So You Want To Be A Search Marketer!: Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007
In this session, search engines experts discuss on the different strategies that can help one in becoming a search marketer.
- Misty Locke, President & Co-Founder, Range Online Media
- Pradeep Chopra, Co-Founder, OMLogic
- Dan Perry, SEO Producer, Cars.com
- David Wallace, CEO and Founder, SearchRank
- Michael Gray, Owner, Atlas Web Service
- Jessica Bowman, Director of Search Engine Optimization, Business.com
First to speak is Pradeep Chopra from OMLogic. He started the session with discussions centering around the Internet. Internet has changed the total scenario of the whole business marketplace, not limited by time, distance or capital. SEM industry is growing at an incredible pace. But why? According to him, it is due to the fact that:
- Demand exceeds supply
- SEM is the core of marketing
- Today is the best time to be an SEM professional
There is a bright career prospect in SEM industry for some of the positive aspects like:
- Skills are portable and global
- SEO: One of the four cutting edge jobs (Source: RHI)
- Innovation and adventure
- No need of a professional degree
- Salaries are attractive
The young generation is getting attracted towards the SEM industry. One reason is the handsome salary package. Salaries Overview:
- Executive entry level 30-45k
- Specialist 3-5 yrs 50-75k
In his discussion, Pradeep Chopra also highlighted the skills required to be in this SEM industry. The industry is looking for people who have skills like Communication, Passionate about Internet, Networking, Quicker Learner, SEO is technical, PPC is creative, Sales & Marketing.
There is no doubt in the fact that the future of SEM industry is very bright. In the near future, its going to be Web 2.0, Rich media, Behavioral, Conversions, Beyond US, Verticals, Retail, Travel, Finance, Education and Social Networking.
He also pointed out some key points for success, like use SEM for finding a new job, continuous Learning and certification and leadership role.
Next one to speak on this occasion is Dan Perry, SEO Producer, Cars.com. He believes in interviewer skills in getting a SEM job.
He pointed out the preparation process for the interview. Before facing the interview get prepared to face questions like Did you like on your resume?, Can you do the job? and Will you fit in?.
Some of the common questions that one have to face are Where do you want to be in 5 years?, Your Strengths and weaknesses?, Biggest accomplishment/failure? Friend/coworker boss describe you? Best decision you ever make?
There are some valuable tips by Dan Perry for interviewee. They should:
- Never bring up money
- Don't say you have offers elsewhere, even if you do
- Don't ask for more vacation
- Know your number and stick to it
Before taking up the job, one should consider the entire package of insurance, relocation details and 401k match (and vesting).
He also spoke about the Interview Process the says:
- Do you have a question for me?
- Always have a question
- Be specific (no culture questions)
- Think about this one and have a few
Final thoughts by the speaker, include be prepared to compromise and develop diplomacy.
David Wallace, CEO and Founder, SearchRank was the next one to spek on this occasion. David is a well known name in the SEM industry. He has seen a lot of change in this industry. According to him, the best way to learn SEM is:
- Free resources like Beginners Guide from SEOmoz, blogs, forums
- eBooks, SEOBook.com, etc.
- Online Courses, SEMPO, Bruce Clay, SECollege
- Conferences, SES, PubCon, SMX
This knowledge will help a lot to make a site successful. One should establish a site to learn from:
- Choose a niche (something not highly competitive)
- Secure a domain name (new ones can be a hurdle)
- Establish the web site (design yourself, hire someone, or use automated solution)
To make your mark in the SEM industry, David Wallace says applying a Search Marketing Strategy is very important. Keyword research, use of organic search techniques, proper paid search campaign and the track progress should be properly done. Networking with others is also very essential, no matter where you work, try to develop business partnerships with ad agencies, web design firms, etc. Network online with SEMs through forums, blogs, social media.
Always brand yourself as an expert to be in this competitive industry. For this:
- Write informative articles
- Participate in forums
- Participate in social media
- Start an informative blog
According to David Wallace there are certain things that should be avoided like:
- Don't spam forums or blogs
- Don't steal other's content or sales copy
- Don't come off as a know-it-all
- Don't promise what you can't deliver
And always try to stay on the cutting edge. Be active in forums, subscribe to quality blogs and never be afraid to experiment. This is what suggested by the expert.
The next person to speak on the occasion was Michael Gray, Owner, Atlas Web Service. His whole discussion was centered around, 'How to Avoid Shooting Yourself in the Foot'. According to him, the manage client expectations centers around only promise what you can actually deliver and set reasonable time/date expectations.
For a good Search Marketer, it is important to set reasonable limits for How much time will be spending on the project, How much time will you be available and avoid the temptation to become the equivalent to an in house SEO.
He gave emphasis on the Conflicts of Interests where he pointed out some points like:
- Disclose any conflicts before you close a deal
- Decide if you are going to limit yourself to only one client for a particular area
- Avoid competing with your clients
Always try to manage your risks. It is very important, says Michael Gray who points out that some facts like:
- Don't let your business depend on one client
- Don't let your business depend on just one web site
- Don't expose your clients web sites to unnecessary risks
SEM is a industry that is growing everyday. So, keep learning and growing by picking up and following some of your favorite blogs and limit yourself, use recap or roundup bloggers and experiment with your own sites and build your own test labs. There is one more important area on which the speaker spoke. It is the use of sub contractors to scale up or down quickly. It can be also used to compensate for your areas that aren't your core competency or expertise.
Be specific on Contracts. Know when you need and don't need a contract, large companies wont work without a contract and understand properly "Work for hire" and copyright. For accounting always hire a good accountant a good one will save you more money than you are paying them each year. According to him, it is important to learn how to use accounting to your benefit
Closing the discussion was Jessica Bowman, Director of Search Engine Optimization, Business.com. She pointed out in the beginning itself that to be in the SEM industry learn the basics like Work.com, Google Hacks, SearchEngineGuide,SEOBook, Search Engine Visibility, Cat Seda, Attend conferences, Attend training programs, Most training will come from hands on experience. And as you get started, focus on things like outsource aspects of your project, strategy, technical site audit, keyword research, trouble shooting issues.
Jessica Bowman says that SEM is constantly changing. So one need to stay on top of it and especially if you will charge for it. She suggested to read Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable and Sphinn.
Always be ready to face big changes like cloaking can get you banned and it once was acceptable, liink exchanges once worked well and not always so good and link buying was once acceptable but not anymore. You must stay on top of this and to reach the goal expect to spend two hours per day on reading.
As you work, one should consider certain things like: systematic process in place, document, gaps between client meetings require documentation, when you are consistent the productivity increases, gathering rankings, keyword data gathering, gathering link data, directory submissions, portions of site audits and optimization QA.
With this the discussion for the day was closed.SES, San Jose 2007: So You Want To Be A Search Marketer!,