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Search Marketing Optimisation: working in the digital world

3 min, 19 sec read
9:07 AM | 28 November 2012

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Internet marketing is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. In the last 20 years, the internet has seen the introduction of new disciplines such as social media, affiliate marketing, pay per click advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO). Those now form what is collectively called “inbound marketing”.

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page, in a search engine's un-paid search results.

As a consequence, this type of job is hugely affected by Google’s algorithm updates. This is because the search engine is constantly trying to improve the user’s experience. Therefore, one of the most important tasks search marketers have to undertake, is to keep themselves up to date, and translate their knowledge into opportunities for their clients.

As a search marketer you will be asked to make recommendations to website owners on how to improve their visibility on search engines, in order to help them sell more products or services. Alternatively, you could work as a link-builder, which is someone looking to build links from quality websites, to smaller websites, in order to improve the authority of the smaller website, by association with the larger site.

Search engine optimisation services are provided by large, well-known companies in the advertising space, such as Ogilvy, and also by smaller agencies with between 5 to 30 employees such as Tug Agency. The campaigns you work on can differ massively, from ensuring top positions for certain keywords in Google, to optimising YouTube channels in order to be easily seen.

Search marketing is performed by agencies or by in-house departments. Agencies are normally advanced in testing the latest marketing techniques and in specialising in more than one sector (example: B2B products, games, attractions etc.).  However, in-house SEO department can be also be advanced and can have less politics to deal with, so they can often have a highly creative environment.

Among the different agency groups, you could work for the following type of agencies:

Full digital agency

Provide all types of internet marketing services such as web design, web development, social media, SEO etc.

SEO agency

Provide only search engine optimisation services

PR agency

Whether they are specialised in online public relations, these includes SEO departments.

Search Marketing agency

They provides marketing services related to the engines such as pay per click advertising and SEO.

Top tips you might want to consider

Learn about SEO

There are tons of SEO blogs out there, but the best sources of information are SEOmoz Blog, Search Engine Journal, Point Blank SEO and SearchCap Newsletter. In particular, I would advise reading ‘SEOmoz beginners guide to learning SEO’ first, to get you started.

Get some experience

Look into some internship opportunities in professional agencies. This shouldn’t last more than 3 months and should provide you with some practical SEO knowledge in order to start optimising websites.

Identify your potential employers

It is usually pretty easy to identify search marketing agencies, as they are keen to be visible online. Look at LinkedIn and local directories such as FreeIndex and see which companies are participating at industry events such as SearchLove, Internet World and Brighton SEO.

Get Social

Search marketers are huge fans of social media. Get a professional Twitter handle with a biography that includes terms such as SEO, link-building and internet marketing described as your passion. Follow and retweet industry influencers and SEO directors. Moreover, protect your Facebook profile from the employers’ eyes while enhancing your LinkedIn profile with key SEO jargon. Rumor has it that people have been contacted by the BBC for work, simply because their profile contained a list of social media tools required for the job.

Take an Analytics exam

This exam prepares you to understand Google Analytics, an online tool that offers stats on websites and helps you understand website visitors’ behaviours. It only costs $50 to do, and makes you look really impressive in an interview.

Learn HTML basic

You don’t have to build up a website with HTML, but at least know how to code a link and meta tags.

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