Skip Navigation

WEBD323 - Search Engine Optimization

Course Details

Course Code: WEBD323 Course ID: 4395 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course introduces concepts and strategies for successful search engine optimization (SEO). It examines different kinds of searches including image searches, local searches, and industry-specific vertical search engines. Additional topics such as link building, site structure improvements, conversation tracking, research and development keyword strategic development, and understanding barriers of search engine optimization are addressed for the purpose of increasing a website's relevance and to determine how people search for products and services.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define search engine optimization in respect to how search engines work, marketing, keywords research, and other search tools and services.
  • Explain search engine optimization in respect to targeting, using keywords, and using landing pages to maximize pay-per-click campaigns.
  • Apply search engine optimization techniques in respect to pay-per-click activities online.
  • Describe how search engines work and the essential strategies affiliated with search engine optimization.
  • Contrast search engines with search directories.
  • Apply research on search engine optimization and how to increase website traffic generated by search engines to the creation of a Search Engine Optimization Plan for a final project.

This course requires disciplined independent practice and individual completion of assignments. Although Distance Learning provides you with a flexible schedule to meet your professional, personal, and academic responsibilities, you are expected to follow the syllabus and submit assignments on time and on schedule. Assignments, quizzes, and initial forum posts may be submitted up to one week late, but will lose 5 points per day late. Follow-up posts will not receive any credit if posted after the due date. After one week past the due date, assignments, quizzes, and forum posts may not be submitted for credit. All work must be submitted by the end of the class session. No assignments will be accepted after the class end date.

Reading Assignments

Each week, you will be assigned chapters from the class textbook to read. You will be evaluated on your understanding of the material in your readings through your forum contributions, assignments, quizzes, and final project. In order to grasp the weekly course objectives and participate fully in the discussions, it is highly recommended that you read each week’s assigned reading chapters before participating in the week’s forum discussion, taking your quizzes, and completing your weekly assignments.

Supplemental Readings

Students are encouraged to research weekly topics on the Internet and use their research findings in their forum posts and weekly assignments to support their points.

Forum Participation

Each week you will be expected to participate in a class discussion on the forum. Each week’s discussion questions can be found on the forum itself. Each one of you will have different and unique experiences and points of view related to the topics that we are learning each week, and we can all learn from each other by sharing our thoughts and ideas together on the forum. Your participation in the forums unleashes the power of synergy in our classroom. To facilitate this interaction, please be prompt when posting your forum work for each week, allowing time for the others to actively engage in the dialogue.

Forum Timing: Although the due date for both your initial post, with your answers to the week’s questions, and your two follow-up posts is 11:55 PM ET on Sunday, you are encouraged to post your initial post no later than Thursday, to allow time for your classmates to read and reply to your post. Be sure to read all of the follow-up posts to your own posts and reply to any questions or requests for clarification. You are encouraged to conduct research and use other sources to support your answers.

Forum Guidelines:

  • Try to post your initial response to each forum by 11:55 PM ET on Thursday each week.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 250 words.
  • Do not include my questions or discussion prompts in your post. You may number your answers, but your post should contain only your own original writing.
  • Write in complete sentences and full paragraphs and avoid using lists of any kind in your posts.
  • Your initial post must be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Include your own personal experience related to the topic being discussed. If you do not have experience with implementing search engine optimization, describe your experiences using search engines that employ the techniques and technologies we are learning about.
  • Write in your own words and avoid copying and pasting from other websites.
  • If you do quote from a source, keep quotations to a minimum – I would rather see you express your own understanding of what you learned from your sources, in your own words.
  • Include a citation at the bottom of your post, indicating the source(s) you consulted in your personal research into the topic being discussed each week.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55 PM ET on Sunday each week.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 150 words each.
  • For practical reasons, when you respond to other learners’ posts, please start your response by referencing their name.
  • Responses to classmates must be significant in content, to advance the discussion forward. Your responses should add additional insight to the discussion or challenge your classmates’ opinions.
  • You are encouraged to log into the classroom several times each week to participate in the class discussion on the forum.
  • Refer to the forum and the Rubric for Grading Forum Posts below for more details on grading. Forum postings are a significant part of your grade and I will be looking for quality and depth in your participation in the weekly forum discussions.


There will be three quizzes in this course, during weeks 3, 5, and 8. The quizzes are multiple-choice and are untimed. However, you may only take each quiz one time, so take your time and be certain of each answer before proceeding to the next question. It is presumed that you have completed and understood all assigned readings up though the week of the quiz you are taking, before you being the quiz.


You will have written assignments due each week. They will consist mostly of questions designed to test your understanding and comprehension of the material you have learned from your textbook readings and independent research each week. Detailed instructions for each weekly assignment can be found in the Assignments area of the classroom.

Final Project

You will have a Final Project (Search Engine Optimization Plan) due at the end of Week 8. Detailed instructions for the final project can be found in the Assignments area of the classroom.

Standards for Original Work:

All work submitted must be original work. Incidents of academic dishonesty will result in you failing the assignment, and repeat incidents will result in failing the course. I check forum posts and assignments regularly for incidents of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Please read and understand the University policy on academic dishonesty (Plagiarism Policy). When writing about ideas learned from your sources, you must summarize the ideas in your own words (rather than using direct quotations from your sources). Be sure to provide appropriate citations and references on your forum posts and assignments to give credit to your sources for the ideas you are paraphrasing and writing about, even though you will not be directly quoting from your sources.

NameGrade %
Forums 30.00 %
Week 1 Forum 5.00 %
Week 2 Forum 5.00 %
Week 3 Forum 5.00 %
Week 5 Forum 5.00 %
Week 6 Forum 5.00 %
Week 7 Forum 5.00 %
Semester Project 20.00 %
Week 8 Semester Project 20.00 %
Assignments 50.00 %
Week 2 Assignment 8.33 %
Week 3 Assignment 8.33 %
Week 4 Assignment 8.33 %
Week 5 Assignment 8.33 %
Week 6 Assignment 8.33 %
Week 7 Assignment 8.33 %

Additional references are found in the Lessons area of the classroom, embedded in the weekly lessons.

Book Title:SEO For Dummies 7th ed. - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Wiley Lib
Author:Kent, Peter
Unit Cost:$29.99

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.