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We are Directive.

A team of search marketing savants, creatives, and technical specialists
who love helping in-house teams at software companies
excel in competitive markets.

Built to serve software companies.

Every agency has a “proven process” but only we clearly connect the dots between your search marketing and revenue growth.

So whether you need to generate marketing qualified leads or help your whole brand (not just your website) get discovered in search…

Directive is here for you.

The little differences that have a big
impact on your bottom line.

Short-term ROI setting the stage
for long-term sustainability.

We break tasks into weekly sprints, monthly analysis reports, and quarterly strategy reviews.

You get to see your ROI increase week after week, as the KPIs you care about continue to climb, all with a speed of execution that would give other agencies whiplash.

Trackable and attributable results.

Every opportunity we chase is part of a larger plan for success, built upon your internal objectives, a deep understanding of your target audience, and rigorous A/B testing.

As a result, you get more SERP visibility, higher conversions, and a lower cost per opportunity—plus a dashboard that shows you how every penny spent is used to grow your business.

Mission control for all of your
search marketing, on call 24/7.

Your account is assigned a small army of experts: account manager, PPC and SEO specialists, data analyst, and designer.

That team is always working for you behind the scenes—and they’re equipped with the best software in the industry—so every one of your campaigns turns into a success story.

Meet our team. All in-house.
All pulling for you.

Our team is comprised of people from all walks of life-every one of them in-house and a specialist in their field.

Garrett Mehrguth
CEO

Garrett Mehrguth is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands headquartered in Irvine, California. Mehrguth, fascinated by the role search marketing plays in empowering companies and people to connect, has dedicated the past five years toward that passion.

Since its establishment in 2014, Mehrguth has led Directive in its expansion of five new locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Texas; and London. Directive’s year-over-year growth rate has increased by 300 percent and now boasts a team of more than 50 people over nine nationalities from its headquarters and home of operations in Orange County. Additionally, he is committed to bridging the gender gap that plagues the marketing technology; currently, 25 percent of Directive’s leadership team is comprised of women.

As a thought leader, Garrett has been published by Salesforce, Marketing Land, Moz, Marketo, Search Engine Land, Ahrefs, Convince & Convert, Search Engine Journal, and more. He also speaks at Digital Summit, State of Search, General Assembly, MozCon, etc.

Additionally, he has been a guest speaker on the following podcasts: The DigitalMarketer Podcast, Salesforce, Mixergy – Startup Stories with 1000+ entrepreneurs and businesses, The Growth TL;DR, Edge of the Web and more.

He earned a bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Azusa Pacific University and an MBA. Outside of work, when he’s not writing or reading up on digital marketing and the latest trends, Garrett spends his time indulging in his passion for the ocean, sailing, and fishing with his wife.

Tanner Shaffer
COO

Tanner Shaffer is the co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Directive. Tanner, inspired by search marketing and its role on our society, has helped Directive reach new heights and even moved to Austin, Texas to build the agency’s presence there.

Tanner is extremely driven and thrives off of hitting client goals. From SEO to PPC to account management, he has refined each deliverable to provide more value in an ever-changing industry. Currently, he leads a group of directors who are continually inspiring a team of talented marketers to innovate their craft. With a 300 percent year-over-year growth rate, he is fixated on filling the company with people who have integrity and aspire to be great.

Tanner began his professional career by earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Azusa Pacific University. When he is not in meetings and working through excel spreadsheets, he enjoys surfing, dirt-biking, and growing his relationship with God, his loving wife, and family.

Brady Cramm
Director of PPC

Director of PPC Brady Cramm began his journey at Directive over three years ago as the first and original PPC specialist. With a previous background in paid advertisement in the medical device space, he was able to hit the ground running with innovative campaigns. After wearing many hats in the agency, Brady has come full circle and now heads up the PPC department. By keeping a pulse on client competition and assisting his team in the art of crafting no-brainer CTAs, Brady has been able to add his personal touch to every client that enters Directive’s portfolio.

Outside of work, you can find Brady reminding people that he wants to get a dog and drinking far too much nitro cold brew.

Jesse Seilhan
Managing Director

Jesse Seilhan is the managing director of the Orange County office. He wakes up every day to help his team grow, his clients succeed, and be home in time for dinner. Since joining the team in 2017, he has helped Directive expand, define, and perfect the role of an account strategist at a digital agency, which now boasts a team of over a dozen account managers that help achieve growth and sustainability for nearly 100 clients.

Jesse started down his digital marketing journey in 2014, running all SEO and PPC projects for a boutique digital agency in Orange County. He studied journalism at California State University, Chico and turned that passion into a project, as he regularly reviews, photographs, and interviews some of the top recording artists in the world. When he’s not working or at a concert, he’s watching the Philadelphia Flyers, playing video games, or taking a trip around the country with his girlfriend.

Hannah Mans
Director of Marketing

A professional hustler and wordsmith with an affinity for strategy and high conversion rates, Hannah manages the internal marketing team at Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands headquartered in Irvine, California.

On a mission to change the world, Hannah began her career with the United Nations where she functioned as a communications consultant for the World Food Programme. She then pivoted into the marketing technology space, where she has spent the last four years.

Hannah’s passion for people and travel lead her to pursue a bachelor’s of science in international affairs from Florida State University where she graduated with honors in 2012. She continued her academic career obtaining a master’s of business administration from Florida International University in 2015, in between and shortly after crossing 12 countries off her bucket list of the world.

A Panama native new to California, Hannah enjoys spending her free time exploring her new home of Orange County and playing beach volleyball with her friends.

Brendan Hufford
Director of SEO

Brendan Hufford is the Director of SEO at Directive, leading a remarkable team of SEO consultants.

His start in digital marketing came in 2010 when, dissatisfied with his current role as a classroom teacher, Brendan began the process of learning simply by doing. He started multiple websites, eventually growing an authority blog and e-commerce brand, both of which he sold in 2016.

Brendan’s digital marketing journey became more formal in 2017 when he was asked to join a Chicago-based design agency as an SEO specialist (later becoming their SEO Director).

An avid podcaster (he has three!) and YouTube-creator, Brendan is (admittedly) obsessed with the intersection of SEO, content creation, and the discoverability process for brands. Brendan lives outside of Chicago with his wife and three boys where, every winter, he swears he is moving someplace warmer.

Grace Pan
Lead Designer

Grace Pan is a CRO designer at Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands headquartered in Irvine, California. After graduating from Biola University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2016, Grace continued to pursue learning how to cohesively integrate design and business.

Through different touchpoints, Grace discovered CRO design and became even more absorbed in understanding the human psychology behind how customers and businesses interact with other businesses (B2B).

Combining her print and digital design knowledge and experience, Grace now serves both Directive and its clients to create impactful designs by applying top-of-the-line CRO practices, overall increasing conversions and exceeding business goals.

Outside of work, you can find Grace attending concerts, watching her favorite artists talking about their work, obsessing over good food, and traveling to do missions work in Japan. She enjoys creating and being around others who are also passionate about their creative pursuits in life.

Andrew Choco
Senior Account Executive

Andrew Choco began his career at Directive as a paid social specialist running campaign promotions and advertising for multiple clients. After a few months he moved into a sales role, performing PPC and SEO audits for prospective clients. From there, he jumped straight into the account manager role, where he led strategy for enterprise clients including Cisco, Allstate, SentinelOne, and ClearCompany.

After working directly on the client side, Andrew moved back into a sales position where he finds opportunities for growth in any enterprise brands he gets a chance to audit.

When he’s not busy on discovery calls or building out proposals, Andrew loves discovering new music, following the downfall of all Seattle sports teams (are the MLB playoffs even a thing anymore?), and looking at pictures/videos of corgis.

Brian Bui
Lead of Marketing Operations

Brian Bui is the lead of marketing operations at Directive. Brian began his career as a PPC specialist where he developed a devotion to building innovative ROI-driven campaigns. He then jumped into account management where he was able to work directly with clients and various team members to deliver results.

Brian’s favorite part about digital marketing is the constant push to be better each and every day. He’s grateful he’s able to work alongside some of the top companies and marketers in the world and is fascinated with the solutions his clients’ products are able to provide.

Overall, Brian’s mission is to overcome as many challenges as possible to discover how to effectively grow any type of business. Outside of work, he enjoys golfing with his co-workers, dancing, and watching movies.

Ashton Newell
Lead Digital PR Strategist

As a communication professional in the space since 2011, Ashton Newell has extensive experience working in public relations with agencies in Arizona and California and also with Adidas. Additionally, she’s held positions in community relations with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in marketing and broadcasting with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, to name a few.

Currently, Ashton is the lead digital PR strategist at Directive. In this role, she creates and implements link building strategies to make her clients known worldwide.

When Ashton is away from her day job, she spends her time teaching yoga, cheering on the ASU Sun Devils and drinking numerous cups of coffee.

Josh Nelson
Lead PPC

Josh Nelson is a lead PPC at Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands headquartered in Irvine, California. His interest in marketing began in college where he became fascinated with the intersection of human psychology and marketing. Josh started his digital marketing career as a social media administrator at one of the world’s leading wine and spirits companies where he worked with iconic beer brands like Corona Extra, Modelo, and Pacifico.

Josh took his talents to Directive, doing both SEO and PPC, but eventually gravitated towards doing just PPC because the blend of creativity and analytics was a perfect fit for him. As a lead PPC, Josh enjoys overseeing PPC strategy process for clients, from the initial planning stages all the way to evaluating campaign performance. He also works closely with the director of PPC to improve processes and efficiency of the department.

When Josh is not optimizing everything around him, you can find him playing video games, enjoying a craft beer, or spending time outdoors hiking or camping.

Jordan Matsunaga
Lead of Client Services

Jordan began his digital marketing career as a paid search specialist, but his passion for constant improvement and guiding strategy led him down his next path as an account manager, where he focused on building strong relationships with his clients and delivering even stronger results.

Today, as the lead of client services, Jordan works closely with the director of client services to improve the processes and efficiency of the department and training of new account managers, taking Directive and the world of search marketing to the next level.

When not in the office, you can find Jordan playing hockey or doing nature walks with his dog, Miki.

Blake Smart
Lead SEO

After becoming hooked on Season 1 of Mad Men, Blake Smart knew his career would take him to the world of marketing. Equipped with a degree in marketing along with an MBA from Cal Baptist University, Blake began his career at Directive in early 2018 as an SEO Specialist at the ripe age of 22.

Since then, Blake has learned the ins and outs of the search engine and holds the title of lead SEO. In this role, Blake is simultaneously guiding and executing strategies in order to get the best results possible, not just for his clients but for himself as well. Through successful communication, time management, and an assortment of “Dad Jokes,” Blake makes sure each client has a one-of-a-kind experience that exceeds their goals overall.

Outside of work, you can find Blake running around Huntington Beach, trying new foods, and STILL talking about the Philadelphia Eagles miraculous 2017 Super Bowl run.

Anh Dang
Account Strategist

Anh Dang is a San Francisco native who enjoys nothing more than practicing her PPC magic at Directive in sunny Irvine, California. Despite having graduated UCI with a degree in pharmaceutical science, Anh had a gut wrenching feeling that it was not something she wanted to pursue. After dipping her toes in the digital marketing space as an analyst for a start-up agency, she knew she was headed in the right direction.

After landing her initial role as a PPC specialist at Directive soon after, she was emerged even further into the world of paid advertising, thanks to her empowering leaders and exceptional team. Her renewed passion and drive, paired with a never-ending curiosity, led her to her current role as an account strategist. She strives to drive impactful results for her clients every day through creative strategies, “big picture” thinking, and a customer-first approach.

When she’s not busy making data-driven decisions and A/B split testing, Anh enjoys traveling, practicing aerial silks/hoop, drinking boba, or just simply enjoying new experiences.

Rhett Hartsfield
Account Strategist

Rhett Hartsfield is a data-driven digital marketing professional with over eight years of experience defining strategies that generate leads, building online awareness, and increasing conversions. Over time, Rhett has gained valuable experience working with ad agencies, startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Prior to fully diving into digital marketing, Rhett worked for various sport broadcast networks including ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, and NFL Network, to produce live televised events for California sports teams (NFL Chargers, NBA Lakers, NBA Clippers, MLB Dodgers, NHL Kings).

Previously, Rhett received his BA in advertising from California State University – Fullerton in 2010. When Rhett isn’t immersed in analytics, optimizing conversions or crafting digital strategies with his team, you can find him exploring Southern California, flying drones, and spending time with family and friends.

Vanessa Charette
SEO Specialist

Vanessa Charette began her digital marketing career at ESG School of Management as a team captain in the 2016 “Google Online Marketing Challenge” – where she grabbed her spot in the top 10 winners in the entire North American continent. As a winner, she got her first taste for embracing online digital challenges and wanted to take on more.

Vanessa was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, where she eventually graduated university with a BBA in marketing. In 2018, she relocated to Orange County, California, where she gained her first SEO and social media experience at Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands, headquartered in Irvine, California.

Her favorite aspect of her role is finding groundbreaking strategies that help drive results for her clients. She enjoys knowing the “why” behind every strategy she takes on and possesses a deep love for crafting and perfecting different forms of content.

Outside of the office, you can find Vanessa speaking French, planning her next trip around the world, tasting her way through wine country, or taking pictures of everything and anything.

Robin Ching
Account Strategist

Robin Ching is a digital marketer by day, hip-hop choreographer by night. With his artistic mindset stemming from dance, he first got a taste of digital marketing through designing and building websites. Over time, he found himself being an avid reader of SEO, social media and PPC blogs.

After working freelance for a short period, he found himself at Directive, a search marketing agency for enterprise brands. As an SEO specialist, he lead strategy in growing clients’ organic traffic and conversions and eventually moved to his current role as an account strategist.

Outside of work and dance, you can find Robin playing basketball at a local park, at a trendy coffee shop reading a book, or at home watching the TV show FRIENDS for the 10th time.

Jim Nguyen
Account Strategist

Jim developed an interest in marketing at a young age watching Nike commercials that featured his favorite sports athletes. He turned this into a marketing degree from the California State University of Fullerton and pursued a career in digital marketing, eventually earning a role at Directive as an SEO specialist.

In this role Jim enjoyed the creative aspects of marketing as well as the technical aspects that go into SEO. With his found passion for developing strategies, he transitioned to an account strategist where he works with his own team and implements strategies to help his clients surpass their goals.

When Jim is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, watching movies/TV/anime and listening to podcasts.

Trenton Lee
Account Strategist

Trenton Lee is an account strategist at Directive. He discovered his devotion for marketing in college, where he held multiple marketing internships with the Denver Broncos and Colorado University – Boulder Athletics (Go Buffs!).

After working in sports marketing for some time, Trenton switched up his path to test the waters in the digital side of marketing. Today, he shares his strategic skills improving Directive’s clients’ growth and cutting down their CPAs in the most efficient ways.

Max Serrato
Senior PPC Specialist

It all began in 92’. Though curious since birth, Max Serrato found his passion in marketing at Cal State University – Fullerton, and was driven to find new ways to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.

After getting experience in the digital world running an E-commerce business and dipping his toes in marketing at an ad agency in the food service industry, he began his work at Directive in 2018. There, he works hard to discover creative, out-of-the-box strategies to increase lead volume and slash CPA, overall exceeding client goals.

In his free time, Max enjoys watching the San Jose Sharks, listening to music, playing guitar, and petting as many dogs as he can find.

Jonathan Verstegen
Account Executive

As an account executive, Jonathan Verstegen has thrived in sales since the very beginning. As a pre-teen hungry for adventure, he joined forces with his brother and crafted a plan to earn money for his first mountain bike. No questions asked, he hustled and earned that mountain bike he wanted.

Aside from sales, Jonathan followed his passion for helping others by attaining a license as an occupational therapy assistant in the state of California. He has practiced in pediatrics, home health, and skilled nursing settings.

Jonathan was reunited with his sales career in 2018, as he, along with his colleagues, seek to develop a consistent, repeatable model for sales development for a leading enterprise search marketing agency, Directive. Jonathan is motivated by competition and the never-ending pursuit of personal development.

JD Rinehart
Account Strategist

James Rinehart (or JD as he is known by basically everyone) is an account strategist at Directive. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in nutrition, he decided to switch course and tackle a career in sales and marketing instead of continuing on to nursing school.

JD found his love for SEO and all things digital marketing after starting with Directive in September 2017. He appreciates how SEO requires proficiency in both technical abilities and creative marketing skills to be effective. Additionally, he likes how It’s a unique field where you get to think about both sales, psychology and necessary tactics a company needs to implement so their site shows up when searched. JD is passionate about learning and is grateful he gets to work with such an talented and optimistic team everyday.

In his spare time, JD enjoys reading nonfiction, meditating with the app Headspace (690 days in a row and counting), bowling on the weekends, and watching and listening to all things stand up comedy. However, his absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with his two cats.

Liam Barnes
Senior SEO Specialist

Liam Barnes is a senior SEO specialist, passionate about data science and experimentation.

He has used his skills learned as a specialist and in business analytics to discover trends in the space, as well as utilize these trends to successfully implement data-backed strategies for his clients. You can learn more about his insights from his published articles featured in Uberflip and Wordstream.

Growing up as a Navy brat, Liam has lived around the United States but claims to be a San Diego native. He enjoys his free time by playing with his blue-nose pitbull, Rory, and watching and analyzing sports as a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan.

Hannah Summy
Human Resources

A native of Oklahoma and fierce adversary of the sun and anything that involves it, Hannah has learned to love life in Southern California, especially her Directive team, which she joined in 2019. Hannah found Directive after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in english literature and an emphasis in Shakespearean studies, which makes her really fun at parties!

Outside of work, Hannah is a huge bookworm. She owns every work written by both Shakespeare and Stephen King, (they’re more similar than you’d think!) She also loves watching the Dodgers and telling everyone around that THIS is their World Series year. Hannah also has four big dogs and a boyfriend, all of which demmand to be taken on hikes and dog park trips regularly!

Nate Torres
Account Strategist

Nate Torres is an account strategist at Directive. He took an interest in SEO after taking a digital marketing class and completing a digital marketing internship with the Emazing Group — the parent company of iHeartRaves, INTO THE AM, and EmazingLights. Nate enjoys the data and strategy behind each campaign and finding ways to incorporate traditional marketing campaigns/strategies with newer digital channels.

Outside of the office, Nate enjoys playing the piano, watching music videos, hanging with friends, going to concerts, and working on his photography website/Instagram. Although Nate hates social media, he is trying to get verified on Instagram within the next 5-10 years because why not. (@nate.joaquin).

Juliann Rosales
Account Strategist

Juliann Rosales is an account strategist at Directive. Previously, she has worked with large and small clients and launched her career in digital marketing by implementing SEO strategies for Marriott hotels. Along the way, she consistently increased traffic and sales for her clients in competitive markets by designing digital strategies guided by data.

After earning her B.A. in mass communication and journalism at Angelo State University, Juliann enjoyed a brief stint in TV news production before discovering her skillfulness in digital advertising. When she’s not in the office, Juliann loves traveling to tropical beaches, practicing photography, and cooking insanely spicy foods.

Jess Browder
CRO Designer

Jess is a Conversion Rate Optimization designer at Directive and a native Austin resident. Before receiving her BFA in communication design from Texas State University, she worked at a local no-kill animal shelter for several years.

Jess joined Directive through the internship program, quickly falling in love with design research and client work. After a few months, she was brought on full-time.

During her free time, Jess enjoys going to niche events like witches markets or roller derby games, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and planning out hiking trips with her wife. If you’re ever in need of a cat, she can probably hook you up.

Jordan Ayres
PPC Specialist

Jordan Ayres is a PPC Specialist and Directive’s first international hire, working from his home office in Manchester UK.

After spending most of his childhood addicted to videogames, he is now spending his adulthood addicted to learning how to grow clients’ businesses through modern digital marketing. When he’s not in front of his computer working, he enjoys writing about himself in the third person, watching MMA, and reading.

Evan Floersch
SEO Specialist

Evan is an SEO Specialist at Directive. With his collegiate soccer background, Evan always aims to add value to Directive’s winning team.

Evan first gained an interest in digital marketing when he began leveraging his men’s lifestyle brand and its platforms to help startups and influencers increase engagement on their social media platforms. He knows that every day, digital marketing is becoming more and more integral in business growth.

Outside of work, Evan can be found training for a triathlon, watching sports, enjoying music, or working on his men’s lifestyle brand.

“With a customer-first attitude, the team communicates efficiently, responsively, and promptly. Having a range of industry expertise, they’ve established themselves as a valuable partner.”

John Palmer
Digital Marketing Specialist

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