Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for takeoff
I quit my first proper job out of university aged 24 to start a business offering this mysterious new thing called Search Engine Optimisation. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Fast forward 14 years (a lot of lessons learned and plenty of grey hair) and I have decided to do it again — a decision I never thought I would make.
I’m fortunate to have had the time to reflect on past experiences and take a holistic view of the market (as both an agency owner and agency customer through my NED roles) and have decided now is the right time. It’s the right time because the right people are also convinced to join me.
Things don’t change as quickly as I thought. I had pretty much written SEO off a couple of years ago. With all the hype around machine learning, personalisation and voice search, I was struggling to see the value that ‘traditional SEO’ could drive and how accurately ROI could be attributed directly back to the investment and methods being used. The truth is, things have changed, as they always do (especially with SEO), but the fundamental principles of how Google rewards a website remain the same — credibility and trust. These are the two words that most resonate with how our new agency will be run.
SEO is heavily fragmented. To be successful you need people skilled at a multitude of disciplines — technical capabilities, content creators, creatives devising campaigns (that won’t conflict with brand and PR teams) and PRs who have the contacts and influence to ensure content gets noticed. On top of this you need technology and analysis capable of understanding the immediate and long term impact of your strategy. And then you have to second guess the direction Google is taking. It isn’t easy to be truly capable in this world.
Unfortunately many SEO providers simply can’t provide strength in so many areas, meaning results suffer and so does the reputation of the industry. Coupled with junior teams managing big budgets they can’t cope with and it’s no surprise that retaining a client for more than 12 months is seen as above average.
So how are we going to be different?
- Firstly, we’re not an SEO agency. We’re a brand and relationship agency that understands the link between quality content, influence, engagement and search engine visibility.
- We have trust and credibility in abundance. These factors aren’t just important to Google. Our core team have grown up together, working with many of the UK’s top brands to drive results through every major algorithm update since 2005.
- No juniors. At least not yet. You have to have been there and done it for complex brands with global ambitions. We are sourcing the best talent available in the market to join our family. Having previously built the largest SEO team in the country, we know what to look for. Our academy will grow the next wave in 2019, but it will be a long time before they are working / managing or even communicating directly with clients.
- No account managers or needless, confusing reports that hide poor results. Just straight talking, fast communication and real-time analytics that mean something to you and your business.
Why am I so confident?
18 months ago I made the decision to launch a paid media agency that tested whether this approach made a difference — it worked and we call it clarity at speed.
I’m now very proud to announce this new venture and can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.