Heft Media is owned and operated by Todd Heft, a former musician, photographer, radio host, radio programmer, artist manager and advertising sales executive. Todd also spent a decade in the entertainment industry as a record label promotion and marketing executive. In the entertainment field he worked with some of the most creative minds on the planet, and also witnessed some of the greatest marketing debacles of all time.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
Todd Heft, Heft Media.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
I’ve been doing SEO since 2012 and it has changed enormously in that time. In 2012, it was still pretty easy to hijack keywords to boost pages to the top of results. Now, it’s about quality content and keyword research. Methodology is critical and a talent for writing is essential. Your writing has to not only engage the user, but you need to understand the mechanisms behind organic search as well.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
I grew into digital marketing organically. I first set up shop after years in selling broadcast media, so I figured I’d be buying media and producing commercials more than anything else. But I discovered a distinct need on the part of my clients for digital marketing. They understood the media part, but digital marketing was NASA-level stuff in their minds, and required a new skill set which they didn’t have time or desire to learn. So I dove in, being the geek that I am. I quickly learned that digital marketing is a much bigger picture than just one element. SEO feeds organic search – but if your website design is lacking, all of the perfect SEO is out the window when a user lands on the page and promptly leaves. SEO really starts at the design phase. One could argue that it also extends to traditional media, as you advertise your website there and once again, if your design or navigation is bad, your marketing is handicapped.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
Heft Media provides social media marketing, social media management, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, website design, SEO, content development and content marketing.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2017 for SEO?
For SEO, I’m sure that Google will continue to be all about quality content in blog posts and web pages, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Because it makes perfect sense for their business – providing the best match possible for a query. I don’t care if you’re the NY Times or an HVAC installer, the same idea applies. Facebook ads are working great, which should continue, and the new AdWords platform is light years better than the old platform, so I’m loving that. If you can nail all 3 of those, and have appropriate budgets, you can destroy your competition.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
Learning digital marketing requires that you love technology AND you love writing – the 2 skills will become inseparable at some point. Unfortunately, only so much of that can be taught in a classroom, and great writing only develops when writing every day. You encounter many challenges once you start strategizing and implementing digital marketing campaigns and you have to learn to analyze campaign data, uncover problems, and make fixes fast. Because the client’s budget burns away quickly if you don’t. So you need to accept that any working environment is going to be high pressure and the hours will be long, but when your strategies and ideas and contributions succeed, it’s extremely satisfying.