Principles of SEO and Onsite Optimization

1 Units
Blackboard/Zoom, Main Campus
Classroom, Online Fixed-Date

Course Description

Understand How Search Engines Work

This practical Search Engine Optimization (SEO), course is designed to give students a foundational understanding of 'onsite'  (SEO). Students will learn how search engines work, the principles behind search engine algorithms and how those algorithms should directly impact your website design process, website layout and onpage keyword usage. Upon course completion, students will not only be familiar with these concepts but also how to directly implement onsite SEO modifications and apply overall best practices when optimizing a website.

Course Details

Number of Units: 1.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This continuing education course is intended for professionals seeking expand digital marketing skills. Students will obtain the analytical tools to increase brand awareness of company or organization, sales and online customer engagement through content creation strategy.

Course Materials: All materials shared via Blackboard

Remote Learning: The safety of our community is our top priority and we believe that extending remote teaching to support social distancing efforts is the best decision at this time. USD has created a dedicated COVID-19 website to serve as the first stop for the USD community for information. Visit the University’s COVID-19 website ( for the most current information for the USD community.



Course Options

Course Date Units Price

What You Will Learn

  • Learn the fundamentals of ‘local’ SEO and to execute some basic local SEO tactics and techniques on a geo-targeted website
  • Locate, create, customize, optimize and upload XML sitemaps & robots txt files
  • Optimize and implement 301 redirects and understand best practices for page and/or site redirection
  • Write optimized website URLs, title tags and meta descriptions
  • Manage and/or execute a complete keyword research process from start to finish as well as evaluate competitor's keyword and strategies
  • Understand the fundamentals behind website conversion rate optimization (CRO) and offer basic suggestions for CRO improvement
  • Use and/or evaluate various tools, plugins and the like for executing many of the tasks outlined above


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

PCE nurtures key partnerships on the local, national and international level to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers, as well as with their employers to help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

Informative Stats and Facts


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Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.


These on-campus courses are offered in a traditional classroom where you can connect with your instructor and classmates in a live setting. This learning environment facilitates communication in real time, enables immediate feedback and fosters face-to-face interaction with the instructor and classmates. Classroom courses have a scheduled start and finish date, and students are expected to attend all course sessions.

Online Fixed-Date

Online Fixed-Date: Online fixed-date courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that enables you to collaborate with your instructor and other students in a shared, online learning environment. These courses have fixed start and finish dates, but as an online student you will have 24/7 online access to your classroom assignments, syllabus and course resources. Our online fixed-date courses allow you to work on your assignments anytime, although you are required to complete the assignments by specific dates.

How is the learning structured? In an online fixed-date course, you and your classmates will proceed through the curriculum together, collaborating in a shared learning experience. Each online fixed-date course is asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime, although required to complete the assignments by specific dates. The course is designed with learning modules where all of the content is grouped into weekly assignments. Each module covers one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments with due dates (which may include: written assignments, journal entries, research, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Discussion forum where you answer prompts from the instructor and interact with your classmates.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.


I was very impressed with all the classes and especially the instructors. They took a personal approach to our learning and openly shared their vast experience in the specific field they taught. The only issue I, the other students and the instructors is that the classes were longer. They said there was so much more to share and more depth in what they taught.