6 Secrets to a Successful SEM Career

In my article regarding digital marketing, I mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization)/SEM (Search Engine Marketing) as being part of the spectrum of digital marketing. Have you ever wondered what those terms mean? I decided to find out. I was fortunate to interview, Saket Maheshwari, a digital marketing expert whom I’ve known for the past 4 years. 

Saket was my classmate in my MBA program (University of Houston) #UHBauer, an active participant of our professional MBA clubs #InsideBauer. He later became the President of the Marketing club and always created interest among his classmates regarding Marketing Club events.

Saket is now a successful digital marketing strategist specializing in paid search marketing and SEO marketing. Saket provided YourMBAPurpose.com some insight in this field.

YourMBAPurpose.com would like to know about your typical day as an SEO Specialist. Can you describe your typical day?

I believe in picking up from where I left off the previous day. This helps me with continuity; I make it a point to address all pending tasks/issues prior to beginning a new project. Tasks on my ‘to-do’ list may range from addressing client budgeting issues (within varying time frames), monitoring the impact of any changes made the previous day, routine client status update calls and more.

Sometimes the length of time for actionable results may vary. It may take longer to assess the quality of the campaign initiative, so it is extremely important to have routine status update meetings with a client for an optimal client relationship.

Can you describe the role of an SEO/Paid Search Specialist?                      

There are two separate aspects to this:

  • SEO would impact anything related to organic rankings. Anything where the brand name pops up through organic ranking, back linking, blog posts. Everything is driven through links (Off the website content) and content (on your/brand website); the results are not evident instantly but it is a very viable (fruitful) strategy.
  • Paid search – The results are evident instantly. A company can show up in search results where they would like to be listed. The most important thing is to start with a narrow customer segment and the slowly expand on the positive data downloaded/received from that segment. Based on the response received from that narrow segment expand positively.

YourMBAPurpose.com would like to know a little bit about your journey to this role? How did you transition to TopSpot Internet Marketing from your MBA program?

My career started in compensation and benefits consulting.  My specialty was in benchmarking of salaries among competitors. I enrolled for MBA program with UH in order to enhance my skills and progress my career. While in school I was introduced to the Google Online marketing challenge course by a classmate. I decided to enroll in that class that was taught by Professor Steven Koch. This course laid the foundation of what would later be my professional career path in paid search.

My team was able to win third place in the Google Online marketing challenge. This class also helped me connect with Anita Perez who is the co-founder of TopSpot Marketing. My journey as a marketing professional continued as a President of Marketing Club. This helped me gain meaningful connections while organizing events like Q&A Panels and HiMA career fair.

My involvement in professional organizations at the UH campus helped him connect with marketing companies multiple times and also provided me an opportunity to apply to multiple Houston-area companies including TopSpot. I had multiple interactions with TopSpot professionals that gave them an idea on my personality and my interest in the marketing field. These chains of events helped me secure this job. I have been with the company for almost two years now and the rest is history.

In your professional experience, did you have to take different approaches among different clients?

In my experience, different clients have different needs. There are clients who are very specific about their budget and outcome. Most clients have fixed budget. For fixed budget clients, I determine the right mix of products/services that my clients would like to focus on. Often times my clients want to focus on everything. That is not plausible.

My recommendation is for clients to try and capture market in revenue generating products, push for market exposure if that is their goal. Percentage selection method is not recommended and this strategy may or may not be fruitful.

If I am working with a retainer client, I have already established a working relationship with them. With such client, I start with defining a process of conversion. If it is an e-commerce client, it is a sale, if it’s not an e-commerce site, it could be filling up a form. Having already built a strong relationship gives me the opportunity to dig deeper into analytics and user patters to increase conversions. The best strategy is to apply both methods in your budget mix and not just depend on one method.

YourMBAPurpose.com would like to know a little bit about your favorite strategies you have employed to increase client satisfaction.

I believe that it is not about the project, but the strategies used to achieve end-goal (objectives). The best way is to understand the tools and strategies that are needed in order to generate results. Here are some of my favorite tricks of the trade:

  • There are a couple of complex strategies and methods available via Google AdWords that can be used to outperform competitors.
  • Using different tool combination to have optimal performance. For instance, employing  different bidding strategy through Google AdWords or using scripts for the complex strategies.

Saket promised to teach us how to outbid your competitors’ ads. You can read about it in my next article.

What advice do you have for new and upcoming SEO/SEM professionals?

I can think of three things for upcoming SEO/SEM professionals:

  • Always to be up to date about the technology and incorporate the current scenarios (including political and economic situation) in your digital strategy.
  • Be ready for disruptive technology.
  • Network with professionals through professional organizations.

Saket Maheshwari

Saket Maheshwari is an experienced marketer in digital marketing which includes handling multiple ad platforms (Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and more) and social presence for clients. He currently works at TopSpot Internet Marketing in Houston, Texas, a premier Google partner agency. He has an MBA (Finance and Consulting) from the University of Houston. During his MBA program, he participated in the global Google Online Marketing Challenge. Their team ranked third against 12,000 students across 80 countries. He also holds Google 5pecialist certificate which is given upon completion of 5 different certifications; Google AdWords Certification, Google Video Advertising Certification, Google Mobile Certification etc.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saketmaheshwari


Rinki Mukherjee

Rinki is a marketing professional with over 10 years of corporate and freelance experience.

She currently works on marketing contracts with Houston area businesses. She has served in non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods industries.

She recently earned her MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis and Business Consulting. She also has her Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.

She currently serves on two non-profit boards. She is Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter. Though Rinki is a now a committed Houstonian, she was born and raised in India. 

Connect with Rinki on LinkedIn