Search engine marketing (SEM) is a relatively new concept in the marketing field and is therefore not often taught through traditional colleges and universities. These programs, offered through online training centers or continuing education facilities, teach individuals about search optimization techniques, web space purchasing, targeted advertising, and copywriting. A certificate in the field can demonstrate proficiencies sought by employers looking to increase their business' online presence.
Voluntary professional certification opportunities may be obtained through various organization and companies. Candidates must pass qualifying examinations. Prerequisites for this program include an aptitude for computer systems, keyboarding and internet browsers, professional marketing, or advertising experience.
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Certificate Programs in Search Engine Marketing
Marketing professionals who specialize in search engine optimization are trained to capture the most online searchers in the shortest amount of time and direct them to particular businesses. Most programs assume that students already have an understanding of marketing theory, and therefore mostly offer courses related to practical SEM techniques. Some courses might include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click search engines
- Website design
- Target keywords
- SEO integration
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report statistics related specifically to the field of search engine marketing or even Internet marketing. It does, however, report that marketing managers in general held about 192,890 jobs in the United States in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS further noted in that year that marketing managers made a mean annual salary of $140,660. However, those marketing managers who worked in computer systems design and related services earned an average of $153,670 per year, while those who worked in software publishing earned $99,160, and those who worked for other information services companies earned $175,570, on average per year.
Certification in search engine marketing or search engine optimization (SEO) is completely voluntary and is offered through individual corporations or organizations such as SEOcertification.org or SEMPO Institute ('SEMPO' stands for Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization). Such for-profit companies offer online training programs that grant certification to those who complete the programs.
Certification in search engine marketing can help marketing professionals improve their career prospects by gaining knowledge and skills on how to use online tools such as website design and SEO integration.