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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Specialized Certificate


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About the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Program

An effective SEO strategy is critical for entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations seeking to increase their online visibility, brand awareness, content consumption, and sales. The Specialized Certificate in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) provides thorough training in SEO strategy, keyword research, SEO tools, website metrics, and SEO best practices. Learn how to optimize a website’s architecture, conduct search-focused website audits, and increase your website ranking on search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You will explore a range of tools and valuable resources from practicing industry experts.

For more information: Contact Maurice Nelson at 858-246-5837 or

  • How search engines work, what they are looking for, and what components lead to higher rankings.
  • On-Page SEO skills: the importance of copywriting, content expansion, competitive analysis.
  • Technical SEO skills: site audits, redirects and site migration, internal linking, and structured markup.
  • Off-page and advanced SEO skills: how to optimize website architecture, content themes and diversity, backlink building, and local rankings.
  • How to write SEO optimized copy and content focused on user intent.
  • The tools and approaches used to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of SEO efforts.
  • Hands-on experience resulting in a portfolio of project-based work that can be shared with a current or potential employer or client.
  • Anyone interested in a rewarding career in the multidisciplinary field of digital marketing.
  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to increase website visibility and sales.
  • Entrepreneurial marketers, web designers, and web developers interested in offering SEO services or providing improved performance.
  • Entry-level Marketing professionals seeking new skills or advancement.
  • Mid-level marketing professionals seeking to modernize their skill set or contribute to a successful SEO plan.
  • High-level marketing professionals looking to strengthen their marketing strategy and organic search performance.
  • Copywriters looking to include SEO best practices or advance their writing career.
Format: Online

Online options vary by quarter.

Estimated Cost: $2,895

Cost may vary due to elective course selection.

Duration: 6-12 Months

Varies by student and courses taken per quarter.

Business, Professional & Legal Programs


Delivery Method
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  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
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Industry Certification

In addition to our certificate, the elective: Google Analytics Certification Preparation covers the skills needed to successfully complete the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ).

Conditions for Admission

UC San Diego Extension programs are designed to best serve college-prepared working professionals. Although programs are open to all adult learners, where program capacity is limited, applicants with this profile will receive preference for admission.

Advisory Board

Ross Briggs

Director of SEO

Red Door Interactive

Caleb Chao

Senior Search Marketing Strategist


Nicole Grodesky

Director of SEO

Lewis Global Communications

Emily Paulson

Senior Digital Content & SEO Strategist


James Thompson

Director of Etail


Kenneth Wilbur, M.A., Ph.D

Assistant Professor, UCSD Rady School of Management

UC San Diego

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There is no fee when applying to this program. Students will be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance.