<< by on June 5th, 2009
Everyone is familiar with the concept that change is the only constant. In the SEM industry, this is an ever present occurrence we must all struggle with. The current economic downturn makes it even more important to better prepare yourself and your company for the uncontrollable factors headed your way.
Engines. Sometimes it seems that the second you get a good grasp on how Google, or any other engine works, they evolve. This is one factor that you have zero control over. The only thing you can do is be ready and adapt to the changes as soon as you can. A recent change in the Google AdWords interface may have thrown many for a loop, but just keep in mind that these changes are intended to make your life easier. If you have not yet mastered the new AdWords interface, start learning it because the old interface will soon fade out. Another major recent change that took place earlier this week was the launch of Microsoft’s new engine Bing. So far, there are mixed reviews on its performance. They are trying to rejuvenate the search engine to become a decision engine. Only time will tell how it will affect your accounts. Monitor the changes in your performance and make changes where they are needed.
Clients. Client changes can include site redesigns, new goals, new performance measurements, or new products and services that can sometimes come out of nowhere. If your team is not organized and the client relationship is not solid, this could be a more painful process than it has to be. A big advantage to taking on projects such as these is being up-to-date on industry trends and strategies.
Users. This is a big one. The whole purpose of SEM is to help users find your site, so it makes sense for them to be a priority. Searcher trends are something to monitor. You want to be able to alter your approach based on user tendencies. You need to evolve in step with the searchers looking for you.
So, how do you stay up-to-date with SEM industry trends?
Conferences. Attending industry conferences are a good way to learn the new tricks of the trade in SEM. You can learn from industry experts, and it is also a great place to network. A good conference for those new to the industry is Search Engine Strategies (SES). There are more basic presentations, but still helpful to those looking to further their knowledge on the industry. A more advanced conference is Search Marketing Expo (SMX). If you have been in the game for a while, or are looking for a more intense analysis of the industry and current trends, this conference would suit you.
Blogs. A simple and budget friendly way to keep up with current changes and trends is to subscribe to blogs. SEM experts blog everyday on sites like Search Engine Land about the industry and what’s to come and how to be better prepared for it. It’s also a good idea to follow the official Google blog, Yahoo! Search blog, and any other engine’s official blog that you advertise on or optimize for. This is a quick way to get engine updates and news direct from the source.