What is a SEM Specialist?
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SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a broad term, but if you stop to consider its meaning, you might think of marketing using a search engine box, like Google or Bing. Type in a keyword or phrase and voila; results are populated on a page!
The purpose of an SEM is quite simple: it allows businesses, websites, etc. to be found. Being found generally requires efforts in one or more SEM processes including organic search and paid search.
What does an SEM Specialist do, typically?
What is the organization attempting to do on a short-term basis? How about long-term goals? Do they have specific campaign or project objectives? The first thing an SEM Specialist needs to do is define goals so that they can monitor progress and adjust for optimization later in the process.
Perform Opportunity Analysis & Keyword Research
A large part of an SEM Specialists job is to perform keyword research. They will identify keyword and content gaps on the website and develop new content to help get the business found – whether that’s through organic or paid techniques.
Form a Plan & Implement it
After the search engine marketer has defined goals and figured out which content needs to be created or revitalized, they will figure out how performance will be measured over time. Next, they will implement the keywords and new content.
Execute & Monitor
Next, SEM Specialists monitor progress, create insightful reports, and optimize accordingly. The process is repeated as necessary, each time, new opportunities are found and content is refined and redefined.
An SEM Specialist should have skills in:
1. Paid Search or Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Pay-Per-Click (PPC): “a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.” Or, “a way of purchasing visits to your site, instead of attempting to “earn” those visits organically.”
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): “…the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. SEO requires dedicated keyword research and strategic implementation of the keywords into your website pages.
Most search marketers will have some basic knowledge of analytics and be able to pull reports in order to optimize performance. However, there is generally a big difference in skill levels in the area of analytics.
Important metrics for an SEM specialist
- Conversion rate
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Click through rate (CTR)
- Quality Score
SEM Specialist Salary
US Based, employer-reported data for a SEM Specialist:
- 25th Percentile $60.5K
- Average $78.5K
- 75th Percentile $102.9K
SEM Specialist Job Description
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As an SEM Specialist at <company XXX>, you will get to do more than perform keyword research and optimize digital campaigns. You will be responsible for overall organic and paid strategy, ensuring good traffic to websites. More specifically, you’ll get to:
- Deliver PPC campaigns to the most relevant and effective networks based on analysis
- Monitor budget and ad spend
- Monitor and report on key performance indicators and present progress to stakeholders and senior management.
- Work with content specialists to implement keywords, optimize web content and social media, and create new content pieces
- Collaborate with other marketing colleagues to ensure joint strategic marketing objectives align with search engine marketing objectives
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