Applying Interactive Digital Studies at TargetClick

Starting out as an intern here at TargetClick has been a great learning experience so far. I have been here for almost a month, and I have already learned so much about SEO. I am currently a junior at the University of Northern Iowa majoring in Interactive Digital Studies, with a minor in Business Communications. Basically, this is what TargetClick does on a daily basis. Interactive Digital Studies is a new major at UNI. It began about three years ago but was initially unknown to students and only started growing this past year. The curriculum covers everything from online marketing, digital advertising and web design to communications, public relations and photography. What’s great about the Interactive Digital Studies major is each student gets to choose two areas of emphasis called “bundles”, depending on their individual interests. The core classes consist of introductions to tons of software, like the Adobe programs, and broad insights of digital technology’s impact on our world today.

The “bundles” that I chose are digital advertising and digital imaging. What I absolutely love about my life right now is how well my classes are tying into what I do here at TargetClick. I am an SEO intern, so I focus on improving websites for clients to improve their rankings in organic search results. One class I am taking is brand new this semester that helps with this is called Experiential Marketing. The class focuses entirely on making websites user-friendly – how perfect! This is great because I get to come straight from that class to TargetClick every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so I get to take what I just learned for the day and apply it here to a real situation.

Currently in our Experiential Marketing class, we have taken on an actual client, UNI’s ITS (Information Technology Services) department, and we are helping them to re-vamp their website. This is so helpful because the website needs quite a bit of work, there are so many things about it that are not very user friendly. Another awesome aspect of this arrangement is that what I learn here at TargetClick also substantially helps in my classes.

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At TargetClick, I’m presently learning about On-Page Optimization, which refers to factors that affect a website or page listing in organic search results. Basically, this means improving the content of a website so it can be found easier when it is searched for. This directly relates to what we are doing in class with the ITS website. Right now, the ITS website is so far off any search engine’s radar, hardly anyone at UNI even knows what it is or how it can be utilized. From interning at TargetClick, I now know that adding well-researched keywords to each page, making sure those keywords are in critical locations on those pages, attaching Google Analytics to the site, writing content that fulfills the searcher’s intent, and much more, greatly improves the amount of traffic to any website. These are things I can bring to my class and use to help improve the ITS website substantially!

Being an Interactive Digital Studies major and interning at TargetClick is like the best of both worlds. I can apply things I learn from class to work I do for actual clients and vice-versa. I am so excited for what the rest of the semester will bring.

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