Ready to start your search marketing career? This panel looked at ways fledgling SEMs can educate themselves to get started in this exciting profession. The session was moderated by: Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch
Dave Davies, CEO, BeanstalkThings to do: Get a great lawyer and accountant, stick to your strengths, pick your strongest skill and be excellent. Take care during growth and only hire what you need, not what you want. Watch your stats and keep researching your market position.
Things NOT to do: Don't be over optimistic you won't rank for "SEO-Your-City" in 2-3 months (sorry). Try not to do everything you are not an expert at SEO, and design and everything else. Hire friends. If they own part of the company, you're not hiring them. Don't rest on your laurels, they will get you crushed. ENJOY your business. If you don't then it's not truly success.
David Wallace, CEO and Founder, SearchRankToday we have many ways to learn about search marketing: Free Resources -SEOmoz's "Beginner's Guide To SEO, "multiple blogs and forums, eBooks -SEOBook.com, Small Business Guide to Search Marketing, Online Courses -SEMPO, Search Engine College, Bruce Clay, Conferences and Seminars -SES, PubCon, SMX. However, in David' opinion, nothing replaces a "hands on" experience one obtains when doing SEM for their own site(s).
Establish a website. Choose your niche (Something that interests you but not highly competitive), something that may help establish your business. Secure a Domain Name If new, you then have the hurdle of "establishing" the domain, Old domain is better but can require some work and money to obtain, Establish Web Site. Three options -Design it yourself, hire a designer or use automated solution.
Applying a Search Marketing StrategyConduct keyword research. This lays the foundation for your search marketing effort. Techniques Involve applying what you have learned to date which should at least be basic SEO and link building techniques. Set up Paid Search Campaign (if applicable). Track Progress. Analyze visibility, traffic, even conversions where applicable. Most of all learn from successes and mistakes.
Network with others. Whether working for an agency or establishing your own SEM firm, it is important to network not only with partners but other search marketers. Develop business partnerships traditional ad agencies, web design firms, etc. Network online with search marketers forums, blogs, social media, etc… Network in "real life" with everyone. This can include this conference for example but even things like local business organizations or trade shows.
Brand yourself as an expert: There are many search marketers, there are few that really standout. Write informative articles. Participate in forums. Participate in social media. Start an informative blog. Words of caution: Don't spam forums and/or blog comments. 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. No matter what color hat you wear, don't be unethical in your business practices.
Nicole St. Martin, Search Marketing Analyst, HotGigs/Jobs2webSearch marketing is a great field to get into. It requires No College Degree, employment terms are extremely flexible, salaries are lucrative, skills are portable & global. Skills like patience and passion and problems solving are very important.
Learn search marketing from SEOMOZ, High Rankings.com, TopRank, SearchEngineWatch, SearchEngineLand, SMX, SearchEngineStrategies, and Search Marketing Standard.
David Hoffman, Search Smart MarketingFive Rules for Dating My Client: Partnering with Agencies, Web Developers, PR Firms and others:Rule #1: Sign a "PreNup, "including Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreements which should protect both parties. It will put the agency's mind at ease. You live under their roof and under their rules.
Rule #2: Don't Disrespect the Family meet deadline and live up to their standards. Establish guidelines for client contact.
Rule #3: Earn Their Trust. Exceed expectations. Provide education; lunchtime seminars, pertinent articles. Don't "nickel & dime."
Rule #4: Be Discreet About Dating Others. Working with multiple agencies can become dicey. Avoid client conflicts. Be wary of exclusivity.
Rule #5: Keep Everyone Happy. Make sure it's worth their while. Make sure it's worth your while
***Note this is “live” unedited blog coverage of SES Chicago 2007. Some typos, grammatical errors, or incomplete thoughts may exist.
Marty Weintraub writes for aimClearBlog, published by aimClear, a Duluth advertising agency specializing in organic & paid search as well as social media marketing (SMM) and blogging.