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13 Local Marketing Strategies That Work In 2022

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13 Local Marketing Strategies That Work In 2022

You can reach valuable leads through local online and offline marketing.

You must develop effective local marketing strategies to build your brand authority and attract more customers.

A digital marketing strategy is essential, regardless of whether you are starting a new business or already have one.

Digital and social media marketing are the most crucial parts of marketing a local business since, according to Google, “83% of U.S. shoppers who visited a store in the last week say they used online search before going into a store.”

We’ll cover some of the online marketing tactics and strategies we’ve used with great success in reaching a local audience.

Great Local Marketing Strategies For This Year

1. Optimize For Local Search

Through Google Business Profile (GBP), your business will appear as soon as someone searches for your business or keywords on Google.

It is free, which is awesome.

The results will feature businesses within the vicinity of the person searching and even includes your business on Google Maps.

To start, create a profile with your company name, contact details, industry, etc.

Then, verify your GBP listing.

Once verified, you can add images and a bio, upload blogs, create offers, send and receive messages, add customer reviews, and see analytics.

Plus, it is pretty easy to update, so you always have relevant info online.

You can go one step further and set the business up with a solid, local link-building strategy.

Using citation sources such as Yellowpages.com tells Google where your company is located.

Plus, GBP has a great function that allows you to set the radius on services to a specific radius, such as 10km.

It is important to add fresh content or blog posts to your GBP account regularly.

Considering that a post expires after seven days, you’ll likely need to schedule a post at least once a week. Why is this important?

GBP posts can help drive traffic and engagement.

Do you have a sale or event coming up? You can promote anything related to the business on GBP.

If you’re not confident you’ll remember to upload a blog weekly, use content scheduling apps and tools like Semrush and Hootsuite.

As far as hyper-localized visibility goes, GBP is a no-brainer.

2. Local Reviews From Local Customers

As cautious online users, the first thing people notice is often the reviews given on the GBP listing.

A positive review or testimonial can demonstrate to local customers that you are a business they can trust.

That goes a long way in moving customers through the sales funnel towards conversion or purchase.

So, how do you get reviews?

While I don’t advocate directly asking for reviews from your existing customers – and definitely not paying for reviews – there are less direct ways of reminding customers to post positive reviews.

Got negative reviews? No problem.

You can use negative reviews as a way to gather meaningful customer information.

Not only will you get insight on how you can improve products or customer experience (CX), but you can use the opportunity to turn the negative review into a positive one by reaching out to the customer and correcting the poor experience, product, or service.

3. SEO Optimize Your Website

The next step to getting your brand and product into the local market is to optimize your website for organic search.

The first and foremost way of doing that is through keyword optimization.

While a lot of this will be intuitive at first, you will soon run out of clever ideas and need to do keyword research.

Competition on short-tail keywords is fierce, and someone who’s been around longer than you is almost guaranteed to be already ranking for it.

So, focus on long-tail, geo-specific keywords.

These are ideal because people who use long tail keywords usually know what they want (they’re not tire-kickers), and they are more ready to engage.

Those who use geo-specific keywords know where they want to do business.

So, say you are a digital marketing company that provides B2B marketing services for businesses in a specific area.

It would be futile to optimize just for “marketing” or ”digital marketing.” That ship has sailed!

Rather, create pages on the site that are location-based, niche-oriented, and have long-tail keywords.

For example, you can create a page or blog called “Digital marketing for B2B Companies in California” or “How B2B companies in California can benefit from digital marketing.”

You get the picture.

That means search engine results pages (SERPs) will show results for users searching for “digital marketing companies near me.”

4. Create Localized Content

Content marketing is a big part of attracting a targeted audience, which connects to inbound marketing.

We have found that the more valuable, relevant, and consistent your content is, the more your target audience will engage with it.

But where do you start?

Create content that solves your customer’s pain points and that is evergreen.

There’s no shortcut when it comes to good content creation. Do the research, write for humans, and Google bots will love it, too.

For this, we love “how-to” blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, videos, and other long-form blogs (more than 900 words).

That way, your content will help prospective customers find your website when looking for solutions.

In this example, when the person enters a long-tail keyword, “best flowers for weddings,” Google brings ads that match the search term.

It also brings organic results. Best of all, it creates “People also ask” (PAA) questions.

These could include, “What is the average cost of flowers for a wedding?”

Why not use these as a guide for fresh content ideas?

This kind of SEO-rich, high-value content attracts new visitors to your site and establishes your brand as the leader and authority on the subject matter.

You’ll see better results for your business by integrating content marketing into your local online marketing strategy.

5. Review Your Website’s Design

The look and feel of your website are as important as the words and content that make you findable on search engines.

However, while keywords will get the visitors to your site, your design and user experience (UX) will keep them there.

Use images and videos on your website that reference your location, neighborhood, and business so that there is a recognizable reference to your localized entity.

Also, the internet is evolving as rapidly as consumers’ needs are.

So, your website that was on the bleeding edge of design when you published it five years ago probably doesn’t quite toe the mark anymore.

It might be time for a redesign.

The most important thing to safeguard on your website is your user’s experience.

The site must be easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to understand.

6. Integrate CRM Tool

Customer relationship manager (CRM) solutions ensure we have a tighter grasp on our understanding of our customers.

Most CRMs can integrate with modern websites. But how does your website feed prospect data into the CRM?

For one, you could consider adding a pop-up on your website.

It could be an invitation to subscribe to your newsletter, view a limited promotion, or announce a new product launch.

When linked to your CRM, your lead generation landing pages will also automatically update your CRM, such as HubSpot or Salesforce.

Not only does this feed your pipeline, but it also improves first-party data and targeting and thus makes your marketing messaging that much better.

Also, localized campaigns can be launched via your CRM.

You can easily identify and segment customers and prospects by region if the data has been captured accordingly in your CRM.

Remember, the quality of data you capture is the quality of output you’ll get.

That can be used for personalized invitations to in-person events and activations, for email campaigns that are area-specific, and so on.

7. Attract Local Visitors Through Google Ads

As I’ve always said, if you want sales, you need to advertise. Google Ads is just that.

While SEO is great for local organic search, you need Google Ads and other paid media channels to support your lead generation and brand awareness campaigns.

Google Ads is a keyword-driven, pay-per-click channel that allows you to target audiences based on keywords and location (amongst other things).

Your creative copy and solutions-driven content will help capture your local market until your SEO is in full swing.

When setting up your Google Ads, implement conversion tracking – which will help you optimize your campaigns and pivot toward optimal business success.

It also aligns marketing tactics with sales goals and ultimately supports business growth.

For example, one of our clients is a health and fitness gym.

We’re only targeting people within a 10 km radius around their seven gyms through Google Ads.

This way, we get maximum return on investment (ROI) on money spent.

8. Feed The Funnel With Remarketing

Remarketing is an important element of your localized digital marketing arsenal.

That’s effective if your SEO or Google ad didn’t do the job the first time or the customer is still in the consideration phase of the buyer journey.

Remarketing supports other, more geolocation-specific tactics when considering how to strengthen your local marketing strategies.

So, if your Google Ads campaign (geolocation-limited) or your paid social campaign (likewise, demographics-oriented) sends traffic to your site, remarketing supports these by following those visitors around after the fact.

In the end, remarketing increases conversions, promotes brand awareness, and helps you stay top of mind with prospects.

9. Get The Phone Going With Google Call-Only Ads

If you rely heavily on phone calls to generate business, then Google call-only ads could prove invaluable and ideal for localized marketing.

That’s because, as with other Google products, you can target a specific demographic in your call-only ads.

It’s also a good option if you don’t have any specific landing pages simply because your product or service doesn’t need it, and a direct phone call just works better.

One downside of local online marketing may be that you will not receive all qualified calls.

10. Insist On CRO-Optimized Landing Pages For Each Campaign

Contrary to popular belief, your home page is not your landing page.

Your home page is your home page.

It is a summary of your website with many exit points to other pages, many different calls to action (CTAs) – such as “learn more” and “contact us” – and many different focuses.

A landing page has one job: conversion.

If you’re spending money on an ad campaign, you need those clicks to work hard.

To do this, you need a landing page designed specifically for that campaign, with lead-gen in mind.

So, the tried-and-trusted format is:

  • Emotive copy that includes a pain point and solution.
  • An image that evokes a feeling.
  • A CTA above the fold.
  • Below the fold, you can have your trust queues, testimonials, benefits, and so on.
  • The footer can reiterate the CTA.

That’s it.

No buttons and links that take you away from the page.

No clicks are needed to expand sections. The only click available on the page is “Buy now” or “Submit” (or whatever the desired action is).

Rinse and repeat for each campaign.

11. Leverage Social Media

Social media can be a great way to grow local brand awareness and engagement.

For one, community groups often already have all your desired customers in one place.

Remember, you need to be active on the social media channels your target audience prefers.

It might not be your local watering hole, so you need to get comfortable with using platforms like TikTok and Instagram for Gen Z and Gen Y audiences, while Facebook is great for Gen X and Boomers.

LinkedIn is ideal for B2B targeting.

Post organic content, like status updates, photos, and videos, or run ad campaigns.

Much like Google Ads, most social platforms allow you to geo-target your campaigns.

This is great for localized marketing.

For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can focus your social media ads on reaching all people within a 10km radius of your location.

These enable super-localized and targeted marketing tactics.

12. Video Tells Your Homegrown Story

Video is now preferred over all other visual mediums by more consumers. In fact, 95% of enterprise B2B conversions are aided by video.

Keep it personal, keep it local, and direct your video content at the customer’s point of pain that you can solve.

Your video assets don’t all need to be ads. You can have testimonials and how-tos embedded into your site or published on YouTube.

Just make sure you tell a story and that – in the story – your customer is the hero, and you are simply the guide who helps them succeed.

13. Offline Activations And Events

Offline activations and events are one of our favorite ways of bolstering local marketing.

Working in conjunction with your online activities – such as email, ads, and social – this “boots on the ground” approach yields amazing results.

Take advantage of the physical proximity you have to your local customers.

Consider loyalty cards, charity sponsorships, referral programs, networking breakfasts, and other community-strengthening events.

All of these add tremendous gravitas to your brand and allow you to connect with your target audience locally.

Final Thoughts

With so many ways to be found online locally, we are confident your local target audience will discover your products and services.

Be sure to activate and be active on Google Business Profile.

Keep your website fresh and user-friendly, and remember to regularly add content (blogs).

Find communities on social media, and create ads on Google and social platforms that minutely reach your desired audience.

Find communities in real life, and create events and activities in which the local target audience can participate.

All of this contributes to brand reinforcement.

Finally, remember always to position your customer as the hero, as you solve their pain points right where they are.

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Featured Image: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock



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11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check Plagiarism

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11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check Plagiarism

Are you certain that the content you’re publishing on your website is 100% original?

Steering clear of plagiarism is a top priority for content creators, educators, businesses, and others in order to maintain credibility and avoid legal issues – among other things.

While Copyscape has long been one of the most well-known and popular options for plagiarism checking, the range of available tools has expanded significantly, with various features designed to meet people’s unique needs.

In this article, we will cover the basics of plagiarism – what it is, why you should check for it, how to check, and what to do if someone plagiarizes your content – before highlighting some of the top alternatives to Copyscape, helping you keep your content unique and valuable.

What Is Plagiarism? 

Plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work, whether words or ideas, and present it as your own without proper attribution.

Plagiarism can range from directly copying someone’s work to closely paraphrasing something without acknowledging the source. Sometimes, it’s purposeful, while other times, the perpetrator might not even realize they’re doing it.

Regardless of intent, plagiarism is a widespread problem that is difficult to combat – but the first step is detecting it.

Why It’s Important To Check For Plagiarism

The consequences of plagiarism can be severe – you can lose credibility, harm your reputation, and even face legal repercussions.

Here are a few reasons why it’s essential to check for (and avoid) plagiarism:

  • Prevent legal problems. Engaging in plagiarism or copyright infringement can expose you to a range of potential legal issues.
  • Maintain your reputation. Trust is vital. But why should audiences trust you if you’re stealing somebody else’s work? Checking for plagiarism is crucial to preserving your reputation and trust with your audience or customers.
  • Preserve your SEO efforts. Google and other search engines are actively trying to crack down on plagiarism and will penalize any plagiarized content. This can hurt your website’s ranking and visibility.

How You Can Check For Plagiarism

There are a handful of different ways to check for plagiarism, including:

  • Manual checks. This is precisely what it sounds like: manually reviewing content for plagiarism by cross-checking text using search engines and academic databases. If you’re examining a small chunk of text, this can work, but it can get unwieldy fast.
  • Use alerts. It’s possible to create your own plagiarism checker by setting up Google Alerts. Simply enter your content into the search query field and let Google know how frequently you want it to alert you of copied content. While not a totally accurate or complete method, it can be effective at times.
  • Monitoring services. You can use existing tools that help flag unauthorized use of your content. They do so by scanning the internet and leveraging algorithms to detect plagiarized content.
  • Online plagiarism checker tools. Software and tools designed specifically to analyze content and run a comprehensive check for plagiarism.

While checking text for direct plagiarism is one thing, identifying paraphrased content or ideas is much more complicated.

And while we will highlight many useful tools in this article, it’s worth remembering that no tool is perfect.

With the sheer amount of content available and more being produced and published every second, it’s nearly impossible to complete a full check. Hence, why plagiarism is an ongoing issue.

What To Do If Someone Plagiarized Your Content

So, what do you do if you discover that somebody else has plagiarized your content? Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Collect evidence. Take screenshots, make notes, and save any URLs as proof of the offense.
  • Contact the perpetrator. As we mentioned earlier, sometimes, plagiarism can be an innocent mistake. No matter the situation, we recommend contacting the offending party and requesting that they either remove your content or label it with the proper attribution.
  • File a complaint. If that doesn’t work, you can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown complaint, which will send notice to the service provider (e.g., Google or web hosting companies) to remove the content or face legal liability.
  • Seek legal advice. If the case is particularly egregious, or the above steps fail, you can consider speaking with a legal professional.

Top 11 Plagiarism-Checking Alternative Tools To Copyscape

1. Grammarly

Screenshot from Grammarly.com, June 2024

While most people know Grammarly for its spelling and grammar check capabilities, it also offers a useful plagiarism checker tool.

Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker will compare your text (up to 10,000 characters) against academic databases and billions of webpages, then give you an immediate report that lets you know whether it found any plagiarized content.

As a helpful bonus, it will also flag if it finds problems with grammar, spelling, punctuation, conciseness, readability, word choice, or other writing issues.

If you want to take it a step further, Grammarly offers a Premium version of the tool with more advanced capabilities. The paid version will highlight specific sentences of concern, include source information, give you deeper writing feedback, and even allocate your text an “overall originality score.”

Cost

  • Free version available with limited plagiarism detection as well as basic grammar, spelling, etc. checks.
  • Premium Grammarly membership starts at $12/month and includes advanced plagiarism detection.

2. Plagiarisma

Screenshot of Plagiarisma homepage showing a text box for URL input, file upload options, and various supported languages icons. The page includes detailed information about the tool and highlights its effectiveness.Screenshot from Plagiarisma.net, June 2024

If you’re looking for a plagiarism checker that works in several languages, look no further than Plagiarisma. It supports 190+ languages and offers both free and paid versions.

Users can enter text into Plagiarisma in a variety of ways, including uploading documents, entering URLs, or pasting text directly into the tool. Once you’ve shared your copy, it will check it against sources like books, websites (you can choose between Google and Bing as your search engine of choice), and academic papers.

With the free version, users can run plagiarism checks up to three times in one day. You can also upgrade to a Premium membership for access to more features, including a Synonymizer (which helps you leverage synonyms to recreate sentences), a Similarity Checker (which compares documents for similarity), and unlimited access to plagiarism checks.

Cost

  • Free version with up to three plagiarism checks per day.
  • Premium membership starts at $5/month and offers unlimited plagiarism checks and more advanced features.

3. ProWritingAid

1720970763 998 11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check PlagiarismScreenshot from ProWritingAid.com, June 2024

Similar to Grammarly, ProWritingAid is an AI-powered writing assistant tool that analyzes your copy and suggests areas for improvement. It also offers a helpful plagiarism checker – and while there is no free version, it’s still reasonably affordable.

According to ProWritingAid, its plagiarism detection tool can compare your text (up to 2,000 words) against billions of sources, both online and offline, including databases, periodicals, and websites.

It will flag directly copied content and give similarity percentages to show areas needing improved paraphrasing or citation.

You can use ProWritingAid’s online editing tool to conduct your check or leverage its Microsoft Word Add-In.

Unlike some other tools, you pay for ProWritingAid based on the number of checks you want to conduct versus a monthly or yearly subscription – so that is worth noting, and might be a benefit if you only have a specific number of documents you need to look at.

Cost

  • No free version.
  • Pricing starts at $10 for 10 checks, $40 for 100 checks, $120 for 500 checks, and $200 for 1,000 checks.

4. Plagiarism Checker

Screenshot of Plagiarism Checker tool showing a text box to insert text, options to check plagiarism via URL, and buttons for grammar checking, paraphrasing, and various other settings.Screenshot from Plagiarism-Checker.me, June 2024

Plagiarism Checker is a fairly straightforward plagiarism detection tool that’s both free and easy to use. If you need a quick and simple option, this is worth checking out.

It boasts a simple user interface and allows users to insert their text directly into the web-based editor, share a URL, or upload a document. You can even denote a URL you want it to exclude, which is a helpful feature if there are particular pages on your site that you want to ignore for now.

Plagiarism Checker scans your text against blogs, websites, and academic papers to detect plagiarism, which it delivers as a percentage. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows, and Android, and supports multiple file formats, including .rtf, .pdf., .docx, .odt, and txt.

Note that there is a limit of 1,000 words per check. The tool also includes a grammar checker and word counter, and you can download the reports it gives you.

Cost

5. CopyGator

Screenshot of CopyGator website explaining how it helps monitor and track content feeds.Screenshot from CopyGator.com, June 2024

CopyGator is a free service designed to help bloggers and content creators monitor and detect duplicate versions of their content on other blogs or websites.

It works by monitoring your website’s RSS feed to see whether content has been republished elsewhere – and automatically notifying you if it finds plagiarism or quotations.

There are two different options for using CopyGator:

  • Image badge: By copying and pasting some code into your site, you can add a CopyGator image badge to your blog that will monitor your feeds for you. When you want to run a check, simply click the badge. If it turns red, CopyGator has detected plagiarized versions of your content.
  • RSS feed: Your other option is to input an RSS feed directly into CopyGator’s tool and ask it to watch the feed. It will create your own custom overview page where you can get updates.

Cost

6. PlagScan

1720970763 752 11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check PlagiarismScreenshot from PlagScan.com, June 2024

PlagScan is quite a robust plagiarism detection tool most commonly used by academic institutions and professional writers. One thing to note upfront: There is no free version of this tool.

PlagScan compares your text to a massive database of websites, academic resources, and journals to find plagiarism and compiles a report to help you understand the results.

You’ll receive a PlagLevel score, which summarizes the level of duplicate text found within a document, as well as colored highlighting for possible plagiarism:

  • Red for direct matches.
  • Blue for potentially altered copy.
  • Green for correctly cited text.

With PlagScan, you get a list of sources that match your document to help you with proper citation. You can also compare two documents side-by-side to find similarities. It works with most file types, and your data is protected.

Cost

  • No free version.
  • PlagScan uses a prepaid pricing model based on the number of words/pages. Pricing starts at $6.5 for 6,000 words/24 pages.

7. Copyleaks

Screenshot of the CopyLeaks Plagiarism Detector homepage, displaying highlighted text sections within an example showing potential plagiarized content. Various partner logos are visible below the displayed text.Screenshot from Copyleaks.com, June 2024

Copyleaks is a more sophisticated plagiarism detection tool than many of the options used on this list, making it a popular choice for businesses, educational institutions, and individuals around the world.

According to Copyleaks, it uses “advanced AI” to detect instances of plagiarism across over 100 languages, including paraphrasing, plagiarism in programming code, and even AI-generated plagiarism. Each scan checks content against 60 trillion websites, more than 16,000 journals, over 1 million internal documents, and 20+ code data repositories.

The tool has a very user-friendly interface, allowing you to choose from different types of files you might want to scan – text, documents, code, URLs, etc. You can also use the “compare” option to compare two documents or URLs to each other.

Another handy feature within Copyleaks is the ability to schedule recurring scans so that it will automatically check for duplicate content on a regular basis. It also offers easy and flexible API integration,

Cost

  • Free trial available.
  • Paid plans start at $8.99/month for up to 1,200 credits (equal to 300,000 words). For $13.99/month, you’ll get access to both the plagiarism detection and AI content detection tools in one.

8. Plagium

Screenshot of Plagium's plagiarism detection interface, featuring options for quick search, deep search, and file search with pricing details below. Screenshot from Plagium.com, June 2024

Plagium is a good choice if you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective plagiarism checker. It uses a simple web-based text box and offers both “quick search” and “Deep Search” functions, the latter of which is basically a term for a closer check and the ability to scan large documents.

A quick search is free and allows up to 500 characters – though the website appears to indicate that the number of quick searches is capped. In order to use the Deep Search feature, you’ll need to create an account – and these searches start at $0.08/page using Plagium’s credits system.

As a member, you’re able to upload different types of documents – such as PDFs – and Plagium also integrates with Google Drive and offers a Google Docs Add-on.

Cost

  • Free quick search up to 500 characters.
  • Paid plans start at $9.99/month for over 143,000 characters, with options for prepaid plans if that is more your speed.

9. Dupli Checker

1720970763 634 11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check PlagiarismScreenshot from DupliChecker.com, June 2024

Need a free, easy-to-use plagiarism checker that’s available in up to seven languages and accepts a variety of file formats? Dupli Checker could be for you.

Dupli Checker’s simple interface makes it easy to scan your documents for plagiarism. You can paste directly into the website or upload files from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Like other tools in this list, you can also share a URL you’d like the tool to check, and up to five URLs you want it to exclude.

The tool promises 100% privacy – meaning it doesn’t save any of your documents – and summarizes your results in a report that highlights duplicate copy, gives you a percentage rating, and offers more features like grammar issues.

Cost

  • Free version with up to 1,000 words per search.
  • Paid plans start at $10/month for increased searches, higher word limits, and other advanced features.

10. Quetext

1720970763 386 11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check PlagiarismScreenshot from quetext.com, June 2024

Quetext has become a popular plagiarism detection tool, and for good reason. It’s dependable and user-friendly, with some handy little features to help you spot plagiarism in your documents.

How does it work? You just enter your text into the web-based browser box and click “Check for plagiarism.” Quetext then uses its DeepSearch™ Technology (a machine-learning algorithm) to scan your text against billions of internet sources and spot plagiarism.

It provides you with a report that includes a plagiarism score and both exact matches and near matches to other existing text.

It highlights the latter using its ColorGrade™ feedback feature, which uses different colors to highlight exact match copy vs. “fuzzy” matches (or close matches) – a valuable tool for spotting plagiarism that might have otherwise flown under the radar.

It also offers a “Cite Source” feature, which helps you produce citations across Chicago, MLA, and APA formats.

Cost

  • Free version available, which includes up to 500 words, a website citation generator, and a citation assistant.
  • Paid tiers start at $8.80/month, which includes 100,000 words per month and a range of other advanced features.

11. PlagTracker

1720970763 220 11 Copyscape Alternatives To Check PlagiarismScreenshot from Plagtracker.com, June 2024

PlagTracker is an online, web-based plagiarism detector that bills itself as “the most accurate plagiarism checking service.” The tool lists students, teachers, publishers, and site owners as its intended users, and it checks text against over 14 billion webpages and “more than 20 million academic works.”

Using PlagTracker is pretty straightforward. Users upload a document into the tool, which scans it and then returns a detailed report that shows what percentage of their document is plagiarized and highlights specific sections with sources.

It supports multiple languages –English, German, French, Romanian, Spanish, and Italian – making it a versatile tool. PlagTracker has a 5,000-word limit for free users, though you can pay for a Premium membership for unlimited access.

Cost

  • Free version is available with a 5,000-word limit.
  • Premium subscription starts at $7.49/month for unlimited volume and other advanced features.

The Best Plagiarism Detection Tools On The Market

And there you have it: Copyscape is by no means the only option for plagiarism detection tools.

Those listed above are great alternatives that cater to a wide range of use cases, whether you’re looking for a cheap and easy solution or an all-in-one AI-powered writing assistant.

If you’re a content creator of any kind, you must produce work that’s original and unique – and these tools can help you do just that.

However, always remember that these tools are far from perfect; you should have other checks and balances in place to ensure the quality of your work.

Avoiding plagiarism will protect your credibility and reputation and ultimately drive more traffic to your website. Not to mention, it’ll keep you out of trouble.

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Featured Image: VectorMine/Shutterstock

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The 11 Best Digital Marketing Courses Free & Paid (2024)

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The 11 Best Digital Marketing Courses Free & Paid (2024)

A digital marketing course is a good entry point for anyone wanting a career in SEO or online marketing. It can help to provide a basic knowledge base as a starting point.

You can build many different specialized career paths, and if you’re just starting your career or seeking to understand digital marketing as a business owner, it’s good to get a general overview of the field first.

Of course, actively experimenting and getting experience is the best way to learn SEO and digital marketing.

The following digital marketing courses are listed alphabetically, not in order of quality or value. Each course will provide different benefits, so consider them carefully for your needs.

Free Digital Marketing Courses

Many businesses offer digital marketing courses as part of their digital strategies. If a company wishes to be seen as an expert in the field, offering courses makes sense to improve its reputation and acquire new clients.

These courses are great as a window into the most current digital marketing skills and trends. They’re often taught and developed by practicing experts. However, the quality can vary, so check the credentials and reviews.

1. Google Skillshop Fundamentals Of Digital Marketing

Screenshot from Google Skillshop, May 2024

Google is one of the leading digital companies. For many people, Google is the “face” of the internet and the first point of contact between humans and businesses online.

No matter how you feel about the vast control Google exerts over the internet and how business is done online, it’s one of the best places to start for general marketing knowledge.

The best things about the Skillshop is that it’s accessible, widely recognized, and contains refined content. There’s a lot to dig into, both in terms of digital marketing and Google tools.

Since you will likely encounter Google’s tools for managing websites, it’s a great place to start, and there’s a lot of content to continue your education in whichever way you need.

If you’re interested in search engine optimization or search engine marketing and ads, this is where you should start.

The fundamentals you learn in the Skillshop help you build a skill set around Google’s tools and services. You can also earn displayable certificates and awards when you complete the final assessments.

Experience Level

Key Learning

  • Digital marketing fundamentals and basics.
  • Step by step on how to take a business online.
  • Search engine optimization and search advertising.
  • Using Google’s tools.

Course Length

Course Features

  • 24 individual modules.
  • Introductions to important Google tools and search concepts.
  • Quizzes after each module and a final assessment.
  • Sharable award of completion.

2. HubSpot Academy Digital Marketing Course

HubSpot Academy Digital Marketing CourseScreenshot from HubSpot, May 2024

HubSpot is another big name in digital marketing. It specializes in “inbound” marketing strategies, focusing on activities like customer relationship management and content strategy.

If you’re most interested in the inbound side of marketing, focused on understanding customers and improving how websites contributor to customer acquisition, then this is a great place to start.

Just like with Google, the courses are focused on HubSpot’s specific service areas.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s where they have the most expertise to share. Once you have an account with the academy, HubSpot will give you personalized recommendations, which makes sense – personalization is its bread and butter.

By being part of its ecosystem, you’ll get a personalized learning experience. Paying attention to how it moves you through its lessons and content can also be a good lesson for you!

Watching how the pros move you through an inbound platform can be eye-opening if you pay close attention.

While this course is only a few hours long, the HubSpot Academy has many digital marketing courses. It’s a great way to build your own education and continue to gain skills throughout your career.

Experience

Key Learning

Course Length

Course Features

  • Quizzes.
  • Certification.
  • Five languages: English, French, Japanese, Spanish, German.

3. Semrush Academy: Digital Advertising 101

Semrush AcademyScreenshot from Semrush Academy, May 2024

Semrush is one of the biggest tool companies in the SEO space. If you’re interested in getting into SEO research and analytics, this course could be a good starting point.

You can expect this to be a focused course about devising strategies, planning and applying budgets, investigating competitors, and other data-driven activities.

However, the number of guest course instructors means that you can get insights from a variety of industry professionals in different roles and businesses.

Like with the other brand-offered courses, Semrush sticks to its core areas of business so you can expect courses that prepare you for marketing activities covered by its tools.

This, again, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re very likely to encounter Semrush in your career if you choose to focus on SEO.

While this individual course is short, the Semrush Academy contains many courses from industry leaders such as Kevin Indig.

There’s lots to dig into, and the variety of expert course instructors is an excellent feature in favor of this option.

Experience

Key Learning

  • Digital advertising strategies.
  • Audience profiling.
  • Competitor analysis.
  • Channel selection.
  • Budget allocation.

Course Length

Course Features

  • Video course.
  • Short and accessible.
  • Certification.
  • Jumping off point for more detailed courses in the Semrush Academy.

Paid Digital Marketing Courses

4. Digital Marketing Institute + American Marketing Association Professional Certificate

Digital Marketing InstituteScreenshot from Digital Marketing Institute, May 2024

Unlike the free courses offered by individual marketing companies, the courses from DMI and AMA will be more platform-inclusive and cover a broader range of topics.

You’ll explore modules focused on different tools and marketing activities, allowing you to learn about analytics, social media platforms, content, SEO, and AI.

This sets you up to make informed decisions about where you want to specialize as a marketer.

Companies offering paid courses have an incentive to keep up with current developments and trends, as you can see by the AI-focused module in the screenshot above.

Bear in mind that it’s unlikely a general marketing course will be on the bleeding edge of new technology. As things change, the course needs to be adjusted and re-released. This takes time.

Paid courses are, of course, a much bigger up-front investment. Deciding if they’re worth both the time and money can be difficult.

One of the best ways is to look for reviews and ongoing conversations about the course and the company that offers it. You could even start new conversations on social media platforms and ask other professionals what they think.

This way, you can get more information about the teaching styles, how assessments are conducted, and what people got from the experience.

It’s always best to do this research independently, outside of landing pages. Armed with the direct experiences of people who’ve taken the course, you can decide for yourself if it will fit your learning style and career goals.

Experience

  • Beginner to intermediate.

Price

Key Learning

  • AI.
  • Content marketing.
  • Social media marketing.
  • SEO.
  • Paid search and display advertising.
  • Email marketing.
  • Ecommerce.
  • Analytics.
  • Digital marketing strategy.

Course Features

  • Two certifications.
  • Multiple in-depth modules.
  • Live webinars and Q&As.
  • Practice exams.
  • Recently updated with an AI-focused module.

5. Google Digital Marketing & Ecommerce Professional Certificate

Google digital marketing course on CourseraScreenshot from Coursera, May 2024

Coursera is an interesting platform. You gain access to courses by paying a monthly fee. So while the courses are paid, you’re not putting a chunk of money down for one individual course. If you try one and don’t like it, then you can try something else.

Note that you can “enroll for free,” which begins a free trial. After the trial ends, you’ll be charged a subscription fee.

The course offered by Google is a great place to start if you’re trying out Coursera. It’s a long course series but still beginner-level. By the end of the free trial, you should know whether the course is worth it for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that the length of the course is not necessarily a selling point for a system designed to charge a monthly fee. Consistently assess the quality of the course and what you’re getting out of it.

Remember that it’s the learning that counts, not the certificate at the end. When you’re paying a subscription, you should avoid the sunk cost fallacy and pivot to new material if what you’re working on feels stale.

Remember to assess the price of the course by calculating the monthly fee against your actual completion rate. The site suggests a three-month completion time, which would cost $177, and would require just over 14 hours per week.

If you only had time for six hours per week, this course would take seven months and cost $413.

Experience

Price

  • The “enroll for free” option begins a free trial period. After the 7-day free trial, the cost is $59 per month.

Key Learning

Course Length

  • Seven courses.
  • 18 to 29 hours per course.
  • 170 total hours.

Course Features

  • Professional training from Google.
  • Certification.
  • Career support.

6. Harvard Business School Online Digital Marketing Strategy

Harvard Business School OnlineScreenshot from Harvard Business School Online, May 2024

Attaining a certification from an educational institution can boost your resume. The other benefit of a course like this is the learning environment.

If you struggle with learning things passively, a course offered by an educational institution is more likely to be prepared and taught by education professionals.

Education is a skill on its own. Courses like this, including faculty and practicing experts, can give you a better learning experience.

Educational institutions are also likely to have learning platforms and community functions to help support you while you learn. In terms of paying up-front for a course, the right educational institution could be a safe bet that you’ll get value out of the experience.

This course highlights practical examples, which tie any theory you learn to real-world situations.

One thing to be wary of is that educational institutions can adapt slowly to digital trends. The value of a course like this will heavily depend on the expert practitioners included.

One thing to note about this course is that it appears to be much more tightly planned than the six-month course we examined above. This isn’t a bad thing.

Concise planning and careful material selection can improve your learning experience, and the people who developed this course likely have experience developing syllabi.

Experience

  • Beginner to intermediate.

Price

Key Learning

  • Learn about metrics, objectives, target audiences, and value propositions.
  • Paid, owned, and earned media.
  • Digital marketing strategy.
  • Attribution and calculating value.

Course Length

  • Seven weeks.
  • 6 to 7 hours per week.

Course Features

  • Learn from real-world cases, brands, and business experts.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • Six modules.
  • Community and networking group.

7. Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

Meta social media marketing certificateScreenshot from Coursera, May 2024

This is another Coursera course, and so it comes with all the same notes we talked about with the Google Coursera course.

Run by Meta, this course focuses on social media, so you’re unlikely to get a broad overview of digital marketing as a whole. But you will get an overview of everything social media and brand management by one of the biggest brands in the industry.

Facebook has proven to be an incredibly enduring platform, and Meta owns other successful platforms and initiatives.

In addition to organic social media topics, you’ll learn about paid advertising. If you want to go into paid media, this would be a very helpful course for you as well.

Again, your mileage will vary depending on the time it takes you to complete the modules and how much time you have available per week.

Unfortunately, not all of this course’s modules give you time estimates. So, I would consider saving this one for after you have made a decision about whether Coursera as a platform is worth it for you.

Experience

Price

  • The “enroll for free” option begins a free trial period. After the 7-day free trial, the cost is $59 per month.

Key Learning

  • Social media marketing.
  • Brand management.
  • Content marketing.
  • Social media paid advertising.

Course Length

  • Six-course series.
  • 10 to 20 hours per course.
  • Not all courses have exact hour estimates.

Course Features

  • Certification.
  • 22 languages.
  • Career resources upon completion.
  • Degree credit eligible (earn credits toward degrees from participating institutions).

8. NYU Continuing Education: Digital Marketing

NYU Digital Marketing CourseScreenshot from NYU Digital Marketing Course, May 2024

Note: Courses fill up quickly, so you may need to wait for a new semester.

This course is very much structured like a traditional college course but with open enrollment.

More structured like a college course than the Harvard course above, you will get many of the benefits that come with formal education.

The courses are organized into sections with limited slots, which means they’ve planned for a certain number of learners and their needs. It’s going to be more interactive than a more free-form course taught with videos.

These courses are live and offered at specific times over the course of a semester. The benefits of this can be huge, as you’ll be participating in live lectures and learning.

You’ll have a community of other students to collaborate with, and your instructor may be available directly during certain times.

The disadvantage of this structure is that the course may not work with your schedule, and you won’t be able to learn at your own pace. This is a strict commitment if you want to make it worth the money.

Experience

  • Beginner to intermediate.

Price

  • $400 to $1,000 per course.

Key Learning

  • Digital marketing strategies and tools.
  • Audience development and consumer analysis.
  • Branding.
  • Multimedia marketing channels.

Course Length

  • Each course is one semester long.

Course Features

  • Five courses to choose from.
  • Courses taught by professional faculty.
  • College-caliber learning without having to commit to a degree.

9. Wharton University Of Pennsylvania Digital Marketing Certificate

Wharton University online digital marketing cert programScreenshot from Wharton University, May 2024

The Wharton program is another course offered by a college that comes with a certificate. Getting a certificate at the end can be a draw for your resume if you don’t have much relevant or recent experience.

You can enroll in this course immediately, and it’s a small weekly time commitment, which makes it perfect if you’re already busy.

On the other hand, it’s quite expensive compared to the other courses on this list, and since it’s an on-demand course, you won’t have access to the same college-style benefits of the NYU courses.

This course focuses more heavily on business and business management than others in terms of content. This could be great if you need to brush up on your business fundamentals, but it may not be ideal if you have business chops and want to really focus on digital marketing.

It does prioritize analysis, and a course from a college with a strong business background will definitely be a good candidate for improving your data analysis skills. If you’re heading into a data-focused career, this course could be perfect.

Experience

  • Beginner to intermediate.

Price

Key Learning

  • Digital marketing fundamentals.
  • Ecommerce.
  • Metrics and metric analysis.
  • Research and analysis.

Course Length

  • Six weeks.
  • 3 to 5 hours per week.

Course Features

  • Four courses in the certificate program.
  • Courses taught by professional faculty.
  • College-caliber learning without having to commit to a degree.
  • Certification.

10. UCLA Extension Digital Marketing Course

UCLA Extension digital marketing course.Screenshot from UCLA Extension, May 2024

Note: Make sure you’re applying for the online course if you can’t attend an in-person course.

Much like the NYU course, this is a more traditional college-level course. It is priced and organized consistently with other college-level courses. Don’t look at the price on this one and assume it’s not as valuable because it’s cheaper.

The online version of this course has no scheduled meeting times, which makes it slightly more accessible than the NYU course. But it’s still organized, very much like a college course.

It’s also taught by a marketing executive, so it’s another “best of both worlds” situation – college-level learning with the insights of an industry expert.

You can even check out the course syllabus at the bottom of the page to give you an idea of the content it will cover, as well as the books you’ll learn from.

While it doesn’t give you a breakdown of hours per week, you can get a very good sense of what you’ll learn over the course of the 11 weeks.

Experience

Price

Key Learning

  • Digital marketing introduction and overview.
  • Digital marketing strategy.
  • Developing KPIs and monitoring metrics.

Course Length

Course Features

  • Apply this course toward a certificate or specialization from UCLA.
  • Four units.
  • Courses taught by professional faculty.
  • College-caliber learning without having to commit to a degree.

11. University Of Illinois Digital Marketing Specialization

University of Illinois digital marketing course.Screenshot from University of Illinois, May 2024

To finish our list, we have a college offering a course through Coursera. Like the other Coursera courses, this is split into a series of sub-courses. Most of the sub-courses are in the 20-hour range.

Like the others, the actual “price” of this course will depend on your weekly availability and completion rate. With the four-month estimate, this costs $236. If you only do six hours per week, it will cost $354 and take six months.

This course series provides a robust overview of general concepts and is ideal if you are brand new to digital marketing or marketing in general. The first modules start from the beginning and take you through the inception and development of digital marketing.

If you view the series of courses, you can see that this series is planned methodically and that you will build knowledge and skills in an intuitive way.

First, it introduces analytics theory, and then the next module covers analytics in practice. This kind of organization will help you fully grasp the core concepts and then walk you through applying them in practice.

This course would be a great place for you to begin your journey, and it might even be worth it if you already know some of the more basic concepts for the way in which it organizes and presents the material.

Like the Google Coursera course, this would be a great candidate to spend your free trial on.

Experience

Price

  • The “enroll for free” option begins a free trial period. After the 7-day free trial, the cost is $59 per month.

Key Learning

  • Digital marketing basics.
  • Planning and measuring digital marketing.
  • Content marketing.
  • Social media.
  • Marketing channels.
  • Data gathering and analysis.

Course Length

  • Seven courses.
  • 13 to 28 hours per course.
  • 145 total hours.

Course Features

  • Seven courses, including basic principles, data and analytics, and digital media.
  • Certification.
  • 22 languages available.
  • Regular assessments.

Digital Marketing Courses FAQ

What Kind Of Digital Marketing Course Should I Take?

Digital marketing courses can help you learn the core concepts that you can apply to any specific skill set.

They are offered at various lengths – some with certifications, and some without. Some are offered by colleges with open enrollment.

The core factors you should consider are:

  • What you’ll learn from the course: Is the description specific about what you’ll get from the experience?
  • Price: Free courses can be high-quality, but they tend to be short and lack interactivity. Paid courses offered by colleges will likely have the most support and community.
  • Certification and credit: Certifications can be helpful to share, but focus on the value the course offers to you first. Some courses can be used toward college credits, which is helpful if you are seeking a degree or professional certification from a college.
  • Hands-on work and real-world examples: Courses that offer learning by doing and seeing theory in action can have much more value.

Why Digital Marketing Courses Matter

There’s a lot of information out there for free. With enough research, you could learn most of the theoretical concepts yourself without giving up your money or your data.

But this can be time-consuming, and self-guided learning isn’t always the best solution. It’s easy to get inaccurate information or hit roadblocks.

Courses, especially those led by professional educators, give you a structured environment, resources, and sometimes community.

The right course could be the best way to reach your goals.

More Digital Marketing Course Overviews From SEJ


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Holistic Search 2.0: Optimizing and Measuring Organic and Paid Performance

Silos don’t cut it anymore. User journeys are too complex for you to view and track channels separately.

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You need to be front and center with your ideal customers at multiple touchpoints, including active interactions and passive awareness. An ideal marketing strategy has paid and organic campaigns working in tandem, and it’s becoming harder to succeed without doing both.

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Join us live on July 24 as we delve into this intricate relationship between organic and paid search channels. You’ll get actionable insights for measuring success to maximize their combined potential.

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You’ll walk away with:

  • Integrated Metrics and KPIs: Learn how to define and track key metrics to capture the performance of your organic and paid search campaigns, so you can make informed strategic decisions that work.
  • Attribution Models: You’ll see firsthand how strong attribution models are crucial to understanding your customers’ journeys, allowing you to identify influential touchpoints and allocate budget effectively for maximum ROI.
  • Optimization Strategies: You’ve gathered data from your campaigns…now what? Take the data and leverage it to further optimize your paid and organic search campaigns, increasing conversions along the way.

Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics Solutions at iQuanti is an expert at crafting holistic search strategies to reach more of your ideal audiences at relevant stages in their journeys. Now, he’s ready to share his insights with you.

You’ll walk away equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to execute a combined organic and paid strategy that improves the performance of each channel.  You’ll gain data-driven insights on how to align a combined strategy with business goals and lead your organization to success.

Sign up now and prepare to maximize the potential of combining your organic and paid campaigns.

At the end of the presentation, you’ll get a chance to ask Shaubhik your burning questions in our live Q&A, so be sure to attend.

And if you can’t make it that day, register here and we’ll send you a recording following the webinar. 

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