Neha Agarwal have been doing SEO and digital marketing for over 8 years and currenly works as AVP – Marketing at IGP.com
About yourself and how you started your career
I completed engineering in 2009 from a private college in Dehradun. This was also the year of huge recession in IT industry. Though I got on-campus placement but didn’t get a joining date immediately after college. While I was waiting for appointment letter in my hometown, I came across a job opening in local newspaper ad. A small company there had posted an ad for SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) Executive. Though I had no idea about SEO, I randomly applied and got selected.
It was a five-seater company with digital marketing and web development projects from off-shore clients. Since I had no option, I joined this firm with a thought to give it a try till I get the appointment letter from the on-campus recruiter.
I realized SEO was my calling by the time I received the letter (after 10 months of completing the college). That’s how I happened to be a SEO Professional.
Later, I moved to Delhi and worked for digital agencies like Media Mosaic, Profit By Search, Resultrix etc. And then India saw a boom in ecommerce industry. I was interviewed at Jabong.com and got selected. That’s how my career journey begun.
Tell us about the key contribution done by your team and yourself to IGP.com
With the vision to offer a pleasurable user experience and rebranding, very recently, we moved 15 years old IndianGiftsPortal.com to IGP.com. IndianGiftsPortal.com had a very strong SEO value.
This migration was about complete overhauling of the old product.
It means everything got to be changed, be it the design, the platform, the technology, domain, http to https, product portfolio, content, URL structure and even the Meta tags.
And, in this scenario, recovery of organic rankings and traffic was the biggest challenge because Google take its own time to read all the changes. We are still in the phase of recovering SEO, though 60% of the keywords (around 7K) have regained their pre-migration rankings, which is a good sign. Besides this, migration was not just about moving one domain to another but 11 other sub-domains were also moved simultaneously to IGP.com.
There was a lot to learn and remember from this project. And I personally feel my 6 years of working outside are equivalent to two years of working at IGP. At the content front, we have experimented a lot more. Our focus has been to create value-added content for visitors even on sale-oriented pages like catalogue or products.
How was your experience at Jabong?
Jabong was the first company where I became a part of an in-house team. I realized how critical and important is the role of a digital marketer in the growth of an organization, especially an ecommerce one. I learnt SEO project management at Jabong. Working directly with highly competent and intelligent minds made me much more focused in life.
One good thing about Jabong’s culture was that opportunities were very much open for everyone. You want to do something? Come ahead and take the initiative. It was that simple. At Jabong, I took some initiatives in marketing other than doing SEO. One of the most interesting one was hosting celebrity hangouts with bloggers.
How has digital marketing trends transformed over the years when it comes to ecommerce?
Digital Marketing has evolved manifolds in last few years. While the basics are going to remain same, digital marketing is something that requires constant creativity and learning at the same time. Everyday, innovation is happening and as digital marketer, one has to be on his toes to keep up the pace.
In last few years, the major trend change is how revenues from mobile devices are accelerated.
Earlier the complete digital strategy used to be built around desktop and today it’s all about mobile-first. Besides, in ecommerce the bigger challenge than customer acquisition is customer retention. You cannot have a customer for lifetime. And thus you cannot plan your campaigns only from sales perspective but you need to actively engage with them to achieve loyalty. This is where the role of Social Media comes into play, the way you interact with your customers on socially gives you the edge.
Your favourite books
Many! Though I am not a follower of authors. I don’t read for the love of English, fiction, non-fiction or whatsoever. I only read books that inspire me, help me remain self-motivated.
And I pick such books from airport, roadside, online or literally from wherever I go.
These days I am reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. It is a very interesting book and has lessons on what to do and what not to do for financial success.
I just finished reading The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. A very beautiful read, indeed.
The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma is one of my favorite books.
Apart from this I loved reading, How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal. This was a light and inspiring read. The first book I ever read on entrepreneurship!
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy is the next book I am going to pick for reading.
Your future plans
After spending 8 passionate years as digital marketing professional, I feel a strong need to share my unadulterated experiences. I am soon going to launch my first professional blog where I can show my love for something which is not just a profession but my dedication…
Search, for me, is about finding something you love and optimize it to a level that it becomes one of its kinds, one of the best. It can be a site, a recipe, a road trip, a relationship with someone or something…
Search is not just a journey, it is my destination too.
Bruce Lee once said,
“Running water never grows stale. So you just have to keep on flowing”
The plan right now is to keep on flowing, have experiences in life, be limitless and be myself.
Write to me