Gain the Digital Marketing Skills that Drive Results

Advanced digital marketing technology is fueling growth for businesses across all industries, with more and more companies now strategically enhancing their online presence to better serve customers and find new ones. Students will learn search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategies to generate website traffic and engage visitors with their offerings. Key topics will include, online marketing campaigns, brand building, content marketing, linking strategies, advertising, social media, video and email marketing.

Our Strategic Online Marketing program offers standalone courses and certificate paths that teach practical digital marketing skills you can use to, enhance your portfolio, grow your own business, position yourself for digital marketing jobs, position yourself for lucrative freelance/consulting work.

Who Should Attend?

We take a practical approach to learning, this comprehensive online digital marketing program, was created in collaboration with leading subject matter experts is ideal for entrepreneurs, business professionals and anyone looking to enhance their digital marketing skills. Students will learn the analytical tools needed to increase a company or organization’s brand awareness, sales and online customer engagement through SEO and content creation strategy.

Benefits of the Strategic Online Marketing Certificate

Whether you plan to apply your strategic online marketing skills to your own business or use them to help others, the skills taught in our online digital marketing courses have been proven effective for nearly all types of businesses.

When compared to traditional forms of advertising like print, TV and radio, and snail mail, digital marketing offers:

  • Higher levels of customer engagement
  • Ability to easily measure and track results
  • A wider potential audience range
  • Greater cost-effectiveness

Certificate Requirements 

To earn the USD professional development certificate in Strategic Online Marketing, students are required to successfully complete each of the eight individual courses with a final grade of C or better, plus attend 70% of the scheduled sessions per course. In addition to the course tuition, there is a one-time certificate fee of $45. Learn more about the University of San Diego’s Professional and Continuing Education Certificate Benefits and Policies.

Schedule and Fees

Interested in starting the certificate program? There will be two cohorts starting in 2022 in Spring and Fall. Contact us at to request a customized certificate plan or click here to access our recommended certificate path starting March 17, 2022.

Required Courses
(8 Units)
Schedule and Enrollment Links
Duration SP 2022 SU 2022 FA 2022

MKT-X810 Building Your Brand and Website Foundation
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Mar 17 - Apr 7 - Sep 29 - Oct 20


MKT-X811 Principles of SEO and Onsite Optimization
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Feb 28 - Mar 21 Jul 14 - Aug 3 -


MKT-X812 Offsite SEO Strategies: Link Building, Content Marketing and Website Authority
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Mar 28 - Apr 18 Aug 11 - Sep 1 -


MKT-X804 Content Marketing
(1 Unit)

4 weeks - Jun 9 - 30 -


MKT-X805 Social Media Marketing
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Apr 13 - May 4 - Oct 27 - Nov 17


MKT-X806 Online Advertising
(1 Unit)

4 weeks - May 5 - 26 Sep 20 - Oct 11


MKT-X807 Web Analytics
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Jan 19 - Feb 9 May 10 - 31 -


MKT-X808 Capstone Project Presentations
(1 Unit)

4 weeks Feb 23 - Mar 16 Jun 16 - Jul 7 Nov 1 - 22


One Time Certificate Fee



Total Certificate Cost (8 courses)         $3,077

*Schedule and Fees are subject to change.

Digital Marketing Topics Covered

Some of the many and diverse topics covered within the courses that make up our digital marketing certificate program include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Online presence
  • Website performance
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
  • Optimizing URLs, title tags and meta descriptions
  • Content marketing
  • Link-building strategies
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Customer personas and archetypes
  • Aligning business goals and brand voice
  • Pay-per-click and paid advertising strategies
  • Monitoring analytics to gain valuable insights
  • Using data insights to fine-tune campaigns

Strategic Online Marketing Certificate Learner Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Strategic Online Marketing Certificate will have the ability to:

  • Significantly enhance an organization’s online presence
  • Create keyword strategies that can be applied to website development and search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Develop content strategies for social media, email and blogging
  • Create pages that influence search engines while keeping visitors interested
  • Effectively use social media to get the attention of your target audience
  • Apply proven tracking methods to boost the success of your digital marketing campaigns
  • Generate traffic to your website through linking strategies, search engine marketing, advertising, video marketing, email marketing, article distribution and social media
  • Create and execute a successful online marketing plan

Strategic Online Marketing Certificate Curriculum

The core courses comprising the Strategic Online Marketing Certificate program include:

  • Building Your Brand and Website Foundation — The focus here is on defining your brand’s purpose, values and promise, and ensuring that your website aligns with and supports this identity.
  • Principles of SEO and Onsite Optimization — Students learn how search engines work, the principles behind search engine algorithms and how this should impact your website design process, website layout and on-page keyword usage.
  • Offsite SEO Strategies — Offsite SEO centers on building “website authority” that not only builds brand awareness and popularity, but also appeals directly to search engine algorithms.
  • Content Marketing — Students explore best practices in blog and video content creation, link building, lead generation and automation.
  • Social Media Marketing — Learn to develop effective social media marketing campaigns that better engage with your audience and followers.
  • Online Advertising — Students will learn best practices for integrating paid advertising initiatives (such as PPC) into their overall digital marketing strategy.
  • Web Analytics — Monitoring your campaigns through web analytics is essential because it yields valuable data you can use to fine-tune and optimize campaigns.
  • Capstone Project Presentations — Students utilize everything they’ve learned to create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.

Job Market and Career Outlook

As more and more consumers move to do business online, companies are spending billions on digital advertising to connect with them. That’s why demand is so high for skilled digital marketers. A quick search for “digital marketing” jobs on LinkedIn reveals tens of thousands of listing for positions at well-known employers across all sectors. Here are just a few:

  • Digital Content Strategist at Boston Scientific
  • Content Marketing Strategist at IBM
  • Digital/Web Content Strategist at BlueCross BlueShield
  • Senior Copywriter, Digital Content at Home Depot
  • Digital Marketing Technology Analyst at University of Phoenix
  • Digital Marketing Manager, Consumer at Rosetta Stone
  • Director of Digital Marketing at Victoria's Secret Pink
  • Director of SEO at Shopify

Rising Salaries for Digital Marketers and Managers

Salaries vary greatly for digital marketers depending on the position, the company, the industry and more; however, one notable trend is high pay for digital marketing managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which categorizes digital marketers under its general umbrella of advertising, promotions and marketing managers, reports median pay of $135,900 per year.

Experienced Instructors

Our instructors, many of whom hold advanced degrees, are experienced digital marketing practitioners and subject matter experts who engage each student in a stimulating and participative learning environment.


“I would recommend this course to anyone that is thinking about building a website. It provides great context to how people look at websites and interact with brands online. I really enjoyed the class. Since I am a marketing professional, I already knew a lot of the material. I did learn new techniques and great resources.” — Ashley Ansari (Building Your Brand and Website Foundation)

“The course is directly in line with my goals of building and optimizing relevant websites. I feel this course provides the most up-to-date and professional instruction available in the current format.”— Jeff Herrig (Principles of SEO and Onsite Optimization)

“[This course] gave us new understanding of the online communication, along with providing information about the communication tools that we can use for our businesses.”— Ammar Alabdali (Content Marketing)

“Now I know how to develop a social media strategy.”— Karla Medina (Social Media Marketing)

Why Choose University of San Diego?

With its wide selection of high-quality academic programs across so many important professional domains, the University of San Diego is ranked among the Top 100 U.S. colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report.

USD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WASC).

Third-Party Funding Approved Program

USD’s Strategic Online Marketing Certificate is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act approved program. Please be advised that the University of San Diego, Professional and Continuing Education cannot approve students for WIOA nor confirm their eligibility. You must contact or visit your local America’s Job Center of California to confirm your eligibility towards WIOA funding.

Workforce approved graphic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are textbooks required?

All course materials are shared in class or through the Blackboard online learning platform; there are no required textbooks.

Do courses need to be taken in sequence?

No, courses can be taken in any sequence. It is recommended that students begin their course study with MKT-X810 Building Your Brand and Website Foundation. Recommended course schedules are available upon request, contact our team at

How long are the courses?

Each course is 4 weeks in duration. This program typically meets on-campus but it is currently being taught online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

I am unsure if I want to pursue a certificate, can I make a decision after a few courses?

Yes, all courses can be taken as standalone professional development courses. Once you are ready to declare yourself as a certificate track student, make sure to add the certificate fee to your cart or contact us at (619) 547-0172.

When should I pay for the certificate fee?

Students are encouraged to pay for the one-time $45 certificate fee upon enrolling in their first course.

Who can I contact to enroll?

Students can contact our Enrollment and Student Services, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (619) 547-0172.

Additional Details

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