When I was an undergraduate student and taking an Internet marketing class, I wasn't planning to have a career in digital marketing. Since graduating, I’ve now been working in digital for about 3 years, but there are times that I feel like I’m still an undergrad. With the industry constantly changing, some of the best practices I’ve learned about when I first started are now obsolete.
Along with the ebb and flow of the industry, I’ve also shifted from working in SEO over to PPC. While this may seem like a minor thing to industry outsiders, I’ve learned there are distinct differences once you’re on the “other side.”
You will learn the front and back end of a website.
There are many facets within SEO, but it's best broken down to onsite and offsite factors. It is important to understand the functionality of a site and how to troubleshoot problems, so being familiar with different CMS’s and knowing the impact of potential webpage errors on search engine visibility goes a long way.
You’ll understand Google Analytics and Search Console.
Google Analytics is a pivotal tool used in tracking the performance of SEO. Being able to understand and analyze the data can make or break your strategy. The ability to hone in on what works and how all factors work together can help expedite the success of the campaign. When you combine this tool with Google’s newly renamed Search Console, you’ll arm yourself with insights that can help monitor a site’s progress, allowing for more effective business decisions to be made.
You’ll see the evolution of the digital environment.
When you’re in SEO, it’s crucial to be aware of the marketplace. All search engines are improving their service to provide the best results for their consumers and they are constantly cracking down on websites that look/behave unnaturally. New algorithms are routinely updated, changing the ranking game every day.
An SEO position requires constant vigilance. You will become conditioned to keep up-to-date with the latest industry news and be adaptable to the ever-changing environment.
Bought media includes paid search marketing, video advertising, and display advertising.
You’ll love all the data, data and more data.
Data is your best friend and without it, bought media managers can’t do their jobs. Although data is only seen as numbers to some, once it’s decoded, these numbers can give you immediate information about the business and provide forecasts for what to expect.
You’ll get immediate testing and findings.
As opposed to SEO, PPC gives faster results. Brands are able to experiment with metrics and as marketers, it gives us the ability to execute changes on a smaller scale, while also validating trends that we hypothesize. It’s extremely powerful in testing and measuring the behaviors happening at the moment.
Although bought media can supply the immediate results and data, it comes with the risk of overspending if there’s not constant supervision. This immediacy often provides a huge benefit over SEO, which often takes more time to see results.
You’ll become an Excel genius.
Ask anyone in bought media and they’ll tell you that Excel is one of their most crucial and universal tools. When I first started in bought media, I had limited knowledge on Excel (SEO didn’t heavily rely upon it until now) so there was definitely a steep learning curve.
No matter which “side” you’re on, pairing SEO and bought media is the best collaboration. Each team can benefit from sharing their findings, figures, and practices with one another. Having a more open, synergistic environment can help solve problems through simple conversations. As marketers, we’re serving our clients better as we have a holistic understanding of all things digital.
For myself, I view my transition to bought media as a permanent redirect; in hindsight you could say I should really update my status to a 302:“Temporary.”