Diploma in Search Engine Optimisation via Online Distance Learning

Enrolment date: 24 November 2017

Benefiting from over 30 years’ experience, this Online Diploma in Search Engine Optimisation course features:

  • Comprehensive modules covering all aspects of Search Engine Optimisation: Planning Your SEO Strategy, Keyword Generation, Adding Content and Meta Tags, Link Building, Measuring Your Results - Web Metrics, Factors That Might Adversely Affect Your SEO and many more. Additional modules on Social Media Marketing and Google AdWords are also included in this fast-paced practical course.
  • Interactive course expert support, advice and guidance from leading industry professionals. Always ready to help and answer any questions you might have throughout the course, all of our SEO course experts are top industry professionals with many years of successful experience. This online course contains the core and vital industry key skillset and, on completion, all of our students are industry-ready.
  • Real life SEO briefs. Our Diploma in Search Engine Optimisation offers practical and specific skills that can be applied in real world situations. You will gain exposure to invaluable toolkits and prepare a real life SEO project brief, which will enable you to improve your work portfolio.
  • Flexible online learning. Our Diploma in Search Engine Optimisation course can be completed in your own time, from the comfort of your own home, to suit your lifestyle. You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for one calendar year. However, you can complete the course in as little as 4-6 months, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.
  • SEO Jobs, Networking and Volunteer Opportunities. Benefiting from over 30 years of industry experience, Fitzwilliam Institute are extremely well placed within the industry. Employers are always looking for our students and alumni. Our website features a comprehensive jobs and volunteer opportunities section.

Search Engine Optimisation

1. Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

Why do you need to know about Search Engine Optimization?; A brief history of Search Engines; How people search the web; How do Search Engines actually work?; How is the information collected for Search Engines to use?; Algorithm Based Ranking Systems – Crawling, Indexing and Ranking; Web Crawlers, Spiders and Robots, ; Search Engine Query Interfaces; Understanding GoogleBot; Analysing Ranking Factors; Advanced Searching techniques; Determining Searcher Intent – Types of Searches; How people scan search results pages; How people click on search results; Organic Listings vs. Sponsored Listings; The Google Toolbar PageRank Tool; Vertical Search Engines; Country Specific Search Engines; Search Directories. Setting out your SEO Goals and Objectives; Outlining and Developing your SEO Plan; The importance of having a good SEO Plan prior to website development; Researching your potential audience; Finding your niche on the web; SEO for raw Traffic; SEO for E-Commerce sites; SEO for Branding; SEO for Direct marketing; SEO for Reputation Management; SEO for Ideological Influence.

2. Planning your SEO campaign

The importance of planning; The importance of site architecture; Defining your websites architecture; Technology decisions that can affect your SEO; Structural decisions that can affect your SEO; Auditing an existing site to identify and SEO problems; Server Hosting Issues – Server Timeouts, Slow Response Times, Blocked IP Addresses, Shared IP Addresses, Server geography; Who are your competitors?; Measuring your success – Server Statistics Software; Website SWOT Analysis

3. Keyword Generation

The importance of Keywords; Traditional Approaches to Keyword Research; Choosing Quality Keywords or “Trophy Words”; Understanding how Keywords are used; Selecting the right Keywords; Analysing your competition with Compete.com; Analysing your competition with SEODigger; Keyword Research Tools; Google’s Keyword Tools; The Google General Keyword Search Tool; The Google Crawler Keyword Search Tool; Keyword Research with KeyCompete; Using the Word Tracker keyword research tool; Researching, Analysing and Filtering your keywords with keyword Discovery; Other Keyword Research Tools; Determining Keyword Value; The Importance of Long-Tail keyword Search; White Hat and Black Hat SEO; Determining your potential Return On Investment (ROI); Deciding on your Quality Keywords.

4. Adding Content and Meta Tags

The importance of page content; Choosing the correct file names for web pages; Formatting your site with HTML; Formatting your site with CSS; Page Structure – adding emphasis with Heading Tags; Using Text Modifiers; Optimizing Images; Working with Forms and other page elements; Validating the page HTML; The Meta Description Tag; The Meta Title Tag; How Search Engine Spiders interpret Meta Tags; Configuring Meta Tags – The Keywords Meta Tag, The Title Meta Tag, The GoogleBot and the Robot Meta Tags, The Revisit Meta Tag, The Location Meta Tag, The Subject Meta Tag, The Author and Copyright Meta Tags, The Redirect Meta Tag; Adding your site to GeoURL.

5. Link Building

The importance of Link Building for SEO; How to get quality back links; Some definitions of link building; Link Building – how to start; Keyword Rich Anchor Text; Building Links from Different IP Addresses; Deep Link Building; Shallow Link Building; URL Canonicalization; The No-Follow Attribute – how to find and use the no-follow attribute on a web page; Link Juice and Page Rank – The PageRank Calculation, Using Effective Anchor Text; Link Exchange and Page Rank, Internal Links; Article Directory Submission; Requesting One Way Links; Purchasing Links; Search Directories; Content Generation; Creating and Distributing Content; Posting Content; Encouraging others to share your content; Link Building Resources and Tools.

6. Developing an SEO Friendly Website

Making your site accessible to Search Engines; Optimizing your site information architecture; The Importance of site maps; Creating a HTML sitemap; Creating an XML sitemap; Sitemap creation tools; Root Domains and Sub Domains; Optimizing Domain Names and URL’s; Structuring your URL’s correctly; Optimizing your website for multiple web browsers; The World Wide web – creating different language versions of your site; Keyword Targeting; Keyword Density; The Importance of HTML Tags in Keyword Targeting; Meta Tags and HTML Tags; Using Images and Flash files; Using the “Alt” Tag – the importance of Alternative Text; Content Optimization; Avoiding Content Duplication; Controlling Content with Cookies and Session ID’s; Specifying Content for Search Engines – The robots.txt file and the Rel=”NoFollow” attribute; protecting your site with a .htaccess file; Redirecting traffic with 301 ReDirects; Redirecting non-WWW traffic to WWW; Using Content Management Systems (CMS’s); Targeting your site for different countries; Targeting your site for Mobile Devices; Other considerations for your website.

7. Optimizing your site for Major Search Engines

Optimization for Google; Google PageRank; Google Webmaster Tools; iGoogle; Google Technical Suggestions; Google Content Suggestions; Optimizing for Yahoo, Bing, MSN and Microsoft Live; How Yahoo works; Bing Technical Suggestions; Bing Content Suggestions; Optimize Blog Posts for Technorati; Optimize your website for Delicious.com; Optimizing your images for Google Images; Increasing your exposure on Ask.com; Using Craigslist to drive traffic; Using Shopping Engines to drive traffic; Using eBay auctions; Using Amazon.com for drive sales.

8. Submitting your website URL to Search Engines

Submitting your site to Google; The Google Webmaster Central; Adding your site to Google Analytics; Submitting your site to Yahoo; Submitting your site to Bing; Bing’s Webmaster centre; Submitting your site to DMOZ; Submitting to Jayde for Business to Business websites; Submitting to Alexa; Submitting to the Librarians Internet Index (LII); Enlisting your URL and Company on Merchant Circle; Enlisting your URL on WhatUSeek; Submitting to National Directories; Website Submission Engines.

9. Local Business Listings

Adding a Local Business Listing to Google; Adding a Local Business Listing to Bing; Submitting your site to other Local Business Directories.

10. Sponsored Advertising

What is Sponsored Advertising?; Questions you should ask before setting up a Sponsored Advertising Campaign; Types of Sponsored Advertising; Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Pay-Per-Impression Advertising; Pay-Per-Action Advertising; The Google Factor; Google AdWords; Setting up an AdWords Account– Types of AdWords Accounts; Monitoring your campaigns; Managing your AdWords Account – Billing, Reporting; Writing Good AdWords Advertisements; Understanding the Importance of Good Landing Pages; Google AdSense; Setting up an AdSense Account; How to integrate AdSense into your website; Microsoft AdCentre; Setting up an Account; Managing your Account – Billing and Reports; The AdCentre Tools Tab; Click Fraud – Types of Click Fraud.

11. Measuring your results – Web Metrics

The Importance of Analysing your Web Traffic; Measuring Search Traffic; Knowing what Metrics are important for you; Using AWStats to track web traffic; Google Analytics; Integrating Google Analytics code in your website; The Google Analytics Keywords Report; Measuring the Bounce Rate and understanding its importance; Setting Goals in Google Analytics; Using Goals to measure ROI; Using Filters in Google Analytics– specifying your web metrics; Setting up and Customizing Reports in Google Analytics; Setting up and maintaining User Accounts in Google Analytics; Mobile Reporting in Google Analytics; Tips to help you utilize Google Analytics.

12. Factors that might adversely affect your SEO

Abnormal Keyword Delivery; SEO Spam; Using automatic linking software and websites; Doorway Pages; Meta Jacking; Keyword Stuffing; Page Cloaking; Link Farms; Spamblogs, Page Highjacking; Linking to bad sites and span sites; Using standard Titles and Meta Tags through your website; Spreading duplicate content throughout your site; Creating a site entirely in Flash; using Frames in your site; Understanding how search engines recognise Forms.

13. Working with SEO Plug-Ins

Introduction to SEO Plug-Ins; Installing the Google Toolbar; Installing the Alexa Toolbar; Using the SEO for Firefox Plug-In; Optimizing Titles with the WordPress Title Tag Plug-In; Optimizing Descriptions with the WordPress Description Tag Plug-In; Creating Sitemaps with the WordPress Sitemap Generator; Using the Permalink Redirect Plug-In; Building sitemaps using XML-Sitemaps.com; Creating sitemaps using Site Map Creator software.

14. Doing Business on the Internet

Doing Business on the Internet, The Benefits of Digital Marketing # Online Marketing Planning, Key Concepts in Internet Technology, Business Models on the Internet, Online Market Research.

15. Analysing the Web

Website Hits, Website Page View Analytics, Recording Online Visitor Statistics, Time of Visit to website, Keyword Phrase Used, IP Address Information, Website Arrival and Exit Pages, Logfile versus Page Tagging, Web Click Tracks and Google Analytics, Benefits of Web Analytics.

16. Promoting Your Website

Promoting your Website, Online Promotion Techniques, Web 2.0, Services & Applications, Email Marketing, Online Advertising.

17. The Google Factor

The Googe Factor, Google Analytics, Google Adwords,  Google AdSense. Where did it all begin? 

18. Social Network Marketing

What is Social Media?; A brief history of Social Media; How Social Media Works; Why should a business use Social Media; The power of Social Media in the Marketing and Advertising Arena; Introduction to Social Media Marketing Techniques; Understanding your audience; Social Network Platforms and Applications; Media Distribution; Establishing new categories of relationships with your customers; Accumulating Social Capital; The future of Social Networking.

19. How Social Media is transforming the way we do Business

Social Sales; Transforming the Sales Cycle; Building relationships with your customers; Using customer testimonials on your site; Building a rapport with your customers; Online customer support; Social Network Marketing; Hypertargeting; Creating specific advertising campaigns; Reaching Passive Buyers; Loyalty and Engagement; Social Networking Communities; Brand Advertising; Social Distribution; Social Ads; Viral Marketing; Challenges and Limitations; Social Innovation; Concept generation; Crowdsourcing; Collaboration and Feedback; Commercial Implementation; Continual Iteration; Social Recruiting; The use of Social Networks for recruiting; Sourcing Candidates; Active Candidates; Passive Candidates; Candidate References; Getting Referrals from Extended Networks; Targeting Specialized Networks; Employer Reputation; Keeping In Touch.

20. Facebook

What is Facebook; Who uses Facebook; How can Facebook benefit a business; Understanding the Facebook environment; Signing up for a Facebook account; Defining your profile; Editing your profile; Searching for and adding friends; Using the Facebook Wall feature; Using pictures on your Facebook profile; Using the News Feed feature; Controlling what people see – using the Hide feature; Facebook Messaging; Facebook Groups; Facebook Links; Facebook Applications; Browsing for Applications; Including Business Applications; Finding Help – the Facebook Community; The Architecture of a Facebook Page; Understanding Facebook Advertising; Developing a Facebook Marketing Plan; Facebook Groups, Hosting Facebook Events; Case Study Sites.

21. Twitter

Introduction to Twitter; Understanding a Tweet; Decoding the elements of a Tweet; Signing up for a Twitter account; Creating and modifying your profile; Adding a profile icon; Finding people and uploading contacts; Following someone on Twitter; Adding followers to your account; Using Twitter Badges; Creating a Tweet; Working within the constraints of a Tweet – getting your message out in 140 characters or less; Re-tweeting; Sharing Links – Using TinyURL.com; Using Twitter with Mobile Devices; Using Twitter Goodies; Adding Twitter to Blogs; Connecting Twitter to Facebook, Direct Messages; Planning your Twitter Marketing Strategy; Building a Twitter Tribe; Case Study Sites.

22. YouTube

Introduction to YouTube; Understanding YouTube; Browsing on YouTube; YouTube as a social media site; YouTube as a business tool; YouTube as an educational tool; Creating a YouTube account; Linking to your Gmail account; Creating a video for YouTube; Using Open Source Video Editing Software; Adding voiceovers, soundtracks and special effects to your videos; Formatting Videos for Uploading; Uploading Videos to YouTube; Downloading videos from YouTube; Linking and Embedding videos in your own website; Posting comments on other peoples videos; Comparing YouTube and Facebook; Sharing Videos with Facebook; Sharing Videos with Twitter; Case Study Sites

23. The Theory of E-Commerce

What is e-commerce?; Definitions; Advantages of e-commerce; Limitations of e-commerce; The 1st and 2nd waves of e-commerce; Categories of e-commerce; Methods of accepting payments online; Working with PayPal; Electronic Wallets; Metered Payments; Off the shelf e-commerce solutions.


24. Ecommerce Practical: HTML and CSS

What is HTML?; Why HTML is important. What is CSS?; How does CSS work?; The three types of Cascading Style Sheets – In-Line CSS, Internal CSS and External CSS; Examples of formatting using CSS; Linking a web page to an external CSS page; Formatting the page with CSS; Font and Text formatting; Working with Links.

26. Online Public Relations

Internet influence on News, Internet Journalists, Economics of Online News Production, Internet Critics and other influences, the PR Practitioner as an Online Publisher, Ethical Internet PR, Truthfulness and Duty of Care, Online Ethics, Debate, Guidelines and Best Practice.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Media Discourse, Trends and Value. Policy Influences, corporate speak. Implications of Social Media for Corporate Social Responsibility. Local versus Global Communication, Landscaping Platforms, Channels and context, Online PR Organisational Analysis and Segmentation, Developing Online PR Strategies, Online PR Tactics and SEO considerations, Online PR Planning, Managing Online PR Risk and Opportunities.Blogs, Microblogs, Chatrooms, Delicious, Email, Flickr, Twitter, Instant messaging, Message Boards, Mobile Internet , New Media Releases, Online Conferencing, Online Surveys, Pay per click, Podcasts, RSS, Search Engines, SEO, Social Networking Service Sites, Video Sharing, Virtual worlds, VoIP, Wiki and Widgets. Commercial Implications of the Internet, Social Interaction with the Internet, Web 2.0 and its Implications, Internet Convergence, the Network Effect, Internet Information Exchange, Internet Audience Size and Exposure, Internet Culture and Communication, Transparency and the Internet.

27. Setting Up and Marketing your own Consultancy

The Business Plan, Legalities, Setting up Your own Consultancy, Marketing Strategy, Knowing your competitors, Promotional Mathods, Marketing your own Consultancy. 

28. Presentation Skills

Preparation and Research; Speech Content; Subject Matter and Objectives; Speech Delivery and Variety; Body Language, Eye Contact, etc.; Presentation Aids e.g. Visuals, etc.; Management of Locations and Audiences; Presentation Structure. 

SEO Campaign Project

The project is an important part of the course. Each course participant is given the project brief. Participants are asked at the end of the course to produce an SEO campaign proposal with their recommendations to their subject expert. This gives participants the opportunity to use the knowledge they have obtained during the course in a focused way and develops pitching skills.

Methods of Training

Online Lecture Modules, Subject Expert Feedback Sessions after each Module, practical case studies, end of module assignments. etc.

Subject Experts

The Institute maintains a panel of Subject Experts.

Who Should Apply

Anyone interested in developing skills or a career in this area. Early application is advisable as places are booking up fast.


Successful candidates qualify for the Diploma in Search Engine Optimisation (Dip. SEO). The Diploma is awarded at Distinction, Credit or Pass level.

On successful completion of this course you will receive a Diploma level qualification that is certified and awarded by the ICM (Institute of Commercial Management)

The Institute of Commercial Management was founded in 1979 and is one of the leading Professional Examination and Certification Bodies in the world today. Fitzwilliam Institute have developed and provided practical skills training courses in liaison with the Institute of Commercial Management qualifications and certifications framework for over 25 years. The Institute of Commercial Management certifications and continual professional development training awards are recognised throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Asia in a total of 140 countries, by leading industries, bodies and professions.

next start date: 24th November 2017

Duration: You will have full access to online resources and subject expert support for one calendar year. However, you can complete the course in as little as 4 - 6 months, by dedicating 6-8 hours of study per week.

Course Fees: 995.00 EUR

To secure your place on the course the full fee is required. All fees must be paid in full before the course begins. Please note, the full course fees are inclusive of all course materials and certification costs.

Enrolment intake is strictly limited on this course. Early application is advised. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Fitzwilliam Institute closes on Bank Holidays and for a number of days at Christmas and New Year. Fitzwilliam Institute reserves the right to postpone, cancel or alter courses without notice or to change any of the details in this brochure. Fees are not refundable unless the course is cancelled by Fitzwilliam Institute. Distance Learning courses are provided by Fitzwilliam Institute BGLS Ltd.

Year on year, we have the pleasure of training students from top Ireland and international companies. See where our most recent students come from and find out what they have to say.