Goodwill DC’s CMO on the impact of Conductor
Brendan Hurley, the MSM CMO at Goodwill of Greater Washington, spoke with us about how the brand’s SEO strategy has evolved with Conductor and the impact the enterprise SEO platform has had on their efforts.
What was the state of SEO at the Goodwill of Greater Washington before you began using Conductor Searchlight?
Brendan Hurley: We’re not experts on SEO and we rely heavily on our limited knowledge and what we can learn from others. We knew it was significant, though.
We knew that nobody uses the yellow pages anymore; they mainly go online. They type in some search terms and try to pull up what it is they’re looking for. Now we’re smart enough to know that that’s how people search for retail operations these days or quite frankly for anything that they’re trying to find. So we wanted to figure out how we could improve our efficiency using search engines.
Still, we are as a nonprofit organization; we wear a lot of hats. Couple that with the fact that there is a lot of demand on the marketing department as a growing organization—and we are growing very, very rapidly—which is a good thing. It’s good growth, but it places a lot of demand and our time and our resources.
We all agreed and understood that SEO was where we needed to go. But I don’t know that all of us fully understood the value of SEO at the time, and the importance that it could play in our strategic marketing efforts. And because of that lack of knowledge, it was put back on the shelf, because we felt we had other more pressing priorities.
I think Conductor helped push it up on the priority list. And that’s a good thing and it forced us on the team to participate, to learn, and to practice SEO to the point where it has become a much more relevant and important element of our overall marketing plan.
What has your experience with Conductor been like?
BH: It’s been a tremendous experience for the Goodwill of Greater Washington. Shanna and Tom, they are religious about attending your webinars and reading your marketing resources. Shanna constantly comes into my office and talks about what she learned. And Tom has also been very diligent in following through on recommendations that Conductor has made that have helped improve our SEO.
Some of them have been simple; some of them have been a little bit more involved. But they have really made a positive impact on what we do.
But the biggest benefit is really just a much greater understanding of the value of SEO and the strategy behind it. I know that from my conversations with Tom, that we’ve seen a measurable increase in organic traffic and a direct result of creating ‘friendly’ URLs.
And as Google changes its algorithms, the Conductor team continually informs us of the pending changes and how to adapt to them. It’s been a fantastic experience because the Conductor team has proven time and time again that their goal is to help us learn. That’s the objective here and it’s really quite frankly refreshing.
And of course, from a metrics standpoint, we’ve seen a measurable increase of organic traffic. Anecdotally, our retail revenue and our donated goods inventory has been increasing steadily over the course of the last year, so it’s very good.