Frequently Asked Questions

 

Got a question about our courses or our College? Scroll down to find the answers below:

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QUESTIONS

 

Enrollment / Subscription

1. How do I enroll in a course / courses?

2. I have some knowledge of search engine optimization already and I’m not sure if I need to enroll in your SEO Starter or Advanced course. How do I decide?

3. What’s the difference between Standard Subscription and the Certification Upgrade?

 

Billing / Payment

4. How much are your courses?

5. I don’t live in the United States. Can you tell me how much the courses are in my own currency?

6. Can I pay for my course in my own currency?

7. We have five (or more) people from the same company wanting to sign up for a subscription. Are we entitled to a bulk discount?

8. How do I change the credit card or payment method associated with my subscription?

9. Are my credit card details safe with you? Do you offer secure transaction ability?

10. Is there a cost to purchase the Moodle Course Management Software?

11. Are there any other costs associated with the program other than the course fees?

12. My company requires a purchase order or invoice before I enroll as they’ve told me a 2Checkout receipt is not enough. Can you provide this?

 

Cancellations / Refunds 

13. How do I cancel my subscription?

14. What is your refund policy? Can I get a refund if I cancel my subscription? What if I’ve already started the course?

 

Access / Usage

15. How do I login to my course?

16. How many hours per week will I need to allow when taking one of your courses?

17. What day/time of the week are lessons held for the tutor-supervised courses? How will this work for students in different time-zones?

18. I have just enrolled and paid for my subscription, so why haven’t I been sent my instructions for accessing it?

19. I’ve created a student login account but when I login I don’t see how to register for a course. It keeps asking me for an enrollment key.

20. Am I able to contact other students in my course?

21. Is it recommended to do only one course at a particular time or can you two or more at once?

 

Completion / Certification

22. Will you help me find a job in the search engine marketing industry after completing a course?

23. Is there a minimum grade required to pass the courses and qualify for SEC Certification?

24. What sort of certification do you offer students who complete your courses?

25. I’ve completed the course but I have questions about my site/campaign. Can I contact my tutor for advice?

26. I’ve completed my course but I haven’t received certification. What should I do?

27. Can I still receive certification if I live outside of the US?

28. I started my subscription a few months ago but now want to take Certification for some completed units. Is this possible?

 

General

29. Is there any way I can review the quality of your lesson material prior to purchasing a course?

30. What software do you use for your courses?

31. How qualified are your tutors to teach these subjects?

32. Do you need to know HTML to complete an SEO course?

33. Can we use our web sites as case studies during the courses?

34. Are the courses that you offer recognized by any industry body or academic institution?

35. Do you update the lesson material regularly? How can I access the updates?

36. I have a discount offer / coupon for my first month of study. Can I use that and then cancel before the next payment date and use it again if I sign up for more study later?

 

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ANSWERS

 

Enrollment / Subscription

1. How do I enroll in a course / courses?

To enroll in any or all of our online courses, simply sign up for a Search Engine College subscription via the big Join Now button (at the top and bottom of this page). Becoming a subscription member gives you access to our entire curriculum of courses.

Within an hour of your payment being processed you will receive your course enrollment key via email and instructions for accessing the course material. If you’re still having problems enrolling, please contact us.

 

2. I have some knowledge of search engine optimization already and I’m not sure if I need to enroll in your SEO Starter or Advanced course. How do I decide?

You don’t need to decide! Your monthly subscription gives you access to ALL our courses, including both SEO Starter and SEO Advanced courses. You can review the SEO Starter lesson material and/or decide if you wish to take the final exam and/or switch quickly to SEO Advanced, depending on your existing knowledge level.

 

3. What’s the difference between Standard Subscription and the Certification Upgrade?

Students are able to take all courses via our standard subscription model. With a certification upgrade, a tutor is assigned to guide students through the material and review their assignments. Students who want to receive industry-recognized SEC Certification for a particular subject must take the Certification version of a course under tutor-supervision.

Students who take a course under tutor-supervision must receive at least a 70 percent average pass on their assessment items (including lesson review quizzes, assignments and a final exam). Students must pass all assessment items to the satisfaction of their tutor in order to qualify for SEC Certification. Students who take the course via standard subscription (self-study) do not receive tutor-supervision, do not submit assignments and do not qualify for SEC Certification.

The biggest difference between our online course styles is the industry certification, as well as the tutor-graded assignments and one-on-one guidance you get from tutor-led certification courses. Taking the subscription-only option means that courses are fully self-guided without feedback from tutors (apart from feedback provided within quizzes and final exam). We offer two course styles to give students the ability to choose the learning style that suits them best.

To learn more about the differences between our standard Subscription and Subscription plus Certification upgrade option, please see our Benefits Comparison Table.

 

Billing / Payment

4. How much are your courses?

We no longer sell our courses separately. For a monthly subscription of USD 99, you can now have access to our entire curriculum of courses.

 

5. I don’t live in the United States. Can you tell me how much the courses are in my own currency?

To convert the cost of Search Engine College courses into your own currency, simply use the drop-down currency convertor within the shopping cart to choose your local currency and the pricing should automatically adjust in your cart. If you are paying via PayPal, they have a built-in currency converter you can use during the payment process.

 

6. Can I pay for my course in my own currency?

Certainly. When you visit our secure Swipe HQ and 2Checkout Shopping Carts, your IP address should tell the system what country you are in and show our course fees in the most appropriate currency. If they are not in the currency you want to use, click on the appropriate currency drop-down menu in the shopping cart to change your currency. Alternatively, you can pay with PayPal via the 2Checkout shopping cart.

 

7. We have five (or more) people from the same company wanting to sign up for a subscription. Are we entitled to a bulk discount?

Absolutely. Companies that sign up five or more staff for subscription membership are entitled to a 20% discount on the total price. Simply contact us when you’re ready to subscribe, indicating how many students in the Comments Field of the contact form and wait for your discount coupon to be emailed. Our coupon code will reflect your discount and we will provide a link for you to pay online via 2Checkout. To take advantage of this bulk discount, please ensure you contact us and wait to receive our invoice BEFORE paying so we can provide you with the correct discounted total due. More information on our corporate training courses.

 

8. How do I change the credit card or payment method associated with my subscription?

To change your billing details, check the confirmation email you received from our Payment Gateway following your initial purchase i.e. 2Checkout or Swipe HQ. Within that email is a link to your customer area, where you can login at any time and update your billing details or cancel your subscription.

 

9. Are my credit card details safe with you? Do you offer secure transactions for my online purchases?

Yes. 2CheckOut.com Inc. (Ohio, USA) and Swipe HQ (Auckland, New Zealand) are our authorized payment processors for goods and services provided by Search Engine College. Both provide safe, secure and fast online payments with an online transaction processing system that integrates the most up-to-date security features available to protect customer data.

Both payment gateways also employ strict clearance procedures to detect and prevent credit card fraud. They may ask you to provide additional proof of identity before processing your payment. When paying for courses via credit card, depending on the site from which you purchase, your statement may show the payee as “SearchEngineCollege” or “2CO.COM *SECollege” or “SHQ SrchEngineCollege”.

 

10. Is there a cost to purchase the Moodle Course Management Software?

Moodle is Open Source software and so provided at no cost. The software is installed on our server, which you login to when accessing your course materials. There is no need to install it on your computer.

 

11. Are there any other costs associated with the program other than subscription fees?

There are no other fees required to complete our courses. Within the lessons, we do recommend some 3rd party software and useful online tools for persons who might be interested, but they are not compulsory purchases and not required to complete set assignments. If you wish to receive industry-recognized Certification in a particular subject, you’ll need to sign up for our Certification Upgrade option for a flat fee of USD 295. To learn more about the differences between our standard Subscription and Subscription plus Certification upgrade option, please see our Benefits Comparison Table.

 

12. My company requires a purchase order or tax invoice before I enroll as an emailed receipt is not enough. Can you provide this?

Yes, certainly. Simply Contact Us and in the comments field, state that you need an invoice or purchase order in advance. We will email it to you together with a link for paying online.

 

Cancellations / Refunds

13. How do I cancel my subscription?

To cancel your subscription, check the confirmation email you received from our Payment Gateway following your initial purchase i.e. 2Checkout or Swipe HQ. Within that email is a link to your customer area, where you can login at any time and update your billing details or cancel your subscription. It is your responsibility to make sure you cancel your subscription before the anniversary date of your recurring billing cycle (monthly) to ensure you aren’t charged for the next cycle. No refunds will be given for unused portions of monthly subscriptions.

To account for payment gateways that may be located on a different time-zone to your own, we recommend that you cancel at least 24 hours before the due date of your next recurring subscription payment. If you have difficulty cancelling your subscription, please contact us directly and we can cancel it for you. Regardless of the date you cancel, your subscription will remain active until the last day of the billing cycle.

 

14. What is your refund policy? Can I get a refund if I cancel my subscription? What if I’ve already started the course?

Subscriptions: You can cancel your Search Engine College subscription at ANY time – there is no ongoing commitment required beyond your initial month. Simply cancel any time up to (and including) the day before the due date of your next recurring subscription payment or contact us directly and we can cancel it for you. Regardless of the date you cancel, your subscription will remain active until the last day of the billing cycle. Please note that no refunds will be given for unused portions of monthly subscriptions.

Other Purchases: Full or partial refunds* for Certification Upgrades and other flat-fee purchases will be provided at the discretion of Company Management and only if sought within 7 days of purchase. If you wish to seek a refund, please contact us as soon as possible after purchase.

*Please note that because we need to pay our tutors for grading and supervision time, refunds are only available to students who haven’t accessed more than three lessons of an entire course and have not submitted any assignments.

 

Access / Usage

15. How do I login to my courses?

Within an hour of your payment being processed, you will receive your subscription welcome email and instructions for accessing the course material. Your welcome email will contain a link to an instructional video that will show you how to access our course area for the first time. In the meantime, you can create a student login and access the online Search Engine College campus, but you won’t have access to individual courses until you subscription payment is processed, passes fraud review and your student account has been added to our subscription database. The entire process usually takes less than an hour, but sometimes it can take longer, especially during busy periods. If you haven’t heard from us within a few hours of purchasing your subscription, please contact us so we can manually check on your order status.

 

16. How many hours per week will I need to allow when taking one of your courses?

There are no set course commencement and completion dates at Search Engine College. Provided you keep your monthly subscription up to date, you have as long as you like to complete each course. Lesson materials for all courses are available 24/7 and can be studied at a pace that suits you.

We generally recommend that students try to get through one lesson/topic per week. Each lesson topic will require between 2-4 hours of study time, so a 10 lesson course should take you between 30-40 hours to complete, including quiz-taking and assignments. If you are taking the Certification Upgrade option, allow extra time for the grading of your assignments by your tutor.

Content in the courses can be studied all at once, or paced out over a longer time-frame. It really depends how much time you have and how many hours you want to spend each week studying.

 

17. What day/time of the week are lessons held for the tutor-supervised courses? How will this work for students in different time-zones?

We don’t have set classroom times or fixed course commencement and completion dates. Students now have access to the online classroom area 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and can take as long as they like to complete courses, provided they keep their monthly subscription active.

 

18. I have just enrolled and paid for my subscription, so why haven’t I been sent my instructions for accessing it?

If you paid for your subscription via our payment gateway, your order needs to pass through their payment and fraud review system before we are allowed to fulfill it. Once it has been successfully processed, we receive an email from our payment processors advising us the order has completed. Then we send you a welcome email containing instructions for accessing all courses. The entire process usually takes less than an hour, but sometimes it can take longer, especially during busy periods. If you haven’t heard from us within a few hours of purchasing your subscription, please contact us so we can manually check on your order status.

 

19. I’ve created a student login account but when I login I don’t see how to register for a course. It keeps asking me for an enrollment key.

To officially enroll in our courses, you must first pay for your subscription via our online shopping cart. You can create a student login and access the online Search Engine College campus before enrolling, but you won’t have access to individual courses until you subscription payment is processed, passes fraud review and your student account has been added to our subscription database. Within an hour of your payment being processed, you will receive your subscription welcome email and instructions for accessing the course material. The entire process usually takes less than an hour, but sometimes it can take longer, especially during busy periods. If you haven’t heard from us within a few hours of purchasing your subscription, please contact us so we can manually check on your order status.

 

20. Am I able to contact other students in my course/s?

Sure. All course classrooms contain a course discussion forum so students can familiarize themselves with others in their course and share ideas and industry challenges they might be facing. Student chat is also available, offering the opportunity for students to network and socialize. Occasionally, group chat sessions are organized by tutors for students in a particular course, with guest speakers in attendance.

 

21. Is it recommended to do only one course at a particular time or can you two or more at once?

If you have access via monthly subscription, you can take as many courses at once as you wish, or space them out one at a time. It depends on your individual study schedule and learning style. If you are taking a Certification Pathway or a limited number of courses, you are also welcome to take them all at once or space them out, provided you complete them within the given time-frame.

 

Completion / Certification

22. Will you help me find a job in the search engine marketing industry after completing a course?

Yes. Our Search Engine College Jobs Forum contains employment opportunities in the SEM and SEO industries which are frequently updated. Membership to the Forum is free. We also keep our ear to the ground for any current vacancies within our network of SEM colleagues and often make announcements to students about these opportunities.

We have also introduced a new Projects forum within the Jobs Forum where employers and agencies can post SEO/SEM projects that they need help with. We expect this to become very popular and actively encourage our students to apply to work on projects to gain experience in the industry.

 

23. Is there a minimum grade required to pass the courses and qualify for SEC Certification?

Yes. Students who take a Certification course under tutor-supervision must receive at least a 70 percent average pass on their assessment items (including lesson review quizzes, assignments and a final exam). Students must pass all assessment items to the satisfaction of their tutor in order to qualify for SEC Certification. Students who take the course via standard subscription (self-study) do not receive tutor-supervision, do not submit assignments and do not qualify for SEC Certification.

Tutors must review assignments of students taking a Certification course before SEC Certification will be granted. Students who initially fail an assignment will be given one additional opportunity to submit an assignment for re-grading by tutors.

 

24. What sort of certification do you offer students who complete your courses?

All students who successfully pass our Certification courses receive the Search Engine College Seal of Certification to display on their web sites. All passing Certification students also receive a hard copy Certificate of Training via post to display on their office wall or in their resume. The seal and certificate indicate a student’s successful completion of one of our online college courses and proficiency in the latest search engine marketing methodologies taught in our curriculum.

Students who take a course via standard subscription (self-study) do not receive tutor-supervision or have assignments graded and therefore do not qualify for SEC Certification.

 

25. I’ve completed the course but I have questions about my site/campaign. Can I contact my tutor for advice?

You are welcome to contact your tutor for feedback at any time during or after course completion. You may contact them using the in-course messaging system, or via the Student Discussion Forums within each course area.

 

26. I’ve completed my course but I haven’t yet received certification. What should I do?

If you are taking the Certification Upgrade option for a particular unit, you need to contact your tutor and let them know as soon as you complete all assessment items. Your tutor will review any outstanding assignments, check your online quiz and final exam results and pass your final grade on to the Director of Studies. Assuming you qualify with a passing grade of 70 percent or higher, you will be notified that you have successfully achieved SEC Certification.

Students who sign up for a stand-alone subscription do not qualify for SEC Certification (unless they later take up the Certification Upgrade option).

All students who successfully pass our Certification courses immediately receive the Search Engine College Seal of Certification to display on their web sites. All passing Certification students also receive a hard copy Certificate of Training via post to display on their office wall or in their resume. You’ll need to provide the Director of Studies with the postal address where you’d like your certificate sent.

 

27. Can I still receive certification if I live outside of the US?

Yes of course! We have students in nearly 60 countries worldwide. Should you take up our Certification Upgrade and reach the qualifying grade to receive SEC Certification, we will post your hard-copy certificate/s anywhere in the world.

 

28. I started my subscription a few months ago but now want to take Certification for some completed units. Is this possible?

Yes. Simply pay for the Certification Upgrade/s via the Buy Now button at the bottom of the page and we’ll be in touch to confirm which course/s you seek Certification in. If it is a course you’ve already studied as part of your subscription, you simply need to complete all related assessment items, including uploading required assignments for grading by your tutor. Once your tutor has graded all assessment items and your qualifying grade has been verified by the Director of Studies, Certification will be issued.

 

General

29. Is there any way I can review the quality of your lesson material prior to purchasing a course?

Yes there is. You can download a free sample lesson taken directly from our SEO101 course.

 

30. What software do you use for your courses?

We use the Moodle learning management system for our main course area. It’s Open Source software, so it is always being upgraded with new features and fine-tuned by actual users. Moodle is an academic platform used by over 170 universities and schools around the globe including UCLA, MIT and The Open University. We also use YouTube videos, Adobe Captivate and Articulate software to create some of the learning tools and interactive presentations.

 

31. How qualified are your tutors to teach these subjects?

Search Engine College tutors include some of the search engine industry’s most recognized names. The reputation and experience of these industry experts is your guarantee of course quality. Read more about our tutors and their areas of expertise.

 

32. Do you need to know HTML to complete an SEO course?

While not compulsory, students will find the SEO courses easier if they have basic HTML knowledge to begin with. We teach students how to make changes to particular HTML tags during the course so if a student isn’t already familiar with basic HTML it is recommended that they acquire a brief overview prior to course commencement or during the first few lessons. An excellent free HTML tutorial plus other HTML reference sites are included within the recommended reading for each lesson.

 

33. Can we use our web sites as case studies during the courses?

Yes. If students are working on a particular site, they can use that site as the basis for their assignment submissions for tutor feedback. If the student does not have a site to work on, a sample site will be provided for assignment purposes.

 

34. Are the courses that you offer recognized by any industry body or academic institution?

Regarding recognition for our certification, there is no official body governing the search industry – there is not even a widely accepted set Code of Ethics or Standards. That’s because the industry is still young and therefore has no official governing body, no officially endorsed union and not even an accepted industry-wide set of agreed standards! So any certification that is issued in this industry is purely representative of the institution it is issued by.

However, we ARE one of the oldest training institutions in the industry and because of the quality of our tutors, we have an excellent reputation across the entire industry. Not all employers will recognize certification from our institution, but it’s surprising how many do. Some of our students are even employees of the major search engines. All our tutors are well known and we have students in 59 countries worldwide with around 80% of students located in the US. You can read testimonials from some of our existing students and graduates here: http://www.searchenginecollege.com/topics/testimonials/

Apart from general industry endorsement, we are also recommended by SEOmoz: http://www.seomoz.org/article/recommended and all our courses are endorsed by Cengage Learning and Gatlin International who offer them via universities and colleges throughout the US and Europe via our distribution agreement with them. More information on Cengage Learning: http://www.gatlineducation.com. More information on our certification here: http://www.searchenginecollege.com/search-engine-college-certification/

 

35. Do you update the lesson materials regularly? How can I access the updates?

Yes, our lesson materials are updated every couple of months to reflect changes to search engine algorithms, webmaster guidelines and industry events such as search engine mergers and takeovers.

Students are notified via broadcast email whenever a lesson is updated so they can download the latest version. Lesson updates are also posted in the news forum for each relevant course. All subscribers are entitled to receive lesson updates at no additional charge for the entire duration of their subscription.

 

36. I have a discount offer / coupon for my first month of study. Can I use that and then cancel before the next payment date and use it again if I sign up for more study later?

Our discount coupons and trial memberships are for a single person, single use only. Unfortunately, you are not permitted to use a coupon more than once.

If you have a question not answered above, please contact us.