So you want to land that plumb job as a Digital Marketing Executive or Manager.
Digital marketing in Singapore is the new sexy. Here is the complete A-Z lowdown on knowing the basics to help you ace that interview.
Its not the usual humdrum of taking out some ads in the local paper. Its also not coming up with a bunch of boring newsletters and mailing to customers. Its having the ability to come up with publicity that permeates a large section of society. It transcends Singapore. It brings your company’s brand regionally and even internationally from the tips of your fingers.
What So Great About Being A Digital Marketing Executive?
- Its Highly Sought After: as more and more companies realize that print advertising and mailing are essentially dead – they have started hiring executives trained in digital and online methods. What choice is there?
- Its Very Well Paid: a survey showed that Singapore digital marketing executives on average earn 25% more than their peers who are still tinkering around traditional methods. Most starting pay in Singapore is $4,000 and up for a fairly experienced Digital Marketer – some go up to $20,000.
- Its Highly Respectable: many bosses are still very unsavvy about Internet marketing. Its one of the very few jobs that a 50-year old senior executive will listen to a 20-something year old and be dumbstruck by what he doesn’t know and how much he needs you to revolutionise his company.
- Its Something You Can Probably Relate To: if you are reading this – chances are you are very into digital media. You probably have Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and a myriad of accounts. You are probably very in tuned and to find that someone is going to pay you for swimming in the media that you were born and bred for is simply amazing.
- Your Friends With Boring Dead-End Jobs Like “Accounting Executive” or “Project Manager” Will Drop Dead With Envy: enough said.
- You Can Kick-Start Something Of Your Own: once you have mastered digital marketing – its fair chance that you can either start a new business of your own or be head-hunted by another higher paying (AVP, International Digital Media???) job.
- You Can Easily Jump Between Industries: your industry is in a slowdown? No problem. Your employer is in a quagmire? No problem. Your skills can help you get into another better place – even that lucrative exotic job overseas!
- Work Is Play, Play Is Work: you can be online the whole day (which are anyway, even while crossing the street with cars whizzing past you at 100 kmh) and people can see that you are hard at “work”. “I am conducting research (you un-enlightened caveman you say under your breath).
- Its Never Boring: Digital Media is always evolving and at lightning speed. There is always something to learn, something to test, something that will help you become the best in a short period of time.
- There Are NO Borders: you can practically work anywhere there is an Internet connection. The train to Bern. The ship to Anchorage. The plane to Missouri. The world is your workstation.
OK So How Do We Go About Landing A Digital Marketing Job Then?
As with any other job interview – you have to go impress the socks off your prospective employer. Gone are the days when employers want to meet an eager-beaver “I am a fast-learner and a consummate hard worker!” candidate. You have to come into the interview room with guns a-blazin’. You have to point out flaws in their marketing and offer real honest-to-goodness solutions – humbly of course, no employer would want to sit down and hear a snotty-nosed kid arrogantly put down his eminent 100 year firm passed down by his great-grandfather. OK you get the picture…
Without further ado. This is what you do, and this is exactly what we do as the (ah-hem!) top digital marketing agency in Singapore:
Know The Difference Between SEM and SEO
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It refers to paid ads like Google Adwords which allows advertisers to be on top of SERPs as long as they have a credit card.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to organic (natural) rankings. Its infinitely prestigious to be seen on top of the SERPs for certain terms because customers feel that your website is up there because its old, established, super rich and successful so it got “voted” up there.
While SEM is fast (you can get listings up in hours), SEO is slow because it takes a lot of convincing for Google to feel that the website is worth top ranks. SEO companies do this by making sure that website is optimised and the link profile is sufficiently healthy. And yes its a long process with no short cuts.
Here is what SEM and SEO look like:
If SEM is so darn good why don’t all companies do it? Well – its the same reason why not every company can afford a full-page full-colour ad in the Straits Times everyday. Most cannot to cough up the prices pushed up by their competitors who are willing to pay an arm and a leg to bid higher – for reasons such as they need to be seen as the TOP brand or they have a more efficient way of capturing leads (at cost or at loss) and then converting them into profits via their marketing churn somewhere down the line.
That is why many companies ultimately turn to SEO because if we can improve the website to rank well and get visibility – they get free traffic and leads.
Brand Research Online
You google (actually Google doesn’t like their brand being used as a verb but who cares, everybody uses it…) your prospective employer’s brand.
If it doesn’t appear on top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) then its very clear this particular brand belongs to a by-gone era where people smoked opium as an official past time. You point out this fact and inform them that they need to register their domain name as a .com and a .com.sg and .sg and whatever country-specific TLD (Top Level Domain) in the places they need to be seen in.
Then they need Local Directory Accreditation to get their branding cemented. In Sngapore terms these are the online business directories like Yellow Pages, Kompass, The Green Book, ST Classifieds, Singapore Business Federation, inSing.com, Times Directories (which is incidentally a client of MediaOne), etc. If you want a job as a digital marketing executive you better know these stuff.
They also need to register themselves in Google My Business which lists local businesses and gets them found in Google Maps and searches. It seriously boosts their ranking also.
When you do find your prospective employer’s (lets call them PE as its getting tiring to type it over and over again) brand you can jot down the positive and negative reviews.
Your PE’s eyes will undoubtedly shine when he hears the positive but will abruptly change to expressions of concern when he hears the negative part. I will bet you $100 his words would be “are these competitors sabotaging me?” or “who would want to say these things?” and finally “how do we get rid of them?”
Unfortunately online mud-slinging is very common. Its easy for competitors to sabotage and usually someone leaving a review will leave a complaint because negative feelings motivate action much more than positive ones (except lust but that is another thing altogether…)
But here is your chance to shine. You tell him:
A. it is an ongoing thing – you can never totally get rid of negative comments so its an ongoing concern (and that is why you need me!)
B. its possible to push negative comments by Online Reputation Management (basically we promote positive comments and online properties over these negative ones so that they rank on Page 2 or some god-forsaken Page 10 where the Sun don’t shine)
C. you can engage bloggers and online influencers to say nice stuff to drown out the bad.
Check The Domain Authority Of Website
Once apon a time Google used Page Rank which is measured in terms of 0 – 10 as a guage of how “authorative” a website domain is. Because some black hat SEOs (we will come to that later..) abused that system Google has now hidden it away from public eye. But aha! like any enterprising organisation sensing a niche – MOZ an online SEO tools provider created the now ubiquitous DA (Domain Authority) which is measured in terms of 1 – 100.
You can use the DA checker: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/ or install the Mozbar extension in your Chrome browser in order to check the DA of your PE’s domain (or URL).
In the Singapore context: something like 10-20 is respectable for non-competitive industries like cleaning, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, etc. 21-30 is respectable for more competitive ones like education, software, office services and products, consultancy. 31-40 is necessary for competitive for industries like travel, accounting services, gifts and entertainment, F&B. 41 and up is critical if you are dealing with travel, e-commerce, loans, mobile devices, tablets and accessories, computers, etc.
How do we go about increase the DA of your EP’s domain?
Basically, we need to build a lot of good, trustworthy links from preferably higher DA websites and remove the low-quality ones.
This is a multi-pronged approach:
- You have to get links from the online directories as mentioned above.
- You have to talk to partners and associates so they will link to you.
- You have to create a whole bunch of high-quality articles that are super-useful (like this one – ahem!) so that people will appreciate and link back to you.
- You have to kill off the bad links by either contacting the linkers and politely ask them to delink – failing which you can use the Google Disavowal Tool.
- You can engage bloggers and SEO companies to create Guest Posts to spread the good name of your EP and then link back.
There are many many ways but those are whole topics by themselves. If you really want that digital marketing job bad you can wow your EP with these other weapons.
Check The Link Profile Of The Domain
The fav tool we like to use is a freemium (for the unitiated it means its free to use up to a certain point and then kar-ching because like any other company that hires people and pays taxes it needs income – duh!) online kit like Ahrefs.com.
Simply key in the URL into their search window like this…
If you see this you should go “tsk! tsk!” (just kidding, one must not be too obnoxious during the first interview, maybe the second one perhaps..) and say: there is obviously some spam activity going on. Google would feel that its unnatural for so many links to be coming from so few domains. This is because in a natural link profile, you would expect links from many different websites and not just a few. Just think of this analogy: if an MP was running for AMK GRC would he get voted in with 200,000 votes from 200 individuals or 200,000? A few from the same website is OK because it could be a partner or a review site but not crazy ratios like this. At MediaOne we think the ratio that will get red flagged is 200 backlinks : 1 domain. Normally we would expect a lot of backlinks to result in increased DA and therefore more organic keywords to be ranked but here, tellingly, its ZERO meaning that Google isn’t fooled and has penalised this domain.
As you scroll further down you will see this:
Referring pages are pages of websites that have links to the target website. These are called Backlinks and is a prime Google Ranking Factor.
Something like this below is a Big Red Flag for Google. It shows that some half past six SEO company had built links for your PE’s website sometime in March. And within a space of 60 days had hooked up almost 15,000 links thinking (stupidly) that it will help gain keyword ranking. Its obviously spammy and unnatural because a “natural” linking process by admirers would take place over many months or years and not be in the thousands over days unless your PE is Justin Bieber or Coldplay. Big Red Flag there for the Google Bull there!
New And Lost Referring Domains
If you see this image – alarm bells should start ringing.
The orange bars represent “dropped links” which means that these backlinks originated from online directories, forums, review sites, link exchanges, commentary sites, temporary blog sites that are not moderated. What the like scenario is that your EP had unwittingly hired a second rate SEO company (many of these promise the heavens for between $280-$450 per month) who use software or manual link builders to get free links from high authority sites like these mentioned types. Then when the owners of these sites feel that their websites getting too bloated (hence they have to pay a load more for hosting fees) they will archive or delete older pages. When this happens the links are deleted or dropped. And wah lah! The links are gone. Google’s ever increasingly sophisticated algorithm has learnt to sniff out these spam links and penalise the recipients.
What Kinds Of Links Do We Need to Build?
- Build links that come from higher authority sites which will bring up the DA of your EP’s domain.
- These sites should preferably in the same industry.
- The articles should preferably in the same niche.
- The articles must be very well written (or it will be mauled by one of Google’s zoo animals) – more of that later.
- There should be a relevant anchor text (or phrase) that is in line with your EP’s business which links back to your EP’s website.
How Do We Find Any Other Technical Issues That Need To Be Fixed?
We use a tool called the Google Search Console. Its like this: Google doesn’t “talk” to us directly and we can’t “talk” to it. So it uses the GSC to give us a heads-up of website issues such as:
- suspected spamming: naughty-naughty — penalty coming your way!
- crawl errors — search engines send spiders (or bots) to crawl website data in order to rank; errors are the sign of bad housekeeping which search engines dislike immensely.
- missing or duplicate meta tags — search engines use these as an “intro” to what your page is about so its important.
- 404 errors or missing pages — also a sign of lousy housekeeping: BAD.
- duplicate content — if you have been lazy and copied content search engines frown upon this.
- mobile optimised — its a big deal now because Google feels that if your website does not appear properly on smartphones and mobile devices you are not being user-friendly because 53% of searches are done on these devices.
- page download speed — again its related to your website being user-friendly; the longer it takes the likely someone will exit.
This is where webmasters and SEO companies work together to fix and optimise the website. As a note (and we can’t help it because we are kinda bursting with pride here…) MediaOne managed to help companies like Fuji Xerox and ST Electronics gain huge jumps in their keyword rankings by being extremely thorough about fixing their website technical and content issues. One of them had a 60 keyword jump almost overnight when the issues were rectified. We can’t tell you who and how as its our bread and butter (wink). But we hope you get the idea how it can be done – and how you as the Bright Shiny New Thing in your company can do to achieve these types of astounding success and become the apple of your CEO’s eye. This digital marketing job isn’t easy but its fun because your really have to know your stuff but you will get a hell lot of respect from your bosses if you can rattle off all these facts.
With proper SEO your PE’s website can soar, get incredible visibility, generate new profitable leads which can lead to significantly increased sales without increasing headcount (remember: new knowledge-based economy; more IT and product savvy staff not more staff per se).
At Least Be Familiar With The Top Animals In The Google Zoo
Google has some algorithms with animal names you should be familiar with. Here are the 3 most important ones:
Will maul website that appear to have low quality, badly written, lousy formatted content. It does this because many Black Hat SEOs churn out a heck a lot of articles for the sake of ranking.
Will peck at websites that have thousands of spammy links.
Looks at the context of the search and determines which listings are the most appropriate.
Let Me Impress My Potential Employer With My Familiarity With Social Media – Or Should I?
Well you could but before you go gushing about how you can use social media to reach thousands of people and bring them in like shoppers at a everything-must-go sale, consider this.
Unless your EP is a big consumer brand like Coke, Nestle, Apple, H&M – a huge nameless horde is not a good thing. Most companies don’t need millions of people to think that they are awesome – most just need that 2000 “top prospects” to think they are the best thing since sliced bread.
So its better focus all your time and energy on researching the right keywords that will bring in the right customer.
As an illustration which couldn’t make it clearer than if we tried to explain it… we met with a customer who told us: I need to reach the CEO, the CFO, the HR manager, the Department chief of SMEs who will buy my HR and Payroll software. They should be from the F&B, the retail, the entertainment, the public services industries. We did a quick calculation and told him that for him to row his boat out (before you rush out to buy boats, please let us add that this is only figurative) to catch this fish and catch that fish from his ocean of possibly 2000 fishes it would cost him at least $50,000 in marketing, manpower, door knocking and engagement costs as well as a whole year.
However with SEO (and SEM) you could choose keywords that customers (whoever they are) would search for like “best payroll software” and get them swimming to you (again, figuratively since Singapore is an island not a body of water, but we digress..).
This lowers the costs of marketing very significantly which would make you the darling of your CFO.
So you managed to improve the Domain Authority of your website. And you managed, by yourself or working with some top notched SEO firm like MediaOne (ahem again), got many important keywords ranked up.
Is that enough?
Nope. Thats just half the battle won. And its a road without end.
In your job as the digital marketing warrior – you have to get content marketing going. Content marketing refers to publishing really solid stuff that actually means something to your clients, your partners and associates (influencers, distributors, channel partners, etc). With a lot of content going out – you will want to score for thousands of keywords which will pull in even more leads and extend your sphere of influence. You will want your articles to be so AWESOME people in your industry will want to point your way and say in hush respecftul tones that your company is the LEADER.
That will take a lot of keyword research – you can use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner or LSIGraph.com or even something like (get this) KeywordShitter.com to find out what people are searcing for and to get ideas for articles.
Google Ranking Factors
You will need to be familiar with Google’s 200++ (and OMG ever increasing) factors and knowing which ones are the most important. OK to spare you the pain we will list some here for you – the rest you will just have to trawl through our blogs or buy us coffee (maybe about 6 cups worth to go through all) to find out.
- age of domain
- exact match domain
- presence of keywords in URL, title, meta tags, content
- over-optimization of site (like over use of keyword)
- presence of black hat techniques (white fonts, malicious redirection, spam links etc)
- quantity of backlinks
- quality of backlinks
- quality of outbound links
- content uniqueness
- content quality
- content freshness
- mobile responsiveness
- page download speed
- meta data optimisation
- how crawl-able the site is
- security of website
- geography of website
- TLD: .com is the strongest
You could rattle off this list and appear extremely smart and well-informed.
And that is what YOU the Bright Shiny New Thing could do for your new company and experience possibly a METEORIC rise in your career leading you to buy your first car while your peers are still taking public transport.
If you land an interview with a major firm and are having sleepless nights fretting.. DON’T. Give us a call – specifically Tom at 6789 9852 and prepare er… 6 cups of coffee for that pre-interview coaching session. FYI a Starbucks Venti costs $7.90 last time we checked.
Better still… download our FREE e-Book on SEO Basics that will give you a big boost. Click on the e-Book to download.
Or… you can use the “Find Out How Why Your Website Is Not Ranking In 30 Seconds!” function on top of this page to get a FULL report of what your PE’s website issues are. If all these don’t land you that job – nothing will!
Good luck landing that Digital Marketing Job!