The anatomy of the perfect search marketer

Half of UK advertising spend in 2015 will be allocated to internet and mobile devices – twice as much as what will be spent on TV advertising.

The question is: how much do you know about the marketers that will be accountable for the ROI on that spend? From biceps to backbones, James and I examine what constitutes the perfect search marketer.

Anatomy of the perfect search marketer

Cerebral insight

As you might expect, the brain plays a key role in any perfect search marketer. Within a digital agency, the online experts should be identifiable through the rubbing of their temples, and the drawing of actionable insights from the deep data at their fingertips. No longer can gut instinct be allowed to make the final decision; logic and reasoning must lead decision making to ensure search campaigns continually improve and progress.

Simple strategies no longer exist, it’s a clever mix of all digital channels which must work together to succeed. Paid media, organic SEO, social promotion and engaging content all need to be expertly woven in line with business objectives and specific markets.

20/20 vision

Any SEO or PPC expert worth their salt needs to have perfect vision. Not only does the data attempt to blur your ability to see the answers, but it can lead you astray if you are not focusing on the end goal. The eyes of a search marketer should be bright, active and always seeking the next visibility opportunity. For SEO, this can range from filling gaps in content strategy and increasing the visibility of a website, right through to boosting the value of what already exists with intelligent decisions making based on all the available data.

With PPC the devil really is in the detail. It’s easy to find the final conversion metric or total monthly spend, but what cannot be seen on first glance are the all-important complexities which really matter. Take paid search on mobile devices for example, long gone are the days of looking at the traditional single session, conversion rate or conversion point. Now, we must look at each touch point.

If you can’t see the value of each digital channel, how can you successfully optimise the entire user journey?

Solid backbones

Cultivating a strategy that can deliver results in the most competitive environments is impressive. Having the backbone strength to see that strategy move from ideation into result creation is what separates the true search marketers from online enthusiasts.

Any online marketing expert has to expect some resistance from customers when it comes to adopting a new strategy – here is where the backbone becomes visible.

Bionic biceps

To pull all of the data into meaningful actions, a search marketer is constantly swimming against the torrent of information available to them. The ideal marketer can swim through the ocean of data and race back with your next action points.

Fully functioning kidneys

The kidneys of a search marketer help remove unwanted PPC spend to avoid investing in less relevant portions of traffic. Search marketers are able to pinpoint specific search terms and reach relevant, high-quality visitors.

A key part of a successful campaign is understanding your products and services so we can tailor traffic with the correct search intent. Many terms on the surface might seem relevant, but in reality can trigger for a huge range of ambiguous or entirely unrelated searches. By blocking terms which are not relevant to your business, we improve the quality of traffic you receive. Not only do we refine and improve the traffic quality from keyword-based search campaigns, we filter and optimise every source of paid traffic.

Take remarketing, for example. We can increase the quality of your remarketing audience by excluding visitors who might meet specific criteria. Cleansing your remarketing list avoids investing in and showing ads back to people who have shown little or no previous engagement.

Powerful legs

From calf to thigh, the search marketer needs to deliver winning sprints. Without the legs for the repeated workout in this area, they cannot exceed expectations. There are unexpected hurdles and strong winds in front of many customer objectives and they must leap over them all.

Communication skills

The best search campaigns are delivered on a foundation of collaboration – the stronger the relationship is between the customer and agency, the better the end results will be. An important aspect of this is trust. Being transparent about what you’ve done, providing access to all available data and giving genuine insight can all build trust and therefore better end results.

Another often overlooked aspect of this is agency integration and the communication between delivery teams. If you have more than one service with an agency and aren’t seeing the benefits, they are probably not communicating with each other enough. This means that you are not getting the cross service value that your business deserves.

Fast reactions

Forget everything you know about search marketing.

The industry changes at such a pace that any snippets of knowledge picked up through meetings, conversations and industry events (unless they are highly accurate and very recent) are likely to damage to your website’s performance rather than improve it.

The search industry changes all the time and expert search marketers have to keep on top of this as well as the other factors within the search environment. This includes picking up the latest whispers about Google penalties, algorithm changes, sector specific data fluctuations and industry opportunities/threats.


Your search marketer needs to have a hybrid of personality traits and delicately balance the geek with the adventurer.

Rarely can a digital expert excel without a data-driven mentality. An eye for analytics is important. How can you answer questions like ‘Why doesn’t my website perform on mobile?‘ if you don’t track the performance of your website and understand your data?

However, that doesn’t mean we’re completely dull. In fact, search marketers are some of the most fun and friendly people you’ll ever meet. After all, nothing supports creativity more than a laugh with peers and an informed chat over a game of Fifa.

Speak to a real-life version

If you would like to chat to one of our search experts about increasing your visibility online, give us a call on 023 9283 0281 or submit your details below:

Request a call from one of our digital marketing advisors »

Lee Wilson profile picture
Lee Wilson

Lee has been working in the online arena, leading digital departments since the early 2000s, and oversees all our delivery services at Vertical Leap, having joined back in 2010. Lee joined our company Operations Team in May 2019. Before working at Vertical Leap, Lee completed a degree in Business Management & Communications at Winchester University, headed up the online development and direct marketing department for an international financial services company for ~7 years, and set up/run a limited company providing website design, development and digital marketing solutions. Lee had his first solely authored industry book (Tactical SEO) published in 2016, with 2 further industry books being published in 2019, and can be seen regularly expert contributing to industry websites including State of Digital, Search Engine Journal, The Drum, plus many others. Lee has a passion for management in the digital industry and loves to see the progression of others through personal learning, training and development. Outside the office he looks to help others while challenging himself, having skydived, bungie jumped and abseiled (despite a fear of heights) with many more fundraising and voluntary events completed and on the horizon. As a husband and dad, Lee loves to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies include exercising, trying new experiences, eating out, playing countless team sports, as well as watching films (Gangster movies in particular – “forget about it”).

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