A Look Back, and a New Beginning

Wow, what a great response from my last article on LinkedIn. Thanks to all of you who dropped a note and sent me a link request. There were many positive comments about the article being a great LinkedIn primer, which is also a great segue into my new column, “SEM 101.”

My new column will cover all aspects of SEM, paid search advertising, and social media from a beginner’s point of view. Many of the people who visit Search Engine Watch want to get pointed in the right direction and only need a primer to get started. They’ll find that in the Search Engine Marketing Basics section, which will soon be enhanced by my new column.

As a result, this will be that last article for SEM.edu for a while. I may post a new SEM.edu article from time to time, but I’ll focus my energies on SEM 101 for the most part. So for the remainder of this article, let’s look back at some highlights and key takeaways from past articles.

SEM.edu in Review

There’s no substitute for experience. As with most things, you can buy a book and read or learn from trainers, but the best education comes from rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Kind of like shopping at REI to get the equipment you need and then “getting out there.”

Career Development

With the economic meltdown, many of you might be looking for a new job, or to enhance your career path. What kind of training will be best suited for you?

Being certified will probably put you higher up on the food chain in your job interviews. More experience is a plus, so a solid grasp on the topic will put you head and shoulders above the others. Of course, reaching out to friends and colleagues via LinkedIn or other social networks will help you get the word out.

SEM Education

What kind of SEM education is out there and which is right for you? Online courses such as SEMPO Institute or Search Engine College are great for self-paced students. Some may prefer a little handholding with instructor-led courses, like Search Engine Workshops or Bruce Clay Training. All in all, there are great options for SEM education, and they’re continually improving and advancing.

Educational Standards

One reason SEM education is improving is because many feel the need for educational standards in the industry, or at least checks and balances, for determining quality work. This is still a hot debate. Regardless, it’s fueling the fire for future SEM educational programs to become better.

Future of SEM Education

In my article on the future of SEM education, I pointed out several statistics on the market that showed positive growth. Increased numbers of unemployed search marketers are probably grasping for the latest SEM education to enhance their resumes in this economic climate.

Regardless of current conditions, the SEM industry will continue flourishing, as will the demand for quality educational programs for search marketers. These programs will slowly become mainstream as colleges and universities integrate them into their standard marketing courses. Some already do.

Social Marketing

The new world of social marketing is becoming a creative and unique way to educate and stay connected with the teacher and the student. Get to know these new forms of communication like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

These new forms of collaborative communication are growing rapidly. Don’t get left behind — dive in and try them out. You might find some innovative ways to use them.

So with that I conclude my thoughts on SEM education and move slightly lateral to understanding SEM basics with the new weekly SEM 101 series. If you’d like me to cover a certain topic in either SEM.edu or SEM 101, please send me an e-mail.

And don’t forget to check out my new column next Monday.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies Chicago December 8-12 at the Chicago Hilton. The only major search marketing conference and expo in the Midwest will be packed with 60-plus sessions, multiple keynotes and Orion Strategy sessions, exhibitors, networking events, and more.

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