It’s that time of year again, when an in-house SEO’s mind turns to spiked eggnog at the company party and tinsel around the cubicles. With 2011 looming large in our collective monitors, it feels like the right time to share some love.
Again this year SEMPO has run the Industry Salary Survey. Started a few years back, this survey is a great tool coming into the new year to help explain to your uplevel managers and Human Resources exactly what your skills are worth. In past years, the survey was split into In-House and Agency versions.
This year they have been combined into one survey, though the two individual tracks have been preserved, of course. Before you go all clap-happy, though, get a grip. The industry is maturing, and while there are still plenty of opportunities available, businesses are much savvier today about understanding what they need and how to hire this talent.
Gone are the days were you could buzz-word your way into a slick position with a company. Today’s businesses want to see quantifiable results and will be looking for clear proof of not only past successes, but also of your time in the industry.
Wondering if that online SEO training you were thinking of taking has any value? Chances are it’ll carry some weight in your interview, so look at it as investment in your career.
And speaking of training, choose your training program carefully. There still exist a lot of options online today, not all of which are created equally. Look through what’s covered carefully and try to understand how useful the topics covered will be in your future work.
If you see a program covering more than SEO – consider this, as paid search, social media management, link building and more all matter to today’s businesses. Here’s a primer list, in no order, of places to check out training options:
- SEMPO Institute
- Online Marketing Summit
- Bruce Clay
- SMX Workshops
- SES Workshops
- Pubcon Workshops
There are dozens more, and this list is only meant to give folks a starting point. I’ll suggest a quick trip to your engine of choice to look for more training options and options for deeper focus in specific areas.
Try to look at businesses which offer a series of training options, covering the widest range of online marketing options possible. Buying courses through them will likely result in a better overall training package, and might even save you a few dollars. The bottom line — you should shop around and match what will be covered to your needs.
The goal with the SEMPO Salary Survey data was to have data available early in the New Year. So check in and make sure your membership is up to date to see the full results. The data in that survey might just be the best news you’ve seen all year.
Please be careful, though, when sharing this information within your company. Most businesses want to know if they are compensating their employees equitably, but few enjoy when employees threaten to quit if they don’t get a raise. In fact, most businesses are not equipped to deal with significant budget hits mid-year, so timing is critical.
Getting adjustments to salaries made is a budgeting exercise, among other things. Be sure to start conversations at the right time to influence budgets. Without this critical timing and influence, it’ll be tough for your boss to convince the company to find more money for you, no matter what a survey says.
The main points of all this are basically as follows:
- Training programs matter more now than in the past to most businesses
- Don’t sweat the actual program – sweat the details covered in the program
- Try to find all-encompassing training programs – seo, ppc, social, etc.
- Businesses are savvier than ever about hiring online marketing talent
- More businesses are starting to align salaries with skills & experience
- SEMPO Salary survey data comes out soon
Now, on an entirely lighter note, it occurred to me the world needs yet another take on the Twelve Days of Christmas. These are the things that pop into my head while thinking of salary surveys and employment trends in our industry. So without further ado, I present…
The 12 days of Christmas, SEO style:
- 12 editors writing unique content
- 11 engineers fixing bad URLs
- 10 trusted inbound links for every page
- 9 pages of fresh content every day
- 8 dedicated bodies to do social media work
- 7 days a week of SEO focus
- 6 solid keyword research tools
- 5 useful social media management tools
- 4 reliable back-link checking tools
- 3 easy ways to validate sites in WMTs
- 2 full sets of Webmaster tools
- and one SEO Easy Button
Hokey, I’ll admit, but my next thought is heartfelt, I assure you.
I’d like to offer a big thanks to everyone who reads our contributions here at Search Engine Land. It’s great to be able to share with folks and the feedback is always appreciated. Here’s to an excellent, profitable 2011! And thanks for a simply amazing 2010. See you next year.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.