Have You Achieved Rockstar Optimizer Status?

By Jeff Campbell, VP Product Development & Innovation

After my previous “How to Become A Better Search Marketer” post, young grasshoppers asked which specific skills to develop and managers inquired on what skills to dig out in interviews. IMHO, there are at least ten core skills that must be present before someone has achieved Rockstar Optimizer Status (R.O.S.) in the land of PPC & SEO optimization.

1. You realize the endgame of data analysis is to gain INSIGHTS that lead to ACTION. If no action is taken, your crunching was for naught. Again, don’t be scared to test the ideas that the data leads you toward.
2. You spend at least 15 minutes per day reading tactical blogs, and can rattle off your favorites.
3. You are an Excel expert when it comes to analyzing data. You have embraced the Pivot Table and use it weekly. You know how many rows are in Excel (a great interview question) and mass quantities of data don’t scare you.
4. You optimize to multiple success events (it’s not all about immediate revenue) and know the true business value of each KPI metric. Further, you understand/agree with how those KPI goals were derived.
5. Before doing any important data analysis, you visit the website as a consumer – from SERP to checkout. (adapted from Avinash’s #8 in Signs You Are A Great Web Analyst)
6. You track/act on competitor and industry trends with research from ComScore, Nielson, AdGooRoo, Hitwise, Alexa, Google Alerts, Compete, and buzz tools. You take advantage of your competitor’s bid management tools weaknesses. You know when they run out of budget for the month and plan accordingly.
7. You “start high, then dig deep” with data. Then you go back up to tell a compelling story about why certain changes need to be made and the big-picture impact on the business/results that makes your recommendation a priority.
8. You are an avid tester: A/B/C Splits or Multivariate, Entry pages or exit pages, copy on the website or on the SERP, PPC ranks or match types…you’ve tested it all and still aren’t satisfied. You “play offense, not defense” as Avinash describes in his #1.
9. You understand the impact of seasonality and conversion latency on results. You know the typical number of visits before purchase, average number of days that pass, and keyword types queried (ah, the funnel). You know your average visits/costs/conversion rate differences by hour by day by traffic source, and possibly by positions. You realize that “knowing” these things are only half the battle…and the other half is doing something about it.
10. You can translate the science of data analysis into the creative art of optimization. You understand your business, data trends, and the rules of Search well enough to pull/create/tweak different levers to bring positive change.

No matter where you are on your quest for R.O.S. superstardom, accept that there will always be room to develop/improve – and remember, Success is a Choice. Let me know your thoughts.

Posted by: Jeff Campbell, VP Product Development & Innovation


Bryson said...

Look out! You've been Sphunn.

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