News and Press
Highest-Ranking Full-Service Search & Digital Agency on List
Charlottesville, VA (November 13, 2013) – RKG was the highest-ranking full-service search and digital marketing agency in the 2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ list released today, coming in at #334. An annual ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America, 2013 marks the third consecutive year RKG has made the list.
Award winners were selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2008 to 2012, during which time RKG grew 238%. The 2013 ranking had the highest number of private company winners ever, accounting for nearly 60% of the list. A privately held company, RKG experienced over 80% growth in 2012 and earlier this year was named the fastest-growing search agency by Advertising Age as well as a Top U.S. Job Creator in the Advertising & Marketing Industry in the Inc. Hire Power Awards.
“RKG has experienced phenomenal growth – both in terms of revenue and job creation – in large part because we’re able to help clients win in a digital marketplace by pairing smart people with the proprietary technology we’ve developed over the past 10 years,” said George Gallate, CEO, RKG. “In 2013, we took this a step further with the strategic acquisition of an SEO Analytics and Diagnostics platform. We’re most proud of our growth and investment in developing technology and creating jobs.”
2013 marks the eighteenth consecutive year where there are more software companies on the Technology Fast 500™ than any other single sector.
For more information about the Technology Fast 500™ and to see the complete list, visit: www.fast500.com.
RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven digital marketing solutions. RKG drives business to clients by maximizing a full range of opportunities including pay-per-click, SEO, social media, display advertising and comparison shopping engine management services. RKG also offers proprietary search analytics and diagnostics software, RKG Blueprint, which transforms SEO and web analytics data into insight and action. Founded in 2003, RKG partners with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, including CareerBuilder, Drugstore.com, Express, Herman Miller, Jones New York and Urban Outfitters. In 2013, Advertising Age ranked RKG the fastest growing search agency. A privately held company, RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit www.rimmkaufman.com or follow RKG on Twitter @rimmkaufman.
CONTACT: Dalton Dorné
Top 10 Job Creator in Virginia
Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Awards recognizes America’s leading job creators
New York, NY (October 24, 2013) – Search and digital marketing agency, RKG, ranked among the top job creators in the advertising & marketing industry in the US – and is the highest ranking full-service search and digital agency in the 2nd annual Inc. Hire Power Awards, recognizing the private businesses that have generated the most jobs in the past three years.
RKG generated a 56% increase in jobs from January 1st, 2012 to June 30th 2013, placing it among the top private business job creators within the advertising & marketing industry, as well as being a top 10 job creator in Virginia – ranking #8 in the state. Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, RKG hired over 73 people during the eligibility period.
This year, RKG was named the fastest-growing search agency by Advertising Age and experienced over 80% growth in 2012. The agency continues to grow and is now hiring: www.rkgjobs.com.
“RKG helps clients get discovered in a digital world,” said George Gallate, CEO of RKG. “Working with more of the IR Top 500 retailers than any other digital marketing agency, we have built our reputation by building their businesses – we’re smart people, working with proprietary technology. While we’re proud of our business growth and the results we achieve for clients – we’re most proud to be a top US job creator.”
RKG is among the 437 private growth companies that are HIRE POWER AWARDS honorees, leading the way in creating more American jobs.
RKG Makes Recommendations for Marketers Heading into Q4
RKG, a leading search and digital marketing agency, today released its Digital Marketing Report covering the third quarter of 2013. Across its client base, which includes over 40 of the top 500 online retailers, RKG found that Google search spending growth was stable at 18% year-over-year, despite advertisers reducing average smartphone cost per click (CPC) in conjunction with the transition to Google’s new Enhanced Campaign model.
RKG has consistently shown a wide range in the value of ad clicks across device types, with smartphones generating an average revenue per click that was 74% lower than desktops in Q3. Utilizing RKG’s upgraded proprietary Adaptive Bid Management technology, and taking advantage of Enhanced Campaigns’ improved ability to capture long-tail traffic, RKG advertisers were able to hit more demanding ROI targets for mobile, while maintaining traffic levels.
For the full third quarter, tablets and smartphones combined to generate 30% of search ad clicks, up from 28% in the prior quarter. With smartphone CPCs reduced from 60% of desktop levels to 35%, mobile spending share was flat from Q2 to Q3 at 24%.
While mobile continues to drive the bulk of search volume growth, with smartphone and tablet spending up 66% and 79% Y/Y on Google respectively, advertisers reinvested gains from their mobile ROI improvement back into desktop, which saw spending growth jump from 1% in Q2 to 10% in Q3.
As marketers head into the all-important holiday season, relevant learnings are to:
- Revisit your mobile strategy to invest smartly. New mobile opportunities with Enhanced Campaigns are paying off but you must adjust your strategy to capture better performing mobile traffic.
- Have an air-tight Product Listing Ad (PLA) strategy. If you’re a retailer and are not leveraging PLAs, you should be. In Q3 alone, Google PLAs drove 35% of non-brand search clicks.
- With Google’s change to secure search, query data is becoming entirely “not provided”. This comes at a critical time for marketers, find solutions – like RKG Blueprint – that can help surface “not provided” query data and help continue to inform your SEO strategy.
For more findings, download the full report at:
RKG’s Chief Knowledge Officer Adam Audette recently contributed to an ebook titled SEO Experts Reveal the Truth About Marketing. Read more here: SEO Experts Ebook
RKG has made the 2013 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America. At #1889, RKG has a 201% 3-year growth and ranks at #199 for Advertising & Marketing industry companies making the list. You can find the full list here: 2013 Inc. 5000 Full List.
INC 500 Coverage:
The Daily Progress
New Strategies Align with Google Link Quality Updates and Focus on Optimizing the User Experience
August 5, 2013, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Digital and search marketing leader RKG today announced it has enhanced its SEO offerings with Digital Visibility Strategies. These strategies are developed utilizing proprietary processes and techniques focused on user experience while aligning with search engine best practices.
RKG has fundamentally shifted away from link building and instead is focused on increasing relevant and measurable KPIs for clients; treating links and social engagement as natural byproducts of identifying target audience personas, developing relevant and compelling content that those target personas want to consume, and disseminating that content through vetted marketing channels.
“Earlier this year in Q2, we recognized the importance of shifting focus away from links in our off-page optimization initiatives,” said George Gallate, CEO of RKG. “For the last few months we have been laying the groundwork for these digital visibility processes, which align perfectly with Google’s recently updated link quality guidelines. Incorporating the robust content and persona development offerings from the recent Nine By Blue acquisition also play a pivotal role in this evolution.”
Digital visibility exists within an ecosystem that integrates cohesively with RKG’s content, social, and on-page SEO offerings. These services are interconnected and are most powerful when working in tandem. Ultimately, our purpose is to create well researched, end-user experiences that provide strong audience value.
Enhanced Campaigns Having Only Minor Impact on Overall Trends
RKG, a leading full-service digital marketing agency, released its Digital Marketing Report covering the second quarter of 2013 today. Across its client base, which includes over 40 of the top 500 online retailers, RKG found that Google search spending grew nearly 18% year over year as average cost per click rose 10%.
While many industry watchers are expecting Google’s new Enhanced Campaign model to bolster the search giant’s growth by driving up mobile competition and click costs, RKG results suggest the impacts of the change have been minor to date for larger advertisers.
According to RKG Director of Research, Mark Ballard, “Smartphone CPCs did gain ground on desktop in the second quarter, but that only contributed about one percentage point to Google’s total growth in click costs.”
Looking ahead, Ballard noted “While there may be increased volatility over the next month as the mandatory transition date for Enhanced Campaigns passes, there’s no reason to believe a smartphone click will suddenly become much more valuable. Advertisers will need to keep their CPCs in check in order to keep hitting their ROI targets.”
Although smartphone traffic continues to be a net drag on total CPC growth, with average click costs 40% lower than desktop, it is still providing a large lift to total paid search click and spending growth. While desktop clicks were down 7% year over year in Q2, smartphone clicks rose 179% and tablet clicks rose 115%.
Mobile Devices Generating a Wide Range in Value for Advertisers
RKG’s data on the average revenue per click generated for different mobile devices offers insight into why smartphone CPCs remain well below those for traditional computers and offers a compelling counterpoint to the notion of device convergence.
As a group, smartphones generated an average revenue per click (RPC) that was 78% lower than desktops. Even within the tablet device class, RPC exhibited a high degree of variance across specific models in Q2. Clicks by shoppers using the iPad were over twice as valuable as clicks from shoppers using the Kindle Fire.
Download the full report at:
June 12, 2013, SEATTLE- Digital and search marketing leader RKG today announced it has added new SEO impact forecasting capability to the Blueprint software suite. The enhancement marks the first technical innovation and collaboration since RKG acquired Nine By Blue, the software and consulting company behind Blueprint, last month.
Blueprint segments all queries from Google Webmaster Tools data into topic areas, then calculates the click through rate at each position for each topic area. Using this actual data, rather than the out of date and generic data much of the industry has had to rely on, Blueprint models the likely impact of traffic changes. More »
Digital Marketing Pioneers Join Forces to Marry High-Value Search, Social and Digital Consulting and Service, with Industry-Leading Software
Digital and search marketing leader RKG today announced it has acquired Nine By Blue, ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s software and consulting company. The combined company brings together the best minds, methodologies, and technology for deep understanding of customer intent across global digital platforms, and creates one of the most intelligent offers in search, social and digital marketing available today.
The acquisition – a 100 percent cash and stock deal –includes Blueprint, Nine By Blue’s search analytics and diagnostics proprietary software, which will become part of the RKG technology suite.
A search industry visionary, Fox is widely known as the creator of Google’s Webmaster Central and helped launch sitemaps.org. The author of Marketing in the Age of Google, Fox also serves as a contributing editor for Search Engine Land and writes for a variety of publications on search engine optimization and searcher behavior. She’s advised companies of all sizes globally, has offered advice on better citizen access to online US government information for White House online initiatives, the NIH, and other government agencies, and speaks to audiences worldwide. She is the Founder and CEO of Nine By Blue, and in joining RKG takes on the new role of Chief Product Officer.
“We are thrilled to have Vanessa, Blueprint and the Nine By Blue team join RKG,” said George Gallate, CEO, RKG. “At RKG, we unashamedly see digital through the lens of search. By using data to understand customer intent, we make marketing smarter, particularly search and social, both to build brands and create customer fulfillment. Nine By Blue is a like-minded company that shares our values of smart people using smart technology, and we’re excited about what we can achieve together.”
RKG is one of Google’s largest independent paid search agencies in terms of billings under management and was named by Advertising Age as the fastest growing search agency in their 2013 Agency Report. A recent Forrester report (Forrester Research, Inc., The New Interactive Agency Landscape, July 2012) cited RKG as a Demand Generation agency, and in the Internet Retailer Top 500, RKG had the most retail clients compared to any other search agency. RKG offers a wide range of digital and search services, including pay-per-click, SEO, social media marketing, comparison shopping management, display advertising and multi-channel attribution management services.
The combined technology and robust consulting services provided by RKG analysts offers online businesses a complete solution for mining data, developing strategy and executing tactics efficiently.
“There are many synergies between the technical and consulting services of Nine By Blue and RKG,” said Fox. “We are looking forward to leveraging RKG’s established infrastructure to bring Blueprint to a broader audience, and to bring new products to market at a faster rate. We’re already collaborating on areas like social and mobile, where there is a major shift in consumer behavior and are preparing for some exciting updates to the Blueprint offering and the broader technology portfolio. Marketers need real, actionable metrics, not just more data, and need insights to better connect with audiences as online behavior shifts.”
Both Nine By Blue and RKG were founded by marketing executives who saw a need for solutions that simplified the process of acquiring, analyzing and acting on data related to customers’ online behavior. As creator of Google Webmaster Central, Fox created the tools and diagnostics to enable organizations to open up the black box of search to make their web sites found by more searchers in Google. She left Google in 2007 to start Nine By Blue, helping companies develop smart strategies around organic search data and its influence on every business function. RKG was formed by Alan Rimm-Kaufman and George Michie in 2003 after careers in online merchandising exposed them to the challenges of trying to manage paid search, statistical data capture and analysis, and IT constraints within an organization. In 2011, RKG acquired Audette Media, beefing up the agency’s SEO offering and bringing that company’s founder, Adam Audette, into the newly created position of Chief Knowledge Officer at RKG.
Commenting on the deal, Audette added, “There’s a deep need in the SEO industry for people and practices that focus on users rather than algorithms. Vanessa understands this and is a clear leader in the space. Together we will be well positioned to help our clients solve the multi-million dollar questions: ‘What are customers searching for, and why?’; ‘How can we better target these customers?’; ‘Where and how should we invest our money?’ Through data we’ll gather the information needed to answer these questions, and integrate it with our shared knowledge to create informed, ROI-focused strategies for our clients.”
In her new role, Fox will work closely with Gallate, Audette and RKG founder and Chief Marketing Scientist, George Michie, on groundbreaking product development and client strategy. Integration of Blueprint into the RKG platform has begun, with completion expected early this summer.
Fox and the Nine By Blue team will continue to be based in Seattle, operating as RKG Seattle. Additionally, RKG has offices in Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA and Bend, OR with headquarters in Charlottesville, VA.
RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven online marketing solutions. Founded in 2003, RKG specializes in working with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, including CareerBuilder, Drugstore.com, Express, Herman Miller, Jones New York and Zales. In 2013, RKG acquired ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s company, Nine By Blue – creating one of the most powerful search marketing offerings globally. Advertising Age ranked RKG the fastest growing search agency in 2013. A privately held company, RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit www.rimmkaufman.com or follow the company on Twitter @rimmkaufman.
About Nine By Blue
Nine By Blue is a search software and consulting firm founded by SEO luminary Vanessa Fox. As creator of Google Webmaster Central and author of Marketing in the Age of Google, Fox has spoken to companies all over the world, including Disney, eBay, Microsoft, and Yahoo, as well as to organizations such as the National Press Club, the National Institutes of Health, and the Smithsonian. Nine By Blue has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Expedia, BankRate, AllRecipes, and IGN to harness the power of search for greater customer understanding and engagement. Blueprint is Nine By Blue’s signature business intelligence product that transforms SEO and web analytics data into insight and action.
Dalton Dorne, 434-220-5238
Charlottesville-based Children Youth and Family Services honored four people and two employers Wednesday with the agency’s John L. Snook Child Advocate Award and the Mitch van Yahres Family Friendly Employer Award. RKG was one of those employers. You can read the full story here: CYFS Award