Well done Search Engine College graduates!

Hearty congratulations to our latest round of graduates for 2012.

Students named below have successfully completed a course at Search Engine College and attained official certification status (requiring a passing grade of 70 percent or higher) in the past few months.

Search Engine Optimization 101

  • Anushree Y Pandya
  • Kate Gold
  • Janice Wood
  • Pat Wolesky
  • Janine Maxwell
  • Tiffeny Papuc
  • Christopher Dallenbach
  • Bob Lamberson
  • Lorna Marlow
  • Nichole Simms
  • Nadine Robele
  • Stefanie Asselmann
  • Artez Young
  • Gary Lent
  • Ayonara Rome
  • Sam Billings
  • Nancy Orenstein
  • Kelli Castleberry
  • Cherish Moss
  • Marike van der Spuy
  • Jim Millar
  • Vicki Portors
  • William Morrison
  • Diana Weaver
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Russel Brownlee
  • Roger Whittaker
  • Marika Sjöberg
  • Diego Varela
  • Mark Idoni
  • Christoph Brendel
  • Nadine Robele
  • Autumn Garavito-Chaney
  • Leonard Fanelli Jr
  • Leila Al-Challah
  • Phyllis Rieff
  • Marie Orriss
  • Hunter Ricks
  • Dave Desruisseaux
  • Kasie Christine
  • Erwin Hunter
  • Nichole Gunn
  • Donnell Harmon
  • Christina Cole
  • Christine Rokos
  • Stephanie Moreno
  • Kelly Thompson
  • Sharon Tremblay
  • Adam Dilbeck
  • Carol Szymczak
  • Christine Sun
  • Asif Dewan
  • Heidi Couto


Search Engine Optimization 201

  • John Cullen
  • James Kelly
  • Susan Steele
  • Anushree Y Pandya
  • Wian Oliver
  • Robert Mosley
  • Neil Egginton
  • Gaone Victor Ronkwane
  • Trish Anderson
  • Pat Wolesky
  • Janine Maxwell
  • Stefanie Asselmann
  • Gary Lent
  • Ayonara Rome
  • Nancy Orenstein
  • Kelli Castleberry
  • Janice Wood
  • Ross Kenyon
  • Leona Miller
  • Bob Lamberson
  • Roger Whittaker
  • Melissa Moran
  • Christoph Brendel
  • Autumn Garavito-Chaney
  • Phyllis Rieff
  • Mary Li
  • Mark Idoni
  • Michonne Rose Proulx
  • Ryoichi Atsumi
  • Artez Young
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Marie Orriss
  • Lyn Beaumont
  • Nadine Robele
  • Diego Varela
  • Patricia Uster
  • Cherish Moss
  • Christopher Dallenbach
  • Christina Cole
  • Tiffeny Papuc
  • Carol Szymczak
  • Asif Dewan


Pay Per Click Advertising 101

  • Russell Hudson
  • Pat Wolesky
  • Janine Maxwell
  • Robert Mosley
  • Stefanie Asselmann
  • Nancy Orenstein
  • Leona Miller
  • Erwin Hunter
  • Nichole Simms
  • Phyllis Rieff
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Marie Orriss
  • Nadine Robele
  • Donnell Harmon
  • John Cummings
  • Christina Cole
  • Mark Idoni
  • Asif Dewan
  • Kevin May


Pay Per Click Advertising 201

  • Darlene Sojka
  • Diana Timmons
  • Pat Wolesky
  • Janine Maxwell
  • Keith Rowe
  • Stefanie Asselmann
  • Nancy Orenstein
  • Robert Mosley
  • Phyllis Rieff
  • Ryoichi Atsumi
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Marie Orriss
  • Nichole Simms
  • Christina Cole
  • Nadine Robele
  • Mark Idoni
  • Asif Dewan

Web Site Copywriting 101

  • Saresa Bass
  • Kathleen McGowan
  • Gary Lent
  • Carole Pilkington
  • Cindy Hodits
  • Kelli Castleberry
  • Cheryl Magee
  • Autumn Garavito-Chaney
  • Ajay Nair
  • Darlene Sojka
  • Russel Brownlee
  • Brant Skogrand
  • Nadine Robele
  • Mark Idoni

Web Site Usability 101

  • William Smith
  • Nathan Blows
  • Janine Maxwell
  • Stefanie Asselmann
  • Ryoichi Atsumi
  • Roger Whittaker
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Marie Orriss
  • Christina Cole
  • Asif Dewan


Link Building 101

  • Anushree Y Pandya
  • Keith Rowe
  • Christoph Brendel
  • Luis Hernandez
  • Nichole Simms
  • Christopher Dallenbach

Certified Search Engine Optimizer

 

  • Anushree Y Pandya
  • Kathleen McGowan
  • Gary Lent
  • Kelli Castleberry
  • Roger Whittaker
  • Christoph Brendel
  • Autumn Garavito-Chaney
  • Luis Hernandez
  • Christopher Dallenbach


Certified Search Engine Marketer

  • Diana Timmons
  • Keith Rowe
  • Ajay Nair
  • Ryoichi Atsumi
  • Arlene Sperandeo
  • Marie Orriss
  • Darlene Sojka
  • Nichole Simms
  • Christina Cole
  • Nadine Robele
  • Mark Idoni
  • Asif Dewan

Congratulations to you all! Please contact your tutor if you are still waiting to receive your hard copy certificate, Status Page or certification seal.

Also, don’t forget to fan of our Facebook page and follow our Twitter profile @secollege for College announcements such as lesson updates, press releases, new courses, events and milestones.

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Search Engine College Now Reaches 57 Countries

SEC-smiley-150x178There were celebrations all round at Search Engine College this month, when we realized we now teach students in 57 different countries worldwide.

The 57 country milestone was reached when a new student from Egypt enrolled in our SEO Beginners Course.

Since its inception in 2004, Search Engine College has set new industry standards for online training in the field of Search Engine Marketing and we are very proud to have produced over 1,500 happy graduates.

Here’s a list of countries / regions where our students to date are located :

USA
Australia
Germany
Finland
Italy
England (UK)
South Africa
Portugal
India
Sri Lanka
Iceland
West Africa
Canada
Jordan
Belgium
France
Philippines
Ireland
Austria
China
New Zealand
Argentina
Netherlands
Russian Federation
Hong Kong (China)
Czech Republic
Singapore
Vietnam
Greece
Barbados
Brazil
Croatia
Trinidad and Tobago
Mauritius
United Arab Emirates
Malta
Turkey
Sweden
Latvia
Kuwait
Norway
Dominican Republic
Montenegro
Spain
The Netherlands
Israel
Romania
Pakistan
Bulgaria
Mexico
Slovenia
Uraguay
Thailand
Scotland
Costa Rica
Cayman Islands (UK)
Syrian Arab Republic (Syria)
Egypt

We’re already taking bets on which country will be next.

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Q and A: What steps can I take to recover from Google Panda / Penguin?

QuestionHi Kalena

I work for an online retail site and our company was hit really hard by Google Panda and then the ongoing Google Penguin algorithm updates.

We haven’t used any obvious spam tactics and we don’t use link farms, but a lot of our content is auto generated based on our product database and it is also duplicated on the sites belonging to some of our distribution partners. For example, we sell toys and promotional gifts made in China and these categories and product descriptions are replicated on our partner sites.

Two years ago, we hired a SEO firm to optimize our blog and write some articles for us that integrate links to our products. I think all these things have contributed to us getting wiped off Google search results after the Panda and Penguin updates. From what I’ve read, we may be guilty of over-optimization. Is this right?

Our traffic from search engines is down by at least 40 percent and has stayed that way for the past 6 months. What steps can we take to get back in Google’s good books? This is really hurting us.

Thank you in advance,
Tim

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Hello Tim

I started to answer this and then realized that Jill Whalen has already written an excellent article on this very subject. I believe it answers all your questions, including specific problems that have likely contributed to losses of organic Google traffic for many sites in the past year.

Please go have a read of  Jill’s article: 18 SEO Killers You Must Clean Up and Avoid for 2013 and all the best!

Kalena
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Search Industry Job of the Week – Senior Marketing Analyst – Paid Search

Job Title: Senior Marketing Analyst – Paid Search
Job Reference #: TAR00029P
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Target
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date Posted: 19 November 2012
Position description:

Join the Target.com Digital Media team, where your goal is to make the multi-channel shopping experience as simple, secure and enjoyable as a visit to your local Target store. You will develop strategies and data centric processes that drive sales and innovation while creating a fast, fun experience that inspires measurable guest loyalty.

Use your skills, experience and talents to be a part of a team that values groundbreaking innovation and visionary goals. As a Sr. Marketing Analyst – Paid Search you’ll take the lead as you…

  • Develop and implement scalable processes to drive traffic, sales and loyalty through paid search
  • Construct paid search campaign strategies for first tier engines
  • Manage the production of weekly/monthly reports on spend, ROI & conversion
  • Collaborate with other analysts to support business objectives
  • Monitor Search campaigns to increase performance
  • Performs analyses and research to understand keyword position and bids
  • Test and research new systems, data and media channels
  • Participate in ongoing industry training and understanding trends.
  • Partner with major search vendors to drive innovative solutions through targeting, testing, segmentation and reporting
  • Participate in project management and system development
  • Participate/Facilitate special project initiatives of a cross functional and cross company nature through thoughtful project management, efficient operational execution and strategic design

Requirements

  • 4-year Degree in Business, Marketing, Finance, Economics, Mathematics or related areas of study or equivalent work experience
  • 3-5 years prior related work experience, supervisory experience a plus
  • Experience with data and optimization centric processes
  • Proven ability to communicate complex concepts to peers and stake holders
  • A strong aptitude for Knowledge Management and documentation.
  • Ability to manage and consume large amounts of data in a relational database environment
  • Solid understanding of testing, segmentation and reporting processes
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and able to adapt project plans and tasks to changes
  • Previous database marketing experience preferred
  • Creative problem solving skills

Benefits

Eligible team members will receive one of the best earnings packages anywhere, including competitive pay, all-around insurance coverage, 401(k), flexible scheduling, training and development and many other perks and benefits. Target is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is a drug-free workplace.

About Target®

Expect the Best. At Target, they have a vision: to become the best – the best culture and brand, the best place for growth and the company with the best reputation. They offer an inclusive, collaborative and energetic work environment that rewards those who perform. They deliver engaging, innovative and on-trend experiences for their team members and their guests. They invest in their team members’ futures by developing leaders and providing a breadth of opportunities for professional development. It takes the best to become the best, and they are committed to building a team that does the right thing for our guests, shareholders, team members and communities.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation serves guests at stores nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education®.

Primary Location: United States-Minnesota-Minneapolis

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from: http://www.target.com/Home
Contact: Send resumes via online form: Marketing Pilgrim Jobs

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

A 3 Step Guide to Attracting Qualified Leads to Your Web Site

I was contacted recently by one of our graduates from Search Engine College. He wants to remain anonymous, so let’s call him Steve.

Since taking our course, Steve had managed to land a job as Director of Online Advertising for a famous plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. He had already used what he learned about SEO and PPC to increase traffic to the surgeon’s site by more than 40 percent. But he had run into a bit of a roadblock, which is why he contacted me.

Here’s part of Steve’s email:

“Although my client’s Internet inquiries have increased dramatically since last May when I started, we have apparently reached the wrong audience. Every inquiring patient bellyaches over the prices and tries to talk him down. Yet my client is a master surgeon with over 30 years experience, an instructor of cosmetic plastic surgery at two universities and has penned three books. I know how to find a more well-heeled audience in the world of print but how is it done on the Internet? What can I do differently with SEO, blogging and social media to find a more qualified group of patients for my client?”

In answering Steve’s email, I realized that there are probably many webmasters and online marketers in a similar situation : just how DO you attract the most appropriate target audience to your web site? Maybe you’ve got traffic generation covered, but how do you make sure the traffic you are receiving has the best potential to convert into sales/sign-ups?

Here’s the advice I gave Steve:

Step 1

Record how customers found your client’s site. Was it word of mouth or via the web site? Did they come from a search engine? What keywords did they type in? Make sure there is a *how did you find us?* option for every email, phone or walk-in inquiry. Closely track your client’s site analytics to see where the bulk of the traffic is coming from. Once you have a more solid understanding of your current customers, you are ready for the next step.

Step 2

Perform detailed keyword research so you know what keywords and phrases your particular target market is searching for in search engines. Start by looking at the keywords providing the most traffic to the site. It’s easy to assume that because your client offers “plastic surgery”, your customers type “plastic surgery” into Google to find your products, right? But the truth is, you don’t actually know what your client’s customers are searching for unless you research it. They might be typing in “facelifts” or “nose jobs” or “rhinoplasty”. One of the biggest mistakes online businesses make with search engine marketing is targeting the wrong keywords.

Next up, create a seed list of keywords. Basically, this is a brain dump of all the keywords and phrases you think your client’s preferred potential customers might type into a search engine to find the products and services he offers. You need to get inside the heads of your potential visitors/customers. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and think what would YOU type in to a search engine if you wanted to find a site like yours? Start with the keywords you know existing customers and site visitors have used. Then pass that list around the office, to your client, to your friends and get everyone to add the keywords *they* would use to find those same products and services. Keep going until you’ve got at least 50 keywords/phrases. That’s your search term seed list.

Now take that list and enter it into an online keyword research tool such as Keyword Discovery, Raven Tools or even the Google Keyword Tool. These tools show you how many searches each keyword/phrase attracts each day. Use this information to narrow down your choices. Don’t bother with keywords that generate less than 20 searches per day. Look at the most popular keywords in your list and choose the ones that relate specifically to your client’s service. Revise, streamline and revise some more to come up with your final list of the most relevant target search terms.

If you want to avoid the tire kickers, you’ll probably want to remove search terms such as *cheap plastic surgery*, *inexpensive facelifts* and similar themes from your list. If you are running AdWords campaigns, this is a lot easier because you just add keywords like -cheap and -free etc. to your negative keyword list.

When you have your final target list, get to work integrating those keywords into your web pages, blog posts and AdWords campaigns using your SEO knowledge. This will ensure that you receive more traffic from persons entering your target keywords and less traffic from tire kickers. Your site visitors should also be more qualified leads and further along in the research / buying process so it should result in more surgical bookings.

Step 3

Set up social media monitoring to track mentions of your target keywords on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networking sites. There are several tools to do this, but here are a couple of the best:

- Raven Tools Social Monitor
- Google Alerts
- TweetBeep

When you see mentions of those target keywords, you or your client can contact the persons who made the post / tweet / status update to let them know of your client’s services. For example, say you are tracking the keyword phrase *rhinoplasty surgeon* and someone uses Twitter to tweet something like:

“@paminbeverlyhills: Can anyone recommend an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon in Beverly Hills? #lazyweb”

You will receive an alert and you can then approach that person on Twitter. Obviously this has to be done in a subtle, helpful way rather than coming across as pushy or spam-like. So your response might be something like:

“@beverlyhillssurgeon: Hey @paminbeverlyhills I saw your tweet earlier about seeking a rhinoplasty surgeon, just wanted to let you know we have over 30 years experience in rhinoplasty surgery. Let me know if we can help :-) *

This can be time-consuming, but well worth the effort because the leads are highly qualified and much more likely to convert.

Don’t forget, you can also use Facebook demographic targeting to promote your client’s business page or web site via Facebook advertising. For example, if you know that your client’s patients are mostly aged 40+ with tertiary education, you can choose to have the ads show only to Facebook users who meet that demographic. You can do the same thing using demographic targeting in Google AdWords.

Follow these 3 steps and start attracting more qualified leads to your web site. When you are tracking just the keywords and search phrases that you know are highly relevant to your business and/or using demographic targeting, you are able to more accurately pinpoint your market and pick and choose your customers.

Tire kickers begone!