I recently attended an MN Search event, and it got me thinking about the future of search marketing careers.
First of all, let’s define search marketing. To be honest, if you ask 10 different people, you’ll likely get 10 different answers. But in its simplest form, let’s break it out into SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing). SEO is a process to ensure you earn web traffic to your site through unpaid or free listings. SEM, or as some call it, “paid search” or PPC (pay per click), refers to traffic you’ve paid to come to your site.
Are you intrigued?
So, now for the takeaways:
1. Continuously seek out resources to improve your skills. Search marketing didn’t really exist 10 years ago. In fact, if given a crystal ball, I bet you and I wouldn’t be able to predict what the field will look like 10 years from now.
2. Follow your passion. Do you love to write? Then content writing is what you’ll want to focus on. Or strategic blogging content. Do you love seeing results? Then paid search is probably right down your alley. Do you like doing a little bit of SEO, paid search, social media marketing, and the like? Then don’t pigeonhole yourself in a role where your job entails only managing paid search campaigns.
3. Track results. Being in the recruiting business, I always tell people to quantify your results as much as possible on your resume. Numbers, percentages, revenue earned, money saved, etc. You have a lot to talk about when it comes to results in search. Keep track of the information. As a recruiter, I ask for case studies and examples to prove that you know what you’re talking about. So, do yourself a favor now, and save it when it’s top of mind.
4. Find an organization that embraces search marketing. Finding organizations that embrace search marketing (from C level on down) is important to most, if not all, search marketers. You want your manager to embrace the world you live and breathe every day, right? You want others in your organization to bounce ideas off of. Make sure when you’re interviewing, you ask the tough questions. Is this a new discipline? Are they bringing this function in house, and you’re going to be the token guy/gal to spread the word across the organization? Know what kind of environment you’re getting yourself into before you accept the offer.
And finally, congrats on getting into such a dynamic, fast-growing field of study! I can’t wait to see what you’re doing a year from today. My guess is that it will not be exactly what you’re expecting!