Thursday, April 24, 2014

SEO Falls in Love with Content Marketing at BrightonSEO April 2014

Hot off the press, my regular round up of the main themes to emerge from the latest BrightonSEO conference, the place where SEO’s go to seek inspiration.

SEO has reignited its love affair with content marketing according to the buzz at the industry’s latest meet up.

The carefully crafted programme at BrightonSEO featured the topic of Content over and over, again and in many forms.

To clarify, I don’t mean ‘placing’ content across the internet – the practice of buying guest blog posts to gain links was conspicuous by it’s absence, ditched like a past infatuation in that typical way SEO’s have of falling in and out of love with attractive new techniques.

No, the current infatuation is content marketing, a discipline which has been around in SEO for a few years but usually as one of many different techniques, used when time and budget allowed (creating great content involves sweat).

So here are some of the specific ideas, recommendations and techniques around content generation which I heard today:
  • Content on your site needs to be awesome – the best out there for that subject or topic. That way it will naturally get linked to and shared (with a little initial nudge of course).
  • Your new awesome content needs to be flagged up to key influencers online using outreach to encourage sharing. Sometimes this outreach can be surprisingly low tech; use of a little black book and picking up the phone for example.
  • Great content needs to be well presented, maybe enlisting the assistance of designers.
  • Content doesn’t have to be text based, we could be talking images for sharing or awesome videos (if the cost of video production ever comes down enough of course).
  • Use paid search to help boost and amplify your newly created content, especially on low cost social PPC channels.
  • Providing great content is also a valuable opportunity for brands to answer their customer’s questions and build brand equity. Content can also help reinforce brand values and provide a positive brand experience.
  • Better content on your site will keep visitors there for longer, reduce bounce rates and potentially help provide an overall lift in SEO performance.

So how does this new need for content impact the SEO industry, agencies in particular?

I feel that those agencies with a more technical approach to their work may struggle with the new demands for creativity, just as some SEO’s struggled to embrace social media a couple of years ago when social signals first emerged (after all some SEO people are by nature pretty anti social!)

How will agencies cope with creative brainstorming of ideas for stunning content designed to appeal to a specific audience? After all it’s a long way from optimising meta data, especially if they don’t have content people in house. I foresee new job opportunities for creative thinkers, writers and designers.

Personally I’m just pleased that my earlier working life was in marketing and particularly working with and within creative agencies. That experience might just be about to come in handy.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Digital Kent 3 Round Up

I had a great day at the third Digital in Kent conference yesterday. This time round I chaired the morning session which I actually really enjoyed, it was nice being able to set the scene for the audience as to why each speaker had been selected and also having to think on your feet to pick out some highlights after each speaker's presentations.

Then in the afternoon I handed over the chair to Paul Andrews which freed me up to do a speed session on Google+ authorship for SEO in 7 minutes! This was really great fun and the audience seemed to really engage - it's certainly been a talking point since then on social media.
how to use

Reflecting on yesterday's events its really interesting to see how Digital in Kent has developed since we all had the idea to hold the first event in April 2013. Back then I was about the only person using the hashtag #digikent on Twitter but yesterday it seemed to be on fire all day (wifi access in the venue allowing!).

Many people also said they felt it was a much more relaxed atmosphere; whether this was down to the change in venue set amidst rolling orchards I don't know.

As ever its a tricky balance getting the tone of the content at the event just right for everyone, but I've already noted several potential topics for the next event, based on feedback from delegates.

So now our challenge in the office is to leverage the exposure gained for myself and Webscape to try and generate some tangible leads and business!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Tips on Applying for a Job in Digital Marketing

Image: Silven001
Recently I have been working on recruitment for a new PR Exec role over at my digital marketing agency, Webscape Marketing.

It's been a little while since we recruited in earnest and a few things have struck me about the way in which jobseekers apply for a role in digital and what they can do to increase their chances of getting noticed.

So I've put together the following tips...

5 Digital Marketing Jobseeker Tips

  1. Don't reproduce your whole CV all over again on your covering letter or email. Your letter should tell us in a nutshell why you think you would be great for the job, what you know about us and the role, and pick out a few RELEVANT key points to back up your application. Don't list everything you've ever done, that's what the CV is for. 
  2. On your application email or CV make clear your availability for interview and for starting the role. If we are in a rush to find someone, if you can start immediately it could push you to the top of the pile.
  3. Make sure you are on LinkedIn and make sure your profile is complete then add a link to it on your CV. If you want to work in digital you have to accept that employers will want to check out your LinkedIn so you use it as an opportunity to demonstrate you are on the ball. Whilst on that subject we would never consider it ethical to look you up on Facebook but I know other employers do so make sure your privacy settings are locked down if you don't want the world to hear about your private life.
  4. Put your most recent work experience first on your CV. Sounds simple but you'd be amazed!
  5. Lots of people want to work in the newly developing digital field and so its fine to apply for a digital role you if maybe don't have direct experience, we almost expect as much. BUT, if you don't have an obvious digital background then you need to let us know why we should consider you. Have you run a blog, use social media, run a Facebook Page or just really, really interested in digital? If so then tell us!
So hope that helps you get that job in digital, although hopefully most of these tips apply to the non digital sector as well.

Monday, November 04, 2013

5 Reasons Why Low Price SEO Work Doesn't Help Anyone and Can Damage Your Agency

OK it may have taken me a ridiculously long time to realise this but I can now finally acknowledge that working for an unprofitable client is in fact more damaging to your agency business than not having that client at all. Plus it isn't the best for the client either, despite the bargain they might think they're getting.

For years I had always justified taking on lower value work if there was capacity in the business as I felt it was better to be busy, plus it may open the door to extra work in the future. However this is what I've learnt:

Friday, November 01, 2013

Marketing Case Study - Disruption in Legal Marketing

I've just published an interesting legal marketing case study over on the Webscape website which nicely illustrates how the concept of Disruption can impact upon an industry vertical, in this case legal marketing in the personal injury claims sector.

The report draws upon my experience as one of the founders of the Simply Lawyers start up brand, a legal marketing collective which was born from the opportunities create by disruptive forces emanating from the wider macro marketing environment; social, legal, technical and political.

You can find the report in our recently created Insights section where we plan to add other case studies, white papers and market intelligence.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Exploring the Key Qualities of an Entrepreneur

I have recently been giving some thought to the qualities shared by entrepreneurs and how they apply to my own personal journey, partly inspired by my recent attendance at the for Accelerate conference for high growth businesses.

After listening to the experiences and views of such inspirational business leaders as Martha Lane Fox, Doug Richards, Lord Bilimoria and Jimmy Wales I've come up with the following common traits of the entrepreneur...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Insights and Inspiration at Accelerate 2013

I recently had the privilege of hearing some of the best known business leaders in the UK and beyond speak in person at Accelerate 2013 event in Liverpool. Their inspirational stories reinforced just how exciting and how challenging it is to be an entrepreneur.

Accelerate was the first event of its kind aimed at potential high growth businesses across all sectors. The event recognised that in the future the majority of new job creation in the UK is likely to come from the small business sector and so the SME sector is rightly attracting the support and encouragement which it has probably deserved for some time.

One of the recurring themes of the day was the tenacity needed to be an entrepreneur, especially in the face of repeated setbacks and even failures. This was amplified by the first keynote speaker of the day, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.