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who long does it take to be a Search Marketing Strategists? what classes do I have to take to be a Search Marketing Strategists? what other careers are related to Search Marketing Strategists? how much does being a Search Marketing Strategists cost? what college is best for me?

who long does it take to be a Search Marketing Strategists?
what classes do I have to take to be a Search Marketing Strategists?
what other careers are related to Search Marketing Strategists?
how much does being a Search Marketing Strategists cost?
what college is best for me?

Thank you comment icon Hi Stephanie! Please post only one question at a time, as per our Community Guidelines. These are great questions, but it is hard for Professionals to answer many questions at once, and you may not get the advice you are looking for. Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for using CareerVillage :) Alexandra Carpenter, Admin

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Doug’s Answer

It depends on how long it takes you to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively strategize search marketing. You can learn about about strategy and search marketing theory in school, but it's very different when you're playing with real money.

If you want to test the waters in a non-committal way, take Google Ads Certification Course. You can also take Google Digital Garage Certification course, and Google Analytics Certification course. All of these are free through Google. Facebook also offers Meta Blueprint certification which will teach you about Facebook advertising. HubSpot offers some of the best free certification courses through HubSpot Academy. HubSpot courses will teach you about strategy, buyer stages, SEO, SEM, content marketing, etc., with practical tips and resources I use daily as a marketer. There are also a number of 8-12 week digital marketing bootcamps available.

Look at companies you like and that are successful. Study their marketing. Look at their content, ads, try to figure out their messaging, branding, who they're appealing to. Study their competitors.

Read industry blogs, ask questions, make comments, get involved, learn the lingo.

Once you have a basic understanding and foundation if you're still interested, take advantage of free trials of Ahrefs, SEMRush, Spyfu. Make the most of your free trials and learn all you can. These are industry tools digital marketers use daily.

Talk to family and friends with businesses, gain hands on experience volunteering to help with their marketing. Start a blog, promote Amazon or other affiliate products. Hypothesis, strategize, and test ideas on your blog. Setup lead magnets and build an email list. Signup for a free email marketing account and test email marketing for your products or whatever you decide on. Check your response. Setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Create events, learn what metrics are relevant, gain predictive insights and test.

While you're doing all this, optionally, go on to school and get your degree. With knowledge and education, possibly even while you're in school start applying for junior marketing roles. Learn all you can, take initiative, and prepare for an exciting career!
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Stephanie,

If you want to go into digital marketing/advertising, you should do online research the best colleges for this degree. When you choose this major in college, the college will guide you in which classes are available to you. It will most likely require a 2 or 4 year degree (associates or bachelors). Also, you will likely want to seek internships in marketing/advertising while in college or do a work-study program. If you are concerned about the cost of college, work-study is a good way to subsidize the cost of college.

After college, there are a lot of companies that will hire entry level Digital/Search Marketing individuals and two that I have worked for in the advertising industry have been Criteo and Koddi. Some advertising programs that you should become familiar with are Google Ads, Semrush, and Youtube Advertising. If you become certified in Search Engine Optimization and Google Ads then you will have a great start.

Lauren recommends the following next steps:

Conduct online research colleges with degrees for marketing/advertising
Check if the main classes are listed for that degree
Seek internships or work-study opportunities
Gain marketing/advertising program skills
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Eugenia’s Answer

There are a wide variety of roles within search marketing and they generally fall into 2 main buckets: Organic (SEO) and paid (SEM) search. Would recommend browsing through industry news sites and resources like Search Engine Land or MOZ. There are introductory articles that can help you get a feel for the type of work involved.

Regarding coursework, you don't need a computer science degree but having basic knowledge of programming languages and site architecture is helpful. You can even take online nano-degrees or courses for it.

It's possible to land entry level or junior roles as soon as you graduate. However you don't necessarily have to wait till then. Some people go the freelance route and work with small/local businesses or even agencies that offer temp/project based work. Something I like to recommend is to build your own website or blog as portfolio project. It'll give you hands on opportunity to integrate and use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to measure and track site performance.