Search Engine Marketing Posted on March 19th, 2015 by

With our continued dependence on the internet, companies have had to recreate their marketing strategies to stay competitive in the digital age. This need to out-do competitors in cyber space has led to the creation of an entirely new field: search engine marketing. While careers dealing with technology and computers are often considered outside the realm of expertise for most English majors, James Mulvey, a blogger for and writer of “35 Awesome Jobs for English Majors,” notes that this field is actually right up our alley.

Before we can understand why this job is a potential career option for English majors, we need to figure out what a search engine marketer (SEM) actually does. Mulvey gives this explanation, “[Search engine marketers] help companies use digital channels to market their products. This includes online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and the use of web analytics to study how visitors interact with websites.” Basically, as a SEM, you would have the same goals as a person in a standard marketing job; however, your focus would be obtaining the attention of potential customers as they surf the internet. You would need an understanding of consumers’ interactions with websites and employ this knowledge as you create or recreate the content of a website to make your company’s product stand out.

Although companies can pay search engines such as Google for higher placement on a result page, a more cost effective way is to revise and edit a webpage’s existing material to better align with searches. Think of it from a consumer’s point-of-view. Imagine you want to buy a water bottle online, but you don’t know which one. You might simply start your search by typing in “water bottle.” If you are using Google like I did, the first result is a link Why did Amazon top the list? While there are numerous reasons, one of them is simply because the two words I searched are used dozens of times throughout the webpage. On the other side of this interaction in where a SEM would come in. For example, if your company is adding a new type of water bottle to its product line, as a SEM, you would want to create and revise content that would contain words people would use when searching for a water bottle so that your company’s webpage would appear as high as possible on the result page.

As Mulvey explains, SEM careers require strong analytical skills and creativity. In order for sites to be as close to the top as possible on a search result page, it is important that the site contains word, images, or videos of popular search words. This is where English majors come in. English majors can use their skills as writers and editors to create new material and transform existing content to better match potential searches. While you don’t necessarily need a background in computer science to break in SEM, having a basic understanding does help. Mulvey recommends Google Certification Courses which offer “certification in all major areas of online marketing.” He also notes that because this field is relatively young, the industry is open to new talent.

If you want to check out the rest of Mulvey’s list go to 2011/12/19/jobs-for-english-majors/.


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