on June 05, 2018 Industry Talent

5 of Our Favorite (FREE) Online Digital Marketing Courses

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Life-Long_Learner-Marketing“Traditional, structured education is very important, yet much success is derived from highly motivated individuals that have dedicated their lives to the concept of lifelong learning. These individuals prioritize the creation of time in their busy lives each day to educate themselves on new concepts and ideas. These individuals understand the importance of creating plentiful opportunities in all spheres of life.”

— Why You Should Strive to Be a Lifelong Learner via Entrepreneur

At PR 20/20, we live by this lifelong-learner mindset, and professional development is at our core. Simply having a college degree or background in a related marketing role isn’t enough— instead, we stay hungry for knowledge and seek to learn more. Marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, meaning staying up on the latest trends, techs and best practices is constantly important to your career.

Luckily, you don’t have to search far for resources to help you learn the basics or master advanced skill sets in marketing. Much of the work is done for you, thanks to ample online digital marketing course and certifications. Did we mention many of them are free, too?

Check out five of our team’s favorite online digital marketing courses, all for free, below.

1. HubSpot Inbound Certification

HubSpot offers a free flagship course called the Inbound Certification for those marketing pros looking to get a deeper understanding of inbound marketing.

Core topics learned throughout this course include: 

  • Inbound basics
  • Attracting strangers to your business
  • Converting visitors
  • Closing leads
  • Delighting customers

From start to finish, HubSpot’s Inbound Certification training videos will run about 2.5 hours, with a 50-question exam at the end. Once you pass the exam, you get full bragging rights that you’re officially an inbound-certified professional.

2. Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) Assessment

It’s impossible to succeed in the field of marketing without a deep understanding of data, and how to apply meaning to that data for actionable takeaways. But, most marketers are not data scientists, which is where Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) assessment comes in.

The Google Analytics IQ assessment “is designed to test your knowledge of digital analytics best practices and the Google Analytics platform.” Before the assessment portion, you’ll attend two courses: Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics. 

Once you’ve completed the courses, you’re given a 90-minute exam that requires an 80% passing grade. You’ll also learn valuable skills that you can apply to your marketing data tracking and analysis, like how to implement tracking codes, how to set up goals, and how to measure success via a variety of reports (audience, acquisition, behavior, etc.).

3. Google AdWords Certification

Similar to the Google Analytics IQ assessment, Google AdWords also offers an individual certification after you demonstrate proficiency within the solution.

Throughout the Google AdWords assessment courses, you’ll learn:

  • Value proposition of online advertising
  • How to set up and manage campaigns
  • Measurement best practices
  • How to optimize campaigns and ads

Following the courses, you have the opportunity to take a two-part exam to become certified in AdWords. Students must first pass the AdWords Fundamental exam, and then select one additional product-area assessment (ex: search, video or mobile) to become certified. Once certified, you’ll be able to set up, measure and iterate PPC campaigns based on performance across AdWords, search, display and mobile ads.

4. WordStream PPC University 

Brought to you by WordStream, a solution provider that helps create, optimize and manage paid search ads, PPC University offers marketers a free way to learn pay-per-click (PPC) best practices.

The University contains three PPC-specific courses, including:

  • PPC 101, which covers basics like keywords, ad groups, text ads and more.
  • PPC 102, which covers keyword research, long-tail keywords, landing page optimization and more.
  • Advanced PPC, which covers remarketing, dynamic keyword insertion, call tracking and more.

Outside of strictly PPC-related lessons, WordStream’s University also has courses about social ads, and free resources like on-demand webinars and whitepapers.

5. Codecademy

Coding is not a skill that every marketer has under his or her belt. But, even the most basic coding knowledge is becoming increasingly important to have across industries, yet not any easier to grasp.

Enter Codecademy, the self-proclaimed easiest way to learn how to code through interactive lessons. There are a variety of tracks Codecademy users can take, including:

  • Web development where you’ll master HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This track is designed to help build a basic understand of websites.
  • Programming and computer science, which focuses on Python fundamentals.
  • Data science, which instructs on SQL and Python to build data analysis skills.

The majority Codecademy’s free courses take fewer than 11 hours to complete, and include 85 coding quizzes to help users practice new skills. Plus, once you join, you get access to a global community of coaches, advisors and Codecademy graduates for support along the way.

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Shannen Laur

Shannen Laur is Ready North's director of growth and services. She joined the agency in December 2014 with a background in corporate communications and marketing. Shannen is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.