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Insights on Digital Marketing Strategy, SEO, and AI.

In Conversation with Gina Ramsey

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Gina Ramsey, President of Pink Dog Digital.
In this interview, Gina dives deep into the strategies and techniques that have propelled her to success, offering valuable insights on leveraging social media, optimizing website design, navigating local SEO, harnessing the potential of AI in content marketing, and much more.

A client with more longevity allows for a deeper dive into lead generation.

Gina Ramsey
President of Pink Dog Digital

Hey, Hi everyone. This is Ranmay Rath on your show, E- Coffee with Experts. Today we have Ms. Gina Ramsey from Pink Dog Digital. She’s the President of Pink Dog Digital. Welcome, Gina, to our show tonight.

Hi, Ranmay Rath. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Great. Gina, before we move on and listen to the insights that you’re going to share with us about digital marketing, yes, you at large, I request you to introduce yourself and your agency so that our audience knows whom are we listening to and then we can take it with the questions.

Great. So my name is Gina Ramsey and I am the President of Pink Dog Digital. We are a full-service digital agency. We offer website design and development, search engine optimization, social media management, content creation, ad, and digital ad campaigns. We do everything in the digital space. We don’t do any traditional advertising, and we help small to medium-sized businesses grow their business through their digital footprint.

Superb. Thank you, Gina. Gina, you’ve been a president at Pink Dog Digital. What has been your journey this far, being a woman entrepreneur? How do you set up the entire piece? What has been your journey in terms of creating this brand, this agency? Can you please help us understand your journey this far?

I started the agency four years ago after being at another agency for 12 years and decided I wanted to do things a little bit differently. It is a little challenging being a middle age woman in a young person’s market space. I constantly have to stay on top of what’s new, what’s happening in the market, and stay educated. The more I know, the more I can share with my customers and the more valuable we are as an agency. I have the best team ever. I’ve got people that have been with me from the start of the agency, which is unheard of these days for people to last four, five, six years at a job. And I hope that speaks a little bit to our corporate culture.

Yeah, it does. In today’s volatile environment, people sticking around for five years is in itself an achievement and speaks volumes about the culture that you have to maintain in your company. And I’m talking about here, that is the way to start your own thing, your gig. And the structure built in terms of having those people for so many years relates to the brand you want to create. And talking about SEO and presentation of digital marketing, what steps do you take to ensure that a client’s website is optimized for conversion, and how to integrate this into that overall digital marketing strategy?

We approach each website build very differently. We look at who their target market is, and what a meaningful conversion means to them. Some people just want traffic, some people want phone calls. What do they want? And then we have to try to get that. We make sure that we address the front of the house and the back of the house on the website. So at the back of the house, we make sure that we build a website that checks all the boxes with Google, XML site maps, H1 tags, metadata, and poor web vitals, and then we work with the client to build really good content. The content needs to demonstrate their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness as a brand. And then we also look at ongoing SEO campaigns that involve content creation, back-linking strategies, social media marketing, and maybe PPC, depending on their budget.

Yeah, absolutely. It’s a holistic approach that you look at and then you drive the strategy. Superb. When developing a digital marketing strategy for a client, how do you balance short-term goals? As you mentioned, few people might come asking for you for those phone calls, or immediate leads because their business demands such kind of leads immediately for them to be able to sustain. And some clients have long-term goals such as brand awareness or customer attention. So how do you develop this tool marketing strategy for clients in both these segments?

Yeah. So we look at both, regardless of the client. Some of it depends on the client’s age. How long have they been in the marketplace? You’re going to need to spend a lot more time ramping up with branding for a new company than with an established one. A client with more longevity allows for a deeper dive into lead gen. It also depends on the budget. Can they afford PPC or is this strictly an organic campaign? As organic traffic has dropped without engagement, so we need to balance that. What are the goals of the client? Do they want butts in seats? Do they want phone calls? Do they want to collect emails for another campaign? So we have to set up that strategy at the onset of the campaign, not as we go, or just to do it and make sure that as we’re going through the campaign, we’re fulfilling all of those goals that we set out at the beginning.

Yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned, it has to be a mixed bag of both while creating that strategy for the long run. Talking about strategies that our businesses will make mistakes while creating those strategies. Can you please discuss some of the common mistakes small businesses make in their digital marketing efforts? How do you feel they can avoid doing that?

The number one biggest mistake I see is my intern is going to handle my digital marketing hands down. Intern has their own social media channel, but they don’t know how to develop meaningful content, social content, or even PPC campaigns. They don’t know how to do that. Digital marketing needs a strategy and it needs to be assessed regularly for effectiveness. Some people just post for the sake of posting and that’s a lot of wasted time. You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish and then how am I going to get there. And that is not usually handled by an intern.

Absolutely. The other day I was having this discussion with a client of mine, again, an agency. Very directly, the CEO told me that the worst profile that you can hire for your company is a social media intern. And it’s no fault of theirs because it’s pure cost-cutting. You’re hiring someone out of the college and expecting them to do wonders overnight, and it is your mistake that you’re expecting that out of them. The onus is on you rather than putting them on social media in terms to be able to deliver the targets which you expect them to. So a very valid point there. And in terms of social media, since we are talking about it, can you discuss the role of social media overall in a comprehensive digital marketing strategy? How do you think it goes about it?

Yeah. So social media is a huge part of the digital marketing strategy, but it needs to be done right. As I said, sometimes I see people posting for the sake of posting. There is no strategy. Again, when the algorithm changes, it’s increasingly more difficult for businesses to get seen on social. Who is my audience? What are they looking for? What’s the best platform? Then how do I measure success? Each platform has its own set of demographics. You need to identify your audience persona and pick the platform or platforms where those people are hanging out. It’s like people that shop at Walmart versus Nordstroms, two very different audiences. Facebook is a very different audience from LinkedIn. So figure out who you’re trying to reach, provide really good quality content to them that is meaningful, that will get them to engage with your content, and then measure it. Is what I’m doing working or is a piece of it working, but the rest of it isn’t? Without those kinds of metrics, you’re just posting to post. You don’t know what you’re accomplishing.

Yeah, absolutely. This has all to be aligned with the overall vision of the company. How does your existing customer segment look at it? That relevancy in terms of how your customers or prospects relate to you versus what you’re posting or how you’re presenting yourself on social forums also plays a very important role. It’s not only about what you think of yourself, it’s also about what your customers feel about you and how they want to relate with you. That also plays a very important role, as you mentioned. In terms of website design, because your agency does it day in, and day out, what are some of the most important design elements that can affect a website’s ranking potential? How do you ensure that these design elements are optimized for SEO at the same time?

The number one thing people need to focus on is load speed. We are always looking for ways to improve load speed, whether it’s through looking at the core web vitals reports through Google Search Console. We look at a building from a mobile-first perspective. Google does mobile-first indexing, so we need to give Google what they want. Lightning-fast load speeds are critical. Great content is really important because, again, in front of the house, back of the house, you can give Google what you want, but if people don’t resonate with what your content is, you’re going to fall off the mark. Getting rid of unused JavaScript. All the things that need to happen are image compression to maximize that load speed while delivering really good content.

Yeah, absolutely. You did mention the core web vitals update. how do you help businesses tackle that in terms of optimizing their website performance and user experience to meet these new requirements and improve their SEO campaigns?

Lot of what I just said, we run diagnostic tests on all of our sites through using some third-party tools. We look at Google Search Console to determine where we stand with the core web vitals. Some of them can be fixed if they’re broken or baked into new site builds. Things like load speed, image quality, image compression, and eliminating unnecessary JavaScript. But you have to watch it because core web vitals change. Somehow they change all the time. Using these tools to do a regular audit and help us be mindful of the user experience and performance is critical. We run these types of reports for some clients, depending on what the scope is, every month. Some of them we do it with every 90 days, and then we address what needs to be fixed. That being said, if clients are spending $299 a month on cheap hosting. Com, some things cannot be fixed because it’s at the server level and you’ve got 9,000 websites on one tiny little server. We encourage clients to come to us for their hosting needs because we can manipulate our servers. Again, front of the house, back of the house.

Talking about tools, what are your go-to tools for think dog digital if you were to name the top three?

Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and we use SEO power suite.

Sneak in UberSuggest too. That’s my fourth one. But we use those tools a lot to gather the intel we need to make our clients more competitive, and more effective, and the campaigns that we’re deploying showing greater results.

Absolutely. Talking about results for small businesses, there is so much increasing importance on local SEO by the day. How do you ensure websites for local businesses are designed and developed to maximize visibility in the local territory?

Overall, on-page is important. You need to make sure you get all the flags and tags right. That’s critical. We make sure that we use schema markup to indicate this is a local business, this is a blog, and this is a FAQ page. We also rely heavily on directory listings and citations, particularly Google My Business, to fully maximize clients and local search. We see that in most cases, those types of directory listings are appearing even sometimes before the client’s actual listing appears. You got to do a little bit of everything.

Yeah, absolutely. We were discussing, it has to be a mixed bag to achieve the results that you wish. The last question, I cannot leave you without that, is about the bubbling topic of AI content. What is your general take on AI content? Because you must be doing content and it is a part of the overall marketing strategy. It’s the heart of it if I can say that. What would be your take on it?

So much controversy here. I’ve got a real love-hate relationship with AI. I think it’s a great tool. AI is a great tool. Can you use it to write your web content? Sure. But is it good content? Not necessarily. One of the ways we use AI effectively is to find primary keywords and then the semantic search list. Once we’ve got keywords, then we can find suggested topics. So we find an issue, we write original content, and we’re good to go. Sometimes a client’s on a limited budget. If that’s the case, we’ll use AI to write the content and then we’ll heavily edit it for user experience and SEO. But, again, AI is not a replacement for human writers. Original content is always king or queen in space.

That was a nice one. Great. Thank you so much for the wonderful insights. I’m sure our audiences would have benefited a lot in terms of what you have to say about digital marketing, SEO, web development, and AI. Thank you so much for your time today. It has been a real pleasure.

Thank you so much for having me.

Cheers. Take care. Thank you so much.

Thank you.

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