SEO, SEM, and E-Commerce Industry Perks

by Adam Alter on November 25, 2008

To counter my complaints in my last post I’ll add my perks to this post which easily over power the “crap” or I wouldn’t be doing this.

#1 Community. The industry really sticks together and help each other out.  “The Force is Strong With This one…” it’s like a sense you have triggered when you speak to another who has a clue about what they’re talking about and a passion for what they do.  Regardless of the size or revenue of the site, a ma and pop flower shop focusing on online orders or a few hundred million dollar per year monster site, the SEO experts love to meet, share experiences, and reference each other for second opinions or express excitement over a new finding.

It’s how I visualize explorers in America trying to map the new world.  Out wondering around alone and in small groups buried deep in their discoveries.  Maybe you don’t cross paths with another explorer as often as SEM people do, but regardless, it’s exciting to catch up with each other’s experiences and bounce theories off each other of the potential out there and what is to be.  It’s not like Universities are cranking out SEM experts.  I doubt anyone worthy of teaching SEM is giving it up to take crap pay and teach a bunch of noobs that decided on this career because they think it will make them more money than “engineering”.  So the people you’re running into typically have the love of what they do and learned the hard way so mutual respect is high.

#2 The Activities.  Sure like any work, it can have its pains like the lower level link building which many just outsource if they even do it at all.  The fun is the analytics, planning, and tactics.  A good SEM’er in my opinion is going to be an obsessive, methodical geek, but know enough to forcefully stop short of perfection in this case.

Researching the data provided (example: keyword search volume tools) along with your own PPC or current SEO results, you begin to plan, laying out each section and page with what it will be about and optimized for.  You put it together with 10 different versions of graphics and tables to split test and learn exactly what works.  You follow your audience using analytics and heatmaps (crazyegg it up!!!) and get in their mind.  Then you build exactly what is needed to get them through the funnel utilizing triggers and simplicity.  All the while you’re link building, creating content, resources, articles, telling people about parts of the site though social communities, and answering questions on websites related to the topic on your site and referring to it as a resource (screw you spammers that dunno how to do this).

It’s amazing looking over at a billion dollar corporation without a clue in the breakdown lane as you fly by with cruise on doin 5 over.  We’re witnessing a change of power in so many areas slowly happen.  Take note for future stories for your grandchildren!  Being a part of all this is being a part of history involving one of the biggest worldwide revolutions.  We’re not in public relations or brand awareness, however we have just as big of effect as anyone in these two areas.  What other job involves hanging out in social communities sharing info as part of your work description?  Go my little social butterfly search engine marketers, stop reading my lame blog and network 😉

#3 Doing it YER way. There is no “correct” method with steps to follow in SEM.  You’re free to test and try your theories for results.  Every industry is completely different and there’s a thousand ways to get results.  I see it like watching MMA fighting, many different techniques that have given winning results and made them the best of the best in the ring.  No single form dominates all cases, but the people who are coming out on top are the ones always learning and studying all of the techniques and applying them where they see fit.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in just picking a random competitive term and studying the top results.  Looking at the content, resources, links, URL structure, and little things next to the results of who is on top.  Bouncing between the main 3 Google, Yahoo, and MSN tell completely different stories and all worthy of being studied.

Ask me what stage I’m on and unless it’s a new site I’m collecting data for and creating a plan, I’m going to tell you I’m creating/adjusting content, building relationships and links, making a presence on communities and forums to get the word out.  Now ask me a year from now what stage we’re at and it will likely be the exact same, but the sites I’m building relationships with will be different and the social communities I’m found on will be new ones.  I will have tweaked techniques which is a week by week thing, there may be new areas of the internet to be involved in, but it will likely be the same basics.

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