17 SEO & digital marketing courses to enhance your career

Qualifications and courses are a very good idea to show your passion, interest and skills to employers and clients alike. If you are a freelance digital marketer or work in-house for a company, people will reward your passion and ask you to work your magic.

It’s hard to be a digital marketer, everyone looks at your for miracles. Not just once, but again and again. With so much information out there, it’s hard to know where to start from.

In this post we will go through 21 free and paid (although very affordable) digital marketing courses that you can take online. It’s hard and time-consuming to find the right information and if you happen to choose it, you could waste your time and your company’s revenue.

PPC Courses

PPC University at WordStream (free)

If you want to learn PPC for Google and Bing, this is one of the most famous and recognised courses. The course is constantly updated with the greatest and the latest in PPC and written by experts at WordStream, the Google and Bing Premier Partner software.

Google Ads Certification (free)

This Google needs no introduction. They have invented PPC and paid ads with their huge and complex AdWords software, that helped Google to take over 40% of the share for global advertising market. If you want to learn the ins and outs of Google AdWords, their certification is a good place to start. You can learn about Search Ads, Display Ads, Google Shopping and Video ads.

I have taken this exam three times in the last 5 years and it really helped me to get started with PPC for my employers.

Facebook Blueprint (free)

This certificate is good for mastering Facebook Ads. Facebook Blueprint is a collection of online courses aimed at educating people on how to use the powerful marketing features that come with this social network.

The topics cover a variety of cases, from building awareness to learning about Instagram.

Smart Insights learning platform (free and paid)

This is not really a course, but Dr. Dave Chaffey, the founder of the company, has been recognised at the most influential person in digital marketing globally about 10 years ago. He built a platform with over 250 specialised guides in all disciplines: CRO, SEO, PPC, Affiliates and many more.

I have written for Smart Insights the specialist guide in Strategic Affiliate Marketing and one for doing backlinks audit for SEO.

With Smartinsights you have free courses and paid ones that you can take at your own pace in your own time. By the end of each guide, you will know how to do something useful for your company and your clients to improve a certain specialty in digital marketing.

Lynda (paid)

Lynda is a sub company of LinkedIn.com. They offer online eLearning courses for those who are just getting started with digital marketing. From marketing plans and content strategy to lead generation and SEO, Lynda guides you through the best practices and principles of digital marketing.

Udemy (paid)

Also Udemy is built for beginners, they specifically offer 12 courses into 1. By the end of the course, you will know how to define your audience, set up a website and be drive traffic from all the major marketing channels. You can implement the same steps at work or for your clients.

Google Digital Garage Certificate (paid)

A certification from Google is certainly a good thing to show off in your CV. But if you have already 2-3 years of work experience, then this is not helpful to you. Google garage has been designed for graduates and those starting with digital marketing.

Also, because Google invented SEO and it build multi billion business around it, basically you need to understand Google will never ever teach you Search Engine Optimization as it is against their policy. I have seen in many places Google don’t support it.

Google Analytics Academy (free)

Let’s start by saying what I don’t like about this course. This course wasn’t necessarely built to help customers, but most of all to help Google himself. The course is somehow misleading, as it’s called “digital analytics fundamentals”, while it should be called “Google Analytics fundamentals”, as Google is trying to implicitly say that web analytics is Google Analytics. the course doesn’t teach anything about Google competitors’ such as Adobe Analytics for example.

Having said that, the video deliveries are very good and you learn about how to make business decisions based on data, which is what digital marketing is all about.

Because it’s a free course, there isn’t any official support in case you struggly with something.

6 SEO Courses

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Training (free)

The reason why you should bother with Inboud is that inbound leads cost 61% less than traditional marketing campaigns.

I have got my own qualification in Inbound Marketing with Hubspot a few years ago and I have leartn the basics of Inbound. In my humble opinion, this certification was very basic, but it was also very straightforward and cristal clear.

The exames are based on multiple choices, same as the AdWords exams, and at the end if you pass with 80% you receive your qualifications.

Moz SEO training (Paid)

Moz SEO training again has the same approach as Google, they teach you SEO by using their own tools but it’s not so implicitly saying that SEO is Moz, Moz is actually a bit less stressed about their own tools than Google.

The courses can be purchased all together or in pieces and knowing the high quality of work delivered by Moz in blogs, products and support, I can assure you their courses are of the best quality for those learning SEO the first time.

Training at BrightonSEO (Paid)

Compared to all the courses in SEO seen above, BrightonSEO is an actual classroom course, they deliver face to face courses with very experienced instructors for the fixed price of £600 per person. You can find anything you need among the 40+ courses delivered, both for beginners and advanced attendees in everything digital-related.

The only drawback is that you need to be present in person to attend the course, as they don’t release any video session or recording of any workshop.

SEO for beginners by Yoast (Free and paid)

This course will teach the basic for ranking on Google and Bing. There is the free version for basic stuff and the paid version for advanced stuff.

As most of the courses online, it lacks details. For someone with a bit of experience, these courses will be almost pointless. mothing can replace the good, old hands-on experience.

CIM SEO Training

CRO Courses

Optimization Academy (free and paid)

There is almost no point in learning SEO and PPC and how to bring lots of traffic to your website, if your website performance is bad.

That’s when conversion rate optimization comes to help. This course from the Optimization Academy guys offer 35 courses to increase the conversion rate of your website up to 35%. You leaern how to fix your conversion bottlenecks and how to find customers pain points.

If you need a course that is less basic and more detailed, full with lots of real life information, check the next one.

ConversionXL training (paid)

CXL describe themselves as ‘the leading source for optimization, growth and digital analytics expertise’. They offer courses for those at every stage of their conversion rate optimisation career.

The courses offer more than 300 hours of content and if you can afford $2,500, I would strongly recommend to pay for the whole year to have access to 40+ courses and 4 mini degrees programs.

Peep Laia, the founder, is very well known in the industry and one of the most experienced experts in CRO in the world. So you can be sure that whatever he delivers is of top world-class quality.

Note: I am not affiliated with ConversionXL so my review is genuine.

Conversion Live (paid)

ConversionLive in quite new. The company behind ConversionLive, Conversion Sciences has run thousands of tests on the websites of companies of all types and sizes. 

Their courses are 100% online and you can purchase them for $345 to get 16 courses and 76 pages workbook.

Coursera (free and paid)

This course is more academic than practical. It includes 7 courses in digital marketing and delivered by Professors at University of Illinois.

The courses include videos, practical quizzes to test your knowledge and a certificate of completion at the end.

Bonus course

Of course (excuse the joke!), you can’t do any of this without learning or perfecting your English first with an English course.

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