Paid Search: Class of ’87

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I recently happened upon a blog from an SEM peer who attended his 20-year high school reunion. As he described his occupation to his former classmates, none of them understood the intricacies of search marketing, nor could they really grasp its overall significance. A few classmates even accused him of spamming them. I just think he’s really old.

Normally, after reading a post like this, I would have spent the day making smart-aleck references to events in 1987, like how I was eight years old back then and how he probably strutted around in ripped jeans, meticulously tight-rolled and severely marked up with black Sharpie replications of Poison’s band logo.

Instead, I was sent spiraling back to reality when I remembered that I’m attending my 10-year reunion on Aug. 24th. Though not as insanely old as the folks who graduated in ’87, I still have quite a few years under my belt and might want to begin considering ways of showing well for myself that are relatively close to my income and experiences. In other words, they would never believe I’m a former Boston Red Sox pitcher turned bar owner.

I’m proud to be a Paid Search Project Manager at Oneupweb and invite each day’s challenges with a thirst for more. But how do you explain “controlling CPA based on the CPC and SERP data while still minding budget and various other KPIs” to hundreds of people who may not understand search engines or even own a computer? SEM is more complex than the Iran-Contra affair.

Most of my family and friends are savvy enough to what my job entails, but only after multiple conversions beginning with, “What is it you do again?” that involve yet another revised explanation and my scornfully lowered right brow, a la Jim Varney.

Deep down, I am prepared for the inevitable questioning, the looks of bewilderment, and even the defensive jujitsu stances they will take in fear of my alleged spamming racket, because I know exactly what my job is.

Each day I bring my clients closer to understanding their online presence and cultivating this image into how they envision their company. I write ad copy that my client’s future customers can relate to their needs. I know the customers’ minds, because I watch them scurrying through this giant internet ant farm. I use the analytic data that accrues to meet them in places we wouldn’t have known to look, armed with ad copy and landing pages their fellow customers have already embraced by saying, “Yes, this is where I want to do business.”

By educating my former classmates about SEM, I will expand our industry and potentially drive more marketing dollars to the internet. If they join us here at Oneupweb, I may personally be given the chance to optimize their marketing campaigns and offer them the best possible return on their investments.

If I play my cards right, I could end the evening as victorious as Phil Simms in Super Bowl XXI, creating a saccharin-sweet ending like Adventures in Babysitting. Perhaps… or maybe this is just a foolish beat of my heart.

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