Search marketing is a very widespread profession nowadays. With the increase of digitalization and ecommerce sales, there’s more demand for good marketers who can increase the sales for both physical and digital products.
The good thing about search marketing is that it’s not very limiting – practically, concepts that you learn in one industry and company can easily be translated to other industries and companies.
Granted, some professionals prefer to niche / specialize in specific sub-industries like e-commerce or software and thus gain industry-specific knowledge. But the bottom line is, if you’re great in one specific branch, you can easily transfer your skills to another industry.
So at the end of the daty, what actually makes great marketers stand out is:
- Their analytical skills and what they can extrapolate from the data
- Their process and actions – taking the right steps to succeeding with their work
- Having the right knowledge about marketing practices, systems and tools
That being said, let’s dive into the two most common and well known search marketing skills you can learn to get a head start in the profession. These are definitely not the only skills as there are new platforms spawning every day – but they are definitely a good start which you can then expand on. Here, we’ll take a look at SEO & Google Ads.
What Steps Will You Be Going Through When Learning SEO?
Learning SEO can be hard. This is because although it’s a pretty common skill nowadays, it’s also one that:
- Has a high upper skill threshold
- Usually requires that you to use expensive SEO tools
I’ll explain below.
1. High Upper Skill Threshold
While the basics of SEO are pretty easy to comprehend by anyone, being an SEO specialist (and all the way up to an expert) requires you to have a lot of advanced knowledge.
Learning Step #1 – SEO Content
To put it in more practical steps, usually people start in SEO with keywords and content. While most individuals can do this part already today as the concepts aren’t that difficult, doing this right can take time. The downside here is that it’s really not that easy to explain how a junior SEO content marketer can differ from a senior one – because it isn’t very tangible and often depends on the type of content being produced and the industry. However, once you gain some practical experience and you transition into a more developed SEO content marketer, you will start seeing mistakes in both the structure and content of the pages / posts more junior marketers work on.
Learning Step #2 – Link Building
The next step in the SEO ladder is link building and outreach. This one is tough. I’ve heard some people love building links and find it a breeze. Others, however, have a really hard time wrapping their head around the concept. For this reason, I strongly believe link building should not be the priority for very junior SEO marketers – because it can be intimidating. On the other hand, if done wrong, they can also potentially damage the business for a very long time.
And to add to that, trying to learn SEO link building by yourself is not that easy either. That’s because to get the data, the reports and the link opportunities you need for link building, you need a paid SEO platform.
Learning Step #3 – Technical SEO
The final and most complex pillar is technical SEO. Similarly to content marketing for SEO, technical SEO can be easy to pick up at first. There are some basic requirements that every professional should know – for example, how to write alt tags, how to properly link from your posts, categories, tags, schema and breadcrumbs.
However, the upper skill limit here is very high. And that’s understandable because of the many varying websites – from small one-pager CV websites to large corporations’ ecommerce stores with hundreds of thousands of pages – to newsletters and media publishers. Here, learning and mastering the indexation game is key. And you will also need some technical SEO tools.
2. The Necessity of Using Expensive SEO Tools
By default, most well-known SEO tools cost a small fortune. Fortunately, nowadays both marketers on a budget and SEO students can learn this skill by using less expensive alternatives to some of the popular SEO tools. An example of that is the SEO tool called Morningscore (find it here: https://morningscore.io/moz-alternative/). The upside is that not only do such tools cost less, but they also come with certain benefits for beginners.
What exactly? While most complex tools come with tons of data as an advantage, this could also be seen as a disadvantage by beginners. By paying for some of the very known tools, you’re essentially paying for access to their database with SEO inputs. In other words, you get tons of data, but you’re not guided through the SEO process – and it rather feels as if you get a “spreadsheet” with complex numbers that mean nothing.
In contrast, some of these new tools (like the one mentioned above) are very much optimized around helping you do things. They guide you in your learnings, present you with a clear SEO process, and are very visual in the way they are built. And all of these benefits help beginners succeed with SEO.
What Do You Need To Go Through When Learning Google Ads?
Next up on the list of critical online marketing skills is advertising on Google. Google Ads are a critical part for many businesses – and are very much in demand nowadays. Additionally, the constant changes that Google is making in the SERP point towards a very bright future for Google Ads. But as a marketer, you might be wondering – if I already want to learn SEO, how will Google Ads play into my skill set? Why do Google Ads if I already know SEO?
So just before we look into that, let’s set the scene:
- Google Ads can be hard to learn for beginners because it involves actually having a budget on ad spend
- Similarly to SEO, it also has a very high upper skill ceiling – which in this case is even higher
What Are The Essential Practices You Should Know When It Comes To Google Ads?
The reason for having both SEO and Google Ads as skills in your toolbox is that many businesses operate in very competitive markets SEO-wise – and therefore don’t even stand a chance of appearing anywhere close to the first page without investing tons of resources.
This essentially renders the SEO-task impossible – and the business can struggle if they can’t generate any sales. Conversely, Google Ads is quick – and you can practically start getting sales from day one.
On the other hand, you can also use Google Ads as a testing ground for your SEO efforts – because SEO takes long and continuous efforts to work. Before investing the time to produce all the content and optimize every SEO page, you can quickly test how they are supposed to perform in Google Ads. This will give you a quick idea of whether the time and resources investment makes sense – which is something every marketer should do. In essence, at the very least, Google Ads can make the “business case” for investing into SEO.
Having To Use Real Money In Learning Google Ads
Unfortunately, you will never really know Google Ads at a satisfactory level without having worked with it. It is very much a practical tool (rather than a theoretical one) which even Google’s certification won’t cover until you start working on a rela case with a real budget. And all of that is even though for Google Ads you don’t have to spend any money on tools.
Google Ads Comes With A Very High Upper Skill Ceiling
This point somewhat plays into the previous one. Because the entry threshold is so high and the complexity of the tool and what you can achieve with it, the upper skill ceiling is also raised. Partly, this is because similarly to SEO, the Google Ads platform is subject to constant updates and changes. New features are being introduced regularly, and as the platform develops and search marketing changes, the demand for keeping your skills up do date raises as well.
If you’re looking to learn more about Search Marketing, visit this page.
So is it worth it? Should you devote time and energy to learn search marketing? Will it ever pay off? To answer these questions, you actually really have to look inside rather than outside. Are you passionate about business, marketing, and sales? Are you analytical by heart? Do you want to use numbers to your advantage? And do you want to potentially make a whole business successful through your very own skills? If you think so, then the answer might just be “Yes”.