SMD103 - Search Engine Strategies

School of Marketing and Advertising, Fall - 2015

Subject Title Search Engine Strategies

Subject Description Search Engine Marketing (SEM), including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is part of an integrated marketing communications strategy.  This subject will look at the purpose of a search engine, how SEO can help organizations improve search engine rankings, PPC tools and techniques.

Credit Status SMD103 is a compulsory credit subject for students in the Social Media Communication Graduate Certificate. It is a pre-requisite for the remaining courses of the Social Media Program.

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

1. Describe the search engine business model to guide tactical decisions around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click).
2. Apply On-Page and Off-Page techniques to develop or increase search visibility and website traffic.
3. Construct a keyword research and analysis methodology for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click).
4. Advocate the use of white hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices to maintain organizational integrity.
5. Use online advertising techniques as part of a search engine marketing strategy.

Essential Employability Skills Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.
Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.
Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Academic Integrity Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

Discrimination/Harassment 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 Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Prerequisite(s) None. 

Topic Outline

Content Outline by Topic
1. What is SEM, SEO and PPC?
2. How organizations are using search engines to achieve marketing objectives
3. Search marketing techniques
4. White hat vs. black hat SEO
5. Using Search for brand awareness, leads and sales
6. Keywords and Creative
7. Research and Ranking Tools
8. Driving traffic through PPC
9. Budgeting and controlling PPC costs
10. Steps in developing a Search Engine Marketing Plan

Mode of Instruction A variety of instructional modes may be used. These could include, but are not limited to: lectures, independent study, class workshops, labs, guest speakers, cooperative learning, team and independent assignments or projects.

Prescribed Texts None. 

Reference Material

There are no prescribed texts. A list of required readings from online articles, book excerpts and blog posts will be posted and updated throughout the semester
Digital news sources (ex. Mashable; Social Media Examiner; Social Media Today, Fast Company); business periodicals (ex. Marketing Magazine); industry websites; and blogs/discussion forums are valuable resources and can (and should) be referenced in blog posts and group discussions. 

Student Progression and 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




Formative Assessment (Use and Application of Tools)


(LO 2-3)

Summative Assessment

(Presentation – YouTube etc.)


(LO 4-5)

Final Summative Assessment 

(Case Study/Final Exam)


(LO 1-5)




Approved by: Margaret Osborne
Last revision date: Sep 16, 2015 11:37:08 AM
Last review date: Sep 16, 2015 11:37:08 AM