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We are working with ShoppersChoice.com, LLC in their search for a Search Marketing Manager based in Baton Rouge, LA. ShoppersChoice.com, LLC owns and operates several sites offering a wide range of specialty products, from outdoor fire pits to kitchenware. From its beginning as a brick-and-mortar business called “The Grill Store & More” in Baton Rouge, the firm’s owners launched their first website in 2000 and launched their second site, BBQGuys.com in 2001. BBQGuys.com went on to became one of the web’s leading sites for outdoor cooking products.
“Real People, Great Products and Amazing Service!”
As trailblazers in the areas of customer service and product knowledge, the firm has implemented personal touches such as providing educational videos with company chef, Tony Mantassa, sharing product knowledge, grilling techniques and Tony’s favorite grilling recipes.
About the Opportunity
The Search Marketing Manager is responsible for planning, optimizing, implementing and analyzing natural and paid search engine marketing activities. This position is key to future growth and is responsible for management of pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) activities. The SEO Manager has a keen understanding of online retail with a strong background in pay-per-click (PPC) management. This role requires the ability to operate on both a strategic and tactical level, touching all aspects of the search marketing including keyword management, creation of campaign messaging, bidding strategies, creative testing, and analytics.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: Imagine you are a Louisiana-based luxury cooking etailer with a YouTube channel that gets a couple million views per year. The pressure would be immense to make videos that sell your products, right? Now imagine that the people who work for your company love cooking and southern culture so much that they produce Cajun cooking videos just of the fun of it.
Not too long ago, that’s exactly what happened with the video team at ShoppersChoice.com site, BBQGuys.com, who decided to make an instructional video of a “Caveman Microwave,” which is basically just a hole in the ground with a fire in it and some food on top. Take a look:
According to ShoppersChoice.com LLC CEO, Corey Tisdale, the video was basically a labor of love. “For the longest time, it seemed like the company existed simply to support our own lifestyles as cooking and entertaining enthusiasts. All of us love the finer things in life, and we have a blast with the culinary arts. It’s all about the lifestyle in helping other people learn about it and enjoy it as much as we do. All of our employees love cooking and entertaining, and Louisiana is a Sportsman’s Paradise. Around here, people view cooking and entertaining as being one and the same. These things are in our corporate DNA, even though we’re not that corporate.”
That level of enthusiasm has begun to pay off for ShoppersChoice.com LLC, which hit $39 million in sales this year according to Inc Magazine. ShoppersChoice.com is an online retailer of specialty products for the home including appliances, furniture, and home accessories, with a focus on items that allow homeowners to entertain outdoors. Products include gas and charcoal grills, smokers, cookware, cutlery, patio furniture, fire pits, heaters, hot tubs, and canopies. The firm’s sites include …
Although Tisdale didn’t want me to mention anyone by name, the company has sold product to some of the biggest celebrities on the planet. And while not every ShoppersChoice customer is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the company’s high quality merchandise and highly expert customer service makes it a sensible choice for mass affluants; affluants; and ultra-affluant customers. Candidates, your research packet for this search will describe who these people are, how many of them there are, where they live; and how much money they have. It’s a phenomenal market, and ShoppersChoice seems to have cracked the code on selling to these people.
The AOV’s are sick!
The home furnishing industry is a very kind place for companies who know how to treat their customers. Competitors include Bed Bath & Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Restoration Hardware, Sur La Table, and Williams-Sonoma. The US home furnishings store industry includes ~20,000 stores with combined revenue of ~$26 billion. Demand is driven by consumer income, and the industry is concentrated: the 50 largest US companies account for about 75% of industry revenue. The industry’s typical customer is a woman, age 25 to 55, who is fashion- and brand-conscious and has better-than-average income. For the most part, ShoppersChoice has remained “up market” from the industry’s mainstream customer, differentiating itself through its trusted reviews, opinion, and media.
ShoppersChoice.com LLC seeks to be the “c-net” of cooking …
… which pretty much makes this job essential to the firm’s continued success. As usual, we have pages and pages of notes from our project kickoff call with Corey Tisdale, but as usual there is a limit to what I can share here. All you really need to know is that the firm’s KPI’s are all headed in the right direction, and we simply need a top-flight search professional to take the company’s web properties to the next level.
The company bids on hundreds of thousands of keywords, and this new hire will need to determine very quickly which of those terms are paying their own way. Already, management has a strong idea of how well its search programs are performing, but we are looking for someone to get into the weeds to drive incremental improvements. Search will be your baby: YOU will be responsible for managing the P&L of the search channel as well as overseeing the day-to-day search marketing activities across all search channels.
But that’s a massive responsibility.
These are crazy times for search marketing. Modern SEO / SEM requires marketers to understand the finer points of social media, content marketing, site architecture, keyword selection, and much more. More than anything, ShoppersChoice means a scalable, business-oriented search marketer who understands where Google is headed.
For example, Google is starting to return results that it believes are a good fit based on what its algorithm understands to be the proper context surrounding a query, as well as the broader context that surrounds the searchers question. It’s getting better at knowing whether I want a screwdriver as a tool, versus a screwdriver as a drink. Less and less, Google is returning search results based on keywords and more on context, quality, and relevance. Its even adding actual answers to the search result as opposed to redirects to pages with answers.
How will such things impact ShoppersChoice.com LLC?
For starters, it changes the game in terms of how SEO’s gauge their success, and it places unimportance on how brands are connecting to a target market, and in some ways going around SERPs. It’s therefore essential that this new hire understand how to design, create, and publish certainly content that helps establish the brand as hip, edgy, and relevant in terms of its thought leadership. We don’t necessarily expect you to create content, but we do expect you to weigh in heavily on things like …
- How to leverage paid search ads as a fertile testing ground for content ideas
- What to consider when sharing a photo online
- Creative ways to promote photo sharing
- How to improve titles that stand out to Google, as well as the human eye
- The SEO benefits of image publishing in terms of links, traffic, and indexing
- Ways to optimize blog posts for organic search
- When and how to engage in guest blogging partnerships
- The benefits of content curation and how it can lead to strong partnerships with fans and media outlets while establishing the brand as relevant
- Ways to determine which topics and types of content work best in Google
- And more.
Basically, we need a streetsmart search marketing expert with all of their strategic level synapses firing. It won’t be long before Google Glass is here, and with Glass AND mobile telephony comes increasingly common voice search. We now live in an always connected, multi device world where we touch the brands we love when we want, for the reasons we want, and sometimes just because. This presents fantastic opportunities for company like ShoppersChoice.com LLC who’s customers have an emotional bond with the company.
Now, it’s your job to figure out how to keep ShoppersChoice.com LLC growing.
- Act as a strong business manager of the search engine marketing channel.
- Manage the P/L of the channel by tracking, reporting, and analyzing all PPC initiatives and campaigns; responsible for forecasting and budgeting of channel.
- Become a “product expert” in the cooking industry, understand the hot issues and new developments, and create an associated keyword expansion roadmap, working with the Marketing team to develop relevant ads and landing page content.
- Manage the day-to-day search marketing activities across multiple search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) including the campaign planning, implementation, budget management, performance review, and optimization of paid search campaigns.
- Responsibilities include keyword research (discovery and expansion), review and editing of creative copy (titles and descriptions), review and analysis of web site performance metrics, and optimization of campaigns.
- Grow and optimize keyword portfolio through testing with ad copy, landing pages, bidding strategies, negative keywording, etc.
- Develop near and long-term PPC account strategies and execute day-to-day tactics that increase revenue, site traffic, conversion and margins.
- Identify and report on key performance indicators, and opportunities for improvement on a regular basis.
- Drive continued innovation and best practice implementation, regularly sharing knowledge with the marketing team and top executives.
- Work with all team functions – merchandising, creative, product information quality, IT – to implement search engine optimization (SEO) recommendations such as: Keyword research and specifications throughout web site pages; Site audits for SEO best practice compliance; Site design recommendations; Navigation and conversion analysis; Link analysis and building
- Identify opportunities to improve organizational and process enhancements that support SEO
- Integrate strategies and recommendations into other active marketing channels such as Email Marketing and Social Media.
- Research and manage affiliate and online advertising programs.
- Prepare and execute on a business plan to establish SEM strategy in targeted regions.
- Stay current with new advances in search engine marketing, competitive landscape, and keyword research.
- Any tasks necessary as assigned by administration
Experience, Skills & Abilities:
- Exceptional copywriting and editorial skills
- Strong analytical skills with ability to drive meaningful actions from large data sets
- Ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment
- An organized individual with great attention to detail and focus on quality of results
- A self-motivated individual; a good team player
- Takes accountability and ownership of his/her own work
Education and Qualifications:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing preferred (or equivalent work experience)
- Requires hands-on knowledge of best practices in SEM and a proven track-record of delivering qualified traffic from both an acquisition and conversion standpoint
- Fundamental knowledge and experience with web analytical tools and interfaces, i.e. Coremetrics, Webtrends, Google Analytics
- Web platform experience including content management and ecommerce systems
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.
PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.