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Job Hunting Advice - Considering A Career In Search?

Have you ever considered a career in Search Engine Marketing but you don’t really understand what the industry covers and the kind of job opportunities that are available?

The purpose of this article is to help explain the different types of opportunities that exist, and the background and experience that you might need to for a successful career move into the Search Engine Marketing industry.

Search Engine Marketing Jobs

Although the title of this article is “Considering A Career In Search Engine Marketing ” it is important to stress that there are in fact two different areas within “search”, namely: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising.

Industry experts have mixed views as to how “search” should be defined but for the purposes of this article Search Engine Marketing covers both Search Engine Optimization (also known as natural search) and Search Engine Advertising (also known as pay per click, sponsored or paid search).

Background To Search Engine Growth

It seems that the Internet has been around forever and that using a search engine to look for information is now a normal day to day activity.

When the search engines first launched, their results pages were based on their own proprietary algorithms. As the importance of the search engines to web site owners increased so did the desire to be highly ranked in the search engine results. This lead to the growth of SEO companies who would offer a service to optimize a web site to maximise its rankings in the search engine results.

As a result of the launch of the first Pay Per Click Search Engine by Goto.com in 1998 (now known as Yahoo Search Marketing) this lead to an opportunity for SEO companies to add another service by managing the Pay Per Click campaigns for their clients. In addition, it also led to new SEM companies starting up who only specialised in managing Pay Per Click campaigns.

Of course, wherever there is growth in an industry there is also opportunity and none more so than the job opportunities that are now being created as a result of the phenomenal growth of the Internet and search engines.

Where Are The Job Opportunities?

As well as job opportunities within the Search Engine Marketing companies it is becoming more common to see some traditional marketing and advertising agencies offer search engine related jobs. In addition, there are now specialist digital media companies providing search engine marketing services. Corporate employers are also beginning to recruit their own Search Engine Marketing specialists to work in-house and this trend is expected to keep on growing.

What Type Of Skills And Attributes Will You Need?

The type of skills and attributes required will very much depend on how specialist the job role is and also the level of the job. Although many companies will want experience in the job discipline, others will be looking for well-motivated, flexible individuals with both the ability and desire to learn fast.

For the more technical roles (for example a Search Engine Optimisation Specialist) a technical background in HTML, programming or IT maybe required although the level of background required will vary from company to company.

For the more marketing related roles (for example managing a large Pay Per Click campaign for a client) good business skills, an analytical and enquiring mind, creativity, lateral thinking and solid product and project management skills are always good attributes to have. These transferable skills may have been gained from a wide range of experiences across different industries.

However, one overriding attribute to have is the ability to deal with change. Things change so quickly within the search engine industry, with new products and services launched on a regular basis as well as updates to the search engine’s algorithms, that you have to be able to respond quickly and analyse what the various changes will mean to your clients.

Do I Have Enough Experience?

Bear in mind that there are not many people within the industry with more than ten years experience of paid search or fifteen years experience of search engine optimisation because it is still a youg industry. Therefore, if you have limited search engine industry experience many companies (big and small) may be willing to provide their own training programmes for you if you show the desired aptitudes and attitudes.

In addition, companies may also look favourably at applicants with experience of working in a specific business sector or client group as they already have an appreciation, knowledge and understanding of their market sector.

In Summary

If you are looking for a change of industry in your existing role within Sales, Project Planning, Account Management, Business Development etc., or you are looking to learn some new skills in a fast moving industry, there are some exciting career opportunities available within Search Engine Marketing.


Written by Mike Taylor - Mike has a background in HR, Online Recruitment and Online Marketing and is the founder of the specialist job site www.JobsInSearch.com.

You may reproduce this article in full on your web site, blog or newsletter as long as you maintain the complete author profile as above and provide a link back to http://www.JobsInSearch.com


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