It's one thing to reach your target audience. It's another to turn them into your customers. CDG Interactive is a full-service agency specializing in web strategy that converts. Whether you need a comprehensive online strategy, an email marketing campaign, a content management solution, or simply a better way to increase your visibility online, turn to CDG and watch your conversion rate skyrocket. Contact us.

CDG Interactive, an award winning interactive agency in downtown DC, is seeking a Director of Marketing Optimization. This position is responsible for implementing growth strategies and achieving revenue targets for a large portfolio of strategic partners in a major multinational brand.

This position will maximize revenue through a number of strategic digital initiatives, including analysis reporting, online optimization, digital marketing, website and sales analytics and content management.

The ideal candidate is a highly skilled problem solver and expert communicator who can both dive in to data at a granular level and be able to discuss them with clients in a clear and understandable manner.

The Director operates with considerable independence while managing multiple competing priorities and stakeholders.

Responsibilities

  • Design, deliver and manage the strategy for strategic online customer marketing programs for designated clients and partners, including;
    • SEO
    • SEM and other pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
    • Social media
    • Content and copywriting for landing pages, campaigns and SEO, including blog posts
    • Online advertising
    • User experience testing
    • Multivariate testing
    • Online marketing tactics and programs
  • Conduct acquisition and retention analysis to determine tactics that best accomplish business goals;
  • Track, analyze and report on campaigns and make recommendations to optimize future digital marketing activity to develop a constantly improved online strategy;
  • Prepare and present insights and findings on the progress of conversion optimization to all stakeholders through the delivery of key performance indicator reports and ROI/sales reporting;
  • Develop and present business cases and strategic recommendations for making search-related site enhancements to appropriate stakeholders;
  • Drive and define A/B and user testing roadmap for revenue and user experience optimization;
  • Conduct in-depth analyses on site behaviors, click patterns, user satisfaction, and monetization to inform product roadmaps and marketing plans.
  • Conduct market and competitor research;
  • Manage and own Google Analytics, including Tag Manager;
  • Provide optimization recommendations based on the customer’s campaign objectives

Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with clients across sales, marketing, ecommerce and management teams 
  • Possess strong analytical skills and the ability and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations to improve sales, user experience and brand awareness
  • Ability to analyze website traffic and sales data for trends and use patterns to identify and quantify customer habits and behavior and recommend modifications to maximize traffic, customer satisfaction, conversion rate and sales generation;
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to instantly connect a cross-section of stakeholders and manage ongoing relationships for positive outcomes.
  • Highly organized with the ability to run projects on or under budget and timeline
  • Excellent planning, delegation and communication skills.
  • Results driven with an ability to negotiate, plan & execute the role to facilitate ongoing positive outcomes
  • Able to manage multiple and sometimes conflicting processes.

Knowledge

  • A thorough understanding of e-commerce and digital marketing principles, including:
    • Online sales principles and conversion tactics
    • Google Analytics and online metrics
    • Online sales analysis
    • Search engine optimization
    • Search engine marketing
    • User experience (Usability)
    • Website Architecture best practices
    • Email Marketing
    • Competitive analysis
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Mobile Marketing
  • An intermediate understanding of
    • Online technical environment
    • Domain name management
    • HTML and CSS
    • Content management systems
  • Intermediate to Advance MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Advanced knowledge of Google Analytics; Individual Qualification preferred.

Experience

  • 5-7 years previous experience in a digital environment, preferably an agency.
  • 5-7 years previous experience in one or more of the following disciplines:
    • Account Management
    • Online Marketing, including SEO, SEM and Social Media
    • e-Commerce
    • User Experience
    • Web Analytics
    • Content Strategy   
  • Managing technical programs such as; Google Analytics and/or Tableau, Webmaster Tools, Content Management Systems, and Microsoft Office.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

Interested parties should send a resume and cover letter to [email protected].

Post-penguin-traffic-drop

Google changed the search landscape significantly in 2013 with a series of ranking and algorithm updates that scrambled some results. One of the biggest updates was Penguin 2.0, a May release that penalized sites deemed to have too many inbound links from low quality sites.

Among the sites hit hard by Penguin 2.0 was a client of CDG Interactive; here’s how we helped this international company recover from the unexpected blow.

The Situation

After ranking #1 for its most important, highest revenue generating non-branded keyword for over a year, the client woke up one morning in May to a stomach-churning discovery: their site had dropped 98 spots, down to page 11.

Organic traffic immediately spiraled downward in response; the site was practically invisible in search.

Actions Taken

Phase 1: Remediation

We immediately moved into remediation mode. First we conducted a high level technical SEO audit to ensure that nothing structurally was preventing the site from being indexed properly. Once we established that the site was being indexed, we moved into an evaluation of what was impacting ranking.

Knowing that Penguin 2.0 had rolled out earlier in the month, our next focus was on the inbound link profile. Using tools like Ahrefs.com and Webmaster Tools, we pulled spreadsheets of every link to the site and began reviewing them, one by one.

Questionable links were reviewed with the client; some turned out to be affiliate partners. From the list of clearly toxic links—poor quality directory sites, spam blogs with gibberish text posts, cloaked redirects and more—we contacted each site owner to request removal and assembled a comprehensive disavowal file.

We kept a comprehensive list of links, contacts and removal request dates in a Google Drive spreadsheet as we worked.

After submitting the disavowal, we followed up with a reconsideration request, an option that was still available then in Webmaster Tools for all sites (now this option is restricted to those with a manual action applied). As part of the reconsideration, we provided a link to the spreadsheet in Google Drive to supply evidence of our efforts to have links removed.

Phase 2: Ongoing Recovery

With this immediate remediation completed, we moved to longer term, on-site efforts. One of our most significant steps was to conduct an audit of all content on the site and prioritize pages by importance to search and revenue, using such factors as number and quality of inbound links, page strength, current rank for most important keyword and conversion rate of the page.

We then re-optimized the highest priority pages, rewriting content, consolidating competing content, and creating new content as needed.

This focused the value from the remaining quality links into the pages that were most important to us in search.

In addition to these improvements, we also recommended changes to the HTML of the site templates to better position H1 and H2 title tags so they would receive the maximum SEO impact possible.

Results

Four months later—60 days of remediation and 60 days of site and content optimization later—the site returned to visibility, first hitting Page 2, then returning to the Top 10.

With the additional significant changes to the Google ranking landscape in the meantime, from the loss of organic keyword data to the introduction of the Hummingbird semantic search algorithm, Page 1 for our major keyword looks a lot different than it did earlier this year.

Competitors that held their rank post-Penguin began to fall and general volatility within the system increased. Since the release of Penguin 2.0, the composition of Page 1 results has varied consistently.

Moving Forward

2014 is a new year that is sure to bring new changes to the Google algorithm, but regardless of what they throw at us, we have adjusted our behavior moving forward.

Now the focus of our efforts has now shifted to creating new content and promoting it via social sharing. New content prompts more frequent indexing by Google, creates more opportunities for linking and sharing by others, and feeds into Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, that places a greater emphasis on what sites are about, not just the keywords they use. And social sharing itself is an increasingly important signal to Google for ranking.

For CDG Interactive, 2013 was a rollercoaster ride for SEO, but we managed to assess the problem, act quickly and reverse the effects of Penguin 2.0 for our customer.

  • Did you see any drastic changes in your site’s Google performance in 2013?
  • What things did you to remedy the situation?
  • How are you changing your SEO habits moving forward?

Is your site ranking lower than you’d like it to be? Contact CDG today and we’ll start you on the road to SEO recovery tomorrow.

Content-strategy-no-keywords-world-500

Any good content strategy maps information you create against both the buying cycle and subject matter your target audience is most likely to be interested in—whether they find you through search or see your content shared on social networks.

Previously, one of the best ways to peer into the minds of your customers was through keyword research: what words are being searched on in general and which words are driving traffic to your website and, more importantly, leading to conversions?

Unfortunately, multiple changes Google has made in this year to its algorithm and ranking factors have made content strategy development more challenging than ever before.

On top of that, Google has also moved to encrypt all searches, rather than just some of them. This means it no longer sends organic keyword data information to analytics programs, including its own.  

Now, when you try to find out in Analytics what non-paid search words yielded traffic and sales on your site, the organic search words report is increasingly full of that mysterious faux keyword called “(not provided)”.

Here’s a look at content strategy in a “no keyword” world.

Freshness of content matters. It’s not enough to create content for a specific set of keywords, especially now that Google Analytics can no longer tell you what keywords work on your site. Page ranking is more affected than ever before by when the content was published

Solution: Keep that editorial calendar up-to-date. Publish as often as resources will permit.

Except when it doesn’t. In addition to publishing on a timely basis, incorporate in-depth, authoritative articles into your content strategy plan. Over time, they will continue to attract links which are still one of the primary signals to Google of a page’s ranking value.  

Solution: Plan for longer, authoritative articles on subjects your organization has expertise in. If possible, supplement with a link-building campaign.

Write for answers, not keywords. Google quietly launched its biggest algorithm change in years with Hummingbird, designed to serve up results based more on the concept behind an individual search than what keywords were used. The fancy name for this is “semantic search.” It’s yet another way Google is devaluing keywords as a ranking factor. 

Solution: Those authoritative articles you’re incorporating into your content strategy and editorial calendar? Answer questions with them. If you can’t get this data from keyword research any more, do it the old fashioned way: talk to your customers. If you have a customer service function, talk to your reps. What do they get asked the most?

Now more than ever, a solid content strategy can mean the difference between a well-ranked site and one that disappears from Google completely—taking your search customers with it.

Planning now can help you avoid lost sales and ranking in the future.

From search engine optimization to content strategy, CDG Interactive is on top of the trends; we’ll craft a solution for your business that works for today’s SEO environment. Contact us today to find out whether your current site’s content is helping you rank well—or hurting.

As a platform for reaching your audience, video is highly effective: by large margins, videos are watched, shared and turn up in search.

And creating videos for use in marketing has gotten easier than ever. With the launch of the Vine mobile app by Twitter and the addition of video to the Facebook-owned app (and site) Instagram, anyone with a cell phone can create very short videos—6 seconds for Vine, 15 seconds for Instagram—by just pointing and shooting.

Instagram-screen-shot-video-for-marketing

Because Vine and Instagram accounts can be connected to other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, videos can be cross-posted, reaching your audience at multiple touch-points.

Setting up an account on these services is the easy part, of course: now you have to create video content.

Not sure what to shoot? Here’s a list of ideas:


7 Ideas for Short Form Videos to Market Your Business


  1. Behind the scenes.  Create a sense of connection with your customers by taking them behind the scenes: making a product, meeting with a client or a mini-tour of your offices.
  2. Mini testimonials. Customers may be more willing to appear in a very brief video clip than something longer that feels like a commercial. Keep it simple: ask them to provide just one word that exemplifies the business. (Or make it a contest. Ask your customers to film their own “one-word” testimonials and pick the best.)
  3. Sneak peeks. Getting ready to introduce a new product or service? Build excitement for the launch with sneak peeks of either the finished product or its creation.
  4. Staff bios. Introduce your staff and add bio videos to your About or Team page. Get creative; what’s the one thing they should share about themselves in such a short clip?
  5. Bloopers. If you’re already filming company events to post to an official YouTube channel, use Vine or Instagram for the “uncensored” oops moments.
  6. How to. Show off a unique feature of a product you offer or give a quick tutorial. Yes, it can be done in such a short time frame, especially if you use …
  7. Time lapse/stop motion. Take advantage of the apps’ functionality. Because each video can be shot 1 or 2 seconds at a time, this lends itself to using techniques like time lapse or stop motion. Although elapsed time is only 6 (or 15) seconds, you can compress more into that by combining several one- or two-second shots into a total mini-film.

At these brief lengths, you’re often aiming for more atmosphere than narrative, although you’d be surprised by some of the creative storytelling that brands and users are doing in such tiny bites. Just think how much is conveyed in TV commercials or radio spots which have historically run at 15 or 30 seconds.

Creating videos via a smartphone-friendly platform like Vine and Instagram is also smart mobile marketing; more than 9 in 10 mobile phone customers share mobile video content.


Resources for Learning More About Vine and Instagram Video Marketing


Vexed by video? Stymied by social media? Talk to the marketing experts at CDG Interactive. From a complete digital strategy to hands-on training in social media, we’ll get you on the path to marketing success that you can measure.

A report released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 72% of adults are on social networking sites. Not so shocking, I know. But the figure that really caught my eye was the rise in the number of older Americans and senior citizens who are on social media. The report claims “Six out of ten internet users ages 50-64 are social networking site users, as are 43% of those ages 65 and older.”

In the 65+ group, social media usage has tripled in the last four years. That’s a rising demographic that’s not usually represented in our thinking about how to use—and who to target with—social networking sites. The report doesn’t isolate statistics for any one social media site, except Twitter (used by a paltry 13% of  50 – 64 year olds and just 5% of those over 65). It’s safe to assume, though, that Facebook has the lion’s share of these plugged-in seniors.

Pew_chart
As social media and its audience matures, any business that counts seniors in its target demographic would do well to start reaching out to an older audience and figuring out which messages and calls to action resonate on a social platform. First, check your demographics in Insights and find out how many seniors are already in your audience. You may be surprised. 

Next, start revising your user profiles, refining your messages, and testing, testing, testing to see how you can engage seniors that are reachable via social media, and ultimately get them to take action.

Put some effort into cultivating an older audience. They’re not all there just to see photos of the grandkids!

Need help reaching the right people with social media? Contact CDG.

You’ve done everything right. You’ve researched your keywords (and those of your competitors), you’ve beefed up your meta tags, you’ve created highly optimized and compelling content, you’ve optimized for local search  . . . heck, you’ve even optimized the file names of the images you’re using! You take a deep breath, look and log in to view your analytics, and, drum roll . . . traffic is static? Or worse, it’s a little down? What could have gone wrong?

Actually, something may have gone very right. If you’ve done a thorough job with SEO, you may have met the needs of your users so well that they don’t even need to click through to your site. “Come again,” you say?

Here’s the thing: depending on the nature of your business, customers may not need to get to your site once they see you in search results. This is exactly what happened to one of our clients, a surfing company in Hawaii. We optimized its site heavily for local search, and as a result, users now see the business name, address, website and phone number near the very top of the results for "Surf lessons in Waikiki."

SEO_optimized_local_listing

At that point, it's just as people to call up and ask about lessons and tours as it is to visit the site (this is doubly true if the person is searching on a smartphone).

If a lot of users bypass your website but call instead, then you won’t see a bump in traffic. But you should—like Big Wave Dave—see a bump in sales. And if sales are up, then your SEO has paid off—literally!

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