Pulling Levers Blog
Behind the Scenes at Lever: Meet Danyl Herron
Congratulations to Danyl Herron, celebrating her 3-year anniversary at Lever Interactive this month. Danyl started with Lever in January 2009.
Now as a Senior Account Strategist, she manages her clients’ online marketing campaigns; including Paid Search, Shopping Comparison, Affiliate Marketing and Email Marketing. At home Danyl enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, step-daughter Abby and one-year-old daughter Anna.
Case Study: Building Organic Rankings from Scratch
Client: Established in-store marketing company expanding into the online segment of their business with a new website that offers free printable coupons from consumer packaged goods manufacturers.
Challenge: Launching a new website in fall 2010, Lever Interactive’s client was starting from scratch in terms of organic search results. The website’s initial design was developed and launched without taking into consideration basic SEO or conversion optimization best practices. In addition, competition among keywords related to coupons is high and the client needed to quickly establish their brand and website as an online industry leader.
Approach: Lever started from the ground up in their SEO approach since the website was brand new. The first focus was on improving the website and its content, secondly an active off-site link building campaign was launched.
Tactics: Lever Interactive conducted an S.W.O.T. analysis of the website to identify and prioritize ways to improve the site’s content, backend functionality in terms of SEO and visitor usability.
On-page tactics derived from the audit covered a wide-range of SEO best practices, some included:
- Page load time improvements through page size and code weight updates
- Development of new or improved page titles, headings, meta content and on-page content
- New URL structure, 404 error processes, robots.txt and XML sitemap file development
- Target keyword identification and integration into content and interlinking strategies
Off-page link building strategies started off with basic tactics that focused on top priority keywords (did not include any paid link building). Lever then moved into more advanced social link building strategies, such as:
- Relevant article and press release optimization and syndication
- Online video optimization and distribution
- Blog and forum participation
Results: Lever’s SEO team is continuing to work with the client to develop and distribute superior content both on and off the site. In the first 8 months of engagement, the client’s new site saw tremendous organic growth. With no previous keyword rankings, Lever was able to gain page one rankings on several highly competitive general terms such as coupon, coupons, printable coupon and coupons online. Organic traffic increased from less than 2,000 visits per month to over 150,000 visits.
Case Study: Building Strong Non-Brand PPC Campaigns
An Online Marketing Case Study
A large, private university with multiple campuses across the United States.
Lever Interactive was hired to manage a university’s existing online advertising pay-per-click (PPC) program to generate prospective student leads. The main goal of the program was to increase the overall number of leads, with a concentration on growing lead counts and efficiency from non-branded keywords.
Often organizations rely on the efficiency and ease of brand keywords in PPC campaigns to off-set under-performing non-branded campaigns. However, it is vital for any successful PPC campaign to maintain and grow efficient non-branded campaigns because this is where more volume and untapped audiences exist.
Lever Interactive took over the existing campaigns and performed an audit of the account’s keywords, ads, landing pages, bids and budgets. Using custom reports that provided keyword level trending data, Lever quickly identified over- and under-performing areas of the account. After a full analysis, Lever began testing new bidding strategies, landing page designs and ad extensions.
- Optimization of existing Google search and display network advertising and Bing/Yahoo search advertising, including but not limited to:
- Paused inefficient non-brand keywords
- Increased bidding to better compete with the industry and run ads in higher positions. Higher bids were facilitated with increased budgets following tests that proved the effectiveness of this approach
- Increased use of ad extensions, including sitelinks and call extensions
- Tested landing pages to improve conversion rates
- Launched Facebook and LinkedIn PPC advertising
- Launched direct display buys from reputable websites in the campus’ markets
Two months after taking over management of the PPC program, Lever Interactive was able to generate significant lead growth in non-brand campaigns, as well as incremental growth in brand leads. Overall efficiency of the campaigns also improved simultaneous with the lead growth.
In the first 5 months of Lever’s management:
- Overall number of leads increased 222%
- Non-brand leads increased 512%
- Brand leads increased 133%
- Cost-per-lead (brand and non-brand) decreased 44%
Lever Interactive Expands Team and Announces Promotions
Lever Interactive Expands Team and Announces Promotions
New Hires Joining the Optimization and Business Development Teams
DOWNERS GROVE, IL (July 19, 2011) – Lever Interactive, a Chicago-based full-service online marketing company specializing in performance-based marketing management, recently expanded with the addition of three new team members and announces recent promotions.
Stephanie Saucier joins Lever Interactive as Manager of Optimization, Josh Cole joins Lever Interactive’s Business Development team and Brad Bonic joins as an Account Strategist. Lever Interactive is also proud to announce two recent promotions. Jennifer Davis was promoted to Vice President of eMarketing and Jamie Watanabe has been promoted to Account Strategist.
Saucier will lead Lever Interactive’s team of paid search account optimizers as well as the search engine optimization and design/development teams. Saucier, a resident of Montgomery, comes to Lever Interactive after several years as a Web Operations Manager at FTD.com. She received her Bachelor of Science in marketing from Northern Illinois University.
Cole, a resident of Midlothian, will help direct Lever Interactive’s sales efforts. He comes to Lever Interactive from Crown Mortgage Company where he served as a loan officer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in finance and accounting from Augustana College.
Bonic will manage and optimize search engine marketing and display advertising campaigns for several clients. Bonic, a resident of Plainfield, comes to Lever from Starcom Mediavest Group where he managed both on-line and off-line marketing and advertising campaigns representing a wide range of clients.
“I am very excited to have Stephanie, Josh and Brad join our growing team,” said Chris Gilmartin, President of Lever Interactive. “They bring diverse experience and knowledge to our team that will help grow the success of Lever Interactive.”
Davis has been with Lever Interactive for three years and leads the company’s daily activities. Davis has over 15 years of marketing, ecommerce and development experience. She is a resident of Downers Grove and earned her Bachelor of Arts in writing from Dominican University and her Master of Arts in business writing from DePaul University.
Watanabe has been with Lever Interactive for two years and has been instrumental in the day-to-day activities for several clients. She is a resident of Villa Park and earned her Bachelor of Arts in advertising from the University of Illinois.
“Both Jennifer and Jamie have contributed to Lever Interactive’s growth and success over the last couple of years,” said Gilmartin. “I look forward to their continued contribution in their expanded roles.”
About Lever Interactive
Lever Interactive is a full-service online marketing company specializing in performance-based marketing management. With a focus on search engine marketing, Lever Interactive combines the experience of seasoned search and online professionals with the latest in advertising technologies. With over 15 years of direct and interactive marketing know-how, the team at Lever Interactive provides leading expertise in today’s most advanced online marketing opportunities. Services include search engine marketing, shopping comparison and feed-based programs, email marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), web design and development. Lever Interactive is a Google AdWords Certified Partner, Yahoo Search Marketing Ambassador and Microsoft AdExcellence Member. They are also members of industry organizations Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA). Lever Interactive is located at 1431 Opus Place, Suite 625, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. For more information, please visit www.leverinteractive.com.
Agencies Should Contact Yahoo about Yahoo Search Marketing Terms and Conditions Change
Yahoo has recently changed their terms and conditions that has the search marketing world in a bit of a tizzy . The paragraph in the Yahoo Search Marketing’s new Terms and Conditions that is causing the fuss:
Sponsored Search 3. OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.
Welcome to the first post of Pulling Levers – a search marketing and analytics resource. The official blog of Lever Interactive, we hope to provide not only industry news and POV, but also expert search marketing advice and insight.