A Taste of SEM & SEO 2015 Predictions

SEO & SEM 2015Did you meet your digital marketing goals in 2014? Are you planning to improve your SEM and SEO results over the course of 2015? SEO and paid search are still vital components to a digital marketing strategy, but you have to pay close attention to the trends or your campaign could be swept into obscurity.

To improve your digital marketing strategy, it’s critical to pause and reflect on the past year and analyze what happened.

Our partners at Volume Nine recently published a full recap of what happened in SEO in 2014, and look ahead with some SEO predictions for 2015. Enjoy a sample of their findings below.

2014 Review and Tips

  • In both SEM & SEO, Google rewards advertisers delivering high quality results for keyword searches.
  • The Pigeon update shook up local organic results, making geo-targeted paid search campaigns more important than ever.
  • Google updated the dreaded Penguin algorithm, making anything less than cutting-edge SEO a waste of time and money.

To ride these changes, use elements from any of your most successful landing page on your websites’ main page.

If you want to consistently stand out in search results, you need a great quality score to get better rankings. But the impacts to any algorithm updates are hard to predict, so how can you take what happened with these updates in 2014 and use it?

Moving into 2015

One way that our friends at Volume Nine predict these trends will carry into the New Year is through mobile devices. Here, high-quality content will still reign, but after Adwords’ recent announcement to remove campaigns targeted by device, SEO experts must look to more innovative way to reach mobile consumers. Smashing Magazine reports that mobile users spend less time per session — nearly 1:30 less — on mobile device than desktops, so 2015 will determine best practices to reach the ever-increasing number of mobile browsers.

Keep in mind, one of the best ways to stay ahead of trends, like mobile, is to understand how to read and interpret your data. If you haven’t taken the time to get Google Analytics Certified, check out this great study guide designed to help you pass the test and become an expert in Google Analytics.

Remember, a healthy SEM campaign is your insurance policy against potentially losing your organic rankings due to algorithm updates. A smart digital marketing campaign includes both channels.

Check out the full breakdown from 2014 and SEO 2015 predictions from our partners at Volume Nine.

Posted in SEO

Booyah and Volume Nine Partner to Support Families in Need

Leave it to Chuck Aikens to bring another wonderful experience to our lives.  With our friends, and longtime business partners at Volume Nine we joined forces to send 50 volunteers for a day of service at the Brandon Center — a Volunteers of America property in Denver.

The Brandon Center

The Brandon Center is a refuge for homeless women and for women & children during difficult times of transition. The Center provides shelter and helps these families get back on their feet, with the ultimate goal of creating independence and self-reliance.

Our Day of Service – #BrandonCenter2014

We put our pencils down at work for a day and turned our full attention to the Brandon Center.

The reveille assembled the crowd at 8am on May 23, donning our uniforms (event t-shirts designed by V9).    #BrandonCenter2014

We then got amped-up, enjoying coffee provided by Starbucks and looking at the mountain of supplies donated by Home Depot and Little Tikes.#BrandonCenter2014

Our leaders broke us up into smaller teams to work on projects such as repainting the sleeping areas, spreading 1500lbs of mulch in the garden, assembling toys for the children (so cute!) and redecorating the Community Room.

Here’s a few photos of our team in action:

Throughout the day, we were cheered on by Brandon Center residents and even got a hand from some of the children who couldn’t believe we were going to be leaving all these new beautiful toys behind for their enjoyment! #BrandonCenter2014 All in all, it was a great day and we were thrilled to give back to the Brandon Center and to support some local Denver families!

Booyah’s SEO Partnership

Today, I’m thrilled to announce an evolution in our long-time partnership with Chuck Aikens. Chuck’s company, Volume 9, is now the exclusive provider of SEO, Content Marketing and all other forms of non-paid traffic generation for Booyah’s clients.

I met Chuck in 2006 when searching for an in-house SEO resource. Everyone I talked to kept pointing me to Chuck, and swore he was the best in the business. When I met him, I was blown away by his knowledge, his ability to communicate and his long list of successful projects. I knew then that this was our guy.

Trick was, we just couldn’t afford to bring him in house. SEO experts aren’t cheap! Luckily for Booyah, Chuck agreed to work as consultant. As our book of business grew, so too did Chuck’s input. Together, we tackled SEO projects for blue-chip brands such as Old Navy, Coke Zero, Volkswagen, Microsoft Zune, Vail, Dish Network, Domino’s, Little Tikes, Teleflora and literally hundreds of others.

Through the years, we’ve shared money, staff, equipment, office space, holiday parties and even a kickball roster.

By formalizing our relationship as exclusive partners, we hope to accomplish a few objectives:

1)      Volume 9 can now invest more resources into their unique toolsets and expertise for generating organic traffic through SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media and Promotions and Contests. Their field is becoming more complex, more expensive and ultimately more important for online businesses.

2)      Booyah can bring a proven partner to our clients as they look to diversify and support digital media campaigns. Our clients expect verifiable, affordable and significant results.

3)      Our combined offering helps us to make full-funnel direct response marketing a reality.

It’s my pleasure to lock arms with Volume 9 and offer the best online advertising and marketing solution available in Colorado and a top choice nationwide.

Coach Troy Lerner was carted off to the hospital with a PCL tear. Chuck Aikens took over and won the championship!

Coach Troy Lerner was carted off to the hospital with a PCL tear. Chuck Aikens took over and won the championship!


Omnicom Publicis Merger Reveals The Problem With Big Agency Trading Desks

Here at Booyah, we took a keen interest in the Omnicom/Publicis merger announcement. The merger raises questions about the fate of Omnicom/Publicis’ respective Trading Desks, Accuen and Vivaki AOD. What will come of these two behemoth programmatic buying units? Will they fold into one? Will one be shuttered, or spun off to investors? And how will this impact clients and advertisers?

We believe that the major holding company Trading Desks are not structured to deliver the full value that clients deserve. They serve as programmatic hubs which are isolated from the agency media strategy and creative teams. Joanna O’Connell, Senior Analyst at Forrester said it well:

“I’ve said before, trading desks will fade away as distinct entities and become a more permanent, integral part of the agency business as a whole. The trading-desk service has been too far away from the agency team and the client. It’s more likely than ever that we’re going to see that situation change quickly.”

We share Joanna’s vision, and late in 2012, we built the Booyah Trading Desk into the fabric of our agency structure. Troy Lerner, President at Booyah said, “Scale can be the enemy of innovation. We didn’t build the desk to capture margin from the media dollars. We built the desk to give our planners and buyers access to the most advanced programmatic buying tools available. For us, it’s about pinpointing audiences in real time at key stages in the purchasing journey.”

The trend of data-driven, programmatic media buying looks set to gain momentum.  Interpublic Group (IPG) announced they plan to automate 50% of their media buying within 3 years (see post http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/205836/ipg-to-automate-50-of-media-buying-expand-progra.html)

Booyah Account Service Teams

Sometimes running the business side of an agency can be a grind. And like any other business, we probably spend too much time optimizing today’s model and not enough time reinventing ourselves for the future.  When I optimize for today, I think about things like “faster” and “cheaper”. When we reinvent for tomorrow, we thing about ‘flexibility’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘investment’.

My biggest cost, by far, is my people. And I’m guilty of trying to optimize this cost. Can I hire people and train them faster? Can I get them to do more work/output? How *few* managers can I install to carry this out.

It works. …sort of.  I’ve got awesome people doing great work. And my overhead is lower than my competitors, so my prices are almost always better. But something is missing.

If we run the business like a factory, it will become a factory. Brilliant advertisers don’t want to be managed like machines.

So, a few weeks back, I set aside some time for the Account Directors to describe their vision for ideal agency resourcing to me (we’ve talked about it casually for months. Years?)

I’m thrilled with the outcome!

Instead of working in channels (i.e., PPC, Display, etc.), we’ll work on teams.

For example, Katie will have a “team”. Katie’s team will include ppc people, seo people, display people, and support folks. Katie’s team will service a portfolio of clients. Everyone on Katie’s team will report to Katie, and she’ll be responsible for the success of the team with their clients. As a team, everyone will work together to service the portfolio. If you’re on Katie’s team, you work on Katie’s clients. You’ll stay together as a team kicking ass and taking names. Katie will be responsible for making sure your workload is fair, your deliverables are awesome and that you’re getting the opportunities you need to further your career and move up in responsibility (if that’s something you want).

We’re building three fully resourced teams to start. For now, we’ll leave ‘creative’ and ‘trading desk’ as departments outside of this structure

Here’s why I love it:

1)      We’re now organized the way clients see us—a team of experts dedicated to their goals.

2)      The delivery unit for the client (example: Katie’s Team), will be holistic and bring all of Booyah’s capabilities to the table. This should help us bring forward innovative cross-channel opportunities to the clients faster.

3)      You’ll work with the same folks on a regular basis. This familiarity should improve efficiency. This should also create more “mentor/apprentice” relationships (best way to learn in my book)

4)      Healthy competition between teams is sure to deliver some fantastic client work.

5)      Small teams give more people a chance to lead in the future. This structure will create more Directors in the long run.

I’m thrilled by this opportunity!


Why Inter-Agency Summits are a MUST.

Many years ago I received an invitation to an inter-agency summit. I hadn’t been to one, and my first reaction was discomfort. I felt like I was invited to take a staring role in a cage match. Surely all of these agencies were secretly gunning for my piece of the business, right?

Well, that was years ago. I’ve learned a few things and now I see the value rather than the threat in inter-agency summits.

If you’ve never attended an all-agency summit, it’s the brand’s effort to bring the smart minds of agency partners into one room. The brand’s efforts to break down walls, open lines of communication, receive feedback, give feedback, build relationships at all levels, commit to change, and ensure that a team is built or strengthened.

Having now attended a few of these summits with different brands over the years, there are some universal things I’ve learned. If you’re an agency person, keep these things in mind:

  1. Know your role, and know how it fits into the bigger picture. Every agency walks into the summit with a role. You may be the creative agency. The TV buyer. The print group. A vitally important lesson is to know your role, and know how it fits in. At Booyah we are experts in DR digital. We work best with a team of other experts who are willing to lean on us when it comes to ‘digital acquisition’. We work at our highest and best along with a team of experts in their specific function. When everyone knows their position and responsibilities, the client can build a high-performing team.
  2. Participate. For summits to be successful, you (the agency rep) have to participate. I’ve sang karaoke, built TV stands, and line danced at these things. I’ve also stood in front of rooms with C-level execs and provided constructive feedback as to what does and does not work in their marketing programs. All these situations have a certain level of discomfort – but you have to participate to be successful.
  3. Be willing to change the way you work. Every summit I’ve been attended has ended with participants (both on the brand side and agency side) committing to change. That could be change in how you communicate, how you plan, how often you meet as an all-agency group in-person. The best summits and the best groups of attendees are those willing to change. To make compromises in the way they work, and to make sacrifices for the greater good. The greater good being the success of all parties – clients and agencies alike.

If you’re on the agency side and have not been to one of these, get yourself an invite. If you’re a brand and you’re not hosting inter-agency summits… clear the calendars for 2.5 days… you won’t regret it.

eMarketer Interviews Troy Lerner about Big Data

Like many digital agencies I suppose, a hot topic for our clients the past 12 months or so has been around “big data”. eMarketer recently asked for our thoughts on how agencies and advertisers are responding to the marketplace shift. For me personally, I’m just glad us nerds are getting some street cred!

How Agencies Handle Big Data (subscription required)

Rocket Fuel DSP and Booyah Digital Media Teams

Our friends at Rocket Fuel came through Denver recently to treat the team to a Colorado Rockies game. About the same time, a featured article was released by AdExchanger.com discussing our recent successes with Rocket Fuel and how we’re comparing their DSP-like offering to our own in-house media trading desk. It’s been a fascinating journey.

Thanks Rocket Fuel! We love ya!

Rocket Fuel in Denver

Rocket Fuel and Booyah Advertising team in Denver

Booyah Featured in Google DoubleClick Case Study

Booyah Advertising

Booyah is agnostic when it comes to tools. Truth be told though, we hold a special place in our agency for Google’s tools. They are virtually indestructible, fast, affordable and come with top notch support. More than 75% of our clients use the Google stack as their primary digital advertising platform. We’ve been heavy users for the past five years and don’t see that changing in the next five.

With such a robust tool, we are able to save a tremendous amount of time on reporting, trafficking, and optimizing. The time we save gets redirected to campaign strategy and expert thinking for our clients.  

DoubleClick offers a superb unified approach to digital advertising that pushes our team to become better and better marketers every single day.  We are pleased to partner with DoubleClick, and even more pleased to be featured in their video series documenting successful case studies. Check it out at the link below!

DoubleClick Search and Booyah Customer Story

Thank you, DoubleClick, the video turned out great! Booyah!

Cooking with Collective

A big thank you to Collective for taking the Booyah Crew out to a fun and educational event on Tuesday night!

Several members of our display and creative teams were lucky enough to visit Stir to Learn, a cooking school located in Northwest Denver, to whip up a delicious meal with our lovely host Kelly.  Amidst stirring up a delicious risotto, munching on candied walnuts and sipping delicious wine, we chatted about innovations within the big data and audience    industry. We also learned a lot! Between finding dry rivers in our risotto and discussing the difference between chicken stock and broth (stock is made with both the bones AND the meat, resulting in a cloudier liquid; broth is made with just the bones), we managed to solidify our work partnerships and real-life friendships over sharp knives and fresh ingredients. What a treat!

We are excited to work with Collective on upcoming campaigns with our various clients, and even more excited to eat some of that delicious leftover risotto! Booyah!

IMAG1968IMAG1969Cooking with Collectivephoto