Best Certifications for Digital Marketing

If you’re a marketer who’s just starting out, or you are looking to make a bit of disposable income by offering your services to various firms on freelancing platforms, you should probably have at least one marketing certification. 

Well, in today’s article, we’re looking at some of the best certifications for digital marketing. Just keep in mind that marketing has a lot of different parts and that there are no certifications for marketing that can attest you can do pretty much everything. 

What we’d also like to note is that most business marketing certifications are going to be paid, not free. If you’d like to avoid paying a fee, you can simply check out Craig Campbell’s YouTube channel and learn about marketing and SEO without paying a single cent. 

Best Digital Marketing Certifications

The sky’s the limit as to what certification you can get, and we’ll go into more detail about how to pick the best one based on your abilities, budget, and the reputation of the company teaching it in a section below. 

Without further ado, here are some certifications for digital marketing you might want to consider getting if you’re just getting into this field. 

Google Ads Certification

Nothing beats a certificate from Google, right? And let’s face it, there are a lot of businesses out there that still use Google Ads and want to be as efficient as possible with their budgets. 

What we’d like to note about these courses is that they tackle different things. For example, you can opt between getting a Google Ads Search one or study shopping ads, video ads, or display ads — and while it might sound a little complicated, we’d say they are worth looking into.

The courses are free of charge, and getting the certification isn’t going to cost you a single cent, either. 

Google Analytics Certification

You wouldn’t believe it if you’ve used it before, but Google Analytics actually has heaps of hidden features that can help you better assist your customers in improving their online visibility. 

Like other top marketing certifications from Google, this one, too, is completely free. However, Google does recommend that you first review the course material and only then pass the test. 

It’s not a requirement, though, so if you’ve used Google Analytics before and you consider yourself a pretty seasoned user, you can simply pass the test and get your certification. Like the Google Ads certificate we’ve mentioned before, this one is also completely free of charge. 

Google Marketing Certifications: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

It might seem weird that we keep recommending Google certifications, but the truth is that since they’re so well-known and they don’t cost anything, they’re among the best professional marketing certifications you can get. 

Besides, the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing certification is accredited by The Open University and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe, so it definitely pays off to complete these courses. 

However, there are a lot of modules to go through, and while the assessment is that it will take you just 14 hours to complete the entire course, that might not be true for everyone — especially since you can do it at your own pace. 

The downside is that the certificate needs to be renewed every year, so you’ll basically have to complete the modules again once every 12 months. 

Hootsuite Social Media

Hootsuite is one of the most commonly used platforms for social media, and not just because it is user-friendly — Hootsuite features allow you to use it with an impressive number of networks, which means that you’ll not only help your clients but also make your life a lot easier if you start working with it. 

This course consists of fifteen lessons, and at the end, there’s a test where you will receive 60 questions. Best of all, the certification doesn’t expire, so you will not have to take it again in the future. 

What we’d like to note about Hootsuite is that there are several different certifications available depending on your goal. Some of them are quite pricey, such as the Social Selling Certification, which can set you back as much as $999. 

However, there are more affordable ones, such as the Hootsuite Platform Certification ($99) or the Social Media Marketing Certification, which costs $199. There are plenty more courses available on the platform, so check out their official page for more information.  

Content Marketing Institute Online Certification

This Master Class course comes with 10 modules and encompasses more than 30 hours of courses. There are plenty of additional marketing materials. While the downside is that it costs a pretty penny ($999), it is quite rich in information, and they don’t all focus on a single thing.

For example, the course can help you with content strategy, becoming a journalist, AI, design and its connection to content, and a variety of other things — all focused on content marketing. So, if you’re specifically focused on becoming a content marketer, this one should be right up your alley. 

Cornell University Digital Marketing Certificate

Cornell is one of the best-known universities in the United States, and they have plenty of online courses, which can eventually teach you how to come up with your own digital marketing plans. 

Some of the materials you’ll have to go through to pass the test range from assessing opportunities in paid digital media to understanding the customer funnel. The program duration is 2 months, and you’re usually required to put in about 3-5 hours of study per week.

On the other hand, this is also among the most expensive digital marketing certifications we have come across as the whole course costs $3,600 (can be billed as $950/month for four months). 

YouTube Certification

Whether you want to get this certification for yourself as you might be interested in building a YouTube channel that actually sees some amount of success, or you’d rather be interested in offering YouTube marketing services to your clients, this one seems like a pretty good choice. 

First of all, it’s free, and there are different modules tackling a variety of things, including how to monetize a YouTube channel. The drawback is that, like all of the other Google products, this certification expires in a matter of 18 months after you’ve completed the course, so you’ll have to do it again at one point. 

Duke University Digital Media and Marketing Certificate

This one is slightly more affordable compared to the Cornell one, but the course also tackles different things, such as content marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, PPC, and social media. Add email marketing and display advertising to the game, and you’re basically all set to offer your clients some of the best marketing services out there. 

The program takes 12 months, and you do have to study in real-time, which could be a drawback for some students. The cost is $3,195, and we’d say that the value offered for the money is excellent, especially since it takes so long and there are so many things you’ll study. Plus, a degree from Duke, whether or online or not, will definitely have a say in your resume. 

UC Berkeley Extension Certificate Program in Marketing

This program is another that we have found to be quite generous in terms of the modules and information that it offers — you can learn anything from SEO and digital marketing to brand management, market research, and marketing analytics. 

The cost isn’t affordable, though, since the program will set you back $4,700, but there are 10 classes that you are allowed to complete in a matter of two whole years. 

Given UC Berkeley’s reputation, we’d say that getting this certification might pay off for people looking to charge their clients more or even get a raise at their corporate job. 

University of Vermont Online Digital Marketing Fundamentals Certificate

This is an 8-week program that costs $1,695, so it is clearly more affordable compared to the other courses offered by some of the other universities we have mentioned in this post. 

The topics covered range from search engine marketing and paid search to web analytics, email marketing, and display advertising, but there are several more available. What we’d like to note is that you do have to put in about eight to ten hours each week, so it is a little time-consuming. 


The cost of this program is $495 and it can teach you a variety of important things on content marketing and writing for the web, in particular. You can also learn search engine optimization and automated marketing and you also gain access to monthly advanced masterclasses. 

Bing Ads Certification

This one pretty much speaks for itself — and the good thing is that the courses are free, as is the case with the ones offered by Google Ads. 

It’s a quite interesting ‘program’ in that you will not have to complete any courses online — you will simply have to download a study guide and prepare for the exam, after which you can simply take the test whenever you feel comfortable doing so. 

Passing it requires a score of at least 80%. 

SEMrush Digital Marketing Certification 

It might seem a little weird to study a course, pass a test, and get certified in a specific tool like SEMrush, but you wouldn’t believe how many people use it on a day-to-day basis — whether in their jobs or for improving the online visibility of their own websites. 

The best thing about these certifications is that you are not going to have to spend a single cent to get any of them. And there are plenty, such as the SEMrush SEO toolkit, keyword research test, link building test, and mobile, local, and international SEO. 

Read more: Keywords Everywhere Review

Before you take any of the tests, we do recommend that you do a bit of reading either on the tool’s website or just enroll in one of their free courses — from growing your SEO agency to the role of content, there’s plenty to choose from. Some have seven lessons and others have just 5, but the course work is usually quite straightforward, so you aren’t going to have to spend a lot of time on it. 

HubSpot Content Marketing Certification

Some might say that HubSpot isn’t what it used to be, but we’re not here to make any comments on this. The truth is that these courses are free and there are several different categories that can help you understand the basics of content marketing and what you can do to improve your skills. 

Also, the time commitment is estimated at just four hours, so we’d say that the certification is at least worth looking into. We’d also like to note that HubSpot have a variety of other courses, including on inbound marketing, and they’re just as short (two and a half hours, for example) and they also don’t cost a cent. 

How to pick the best marketing certifications

It goes without saying that two of the most important factors that need to be considered before picking a specific course or program to enroll in would be your expertise and knowledge and what you want to study, and your budget. 

It can also be very tempting to want to join several different programs at the same time, like a free one and a paid one, but do keep in mind that some have time limits and that you risk overcrowding your schedule and not being able to keep up with all the study work. 

Also, some certifications expire after a while, and even though this might look like a disadvantage, the truth is that in the marketing world, everything is constantly changing — especially the search engines we use.

Finally, picking a course that comes from a source you know and everyone else does, too, like Google, Bing, or a reputable university, is a great idea, especially if you are just starting out. The first two are even free to join. 

Read more: Outsourced marketing

Everyone knows that many SEOs and marketers now don’t have a college education in their fields — of course, that’s not the case for all, but many come from various other backgrounds, whether technical or even medical ones. But many are certified and even have their own courses, which more often than not, don’t cost a lot.  

In the end, if you look for the info well enough on YouTube, you can study whatever you put your mind to without paying any fee — you just have to be organized and make sure you study on a regular basis (at least 2-3 hours per week). 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!


author avatar
Craig Campbell
I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 22 years. In this time I have gained extensive knowledge in the subject of SEO and have build up a wealth of experience in SEO and other digital marketing services.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 22 years.

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