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Digital marketing is much more complex than customizing a Google Ad campaign. Let these online courses serve as a guide. — Getty Images/damircudic

Digital marketing is both an art and a science. On one hand, you need to be creative to continually share content that’s relevant and exciting to your audience. On the other hand, you need to be analytical in understanding and measuring what works and what doesn’t.

That combination, in addition to the fact that new trends and social media platforms enter the scene regularly, is what makes digital marketing so difficult—and exciting.

Whether you’re starting from zero or hoping to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends, these online courses can help you build a presence for your business that stands the test of time.

[Read more: 5 Free Online Classes for Entrepreneurs]

Best for beginners

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google is a free course that comes with a certification recognized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. This course covers all the basics of digital marketing in 26 different modules created by Google trainers. You’ll learn how to build your online presence, how to create an online business strategy, some of the basics of SEO, advertising on social media and even how to get started with content marketing. It’s a great survey course for someone hoping to learn a little about a lot of topics.

Best for social media

Introduction to Social Media Strategy by Buffer is a free course hosted on Skillshare that is perfect for everyone from beginners to intermediate students. This course teaches you how to get started on social media (regardless of what platform you choose), with advice on finding your voice, creating and curating content and coming up with a strategy for paid ads. Buffer also offers a course for anyone looking to take their paid social media strategy to the next level: Introduction to Social Media Advertising.

Best free course

The Complete Digital Marketing Course is free with a 30-day free trial offered by Udemy. It’s an extremely comprehensive course with 23 hours of videos on demand, 37 articles and downloadable resources available online and through Udemy’s app. The course covers email marketing, SEO, social media and paid ads on Facebook and Google, among other topics. It’s very action-oriented, giving you hands-on skills you’ll be able to put into practice at your business right away.

SEO is one of those practices that takes time and dedication, so starting with the basics is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Best paid course

The Digital Marketing Institute’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing gives you a certification from both the Digital Marketing Institute and the American Marketing Association. If you’re seeking to upskill from a basic understanding of digital marketing, this is a great place to start: DMI reports that more than 80% of its members have been promoted upon completion of one of its courses and more than half received a salary increase. This course currently costs just over $1,300, but you’ll receive instruction in ten different modules, covering PPC, email marketing, display advertising and more.

[Read more: The Best Metrics for Measuring Digital Marketing Success]

Best for email marketing

Email Marketing for eCommerce by Mailchimp is another free course hosted on Skillshare that offers tons of tips for perfecting your email marketing. The course focuses on three key aspects of email marketing: automation, optimization and personalization. The course is only 25 minutes, making it a good quick refresh for anyone hoping to bring new energy to their email marketing campaigns.

Best for SEO

The SEO Training Course by Moz gives you a deep dive into the intricacies of search engine optimization. The course is hands-on and will take you through building a monthly SEO plan and writing SEO-friendly content, while also giving you tactics for improving your SEO using social media. SEO is one of those practices that takes time and dedication, so starting with the basics from an expert like Moz is an investment that will pay off in the long run. The course is hosted on Udemy, so be aware that you may need to pay a fee once you’ve used your free trial.

Best for content marketing

DIY Viral Video: A Class on Making iPhone How-To Videos by Nicole Farb, hosted on Skillshare, is a great way to get your feet wet with video marketing. Videos tend to have higher rates of engagement than static social media posts, and this course shows that you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get started. Farb will give you tips for setting up and shooting, as well as editing and sharing videos online to make the most impact.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published April 14, 2021