SEO200 - Search Engine Optimization Principles

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 12:00:59.27
Last review date 2018-07-20 12:01:27.758

Subject Title
Search Engine Optimization Principles

Subject Description
Students learn to improve search engine ranking by incorporating best practices in content creation in conjunction with the application of analytical and developmental tools including Google Analytics and Google?s Keyword Tool. Semantic page markup, micro-formatting and URL strategies are also covered to support the SEO analysis.

Credit Status
1 full credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1.     Define a target market’s persona as the foundation of an SEO strategy.
2.     Demonstrate proficiency in the practical application of Google and Bing webmaster tools, along with Google Analytics as a means to identify SEO challenges and opportunities.
3.     Develop a keyword research plan using tools such as the Google Keyword Tool to gain precision with which to target a given market.
4.     Optimize site content (text, image, video, audio) for quality, relevance and keyword compatibility, along with reconciling end-user and search engine expectations to ensure the highest possible ranking.
5.     Code semantically using HTML5 markup, micro-formatting, canonical URLs, site mapping and other relevant metadata to efficiently support the site’s content.
6.     Devise legitimate link building strategies to maximize site ranking.
7.     Contrast local verses international SEO approaches used in addressing the geographic aspect of a business’ search-ability goals.
8.     Review Content Management System SEO plugin features, benefits and configuration options to establish suitability in meeting SEO objectives.
9.     Evaluate ongoing site performance using tools including Google Analytics, WebTrends and Coremetrics as a means of continuously improving on SEO.
10.  Discuss prospective trends in SEO algorithm evolution for consideration in an ongoing SEO program.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Overview of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
·       What is search engine optimization?
·       Understanding parameters that define a target market.
·       Establishing SEO goals from a business perspective.
·       Introduction to SEO concepts including an overview of the role of online tools.
Keywords and Phrases
·       Research keywords using tools such as, Wordtracker, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and Bing Keyword tool.
·       Best practices in selecting keywords to improve search engine rankings.
Creating Pages
·       Choosing optimal filenames.
·       Optimize title tags, meta description tags, meta keyword tags.
·       Create a meta robots tag.
·       Use text modifiers.
·       Optimize images, video and audio.
·       Create SEO enhanced links.
Website Structure
·       Learn Site map design.
·       Create a robots.txt file.
·       Specify a Canonical page.
·       Structure URLs.
·       Explore Site Redirects.
Creating SEO-Friendly Content
·       Audience based content creation.
·       Optimizing keyword density.
·       Semantic content.
·       Optimize non-HTML materials.
SEO and Content Management Systems (CMS)
·       Overview of blogging platforms in the context of SEO.
·       Content marketing and SEO empowered blogging.
·       Using the Yoast plugin for Wordpress.
Link Building
·       Evaluating the competition.
·       Developing strategic linking partnerships.
·       Link research using Open Site Explorer.
Google Analytics
·       How to effectively use a Google Analytics account.
·       Using Tracking Code.
·       Setting and meeting conversion goals.
·       Invoking Inclusion and Exclusion parameters.
·       Report generation and analysis.
·       SEO considerations for search engines other than Google and Bing.

Mode of Instruction
The primary mode of learning is through classroom lecture and instruction, and hands on labs. Additional modes of instruction include class discussion, lecture and question and answer period.

Prescribed Texts
Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing
Kristopher B. Jones
ISBN-10: 1118551745  /  ISBN-13: 978-1118551745

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Project 1 30%
Project 2 30%
Final Project 40%

This subject is part of the Search Engine Optimization Analyst, Certificate Program. Those students choosing to pursue their Search Engine Optimization Analyst Certificate are required to complete assessment(s). The passing grade for each course is 50%.

Approved by: Denis Gravelle