digital marketing

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AN SEM SPECIALIST

In marketing, visibility is key. And to make sure your online marketing is optimized for maximum visibility in search engines, you need the services of an SEM Specialist.

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What is an SEM Specialist?

SEM means search engine marketing. This is a kind of paid marketing strategy that allows businesses to advertise themselves on search engine results pages (SERPs). In order to accomplish this, advertisers bid on keywords that search engine users might use when looking for good, products or services. When such a keyword is used, the advertiser has a chance to have his ad seen alongside the organic search results for the said keyword.

This sounds straight forward enough. However, what some advertisers fail to realize is that SEM allows them to put their service or product in front of potential customers who are already, more or less, on a buying mindset. Therefore, it’s not enough to just “get an ad out there”.

Ads used in SEM should be super-targeted and ultra-focused because, for the most part, these provide that final push to turn a mere potential customer into an actual paying one. Search engine marketing service providers in the Philippines understand this well enough that they’re among the most sought after in the world today.

Search engine marketing should be done hand in hand with SEO. While SEO is a powerful means to generate organic traffic, SEM is an effective strategy to make sure nothing is left on the table or slips through the cracks.

The biggest challenge in the work of an SEO Specialist is keeping up with search engines’ ever-changing algorithms. It is a daunting task that requires plenty of analysis and critical thinking.

Why is an SEM Specialist Important?

In marketing, optimum visibility results in greater traffic. And as we all know, high traffic, means high chances of conversion. An SEM Specialist facilitates this by making sure your ads are placed in front of highly motivated leads.

While SEO results may take some time to materialize, SEM is an excellent backup strategy for your brand to get on search engine results pages. It allows you to generate sales while your SEO is taking its time to get traction. However, it does not mean that when your SEO is already getting you results that you’ll shut down your SEM. In fact, as soon as your SEO starts getting results, you need to up your SEM game to get even more out of your marketing. That way, organic evergreen leads are generated by your SEO your SEM provides supplemental conversion.

Look at it this way: SEO is your long-term plan while SEM is your short-term plan. While you’re waiting for your SEO to bear fruit, your SEM will be driving the conversions. As soon as your SEO starts getting results, your SEM will take a backseat but will still continue to generate conversions to supplement your SEO. Together, they can drive up to 70% of your online marketing.

An SEM Specialist working in coordination with your SEO Specialist (along with a social media marketer and media buyer) will make for a powerful online marketing team that can assure your online marketing efforts are not going to waste.

Important Skills and Traits of an SEO Specialist

In order to be effective, an SEM Specialist needs to possess a certain skill set and certain character traits:

  • Above Average Analytical Skills – SEM requires a high analytical ability. An SEM Specialist needs to be able to effectively bid on keywords that will mete out the best results.
  • Effective Communication – he should be able to explain why he’s doing this and that for a page, and for what, especially when it comes.
  • Marketing and Advertising Skills – an SEM Specialist who can do their own keyword research and conceptualize ads that uses said keywords is definitely more valuable.
  • Critical Thinking – this is important because a good part of an SEM Specialist’s job is solving problems. 
  • Ability to adapt quickly – an essential part of an SEM Specialist’s job is making changes and adjustments to running campaigns on the fly.
  • Being receptive to new things – SEM, just like any kind of marketing campaign, is dynamic and ever-changing. An SEM Specialist needs to have an endless supply of curiosity and desire to learn – not to mention patience and a thick skin.

Where to Find SEM Specialists?

A common mistake for companies looking to hire an SEM Specialist is assuming that this is just the same as an SEO Specialist. While both are related, SEM is an entirely different ballgame from SEO. 

The first thing you need to decide when deciding to hire an SEM Specialist is whether you want to hire local or a remote. 

The advantages of hiring locally include:

  • Ease of access and the ability to work with you personally – it’s always easier to work with someone face to face.
  • Less cultural and social adjustment needed you’re most probably living in the same city as your designer so you’re in the same time zone, speak the same language and share the same culture. This makes work so much smoother.
  • Better team-building opportunities being in the same place physically creates plenty of opportunity to train, collaborate, build rapport, and get feedback.

On the other hand, hiring local talent can have the following disadvantages:

  • Specific skill sets can be harder to find if you’re limited to a particular geographical area, finding a rockstar will be challenging. 
  • Overhead expenses if you hire locally, you’ll be obligated to keep an office which means you have to pay rent, pay for supplies, pay for electricity and other utilities. If you already have an office, you’ll have to provide your new hire with a work space which translates to the same thing – increased overhead.

If you decide to hire a remote worker, you need to decide if you’re hiring a project-based SEM Specialist or a full-time one. In any case, here are the advantages of hiring remote talent:

  • Access to a global pool of talents you’re not limited to who’s available in your city and what they know. Hiring remotely gives you access to talented SEM Specialists from different countries who may even charge relatively smaller fees than local recruits. This is true to both project-based freelancers and full-timers.
  • Little to no overhead most remote workers work from home so you don’t need to worry about providing them with work spaces. This is especially true for project-based freelancers. However, for full-time employees, you may be required to subsidize their internet connection, computer equipment etc. But these costs are still far less compared to local overhead expenses. 
  • Less contractual obligation you can hire SEM Specialists on a per-project basis. If you like their work, continue to give them projects to work on. If you don’t, just don’t give them any more tasks to perform and that’s that.

On the other hand, here are the disadvantages of hiring remote workers:

  • Trial and error you can’t really gauge the level of expertise, experience and even work ethic of the remote worker until you take a leap of faith and hire them. The good news is, if you don’t like their performance on the first project, you can just part ways right then and there.
  • Time constraints if you hire a remote web designer, particularly a freelancer, you need to understand right off the bat that you’re probably sharing him with several other clients (some paying more than you). That means your project is at the mercy of the freelancer’s workload. This may not be the case, though, with full-time remote employees.

That being said, here are a few places where you can find SEM Specialists online. Note that in some of these websites, you’ll have the option to hire either locally or remotely. It’s all up to you, your needs and your budget:

  • Monster (local and remote) – although Monster now caters to remote worker needs, its strength still lies in sourcing local talents. All you need to do is search “SEM Specialist”, narrow down your search by location and experience, and you’re off to the races.
  • Upwork (local and remote) – geared more towards the US market. You can post an SEM Specialist job, and available contractors can start lining up to apply. All you’d need to do is choose the best candidate. This is a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time SEM Specialists.
  • People Per Hour (remote and local) – geared more towards the European market. Just like Upwork, you post a job and contractors will apply. You can choose the best candidate and go from there. This is also a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time SEM Specialists.
  • C9 Digital (remote) – specializes in providing remote staffing services from the Philippines, including search engine marketing service. It is considered a concierge service where you don’t simply hire an SEM Specialist (or any other kind of remote worker for that matter), you hire an SEM Specialist with an entire management service behind him to keep him accountable and always on his toes. This is ideal for people looking to hire the best and expecting to get the best while keeping costs relatively competitive.

Hiring Considerations

When looking to hire SEM Specialists, whether it be local or remote, there are a few important considerations you have to keep in mind. 

Do you already have an SEM campaign running that you want to boost? Or is this your first venture into SEM? Do you already have a team in place such as a copywriter, a media buyer, an SEO Specialist and you just need a kickass SEM Specialist to complete it? Or are you planning to build a team around your SEM Specialist?

Is it going to be a one-off project or do you have a series of projects in your pipeline?

Next, what level of experience or proficiency would you like your SEM Specialist to have? Would you be okay with a mid-level specialist or are you looking for a senior level one? 

Finally, how much do you have to spend? Do you have just enough for a one-off deal? Is your pocket deep enough for a part-time or even a full-time recruit? Are you ready to spend good money on a senior-level SEM Specialist salary or is your budget pointing towards a mid-level one?

C9 Digital SEM Specialists

Here at C9 Digital, we have SEM Specialists in all levels of proficiency. Whether you need mid-level specialists (with 1-3 years experience) or senior level specialists (with 4 years experience or more), we have one that fits your needs. In fact, we provide the best search engine marketing service in the Philippines. 

Expertise is also not a problem because we have SEM Specialists who specialize all kinds of online marketing platforms. Whatever your SEM needs are, we got you covered.

And since our SEM Specialists are based in the Philippines, communication is not a problem because we speak excellent English. In fact, most of our remote workers have English as their second language so you don’t have to worry about your message getting lost in translation. 

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OUR CLIENTS SPEAK

We've worked hard with C9 Digital for years and they have done an outstanding job of helping our brand build our customer service department. They are experts in developing, training and deploying Philippines-based staff for businesses of all industries and sizes. As a result of C9 Digital, we have seen an improvement in our first call resolution, overall customer service satisfaction, online reviews, brand reputation, and growth. We look forward to continuing to grow with C9 Digital and the entire team they've deployed for Amax Group.

ADAM MCENANEY,  Accountant Executive
Amax Group USA

C9 Digital helped us hire a Digital Ads Specialist that introduced us to a game-changing technology that we didn't know existed. We launched several digital campaigns that got us ranked #1 on Google and has played a strong role in our enviroment.

LEO,  Owner
Leon Authentic Mexican Grill

C9 Digital provided us a Facebook Ads
Specialist who helped us get our resorts
fully booked!

MONICA,  Marketing Assistant
PALAYA NATURAL FARM  

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