “Master Digital Marketing” depending on your desired level of depth and breadth for the subject material.
Additional great resources
If you’re interested in learning without taking quizzes along the way or following a particular course about SEO, Moz is the place to go. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO is such a good collection of articles covering all the SEO basics. I recommend book marking it because it never hurts to quickly refresh your knowledge from time to time.
You might be familiar with Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress or their slogan, “SEO for everyone,” but they also offer a free SEO Basics course through Yoast Academy. They also have a ton of resources nestled into their archive of blog posts like keyword research, site structure, and anchor text.
Neil Patel’s free suite of SEO tools, called “Ubersuggest” allows you to do keyword research specifically targeting your competitors by, essentially, reverse engineering their SEO strategy. You can also type a competitor’s domain directly into the search bar. The catch is, without a paid plan, you only have access to 3 searches per day.
Founded by Brian Dean, a key player in the SEO game, Backlinko “is the place for next-level SEO training and link building strategies.” The blog has a ton of great information, but the gem is their newsletter, which delivers exclusive SEO tips and content to your inbox weekly. Dean’s industry expertise and insight is unparalleled, and he manages to make it accessible and digestible for novices.
Hubspot offers a free version of their Marketing Hub software, which consolidates a suite of marketing tools and metrics into one place. Additionally, Hubspot has a sizable archive of Ebooks, guides, and templates that are free to use, and a ton of other free courses and certifications to take advantage of.
We hope this list of resources is helpful to you and all your future marketing endeavors, but we also recognize that diving into this world can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with some basic industry ideas and terms. If this all seems a bit too overwhelming, Blackhawk is more than happy to help you out. We’ll take the lead and develop specific strategies for you and your business, so you can focus on the aspects that are most important to your growth and success.