Manaferra Wins Best Use of Search at U.S. Search Awards

Another big win for the Manaferra team! This time we got to bring home the Best Use of Search – Third Sector/ Not-for-Profit at U.S. Search Awards event. This award comes as a result of the hard work and commitment the team put on for the Pacific College campaign in growing enrollments through search. We couldn’t be more ecstatic about completing our We Are Search Awards Trifecta after previously grabbing wins in European and Global Search Awards events.

While the initial plan was to fly to the U.S. and attend the event in person to ‘literally’ bring the award home, we couldn’t make this possible. So, a change of plans had to occur. We were looking for alternatives to be there with other nominees, at least virtually. Still, this didn’t make it less nerve-racking and exciting. 

Because of the differences in the time zone, we couldn’t watch the ceremony in real-time, but we did get together as a team and celebrated seeing our work being chosen amongst other nominees. We got one award, but it’s worth mentioning we were shortlisted in total four categories: 

Getting recognized all over the world for the strategies and campaigns we come up with is an enormous success. The judges remarked, “This was a well-rounded campaign pulling all the SEO levers to achieve its objectives. We admired how they accomplished their goal of showcasing how a good SEO campaign can yield even greater growth than PPC. It was also very well targeted to its prospective audience. Excellent job!” Receiving this kind of feedback will be our ultimate goal as an SEO agency. I am super proud of the work delivered and the team behind it.

Faton Sopa, Co-Founder & CEO

Manaferra

It is quite an achievement for us to be one of the agencies from Kosovo making a breakthrough in American land and being held in high esteem in the SEO field. We are proud to be recognized as one of the best in the industry and will continue to provide the highest quality services for our clients.

Going back to the event itself, U.S. Search Awards are part of an annual international awards series. The event aims to reward American agencies that significantly contribute to the Search industry. Here is the whole list of this year’s winners

Congratulations to all those who made it, and a big thank you to the U.S. Search Awards. 

Manaferra Wins 2 Awards in European Search Awards

May 26th found the Manaferra team in the heart of Barcelona attending the event held by European Search Awards. It is with great pleasure that we announce that on that night, Manaferra took home not one but two reputable awards, Best Use of Search for the SEO campaign on higher education and Best Small SEO Agency (Silver). 

While this isn’t the first time Manaferra’s work has been awarded and held in high regard by industry experts, it certainly isn’t any less important. The awards Manaferra brought home, in Prishtina, will serve as a token of recognition and appreciation for the constant hard work delivered by all of Manaferra’s team members. The award has confirmed once again what we have been claiming all along that we bring results; we deliver work that speaks for itself. While we aim to be a humble agency, there are moments like this that make us not so humble. Jokes aside, we feel incredibly lucky (even though luck has little to do with it) to have brought home awards like these.

As for the event itself, the European Search Awards is a yearly event, part of the awards series “The Search Awards”. It welcomes entries from all European countries with the intent of celebrating agencies and companies in the field of SEO, PPC, and Content Marketing. Individuals chosen to be part of the judging panel are highly qualified experts from all over Europe. The Search Awards are pretty competitive, and even getting nominated is a big deal, let alone becoming a winner. 

It has definitely been an otherworldly feeling to be part of the event itself in Barcelona and then also have the chance to get on the stage in front of some of the greatest in the industry and accept the award. All I could think at that moment was how appreciated I felt by the judges who chose us and our work to get awarded among other agencies nominated and how we should keep doing what we do best. Evidently, when you love what you do and give your all, you will get rewarded.

Diana Bajraktari, Content Marketing Manager

Manaferra

Not to forget that the other part of the team was back home watching the event online. As proud as I felt about myself there, I felt as proud of the team I work with. 

I can’t find the words to describe the moment we heard our name being called through the screen. What I can remember is the boost of motivation to keep pushing our goals and objectives further and keep delivering work that will win awards like this one and the one we got last year. Our commitment to delivering growth and investing in our team are paid off through results and awards like this. I’m proud of the team we have built at Manaferra.

Granit Doshlaku, Co-Founder, SEO Director

Manaferra

A big congratulations to the agencies that won European Search Awards! You can have a feel of that beautiful evening by going through this photo gallery. Also, have a look at the list of the winners for this year and those that were shortlisted

Thank you to the team, clients, and Search Awards for the euphoric feelings. 

Manaferra Wins “Best Use of Search” award at Global Search Awards

Following our double shortlist nomination for the Global Search Awards 2021,  we are super thrilled to announce that we walked home (or rather stayed home) with one prestigious award. 

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021 was an amazing day for our team. We won the Global Search Award for the best SEO campaign in higher education.

Winning is not everything, but we can’t deny that this award was actually sort of a nice feather in our cap. It also comes hot on the heels of our recent shortlist for two awards from the European Search Awards, which further adds to this tally. After all, it brings huge validation to our team and puts another official stamp of approval from certified experts in the industry. 

A reminder of what Manaferra has  been nominated for: 

Here’s what our Co-founder and SEO director had to say about the win:

It has definitely been an otherworldly feeling to be part of the event itself in Barcelona and then also have the chance to get on the stage in front of some of the greatest in the industry and accept the award. All I could think at that moment was how appreciated I felt by the judges who chose us and our work to get awarded among other agencies nominated and how we should keep doing what we do best. Evidently, when you love what you do and give your all, you will get rewarded.

Diana Bajraktari, Content Marketing Manager

Manaferra

Taking place annually, the Global Search Awards is a celebration of the leading agencies and campaigns in SEO, PPC, and content marketing. The awards are highly competitive and highlight industry leaders who are actively exhibiting outstanding growth while offering superior digital strategies to their clients. The panel, consisting of renowned industry experts, selected all entries based on a rigorous two-step process and several aspects of the marketing campaign.

“I was completely swept off my feet when I saw Manaferra’s name on the screen, announcing the winner in the Best Use of Search- Third Sector category. In moments like this, we come to realize that our hard work and sleepless nights are just a small price to pay for such a recognition and prestigious competition. We are incredibly proud of the work we have been able to do for our clients and the outstanding outcomes we have achieved.”

Faton Sopa, Co-Founder & CEO

Manaferra

Congratulations to all Global Search Awards winners! You can rewatch the live-streamed ceremony here, including all the winner announcements and full shortlist here and here

Big thanks to the Global Search Awards and everyone who made this possible. 

My Journey from a Content Writer Intern to a Full-Time Content Associate

I don’t know about you all, but I strongly believe in destiny. Why, you might ask? Bear with me and you’ll understand. 

So, for four years, I was a student of the English Language and Literature program at the University of Prishtina. While this major wasn’t my first choice, I realized I had made the right educational decision when I was introduced to Translation(my first love). Despite loving translation as a profession and working as a translator for a few months, I decided to give it a go and try something else. Who could have thought that even the other job I would grow to love would be related to writing? Not me, that’s for sure. 

So, this is me telling how I found my newest love—Content Marketing—here at Manaferra. 

Initial Contact with Manaferra

Now that I think about it, the whole thing about me joining Manaferra is a kind of drama in itself. That’s why I’m going to tell the entire story because I don’t want to leave something out. 

I believe, at the time, a friend and I were looking for jobs we could apply for and stumbled upon an internship program whose deadline, unfortunately, was over (obviously, it wasn’t that unfortunate). 

Scrolling through different job portals for job vacancies, I think I saw the ad for the internship program in Manaferra first in the socials but can’t really recall why I didn’t apply right away. Luckily, the friend I mentioned sent me the link after a few days. Once again, I had before me the announcement that Manaferra was looking for SEO and Content Writing interns (talk about destiny). 

One thing that was interesting to me at the time was the fact that they didn’t have that many requirements for prospective candidates. They were looking for people that were proficient in English and were eager to learn. Knowing that I had both of these qualities (not to mention the endless stalking and scanning I did on their socials), I was convinced I should apply for it. 

The First Interview

Upon application, after a few weeks, I got a callback notifying me that I had passed the first round of selection for the internship program and that an interview was scheduled for me in a few days. 

In the email they also included a few resources I had to read and prepare for that interview. Even though I already knew that the interview wouldn’t be “conventional” as I had previously read an article written by one of my colleagues here on her experience of being an intern at Manaferra.

Long story short, the day of the interview came. I read all the resources and felt prepared, but still was quite anxious about it as it was my first official job interview. Arrived at their office just on time. Once there, I realized I had nothing to worry about. One of the interviewers who was also a colleague I had in university—who would also become my supervisor—welcomed me and introduced me to the other interviewer.

The interview took place  in the meeting room that they called “Oda”. Besides the polite small talk we exchanged, I was asked about the resources they had sent me—what I thought about them, what I had learned while reading them, and had a sort of a quiz. Both of the interviewers were nice, polite, and made me feel that everything was going well during the entire interview. But being a perfectionist (which at times can really be a “curse”) made me feel as though I could do better. 

The Assignment

Although I wasn’t that satisfied with my performance at the interview, I was informed through email that I had passed the interview successfully and was expected to do a writing assignment so that they could get a feeling of my writing. In the email were also shared the instructions of what I was supposed to do and given a few days to deliver it. Everything was clear from beginning to end, which was a plus in my book for Manaferra. They had thought of what we could have difficulty understanding and simplified everything for us. 

The Second Interview

The writing assignment went quite well. I knew I did my best and was waiting for confirmation on it.  After a few days, I got an email confirming that I had passed this stage too, and was scheduled for a second interview. In my head, I didn’t expect a second interview as I thought the assignment was the final step to the final decision. However, their goal was to choose the best of the best and that’s why the process was divided into numerous stages. 

Now,  moving on to the big day. Unlike the first interview, this time, all of the management was present in the interview. They informed me from the beginning that they would be focusing on me, who Diana is as a person, her personality, her views, and beliefs. 

Like anybody who is asked to talk about themselves, I felt somewhat nervous. But as the conversation went over, I got comfortable as I was feeling listened to and my opinions being valued. 

Getting the Good News

In a matter of a few days, I was emailed back with the good news about me being chosen for the 2-week testing period. I was excited, to say the least and couldn’t wait to start this new adventure. 

The 2-Week Testing Period

So the big day came, me and the other 7 applicants arrived at the Manaferra office. Most of the applicants were female and surprisingly half of us were English majors, while the other half were students of other faculties. We were warmly welcomed by the management and the team. I remember we formed a circle and went on to introduce ourselves. The environment, the people were beyond anything I had imagined. After that little introduction play, we were led to Oda where management had prepared everything to introduce us with the company and the field. At noon they took us out for lunch and there we had the chance to talk with each other and found out that all of us were huge fans of tv-shows. 

Needless to say, two weeks went by pretty quickly. I felt as though I had learned quite much for the industry, which when I first started didn’t even know it existed. During those two weeks, we worked hard, learned a lot, and had fun. That’s why when the end of the testing period came, I started feeling kind of anxious about what was going to happen next. 

Getting the Good News for the Second Time 

Let me tell you, the wait was excruciating. It’s not that I had to wait long for the final answer, but I wanted that intern position so bad that I needed to know as soon as possible. I knew I had done my best, but I also knew that all of the other candidates were quite prepared and hardworking. I didn’t know who was going to be chosen, but one thing I knew was that it would be difficult for the management to come to a decision. 

This time I didn’t get the news through an email, but was invited to the offices for a meeting with the management and my supervisor, Dafina. Once there, they flattered me and congratulated me on officially becoming an Intern at Manaferra. 

I went in without expectations as I didn’t want to get disappointed if the chance wouldn’t be given to me. But got out of there as a Content Writer Intern instead. 

Working From Home

Approximately one month into our internship, our team had to continue working from home due to the pandemic outbreak. While this was an unexpected situation and we had no clue what was going to happen, work-wise we were pretty good. We tried to be productive even in those hard unprecedented times. 

One thing that should be mentioned is the management’s willingness to assist and be with us by organizing virtual daily gatherings in Google Meet, monthly one-on-one meetings, and making sure we all had the necessary work items delivered to our homes. 

COVID-19 was certainly a challenge for all of us, but I can confidently say we managed it successfully, both health-wise (as none of us got infected), and productivity-wise as we all worked hard not to let it affect us. 

Coming Back to the Office

While we surely did our best to keep ourselves, our family and others safe and enjoyed the time we spent working from home, there came a point when we couldn’t wait to come back to the office. We had missed each other, our comfy office and even our working desks. 

So, when the relevant public health institutions decided that the time has come to go back to “new normality”, we returned to the office, while making sure we were obliged by the regulations that the government brought out. However, the office transition didn’t happen all at once. Half of the team was back and the other half was still working from home. 

It was during this time that we, the interns of Manaferra, were near the end of our internship. As we were informed from the beginning, at the end of the program only some of us would become full-time employees at Manaferra. However, thanks to continuous training we got, our hard work, and the expertise we built during those 6 months, most of us were eventually not only hired but also promoted to a newer and higher position (hence me becoming a Jr. Content Specialist).

While the pandemic didn’t give us a chance to celebrate the birthdays of staff members across the months, in August we celebrated the 6th birthday of Manaferra with pizza and cake. 

Team Retreat to Rugova

Manaferra, as a company, wants to make sure that people that work there are enjoying themselves. That’s why we usually organize team retreats where we can get to know and spend more time with each other out of work context. While in normal conditions, we would make our first retreat in the spring, this year, the pandemic forced us to make a change of plans. Instead, the retreat was organized in September, and we spent a long weekend in Rugove. We call it a long weekend, but in reality, it felt like we stayed there for only a few hours.

There we had the chance to hang out with each other, know each other better, play a lot of jenga, uno and not to forget volleyball (realized that some of us had the talent for it) and the swing that we would take turns on. 
We made very fond memories during that weekend, but we know that we will make even more as a team as the months go by. 

Now that I’m writing this article, it’s been eight months since I joined Manaferra. I couldn’t be more proud of the decision I made months ago. Today, I’m even thankful for the missed opportunities because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today. Lastly, I hope that you too, one day, will get to walk in my shoes and experience something similar first-hand.

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