SEM Manager

The SEM Manager works on behalf of the business in ensuring that when the audience searches for content that is relevant to the business in key search engines, the business’s websites, blog sites, and online pages appear among the top results. The SEM Manager applies search optimization, website techniques, as well as paid internet marketing methods such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in the execution of his duties.

The SEM Manager understands the workings of various search engines as used by consumers and the different ranking and search techniques for each of those engines. The SEM Manager also plays a role in the planning and managing of website updates and online advertising campaigns in order to drive search results for the business’s pages.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the SEM Manager

Revenue/Profit Generation: The SEM Manager is tasked with generating revenue and making the business profit by increasing the online traffic through optimized web content. The higher the traffic rate, in e-commerce, the higher the revenue and profit for the business will be. The SEM Manager works to ensure that the goal of high traffic generation is then achieved. The SEM Manager also monitors and tracks the business’s pages online performance not only with an outlook of the amount of traffic generated but with an outlook of the sales that result.

Search Engine Optimization Support: The position of SEM Manager is closely related to that of the SEO Manager and because of this, the SEM Manager plays a supporting role in Search Engine Optimization. The internet is a competitive environment and because of this, the SEM Manager is tasked with devising strategies that increase traffic by ensuring that the online pages of the business on various search engines rank as high as possible. PPC management can also be a lucrative way of attaining greater online exposure. The job of the SEM Manager at this capacity is to ensure that PPC becomes an integrated part of search marketing.

Research and Strategy: The SEM Manager also has a duty to monitor and analyze performance of the business’s online pages. In doing so he employs the use of search engine analytical tools as well as online tracking tools he then proceeds to make recommendations for strategy improvements and optimal media mix.

The SEM Manager is also involved in the formulation of the overall search marketing strategy, inclusive of product marketing, creativity, and engineering. At this capacity, he has a responsibility to make further recommendations to senior SEM management on the use of additional electronic marketing channels such as social media and email.

At this capacity, he also plays a major role in the formulation of the SEM department’s budget and schedule of all paid search in conjunction with the Senior SEM personnel. The SEM Manager also emphasizes on ‘beyond the click’ metrics in order to ensure maximization of sales conversions and consumer Return on Investment.

Technical/Analytical Role: In his efforts to manage the day to day SEM programs, the SEM Manager evaluates keywords, trends, competitors, and market behavior for the purpose of identifying opportunities that will advance SEM initiatives. The SEM Manager is charged with directly managing the business’s SEM programs through its design, development, and management and this will involve formulation of SEM campaign structures, keyword management and research, landing page optimization, keyword bidding, creation of ad copy, A/B testing, and any other capability that is necessary for the business to drive revenue generation, hit key metrics, and maximize results.

At this capacity, the SEM Manager also refines and expands analytics within the department inclusive of click-attribution in order to influence the development of up-to-date internal reporting capabilities. The SEM Manager also plays a role in the management of daily, weekly, or monthly SEM performance reporting and analysis, which is addressed to senior SEM management.

Collaboration: The role of the SEM Manager is also a collaborative role and the SEM Manager works with team members from various departments in creating effective approaches for multiple SEM campaigns using industry best practices. As mentioned above, the SEM Manager works closely with the SEO management team in order to generate traffic, which will in turn generate revenue and profits for the business.

Additionally, the SEM Manager works with research departments in order to track and analyze SEM campaign performances and also to ensure that the performance of those campaigns is optimal. The SEM Manger will also work with the business’s in-house creative and technology teams, for example, the design department personnel or the content creation department personnel, for the purpose of continuously improving SEM campaigns and programs.

Knowledge: It is also the duty of the SEM Manager to maintain current and up to date knowledge of Search Marketing editorial guidelines for major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. The SEM Manager is expected to keep the SEM department abreast of the latest trends in the industry, constantly conducting research on the SEM community and implementing the latest appropriate SEM strategies. The SEM Manager incorporates a ‘test, measure, and refine’ approach in order to consistently improve on the SEM program results and enhance the impact of online marketing for the profitability of the business.

Required Qualifications of SEM Manager

Education: A candidate for this position must have a bachelor’s degree in a business or quantitative discipline, for example, in Math, Economics, Business, Marketing, Information Technology, Computer Science, any other related field. An equivalent of this requirement in working experience is also acceptable for the position.

Experience: The candidate for this position must also have had over 3 years in experience working in a search engine marketing capacity or has had the same amount of experience working with paid search experience in an online environment. A suitable candidate will also have a proven and successful track record in the management of SEM campaigns for a business with the aim of driving revenue generation and profitability.

A suitable candidate for the position will additionally have amassed experience in bid management platforms and analyzing and applying response data to enhance SEM campaign results.

Analytical Skills: The SEM Manager must demonstrate a genuine passion and a keen interest in the field of online marketing and, more specifically, paid search. He must also possess excellent analytical skills and an ability to perform analytical functions in a high accountability culture. The SEM Manager will be proficient in the use of Google AdWords, Yahoo Gemini, Bing, among other analytical tools and platforms necessary for the effective performance of his duties. A suitable candidate will also possess highly advanced mathematical skills along with solid Ms Word and Ms Excel skills, more specifically lookups and pivot tables, which will come in handy in analyses and report creation.

Communication Skills: The SEM Manager must possess good communication skills both in verbal and written form. A suitable candidate will demonstrate and ability to convey complex concepts and findings in simplified terms that are easily understandable to non-technical cross-functional personnel. Good communication skills are also necessary in the creation of engaging and easy to understand reports and research findings, which are presented to senior SEM management.

Interpersonal Skills: The SEM Manager must also possess certain interpersonal skills that ensure smooth execution of his duties. A candidate for this position will need to have a positive can-do attitude, have an innate ability to work autonomously with minimal supervision, have a sharp eye for detail coupled with the ability to see how small details make up the bigger picture, have excellent project management skills, have an embracing attitude towards change, be a strategic thinker, and be constantly proactive and motivated in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment.

Career path