Jfry Craig is the strategic director and founder of Simple Simple advertising, a boutique digital marketing agency in downtown Calgary. He has a degree in creative writing from the University of Calgary, where his thesis explored the internet as a creative vehicle for unique user narratives. He has worked with CBC, Ericsson, Hockey Canada, among others.
Please introduce yourself and where you work.
I’m Jfry Craig, the strategic director and founder of Simple Simple Advertising. It’s a boutique agency that specializes in digital marketing.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?
How hasn’t it changed? Positively, on page SEO is definitely in a different spot than it was ten years ago; so is the idea of backlinks. I think that the biggest thing we’re seeing is the influence of voice search, which is really emphasizing the need for a long tail keyword strategy, which used to be the exception to the rule for how most people used to create SEO campaigns.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
We had a bunch of clients with Flash (R.I.P.) sites that didn’t rank at all and they were getting tired of buying adwords to offset an obvious deficiency in their web presence. This also coincides to an absolute requirement to have better structure because search engines were obviously becoming the primary way of navigating the web.
What are the services you provide to your clients?
We provide a full-service agency experience that includes art, design, social, website, and ad buy services. Ten years ago we were recognized for our art and web design services, but it’s probably fair to say that we are now better known in the market for our ad buy and website SEO services.
What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?
This is the first year where we’re going to understand how voice search really rolls out on a larger scale, and as a result what the impacts will be. People don’t have autocomplete while searching with voice, which is going to have a pretty large effect on the breadth of language being used to search and put a real emphasis regional language differences. I think it’s really going to have a positive impact on companies that have taken a long tail strategy because we are going to see a higher search volume for a lot keyword phrases that used to be considered fringe. I don’t think there has been enough discussion about just how differently people use search when they’re speaking vs. when they type. I think it will have a larger impact on how we structure SEO content than mobile the mobile revolution did.
What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?
Always keep learning. The pace of change in the digital advertising industry is extremely fast. Constant research is a must. It also seems like everyone who is coming up feels like they need to be a brand and have a social presence — this isn’t required to work in marketing, so don’t feel pressured to be active in social media.