Have you ever wondered about the ads that pop up at the top of a Google search? McKenzie Partners’ Senior SEM Specialist Melvin Mendoza is the one to ask about them. He’s an expert in search engine marketing and has worked in the digital field for over 10 years. We quizzed Melvin about becoming a SEM specialist and how the job has evolved over time.

In a nutshell, what does a senior SEM specialist actually do? 
My job involves implementing, executing and optimising paid search marketing accounts. The core objective is to generate brand and product awareness for the clients, which in turn drives sales and enquiries for their business.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
On any given day, I’ll make sure accounts are performing and on budget. I’ll also analyse paid search and look for growth opportunities. The other part of my job is reporting and translation of data for sales and optimisation. 

How has SEM evolved over the time you’ve been in the industry?
The main evolution here is that SEM used to sit within the IT sector. Now SEM is very much a part of the sales and marketing world.  

How did you become a SEM specialist in the first place?
I worked for major companies within digital sales. So, digital marketing was a natural and future progression for me.

What’s it like to work in a job that didn’t exist 20 years ago? 
I’ve personally worked in marketing my entire career. So, many of the companies during that time evolved and integrated digital as a catalyst for business growth. It doesn’t seem that strange because it’s been a gradual evolution and I’ve continued to upskill. It feels more like a natural progression rather than a dramatic career change.

Can you ever just do a personal Google search without examining the ads?
I do all the time, I am so used to seeing paid ads that I click on unpaid/organic ads instead!

What’s the best and worst bit about your job?
The best part is definitely analysis, taking logical risks and watching accounts perform for clients. There aren’t significant cons, but reporting and automation certainly needs to evolve further.