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Seo Focused Associate's Degree?
Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:09 AM
Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:50 AM
I'd recommend some marketing classes myself. Even if the class curriculum doesn't focus on Marketing on the Web (very likely) there's a lot in the basic marketing precepts that converts directly. Especially if you can find a good course on print marketing.
Of course the above recommendation goes more towards SEM (Search Engine Marketing) than it does straight Optimization, but SEO is going more and more towards measuring the things that count.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:26 AM
My university actually has a new degree program called Marketing Information Systems. It may be worth looking into, though I think it's only available in 4 year format, which is something I want to avoid.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:17 AM
You need good research skills for keyword research, competitive analysis, and SERP analysis.
You need good language skills (English if that is the language you want to work in, but if you plan to optimize in France you obviously want good French language skills). You don't just want to be able to write 500-word themes: you need to be able to write ad copy (for PPC, banner ads, and cross-promotional linking), body copy (for Web articles and Web page content), navigational copy, snippet copy (for meta descriptions, directory descriptions, and marginal link boxes), and good communications (for a variety of purposes).
You need to understand the principles used in determining cause-and-effect. The better you are at preventing yourself from leaping to unwarranted conclusions, the better you'll be as an analyst (and when it comes to SEO, all sorts of things can cause rankings to change). For example, a lot of people have mistaken server-side issues for search engine penalties.
You would benefit from studying trends analysis, especially if you're going to work in ecommerce SEO (where you need to plan ahead in many verticals and understand what seasonal traffic patterns look like).
You would also benefit from knowing how to break down market demographics.
Truth be told, you could probably use about a dozen degrees, and that would just get you started.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:47 AM
And I think this may be why we've yet to see any SEO/SEM degree courses through standard colleges or even community colleges. Potentially, there are a lot of different skill sets brought to bear. Including all of those Michael mentioned along with minor stuff like understanding html and possibly even some of the server side languages and basic training as to how servers work.
Not to mention of course that the most successful SEOs tend to have an insatiable curiosity that drives them. Not just about SEO, but about a lot of stuff. The best of the best never stop learning.
I guess the distinction is whether one is trying to get a degree or trying to be a top of the line SEO/SEM. Like most other career paths what one earns as a degree in school doesn't necessarily always translate to the job description. And being a great SEO doesn't necessarily require a degree.
Or maybe I've just given it too much thought because I've had a local community college pestering me for the better part of a year and a half now for advice as they try to develop and SEO program that fits with their other IT/Design curriculum.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:46 AM
I daresay that you could skip the whole college thing all together if your goal really is SEO. You definitely won't learn it in college. But marketing courses will definitely help, as will writing courses and if possible, HTML classes.
Posted 28 October 2008 - 02:34 PM
I'm finding, in looking at course descriptions, and just general knowledge, that you're all right. There really isn't an "SEO focus" available. If I were able to piecemeal together my own curriculum, I'm sure I could do it with everything available to me. While I'm very confident in my writing and creative abilities, the technical side of SEO is where I would likely need more education and focus. I have working knowledge of html and such, but there is room for vast improvement.
Jill, thank you for mentioning SEMPO, as I was about to do so myself. I was going to ask if there was any value added to their training, not just from a learning perspective, but as something to put down on a resume. Judging from your response, there is. Thank you. As a full-time student, full-time parent, and full-time employee, I just don't know that I could afford the cost of taking the course. Perhaps if there were tuition assistance. As for college itself, this has been nearly 15 years in the waiting for me. Having a degree is a must, if for nothing else than my sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
As a side note...
I've decided to start my own website/portfolio. Nothing beats the education of hands-on experience, right? I'm going to follow the advice of these boards and contact local organizations, churches, and former employers and see if I can't get some freelance SEO work to build a portfolio for potential employers/contracts down the road. I'll include a blog with some SEO articles and establish a reputation that I know what the heck I'm talking about...or at least...I will.
Posted 30 October 2008 - 04:13 PM
I've been in contact with my SSA (Student Services Advisor), and developed a plan. I believe that while nothing beats real-world experience, this will meet my education needs. I am going to stay enrolled in the A.S. program, with IT as my major, and eMarketing as a minor. eMarketing is 14 additional credit hours, and includes these classes:
Intro to Web Authoring
This course focuses on the applications used in the design of presentations. The use of a presentational graphics program, a Web design tool and a graphic design tool will be covered.
Common strategies for the marketing of goods and services via the Internet range from public relations and corporate communications to advertising and electronic commerce. Students investigate and evaluate various marketing and communication strategies and tactics for the World Wide Web. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation skills as well as Web site planning, development, design, and other factors which contribute to a Web site's success.
Electronic commerce is the exchange of information and transactions between organizations via computers. While e-commerce has been with us for a while, its more recent implementation via the Internet has enormous implications for marketing and communication. Students will evaluate the strategic implications of e-commerce as well as issues of planning, developing and implementing e-commerce solutions for marketing.
There are then 2 graphics editing classes, which don't really apply to SEO. Again, I realize this isn't the perfect curriculum, but I think it's a step in the right direction. Thanks for reading.
Posted 30 October 2008 - 04:44 PM
FWIW, if you take SEO to mean SEO/SEM (as it actually is as much or more to do with Marketing as it is with Optimization) the graphics classes might not be a bad choice. Use of layout and graphics can and does have a rather large effect on marketing efforts and conversions.
Posted 30 October 2008 - 06:41 PM
Yes, I do mean SEO/SEM. As far as the classes go, perhaps I didn't state myself correctly. The graphics classes are required as part of the minor. I just didn't include them here because they're pretty basic classes. I do more in PhotoShop on a daily basis than what those classes will cover. One is Fundamentals of Graphic Design, the other is Graphic Editing Software...pretty basic stuff.
Also, after considering it more, I think I'm going to take the Advanced SEO courses offered by the SEMPO Institute. I think it would be a worthwhile investment for a couple different reasons. 1) The education, and 2) the accreditation and validation. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to dip into my 401(k) savings to pay for it...but I believe it will be a good investment in my future.
Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:35 PM
Posted 30 October 2008 - 08:41 PM
Wow, thanks Jill!
However, I wonder if that still applies with the student discount?
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