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Search Engine Optimisation on a Shoestring

Craft a robust SEO strategy to improve the online presence of your business.

Key details
Course duration
6 weeks

Course overview

This online SEO short course has been designed specifically for people working in small or medium sized businesses looking to leverage the power of SEO for business growth.  

Whether you are currently leading the SEO strategy within your company or are supporting on day-to-day digital marketing activities as part of a wider role, this SEO online course will give you the confidence to implement practical, actionable SEO activities with whatever time and budget you have available.  

Co-developed by experienced subject specialists and embedded in Falmouth University’s renowned creative and industry-focused environment, you will gain the contemporary knowledge and skills required to excel in the world of SEO. 

You will:

  • Build a strong awareness of the key principles of SEO 
  • Critically assess, review and amend aspects of your business’ online presence  
  • Explore the tools available to improve your understanding of SEO 
  • Learn how to implement practical SEO tactics to help your business achieve its objectives  
  • Develop an SEO strategy tailored specifically to your own business 
  • Build confidence in your digital marketing abilities  

This course is not currently recruiting. You can register your interest for future intakes of our online short courses by clicking the button and filling in the form.

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Course details

This six-week short course will improve your understanding of SEO principles, equipping you to lead on or contribute to the SEO strategy within the small/medium sized business (SME) in which you are currently employed.  

In the first session, you will learn the basics of SEO and how it can help your business to thrive. Continuing the course, you will get to grips with the end users in your business; understand their journey and ways you can increase website conversions. You will then explore some of the key SEO tools and activities you can use to improve the online presence of your business touching on technical, on-page and off-page SEO, before pulling everything together into an impactful and actionable SEO strategy.  

You will finish the course with a greater confidence in your theoretical and practical knowledge of SEO, helping you feel empowered to run activities and lead the SEO strategy within your current place of employment.  

Weekly topics

In the introductory week you will explore what SEO means and how it can generate business. You will look at your business’ content management system (CMS) and understand any SEO restrictions that may exist. You will assess the foundation and health of your business’ website, before defining your roles and responsibilities.

In the second week you will question who you are trying to attract to your website and what their user journeys look like. You will look at user intent and SEO-centric customer personas, understanding what information they need to convert them into a customer.  

After learning how to find key phrases that match customer intent, you will then identify which key phrases are best to target for your business, and what free or affordable tools can help with this analysis. You will also learn how to carry out basic competitor research and use this to influence your own content. 

This session will cover content in all its facets: how to write the right content for your customers’ intent, recycling content to improve efficiencies and how to create an optimised content strategy - a vital part of any on-page SEO activity.  

You will build on your knowledge of SEO methods, looking at additional off-page and technical SEO activities that can be integrated into a strategy. This will include local SEO (understanding how to utilise Google My Business/Google Business Profile), link building and a variety of technical SEO activities. 

The final session will focus on creating a long-term SEO strategy, analysing your past work and creating actionable ways to improve performance of your business’ digital platforms.   

Course structures and specific weekly sessions can change as part of our course enhancement and review processes. If a certain session is important to you, please discuss it with our team: shortcourses@falmouth.ac.uk. 

How you'll learn

Studying online is the ideal option for those looking for flexibility while elevating their career prospects. Our online short courses have been designed from the outset to be delivered online, meaning they're crafted specifically for you to study remotely. 

You'll spend approximately four hours a week completing your studies. This may include: 

  • Reviewing all core lecture content and sharing your reflections on the topics discussed 
  • Reading and responding to discussions and challenge activities 
  • Completing required reading 
  • Attending weekly webinars with your tutor and peers (or watching the recording if you can't attend) 
  • Asking questions and sharing your thoughts with your tutors and peers 
  • Completing quizzes to test your knowledge 

Through a combination of these teaching methods, you will be encouraged to push yourself, explore professional skills and develop expertise to take back into industry. 

You will access all materials via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you will find all key documentation and any course announcements.  

You'll be supported by your tutor, who will deliver weekly webinars and facilitate the online forums.  

How you'll be assessed

This course will culminate in a multiple-choice quiz to test your learning and understanding. The quiz is taken and submitted online at the end of the course and certification will be presented upon successful completion of the quiz (70% pass rate).  

The quiz can be attempted as many times as required within a 30-day access period following completion of week 6 of the course. You will still be able to access your learning materials during this time to support completion of the quiz. 

Please note, this course does not offer university credits but successful participants will be awarded a certificate of completion alongside building key skills for the workplace. 


Our subject matter experts, who have developed and will deliver the course, have real-life experience of working within industry as well as experience of teaching. They are supportive and committed to helping you to develop digital competencies, and bring understanding of a range of modes of practice that specifically relate to SMEs. 


The following resources are available to participants enrolled on our online short courses: 

  • Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)  
  • 24/7 support using Learn available through the VLE 
  • An online learning community  
  • Accessible online audio/visual content   
  • Optional weekly webinars 
  • Support via your online tutor for all course-related and academic queries.  
  • You can also contact our shortcourses@falmouth.ac.uk email if you require any support with any other aspects of your studies.  

How to apply

Eligibility criteria

Participants must be employed by a registered UK SME (small/medium enterprise) with fewer than 250 employees, and annual turnover that does not exceed €50 million (approx. £40 million).

Participants must be 18 years’ old or over to apply for this course. 

This course is taught in English. Participants will need a conversational proficiency in written and verbal English to get the most from this course. 

The company the participant is employed by must not have exceeded €200,000 in De Minimis aid in the last three fiscal calendar years.* 

*What is State Aid and De Minimis?
State Aid refers to forms of assistance from a public body, or publicly-funded body, given to organisations and businesses. Under the ‘De Minimis’ exemption businesses can receive up to €200,000 or equivalent of aid in a rolling 3 year period. If your company is close to exceeding this figure, please contact us to discuss the value of the courses and eligibility. Further information can be found here. 

Fees, costs & funding

Total course fee

  • £50 +VAT per learner per course for a Cornish SME (confirmed via eligibility check). 
  • £195 +VAT per learner per course for a SME based outside Cornwall. 

You will be required to pay the course fee in full upon receiving confirmation of your place to study on the course. You will be sent a link to make the payment online. Full instructions will be available on how to make the payment.

Typical course costs

You will need access to a laptop/desktop computer. It is an essential piece of equipment that you will need right from the start of the course.  

Our Virtual Learning Environment, Learn, only requires an operating system that can run the latest compatible web browsers. Your computer operating system should be kept up to date with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades. 

We recommend one with as fast a processor as you can afford (8GB of RAM minimum) and a reasonably sized screen (13" minimum, 15" is optimum), plus the following minimum computer specifications: 


  • Windows 10 
  • At least an i7 processor 
  • No less than 8-16 GB Ram  
  • Graphics Card (nVidia 1080 minimum, not Intel Iris integrated graphics) with at least 2GB  
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum  
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this) 

Apple MacBook: 

  • Mac OS 10.15 or newer 
  • At least an i7 processor 
  • No less than 8-16GB Ram  
  • Graphics Card 
  • 256GB hard drive space minimum  
  • 1920 x 1080 display resolution or higher (most displays offer a higher resolution than this) 
  • A dongle to plug additional resources into the laptop is also required for all modern MacBooks 

16 -32 GB memory stick so you can back up your work regularly (approx. £10-20) 

Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments. It is recommended to have a minimum Internet speed of 512kbps. 

Have a question about our courses?

You can get in touch with us easily using our online form. Click the button to fill out the form and we'll come back to answer your queries and help you choose the right short course for you.

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