Moderator: Misty Locke, President & Co-Founder, Range Online Media
Pradeep Chopra, Co-Founder, OMLogic
Internet has changed the business marketplace, not limited by time, distance or capital.
SEM is considered the best options and SEM industry is growing at an incredible pace.
Talent: - Demand exceeds supply - SEM is the core of marketing - Today is the best time to be an SEM professional
Why a Career in SEM? - Flexibility - Skills are portable and global - SEO: One of the four cutting edge jobs (Source: RHI) - Innovation and adventure - You don't need a professional degree - Salaries are attractive
Salaries Overview: - Executive entry level 30-45k - Specialist 3-5 yrs 50-75k - Expert with etc... From ClickZ
What Skills do you need? - Communication - Passionate about Internet - Networking - Quicker Learner - SEO is technical, PPC is creative - Sales & Marketing
What Lies in the Future: - Web 2.0 - Rich media - Behavioral - Conversions - Beyond US - Verticals -- Retail -- Travel -- Finance -- Education -- Social Networking -- SEM
Key to Success: - Use SEM for finding a new job - Continuous Learning and certification - Leadership role
Dan Perry, SEO Producer, Cars.com
Believer in interviewer skills in getting the job.
Preparation: - "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Ben Franklin
- Expect to meet with at least three people -- HR: Did you like on your resume? -- Boss: Can you do the job? -- Boss' Boss: Will you fit in?
- Questions to answer: -- Where do you want to be in 5 years? -- Strengths and weaknesses -- Biggest accomplishment/failure? -- Friend/coworker boss describe you? -- Best decision you ever make?
- 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 - Consider entire package -- Insurance -- Relocation details -- 401k match (and vesting)
- Do you have a question for me? -- Always have a question -- Be specific (no culture questions -- Think about this one and have a few
- Be prepared to compromise (working on groups and teams) - Develop diplomacy
David Wallace, CEO and Founder, SearchRank
- David stumbled into this industry, got his computer in 1996. April 1997 he went to a seminar on making money online, became an affiliate of web design. They launched niche web site to attract customers. They developed a contractors resource directory in Arizona. They relied on free organic results. Started then building their own sites and then added SEO services.
Today way to learn SEM: - Free resources like Beginners Guide from SEOmoz, blogs, forums - eBooks, SEOBook.com, etc. - Online Courses, SEMPO, Bruce Clay, SECollege - Conferences, SES, PubCon, SMX
Take this knowledge and apply it to a site.
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)
Applying a Search Marketing Strategy: - Conduct keyword research - Apply organic search techniques - Set up paid search campaign - Track progress
Networking with Others: - No matter where you work, networking is important - Develop business partnerships with ad agencies, web design firms, etc. - Network online with SEMs through forums, blogs, social media - Network in real life at conferences, local, etc.
Brand Yourself as an Expert: - Write informative articles - Participate in forums - Participate in social media - Start an informative blog
Things not to do:
- 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
Stay on the cutting edge
- Live and breath it - Active in forums - Subscribe to quality blogs - Never be afraid to experiment - Buy savvy SEMs drinks at SES
Michael Gray, Owner, Atlas Web Service
How to Avoid Shooting Yourself in the Foot
Manage Client Expectations - Only promise what you can actually deliver - Set reasonable time/date expectations
Set Reasonable Limits - How much time will be spending on the project - How much time will you be available - Avoid the temptation to become the equivalent to an in house SEO
Conflicts of Interests - 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
Manage Your Risks - 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
Keep Learning and Growing - Pick and follow some of your favorite blogs and limit yourself - Use recap or roundup bloggers - Experiment with your own sites and build your own test labs
Use Sub Contractors - Use sub contractors to scale up or down quickly - Use them to compensate for your areas that aren't your core competency or expertise - Be careful using sub contractors for mission critical functions
Contracts - Know when you need and don't need a contract - Large companies wont work without a contract - Understand "Work for hire" and copyright
Accounting: - Get a good accountant - Learn how to use accounting to your benefit - A good accountant will save you more money than you are paying them each year
Jessica Bowman, Director of Search Engine Optimization, Business.com
You are now a student that is constantly learning
Learn the basics: - Work.com - Google Hacks - SearchEngineGuide - SEOBook - Search Engine Visibility - Cat Seda - Attend conferences - Attend training programs - Most training will come from hands on experience
As You Get Started: - Outsource aspects of your project -- Strategy -- Technical site audit -- keyword research -- Trouble shooting issues - Q&A
SEM is Constantly Changing: - You need to stay on top of it - Especially if you will charge for it -- Read Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable and Sphinn (thanks)
Big Changes Occur - Cloaking can get you banned and it once was acceptable, she said - Link exchanges once worked well and not always so good - Link buying was once acceptable, not anymore - You must stay on top of this - Expect to spend two hours per day on reading
As You Work:
- Systematic process in place - Document - Gaps between client meetings require documentation - When you are consistent, productivity increases - Once solid, it you can outsource portions of the project as needed - Things you can document: -- Gathering rankings -- Keyword data gathering -- Gathering link data -- Directory submissions -- Portions of site audits -- Optimization QA
Build Industry Camaraderie - You need other people to talk to about questions
Know What you don't know