What does an SEM consultant do?
A SEM consultant specializes in helping websites get more web traffic from search engines, using SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) tools, tactics, and strategies.
Essentially, a SEM consultant needs to have solid knowledge of both SEO and PPC. An SEM consultant will help a website get more visibility in search engine results by optimizing the content of the website, managing different advertising campaigns, and analyzing the website’s performance.
What skills should your SEM consultant have?
If you want to hire the best SEM expert, make sure they have the following skills:
Solid SEO knowledge
Your SEM consultant should know the latest SEO techniques and be able to optimize your website for targeted keywords, as well as make sure all of your content is high quality and relevant.
Excellent PPC know-how
As a general rule, PPC campaigns require more maintenance and monitoring than SEO campaigns, so ensure that your SEM consultant understands how to manage PPC campaigns. Generally, an SEM consultant will be able to set up and monitor an AdWords account, as well as create search ads that are highly targeted and effective.
Extensive knowledge of digital marketing in general
Your SEM consultant should also have an understanding of other digital marketing disciplines, such as email marketing and social media. This will help them understand the entire customer journey and create the most effective campaigns.
Understanding of content marketing
Although content marketing is not strictly considered a part of SEM, it is an essential element that goes hand in hand with SEO. An experienced SEM consultant should know how to create content that will help improve a website’s ranking in search engine results, thus helping your overall digital marketing efforts.
Understanding of copywriting
Copywriting is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, and your SEM consultant should understand how to write compelling copy that will help improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.
Data analysis and reporting
Your search engine marketing expert should also have solid analytical skills, and they should know how to create comprehensive reports that show the progress of your campaigns. This will help you make informed decisions about where to invest more resources.
To run in-depth data analysis, your search engine marketing consultant should be an expert Google Analytics user and they should be adept at using additional SEO and PPC analytics tools, as well as competitive analysis tools.
Strong communication skills
Your search engine marketing consultant also needs to be an excellent communicator, as they will need to communicate effectively with your dedicated team. They should also be able to explain complex concepts in simple terms.
Lastly, your SEM consultant should also have good project management skills. This will enable them to effectively manage multiple projects at once and ensure deadlines are met every time. It also helps them better collaborate with freelancers, internal teams, and stakeholders.
What's the difference an SEM consultant and an SEM specialist?
The main difference between an SEM consultant and an SEM specialist lies int heir primary job duties. While an SEM consultant is typically responsible for helping businesses implement SEO and PPC strategies, an SEM specialist is usually more focused on managing and optimizing existing campaigns. The terms are frequently interchangeable and that's not necessarily incorrect -- but generally, a consultant is focused on high-level strategy, while a specialist is in the trenches, doing the day-to-day work.
Questions to ask when hiring an SEM consultant
If you want to hire the best SEM consultant, here are some questions to consider asking during the recruitment process:
- What is your experience with other areas of digital marketing (aside from search engine marketing?)
- Have you ever worked with a business in our industry (e.g., online business eCommerce, SaaS, etc.)?
- What are the top three most important search engine optimization tactics, in your opinion?
- Can you tell us about a search campaign you've created and how successful it was?
- Do you have experience running Google Ads (other than search ads, like display advertising, foe example?)
- How do search ads and search engine optimization play into the overall marketing efforts of a company?
- What are, in your opinion, the essential elements of building a successful online marketing campaign?
- Other than search, what other marketing channels do you think we should invest in, based on the information you have about our company and market?
- What is your favorite marketing tool and why?
- What is, in your opinion, the biggest challenges of running Google Ads?
- Can you tell us how you would run a search engine marketing campaign for us?
- Do you have experience in online advertising outside of search engines (like running ads on social media platforms, for example?)
- How do you make sure your SEO drives relevant traffic?
- How do you choose strong keywords for your search engine marketing campaigns?
- What is the biggest challenge of modern online advertising, in your opinion?
- Do you have experience running link building campaigns?
- How do you collaborate with internal marketing departments? Do you have a process for this?
- What are some of your favorite digital marketing experts?
- What are the challenges of search advertising vs display advertising, in your opinion?
- What advertising budget would work for our company (given the information you have?)
- What tactics do you use to ensure the success of your advertising bids?
- Other than search, what other advertising platforms do you think are suitable for our business?
- Other than the price of running actual ads, what other advertising costs do you consider when building a search engine marketing campaign?
- How do you connect advertising dollars spent and business goals?
How to hire the perfect search engine marketing consultant
Not sure how to hire the right search engine marketing consultant? You have several options available:
You can find SEM professionals on freelance boards like Upwork and Freelancer. You can search for freelancers by their skills and experience, read through their reviews and portfolios, and contact those who seem suitable.
Social media is a great way to find experienced and knowledgeable SEM consultants. LinkedIn, in particular, is a great resource for finding freelancers and consultants with specific skill sets. You can search through profiles and contact the best candidates directly.
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a reliable SEM consultant. Ask your contacts and colleagues if they know any good freelancers or consultants and if they can recommend any.
Hire with Mayple
If you're looking for the quickest way to hire an SEM consultant with a proven track record, Mayple is what you're looking for. We only work with vetted SEM consultants, and we can match you with the best one for your industry and requirements in a matter of days. Contact us, and let's chat about it!