now hiring: senior art director

Element is looking for a Senior Art Director that can design, supervise, and art direct for both print and web. Five to seven years of agency experience is a must!

If you’re looking for an agency setting with a wide variety of concepting and design challenges, this is your chance to prove you have what it takes. You know who you are. Now we’d like to meet you.

Check out our website (goelement.com) to get a feel for our work.

If you know your stuff, let us see it! Electronic work samples (PDF or web) are REQUIRED. Resumes sent without links to samples will not be considered. No phone calls please.

View the full listing here

Element Welcomes New Team Member with Drag Race

Cracking UpWhen new Designer, Mike Thornton, rolled up to Element on a Harley, long-time motorcycle enthusiasts, Aldis Strazdins, Creative Director, and Mike Tessmer, Art Director, saw an opportunity for a friendly “Welcome to Element” competition. 

 Not all can look as cool as Mike, Mike, and Aldis, cruising the streets on a hog; the matching Kia Souls in the Element parking lot are a testament to that. However, the drag race was meant for all—not just seasoned motorcyclists. Every employee was welcome to participate in the race, provided they find their own vehicle.

So there they were, waiting impatiently behind the starting line: the three motorcycled amigos, Derek in a land-converted duck-bodied pedal boat, Brad on a silver Razr scooter, Ann and Lori saddled up on a Hover-Round they borrowed from Ann’s grandmother, and Chad, on a pair of the so-called “fastest in the Midwest” rollerblades. The rest of the group’s vehicles ranged from a pogo stick to a simple cape. The group appeared like a carnival of rejected modes of transportation. Despite the gum-and-paperclip cast, excitement filled the air as racers readied themselves to take off.

Sue counted down and waved the green flag. Wheels screeched; the smell of burnt rubber scented the air as smoke hovered above the once populated starting line.

The heat was on.  

The three motorcycles left everyone in the dust, as Eric Severstad, copywriter, stood on the sidelines, waving supportive, grammatically correct signage in the air.

While Mike, Mike, and Aldis were tied for first place, the results were in for second: Brad won propelling his Razr scooter past the finish line; a bittersweet victory he says, now walking with a limp from extensive strength training to his right leg.

The two Mikes and Aldis enjoyed the race so much that they are planning to bring “the gang” onto the open road, providing marketing services on wheels across the nation. The “Hexterminators” will declare “death to boring marketing,” Aldis states. “We’re going to get custom leather jackets for everyone, with our club colors—PMS 300 and PMS 220.”

 

Today’s Best Practices in SEO

Best SEO PracticesSEO is an integral component of a website’s performance. If a site is not optimized with keywords that reflect it’s content and doesn’t have backlinks from respected sites, it won’t show up when someone searches for it. Well, it might show up on page 3, 4, or 17, but let’s be honest—no one goes past the first page.

 Gaining traffic and awareness come only when a plan is carefully crafted; it must involve keyword research and networking structured around the site’s unique goals. Every site will have its own SEO strategy that works to complete the desired goals. SEO used to be all about keywords. It still is, to a point, but it has grown to be so much more. It is entwined with content marketing, web design, and marketing. Here are some of the need-to-know best practices in SEO:

  • Owning Long Tail Queries 

    Long Tail Queries are super-specific phrases that searchers use. For example, the long tail search for “black wool jackets under $100” will bring a searcher more relevant results to what they’re looking for versus searching key words “black jackets”. The best part about optimizing for long tail queries is while they may have less traffic is that it also means less competition. Not to mention you’ll be gaining traffic from a group of solid potential customers and not someone who meant “black track jackets”.
     
  • Writing How You Speak 
    Since Google’s “Hummingbird” update, it’s become increasingly important to write exactly as you would speak, using “conversational speech” in optimization efforts. An SEO specialist is versed in how to write for the web and knows that Google favors natural-flowing speech over mechanical, stiff phrasing.
     
  • Quality Over Quantity 
    Using good keywords over and over again isn’t going to help your rankings; neither are links to your site from other low-ranking sites. In fact, these tactics will hurt them. Today’s SEO focuses on the context of web pages. The best practice is to use keywords only where they fit, discuss niche and related products if applicable, and have original, useful content that is valuable to users. Fluff need not apply.
     
  • Full Service Integration
 
    Good SEO is not freestanding; it needs support. This support comes from marketing pieces that are directly related to your content, for example: an info graphic that is easily shareable on social networks, optimized with keywords, and distributed to the right areas. Achieving good SEO involves a comprehensive digital marketing plan that connects each component with actionable data. Each marketing effort is only a slice of the pie that makes up the whole.

 

In order to be successful, these tips should always be a part of your SEO plan. No matter what your site’s goals are, knowing strategies like these will help you on your journey to Google’s first page!

student shadows element

As part of Element’s continued effort to encourage young professional growth within Northeast Wisconsin, we recently opened our doors to a motivated scholar wanting to learn more about us and how an advertising agency works.

It was our pleasure to meet Tara Lovdahl, an art and English double major at St. Norbert College. Tara is a movie critic, competitive board game player, and freestyle dancer. She doesn’t have a favorite color. “I don’t discriminate,” she said.

Tara came to Element in hopes of gaining a better understanding of how an agency works, along with getting some advice from our experienced staff on what it’s like to be part of the professional world.

After introductions and a tour, we put Tara to work with our copywriter, Eric. “Since Tara’s double-major gives her a unique skill set, I was able to put her writing and concepting skills to the test using some real-life examples. Tara showed insight and abilities beyond what I expected.”

Before visiting Element, Tara had a Mad Men-like impression of ad agencies; a smoky collection of offices filled with suited, scotch-drinking men.  Fortunately (we think), we demystified her stereotype and were able to show her Element’s uncommon personality.

“As an English major, I like to think of things in terms of stories; hearing everyone’s unique professional experience in the creative field was helpful for me as I approach my own journey into a career.” She says she enjoyed getting a better idea of the ad agency’s process along with getting to know Element’s unique culture. “It was also nice being recognized as an improvisational performer from Comedy City, which might make me a J-list celebrity.”

It was a pleasure to meet Tara and have her job shadow at Element. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting to know more about Element, please contact us. We’d love to meet you!

Account Assistant / SEO Coordinator

Element is seeking a full-time Account Assistant / SEO Coordinator, requiring a minimum of one year experience. Responsibilities include general administration duties, assisting account executives, and coordinating client search engine optimization programs as listed below. To apply, please email a PDF of your resume and cover letter to derek@goelement.com.

Job Responsibilities Include:

-Answer telephone calls and perform general reception duties that include ordering office supplies, proofreading copy, artwork, and agency proofs as requested, and assisting with new business mailings.
 
-Provide administrative assistance to account executives on day-to-day client activities, including responding to client phone calls and emails, handling mail/packages, production and creative deadlines, media placements, etc., to ensure continued progress of client workflow in the absence of the assigned account executive.
 
-Prepare meeting rooms and act as a host/hostess for visiting clients.
 
-Maintain digital/hard copy client and general office files.
 
-Research, collect, and analyze search engine data, leveraging internal and external resources to execute effective search engine optimization programs.
 
-Manage day-to-day paid search campaigns, including keyword generation and ad testing.
 
-Analyze monthly search engine optimization reports and provide assistance on all search engine optimization tactics.
 
-Monitor social media and search engine optimization trends.