Owain has been working in a marketing capacity since graduating from the University of Gloucester in 2008. After working in a Sports Marketing capacity for the likes of The Football Association, he moved to London, where he worked for renowned SaaS, Decibel Insight, and a top 100 Digital Agency, Tangent. He has recently moved back to the Midlands, where he now works for leading digital and hospitality specialists, Up Hotel Agency, and ADAO, who provide digital design & development as well as digital marketing services to businesses in other sectors.
Please tell us about yourself, where you work and your role at your company.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years? And, how do you think year 2019 will shape up for SEO industry?
Having SEO sit separately or in silo to PPC, digital PR, social in my view just doesn’t work. If your PPC ad appears top of Google over your first-page page organic listing, your organic traffic from efforts in SEO will fall if more users click on your PPC ad than your organic listing. Digital PR is outreach and developing relationships, offering something of value to editors, bloggers, journalists from your clients that can lead to citations/links back which are still of value to SEO.
A client’s social presence can generate enhanced brand equity for that client. Being widely recognized and spoken about across social, can lead to your client being mentioned and cited within articles or blogs. Social can therefore also have a positive effect on SEO. This is why, from my experience, we shouldn’t be looking at pigeon-holed SEO strategies (focused solely around onpage or rankings) whilst neglecting other broader areas of digital marketing which can drive improved SEO success.
What are the services you provide to your clients and what do you think makes your business stand out among your competitors?
In the Midlands its less, so meaning ADAO has huge potential to become one of the biggest independent digital agencies in the Midlands over the next 5-10 years, based on the current rate of growth.
ADAO truly stands out from the crowd in the Midlands, and we find that many of our clients are actually London based. Our agency is approximately 1 hr on the train from Euston Station in London, making our agency “accessible” to our London based clients. Why are we hired by organizations in London to create websites and provide digital marketing services? Our overheads and rates per hour (being outside of London) are significantly less. This isn’t at the sake of expertise however as there are many designers, developers, and digital marketers in-house here that have worked for significant periods in London. Moreover, we all work hard at ADAO to ensure that we stay ahead of the game.
One example of this is that we are Google Premier Partners, so fully accredited to run PPC campaigns for our clients. The location of our agency, being based in Rugby (Midlands), puts us in a prime location. We are at the heart of the motorway and rail network. Being 10-minute drive from the M6 motorway for clients in the north, 10 minutes from the M1 (north and south); and the train station being a 10-minute walk away. This gives us a unique proposition in terms of our accessibility to see clients across the country.
Everybody knows what you have achieved, I would like to talk about your failure stories and how they impacted your professional life. (As we know Rome was not built in a day)
The battle we all have in the industry still is in aligning our clients’ ambitions and aspirations with reality and setting the scene of how an effective digital marketing strategy looks. There are no overnight successes with SEO, or with boosting organic traffic. Even Google can’t promise 1st-page rankings, so how can any agency? With this still ongoing, clients often have the misperception when approaching our agency that we can build X links and list keywords – based on what they’ve heard, or the approach they have taken before.
We always feel it necessary to educate our clients on best practice approaches that sit in line with Webmaster Guidelines as outlined by Google; coupled with our agency’s best practice approaches.