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Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization Launches SEMPO Instituteā„¢

Online Distance Learning Courses to Teach Advanced Search Marketing Tactics

Wakefield, MA, November 3, 2006 - SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), today announced it has launched SEMPO Institute, an online distance learning program designed to create trained search engine marketing professionals for new job hires, and to provide advanced learning for professionals seeking to gain greater knowledge and career advancement.

"The time is right for SEMPO to not only advocate best practices in search marketing, but also to provide intensive training in these practices for our fast growing sector of the interactive marketing economy," says SEMPO President Dana Todd.

SEMPO Institute goes live in January 2007 with an SEM Fundamentals course. Within first quarter, it will also offer an Advanced SEO course and an Advanced Search Advertising curriculum.

The courses are open to both SEMPO members and non-members. Course fees are being determined but are expected to be competitive with similar programs. Upon completion of the course materials, and after passing a series of rigorous tests, students will receive a certificate of completion for each course.

"Marketers need more skilled personnel in their organizations and have asked us to take the lead in training the next generation of search marketers," explains Terry Plank, Dean of SEMPO Institute. "We are stepping up to the plate and answering the need for an ongoing training program to grow the search marketing employment base," he adds.

Another objective of SEMPO Institute, says Plank, is to teach broadly-accepted best practices in search engine marketing, search engine optimization and search advertising. "By creating a curriculum for each of these disciplines, we are creating a comprehensive body of information that can be flexible in terms of updates to reflect changes in methodology," he says.

Volunteers on SEMPO's Education Committee, led by co-chair Fionn Downhill, created the initial framework and outline of the courses. Working as a team to solidify the vision, they created a road map of the first three major courses that were deemed to be most critically needed by employers and job seekers.

Training Modules

One of the distinguishing elements of SEMPO distance learning is that all of the training modules are peer reviewed, says Downhill. "The curricula are being designed by seasoned professionals working in search advertising and SEO fields," she says. Also, students will be taking tests throughout the courses, will be doing study projects and will be taking a final exam they must pass. "There will be some rigor attached to this program to produce good training results," says Downhill.

SEMPO will initially offer three curricula:

  1. SEM Fundamentals: Anticipated to launch January 2007 or sooner. Consists of 12 lessons which are intended to give the student a high level understanding of the essentials of Search Engine Marketing.
  2. Advanced SEO: Q1 2007 launch. It will consist of sub-modules, each having multiple lessons, and will train the student in the "how to" of SEO. Topics include advanced link building, website architecture, SEO diagnostic audits and developing a comprehensive analytics and brand strategy. For this program, a student can choose to take any or all of the six modules but will only receive a Certificate of Completion for finishing all six with passing grades.
  3. Advanced Search Advertising: Q1 2007 launch. Will train the student in the strategies and specific tactics of pay-per-click campaigns and search advertising. Topics include PPC models, advanced keyword strategy, bidding & ad ranking methodology, feeds and feed advertising, branding strategy and campaign integration.

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research, and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing. SEMPO represents the common interests of more than 450 companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO's education and outreach initiatives are sponsored in part by Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Verizon, Atlas, Search Engine Strategies, and Ingenio.


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