The best online digital marketing classes teach you about the various strategies for online marketing which you can then use to launch and run a profitable online (or offline) business. Whether it’s driving more traffic to your website, running your first Facebook ad campaign, or writing content that sells, digital marketing is a key to your success.
We reviewed over a dozen online digital marketing courses based on rating, expertise, ease-of-use, cost, and more to help you decide which one can help you succeed online. Here are our top seven picks.
Best Online Digital Marketing Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: The Complete Digital Marketing Course (Udemy)
- Best for Flexible Pricing: Online Marketing Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
- Best Value: Online Marketing Courses (HubSpot)
- Best for Beginners: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Google)
- Best for Advanced: Digital Marketing Specialist (Simplilearn)
- Best for Solo Entrepreneurs: The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing (Quicksprout)
- Best for Freelancers: Internet Marketing for Smart People (Copyblogger)
Best Overall : The Complete Digital Marketing Course (Udemy)
Why We Chose It: Udemy’s The Complete Digital Marketing Course is a comprehensive 12-part course that covers all of the digital marketing essentials, including market research, SEO, social media marketing, and more. It has a thorough curriculum, hands-on projects, and is reasonably priced.
30-day free trial
Easy-to-use course app
Accredited certificates not available
No quizzes or assessment tools
Developed in 2007 as a live virtual classroom, Udemy has grown to become one of the leading online learning platforms with over 150,000 courses taught by 57,000 instructors. The Complete Digital Marketing Course has served nearly 600,000 students and covers the fundamentals of digital marketing across 12 disciplines, making it our choice as the best overall.
The Complete Digital Marketing Course is led by Rob Percival and Daragh Walsh, professional marketing experts who have taught over three million Udemy students combined. The course consists of 23 hours of on-demand video, 36 articles, and 10 downloadable resources, all accessible online or through Udemy’s mobile app.
The Complete Digital Marketing Course is perfect for anyone with no previous marketing experience who wants to start an online business or career in digital marketing or become a freelance marketer. You get more than 20 hours of training, quizzes, and practical exercises that walk you step-by-step through marketing a business online through 12 marketing channels, including email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, Facebook and Google ads, and more.
The Complete Digital Marketing Course is available for a one-time purchase of $169.99, though Udemy often offers specials or deep discounts on the course. You get full lifetime access to the course, a certificate of completion at the end, and a 30-day free trial.
Best for Flexible Pricing : Online Marketing Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
Why We Chose It: The platform’s Online Marketing Foundations course can be purchased with a monthly or annual subscription and includes a 30-day free trial and automatic access to 16,000+ courses.
Annual or monthly pricing
30-day free trial
Access to all LinkedIn courses with a subscription
American Marketing Association approved
Accredited certificates not available
No lifetime access
In 1995, computer instructor Lynda Weinman created a software training website named Lynda.com. It was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015 and rebranded as LinkedIn Learning.
Online Marketing Foundations is taught by Brad Batesole, a professional growth marketer who has been teaching LinkedIn Learning courses for more than six years. The course consists of only four hours’ of material and could be completed within the 30-day free trial, making it our top choice for flexible pricing.
Online Marketing Foundations included four hours of video broken into 13 lessons with quizzes and an online notebook. The course explains modern digital marketing techniques in simple terms and shows students how to build online marketing campaigns in search, video, social, email, and display channels.
After demonstrating these contents, Brad walks students through evaluation of their website and conversion goals and how to get the most out of SEO and set up text and display ads, build communities on social networks, launch successful email marketing campaigns, and more. Finishing the course earns you a certificate of completion which can be printed and shared on your LinkedIn profile. The course also provides 4.5 PDUs (Professional Development Unit) for the Project Management Institute (PMI).
LinkedIn Learning offers access to all course content in the Online Marketing Foundations course for free for 30 days after signing up. After that, you’ll pay $29.99 per month (or $19.99 per month paid annually). Your subscription also gives you access to a library of over 16,000 courses in business, creative, and technology topics.
Best Value : Online Marketing Courses (HubSpot)
Why We Chose It: A renowned software provider for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service, HubSpot offers a range of free digital marketing courses through its Digital Academy that includes globally recognized certifications making it our choice as the best value.
Engaging video lessons
Industry recognized certification
Some courses are very short
Few supplemental materials available
HubSpot Academy offers about 20 free, online, digital marketing courses with certification on inbound, content, email, social media, and contextual marketing, and more. You can also choose from dozens more non-certified courses in SEO, blogging, Facebook advertising, and other online marketing channels.
All HubSpot Academy courses are taught by HubSpot digital marketing who are experts in their fields and using the strategies they teach every day. As a result, one course may be taught by multiple instructors based on the topic and lesson.
HubSpot Academy’s classroom interface is one of the best we’ve seen. Because all courses are created in-house, production values are high and lessons are clear and consistent. That means you can go from one course to the next and expect a consistent structure, presentation, and quality. The courses typically employ six to 12 short videos along with a handful of quizzes.
Best for Beginners : Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Google)
Why We Chose It: Google’s free course, Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, covers everything from business strategy and content marketing to website analytics, and display advertising. The course provides real-world examples, practical exercises, and a self-paced structure.
No study guide or resources
Google is no stranger to digital marketing and in many ways sets the tune to which other digital marketers must dance. Its free Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course is taught by Google trainers and offers a flexible learning structure and industry-recognized certification making it our choice as the best for beginners.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing covers the core concepts of digital marketing, including planning your online business strategy; building your web presence; understanding SEO and how to improve your campaigns; building an online store; social media, content, email, and mobile marketing; and advertising and analytics. It’s perfect for beginners just getting started or professionals who want to advance their career with deeper learning and more practical skills.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing consists of 26 bite-sized video lessons that each end with a quiz to test your knowledge. The modules should take a total of 40 hours to complete and can be watched in any order. Once you finish all of the lessons you’ll take a 40-question final exam.
Passing gives you a certificate you can share on LinkedIn or your resume.
The course is also accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University.
Best for Advanced : Digital Marketing Specialist (Simplilearn)
Why We Chose It: Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist Program provides access to over 35 instructor-led classes, 45 projects, and preparation for five different certifications.
Access to 35 classes
Includes $500 worth of marketing tools
Bonus OMCP exam voucher
Long time commitment
Simplilearn began in 2009 as a blog for project management professionals. Today, it is a renowned online boot camp for cybersecurity, project management, and digital marketing professionals. Its intensive Digital Marketing Specialist masters program prepares students for several digital marketing certifications making it our top pick as the best for advanced users.
The Digital Marketing Specialist masters program is a lengthy and comprehensive course that covers practically all you need to know about digital marketing, including SEO, social media, Facebook and Google ads, conversion optimization, web analytics, and more. Its Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) accredited four-month-long curriculum requires a commitment of ten hours per week and consists of over 35 instructor-led online classes led by a variety of expert trainers.
The Digital Marketing Specialist masters program also walks you through over 40 digital marketing tools, including Hootsuite, Buffer, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook Ads, SEMrush. It also offers projects, simulation exams, quizzes, an expert-moderated community, monthly mentoring sessions, downloadable workbooks, and more.
Besides getting a certification, the Digital Marketing Specialist masters program prepares you to pass and get certified for Google Ads, Facebook, Google Analytics, and YouTube. You will also receive an OMCP exam voucher worth $395 on completion.
The Digital Marketing Specialist masters program is not cheap, however, and will set you back a one-time fee of $1,499 or $136 per month with a payment plan.
Best for Solo Entrepreneurs : The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing (Quicksprout)
Why We Chose It: With its tagline “Get Your MBA in Digital Marketing for Free,” Quicksprout’s Beginners Guide to Online Marketing is led by a team of entrepreneurs who have mastered digital marketing.
No study plan or quizzes
Text only; no videos
Quicksprout was founded in 2008 by marketing expert Neil Patel to show business owners how to master the ropes of digital marketing. Its Beginners Guide to Online Marketing is taught by skilled entrepreneurs under the leadership of growth marketing expert Lars Lofgren and consists of 13 in-depth and well-explained articles covering nearly every aspect of digital marketing imaginable, including audience acquisition, SEO, marketing strategy, branding, traffic building, conversion optimization, content marketing, and more.
Although the course claims to appeal to a wide audience, from first-time marketers to marketing managers, it was built by entrepreneurs and speaks most strongly to that audience. Unfortunately, the course is entirely text-based and offers no videos, study guides, quizzes, or downloadable resources. You can also start anywhere you like, which is great for self-paced learners but not so good for students looking for a course that takes them from point A to B.
Nonetheless, The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing packs an incredible amount of expertise and experience in little more than a dozen expertly-crafted articles and is one of the best digital marketing courses for entrepreneurs we’ve come across, especially because it’s free.
Best for Freelancers : Internet Marketing for Smart People (Copyblogger)
Why We Chose It: Copyblogger has been a leading website of content and digital marketing advice for over 15 years and its Internet Marketing for Smart People course focuses on content strategy and marketing, making it the best for freelancers.
Suitable for beginning and advanced users
Bonus e-book and resources
Course emailed in installments
No certificate available
Previously free but now paid
Copyblogger was founded by writer Brian Clark in 2006 as a way to teach freelancers and entrepreneurs how to write content that persuades and gets results. Its Internet Marketing for Smart People course distills the best-published material on the site into an actionable plan for content marketers making it our choice as the best for freelancers.
Internet Marketing for Smart People is built around what Copyblogger defines as The Four Pillars of Online Marketing Success: relationships, direct response copywriting, content marketing, and “have something worth selling.” The material is delivered in 20 parts via email with a new lesson on one of the four pillars available each week.
Copyblogger’s course also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the strategies that the website used to build and launch its own successful content marketing system so you can see the principles in action. Downloadable eBooks are also available with the course that delve further into the topics it teaches.
Although Copyblogger’s website claims that Internet Marketing for Smart People is free, the signup link on the page takes you to a registration page for Copyblogger Pro which costs $495 per year and includes access to masterclasses, supplementary sessions, networking opportunities, and more.
Many different aspects of digital marketing must be mastered if you want to succeed online. In our opinion, Udemy’s Complete Digital Marketing Course is the best overall course because of its thorough presentation, hands-on learning approach, and discount price. The other options on our list are also good choices depending on your needs, budget, level of expertise, and the time you have to commit.
|Course||Why We Picked It||Cost|
|The Complete Digital Marketing Course (Udemy)||12-in-1 course for beginners with hands-on learning||$149.99|
|Online Marketing Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)||Annual or monthly pricing; 30-day free trial||$29.99 per month|
|Online Marketing Courses (HubSpot)||Digital marketing courses on a variety of topics with recognized certification||Free|
|Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Google)||Comprehensive free course taught by Google trainers||Free|
|Digital Marketing Specialist (Simplilearn)||Masters program with walkthroughs on 40+ digital marketing tools||$1,499 (or $136 per month)|
|The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing (Quicksprout)||In-depth digital marketing articles written by entrepreneurs||Free|
|Internet Marketing for Smart People (Copyblogger)||Content market course with ebook and extra resources||$495|
What Is Involved in Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a catch-all term that encompasses almost every aspect of running a successful online business. This can include anything from creating a marketing strategy and knowing how to find your audience to building your website and running email campaigns that get results.
Some of the more technical and complicated aspects of digital marketing include getting your website to rank in search engines, running Facebook and Google ads, marketing on social media, and knowing how to collect and use various analytics to assess the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.
What Are Online Digital Marketing Classes?
Online digital marketing classes walk you through the various aspects of online marketing, typically through a series of video lessons, articles, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Because digital marketing isn’t a linear process, most courses start by covering basic methodologies and strategies and then narrow in on specific tools and marketing channels.
Can I Get a Digital Marketing Certification?
Most digital marketing courses online offer a certificate of completion which can be shared on your LinkedIn profile or mentioned on your resume or portfolio.
Additionally, although there are no consistent standards among certificates, possessing a certificate from HubSpot or Google, for instance, can add a level of professionalism to your resume or CV that will impress employers and clients alike.
What Are the Benefits of Taking an Online Digital Marketing Class?
Online digital marketing classes typically allow you to learn at your own pace so you can pick and choose what aspects of online marketing you want to learn at any given time.
The video format of most courses is also helpful in being able to visually represent concepts and processes that are either abstract or that need to be shown. Many classes also include quizzes at the end of each module to help you assess whether you’ve mastered each lesson.
Who Should Take an Online Digital Marketing Class?
Digital marketing classes are valuable for anyone who is serious about running a successful business online, from freelance content creators and entrepreneurs to marketing professionals wanting more job opportunities and marketing directors needing to train their teams.
How Much Do Online Digital Marketing Classes Cost?
We were surprised to find several high-quality online digital marketing classes for free. With that said, we found that pricing for paid classes ranged from $16 to $1,500, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before buying any course. You might be able to find a free one that covers your needs.
How We Chose the Best Online Digital Marketing Classes
We looked at over a dozen online digital marketing classes for this review. At the top of our list were classes taught either by companies who knew digital marketing inside and out and shared their expertise or highly-rated online learning sites offering courses by digital marketing professionals with a history of teaching.
We also looked for classes that were geared towards students at different levels of experience or business approach. An entrepreneur might be focused on different startup strategies than a seasoned marketer looking to double down on analytics and ad campaigns.
Finally, we assessed pricing and were amazed at how many high-quality courses we found that were either free or available for a very reasonable cost. Although some high-ticket classes do come with extra recognition and certifications, the quality of digital marketing courses is not reflected in how much you pay for them.