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Q&A: How would I approach finding a job in SEO/PPC?

Question by Cherrypink: How would I approach finding a job in SEO/PPC?
Is there certain qualifications and training that is useful? How do you get your foot through the door?

Best answer:

Answer by Beth P
First off, the world of SEO and web marketing is an exciting one, but can be very challenging at times. With that said, there is no one stop shop for learning the arts of SEO and PPC.

Getting a Job in SEO/PPC(obviously this could be different between employers) : This will be difficult (not impossible) if you don’t have any experience under your belt. This is because there is still no definative “cookie cutter” way to achieve success in SEO/PPC. While there are the basic techniques of SEO, successful SEO needs to have elements of uniqueness, creativity and good troubleshooting. These all need to apply to the specific client/project you are working with (relation to industry, competitors, etc…). Being able to sell yourself as a successful candidate for a job, means demostrating to the employer that you have these traits and that you know how to apply them. You will also need to demonstrate that you have kept up with the latest trends. SEO never ends because tomorrow a new competitor will arise.

Start off by:
1) Learn the basic rules of the major 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). Google has one of the best knowledge bases for this: http://www.google.com/webmasters/

2) Know the basic process of SEO/PPC. Here’s a good article that outlines a pretty decently 10 Step process. Note: as you become more knowledgeable, you will likely develop your own process.
http://www.webpronews.com/expertarticles/2008/04/10/seo-step-nine-of-ten-conversion-optimization

3) Subscribe and Read up on some of the top SEO/PPC blogs:
http://www.seomoz.org/
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog
http://www.seobook.com/
http://www.searchengineland.com/
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/
(many more, but those should give you a good start…)

4) Try out all the PPC tools from the major 3. You need to know your way around (Adwords, Omniture, and adCenter). Try to find a friend who has a business and offer your service at a very low price to get them involved in some basic PPC campaigns.

Bonus: Get involved with forums (and possibly social networking). Start networking…

5) Start searching for jobs… Once you start networking, this should come easily.
Ex: http://www.seomoz.org/marketplace/jobs

Bonus: Look at university job listing sites. You’ll find some of the best there.

6) For the Interview: Research the company’s website and industry (prior to the interview). Ask about their goals. Call out some things (related to SEO) you notice that could be improved on for them.

7) Seal the deal… 🙂

What do you think? Answer below!