Planning a career in digital marketing is generally a wise move, but there are caveats and competitors to consider when deciding between an SEO and PPC career. Both fields are lucrative now, but either path requires constant learning to keep pace with rapid changes.
Here are key factors to think about regarding the future of SEO and PPC careers.
Between SEO and PPC, the skill most likely to move in a consistent predictable direction in SEO. Even though Google keeps updating its algorithms, the direction of most changes have been toward serving quality content to followers.
Establishing authority, avoiding irrelevant links and steering clear of various types of spam have also been consistent factors in shaping SEO.
The major curve balls Google has thrown that differ from this pattern (but are understandable due to changing technology) have been shifting emphasis to mobile devices and shifting from HTTP to HTTPS as search signals. Usually successful SEO is more about content than technology, except when market disruption occurs.
Ultimately, changes in search engine guidelines for webmasters consistently favor high quality content as a top priority. At the moment there is no AI technology that does a better job than a human for crafting effective SEO.
Fortunately, there are no difficult barriers of entry for people who decide to become SEO consultants, other than a college degree looks impressive on a resume. Knowledge, imagination, testing and analysis are the main keys to SEO success.
Evolution of PPC
By comparison, PPC has had to face the hurdle of ad blocking software. Nevertheless, there are thousands of PPC companies to work for such as the PPC PRO agency in Australia. Since not every business has the time or expertise to run its own online ad campaigns, agencies of this calibre exist to meet marketing goals faster than learning from scratch.
Throughout its history, PPC has been complicated and confusing to many businesses because it takes plenty of trial and error over several months to get it right. So there will continue to be a need for digital marketing companies that make life easier for firms that aren’t prepared for PPC’s steep learning curve.
For those who choose to teach themselves PPC instead of enrolling in an expensive university, the payoff is potentially enormous without having to pay down student loan debt.
How AI Technology Will Affect Digital Marketers
Digital marketing has proven to be a necessity for growth this century. At the same time, SEO and PPC professionals must be cognizant that artificial intelligence is weeding out various jobs, as the world transitions toward a knowledge economy.
Even if machine learning starts to play a significant role in crafting ads and SEO-driven content, there will always be a need for a human editor to proof the results. Without that crucial stage, an organization lacks quality control.
Nobody needs to panic about the rise AI, since it can only do so much. It’s excellent for speeding up redundant tasks that are mind-numbing to humans, so it can only help owners and managers. AI has the potential to turn everyone into entrepreneurs who run 24/7 digital companies.
Chances are fairly good that digital marketing jobs of the future will encompass a mix of automation and content oversight. Perhaps manual PPC tasks like bidding and adjusting bids will be automated by the next decade. Automating such tasks will likely increase overall market reach and productivity.
So it’s possible that AI will reduce the number of unnecessary PPC jobs eventually, while increasing the income of the strongest digital marketers that survive. PPC specialists are still part of a growing field, which is why there are not enough experts to meet this demand yet.
The reason experienced and knowledgeable PPC consultants are in demand is because they can generate conversions much faster than the trial and error method.
Creativity + Analytical Skills = Success
It takes both creative and analytical skills to place the right ads that get the best response. Furthermore, it still takes a human to run multiple campaigns at once and evaluate which ones work. It also takes humans to meet with clients to determine their needs.
For this reason, digital marketers must diversify beyond Google and learn to run campaigns through Facebook, Bing and other popular digital display platforms.
Another point that PPC has in its favor is its cost efficiency. The cost of reaching an audience of 1,000 target individuals is significantly much cheaper with PPC than traditional marketing methods. Although a college degree is not necessary to become a PPC analyst, it’s still important to get an AdWords certification for credibility and competitive reasons.
Above all, any kind of digital marketer must stay up to date on industry developments such as voice search, retargeting and the latest audience targeting strategies. It also helps to explore providing various multimedia services, especially video promotion.
Why Net Neutrality Matters for SEO and PPC Pros
A key factor that will affect both SEO and PPC is what happens with net neutrality in the United States, which Australia tends to follow. Net neutrality is a policy that all internet users are treated equally by ISPs.
The abolishment of net neutrality will mean ISPs get to divide the web up into premium and basic tiers like cable TV, which can potentially affect audience size and usage for any given website.
With net neutrality the web is treated like a public utility. Without net neutrality large multi-billion dollar corporations will control the internet landscape. That means smaller sites may get lost in the shuffle. Either way, big companies will still need digital marketing consultants.
There are multiple strong arguments to conclude that both SEO and PPC are here to stay for decades as career fields. SEO provides an edge for creators, whereas PPC provides an edge for advertisers.
As long as Google wants website and ad content to be created by humans instead of machines, there will be plenty of opportunities for professionals with SEO and PPC skills.