My background - marketing, SEO and agency life
I have 15 years of experience in SEO and marketing. I have a CIM Postgrad, and I was head of marketing for one of the leading language and translation companies in the UK, Wolfestone. I've also worked in contract advisory roles for Barclays and the Prince's Trust.
I then set up and ran a marketing agency for 6 years. My role in the agency was SEO strategy and digital marketing strategy. I had a team across account management, project management and several delivery staff. In 2021 I sold the agency.
I now really enjoy consulting for medium to large companies as an external SEO consultant. I particularly enjoy and specialise in working with B2B and technical companies, where the product and buyer journey are complex and interesting.
With a blend of marketing background, commercial awareness from running a growing agency and a depth of SEO knowledge, I feel I have a unique offering in the marketplace.
Why B2B SEO, and what's the difference?
I'm adept working in B2C and B2C environments. Essentially SEO principles are the same in both, though of course the approaches differ from eCommerce to B2B websites.
I enjoy the challenges that come with B2B and technical markets. My uniqueness is an ability to understand complex markets, products and organisations quickly. I love the challenge of balancing SEO and user experience with complex customer profiles and buyer journeys.
Some industries I've enjoyed worked in:
- Sheet metal fabrication
- Steel and other metal industries
- Construction products
- Architectural products
- B2B SaaS
- Language services and localisation
The importance of SEO
When searching for a new product or service, where do you start? For most people, the answer is Google.
Some research shows that 93% of B2B purchases start with a Google search. Then, when you consider that 75% of those people don't click past the first page, SEO's value is clear. You need to be in search results to get found, and you need to be on the top page to be seen.
In most industries, I see SEO as the single best marketing investment in terms of the returns you can achieve in the medium term (4-12 months). Although it can take between 1-6 months to start seeing some results, the revenue growth is truly sustainable. Whereas advertising ROI is proportionate to spend, SEO returns can end up being much higher over time, because the base level of enquiries or revenue increases over time.
SEO is important, and I often hear clients say SEO is made to sound complex and confusing. I don't agree, and I think it can be easily explained into the following seven categories of SEO activity and skills required to achieve success.
Elements of successful SEO
Commercial intelligence - understanding what you sell, what your customers search for, and tailoring SEO strategy to work for a specific business
Keyword strategy and keyword mapping - identifying what you strategically want to rank for and doing the structural work on a website to rank for those keywords
Page content optimisation - making the pages as optimised as possible. This involves updating text, image names and tagging. Often it requires design updates to accommodate SEO optimisations
Page content UX and intent - this is a more creative process of integrating the search terms into pages with additional content and information, usually done separately to optimisation
Ongoing content updating - this can be within service pages, blog, news and even other areas of the website. Regular content is a good sign for search engines and when SEO-driven, can improve rankings for your main keywords
Digital PR and link acquisition - improving the website's authority through gaining links from other websites, measured by domain authority
Technical SEO - this refers to site speed, code optimisations and the development side of the website, as well as technical structure, platform and other considerations
Although simple to understand what's involved, it's extremely rare for someone to have all of these skills.
If you have worked with or work with an SEO company or consultant, you may resonate with some of these areas being done well and others not being considered at all. That's even true of many agencies. I feel fortunate to have a strong understanding and execution of all seven areas, having run a multi-discipline agency for 6 years.
That's where my breadth of experience can help, as I can work with you and your developers, in-house team and other contractors to get your website optimised across all seven key areas, for better results.
What is an SEO Consultant?
An SEO Consultant can be independent, or within an agency, and is tasked with increasing relevant traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing. As an independent SEO Consultant, I work with businesses and organisations who want to increase enquiries, traffic and typically grow revenue.
SEO Consultant vs. SEO Agency
I've also run an SEO agency, and they are great for when you need a mix of skills. Whereas with consultants, you are working directly with the specialists. Working with a consultant you don't get the customer service feel of an agency, but you do get direct contact with the person doing the work, and assurance that the person working on your account is senior.
What does an SEO Consultant do?
In order to increase rankings, an SEO Consultant will carry out keyword research, implement the keywords into your site, improve your site content to make it more searchable, work with your developers and designers to make the site work better for SEO, direct ongoing content and support you with ongoing SEO management. All of this leads to increased rankings and more enquiries and revenue.
How much does SEO cost?
You can refer to my pricing page, which has some example prices. In general, for a one-off project, prices start from around £1,500 and anything up to £15,000. For monthly ongoing work this generally starts at £1,000 a month and ranges up to around £5,000 a month. I offer a premium quality service, for businesses who are serious about investing for significant ROI.
Do I need SEO?
If you run a business that relies on new enquiries from customers you don't know yet, then yes! The only exceptions I've come across really are public sector organisations and companies that do their work through tenders only. I would still make the case that some of these companies could benefit from SEO.
How long does SEO take?
Typically, I'd say within the first 1-3 months you can see the signs of progress in terms of impressions and clicks. But it's after 4-6 months that rankings significantly increase and enquiries/revenue start to climb. The key time is after 6 months, where growth is exponential. It's important to choose a consultant wisely because if you work together for the longer term, you need to trust the person and believe in their credentials.
How to choose the best SEO consultant?
My personal opinion is that the right consultant should have a mix of marketing and technical knowledge. Further above I listed some of the key areas, but they really come down to good marketing and content, and a good technical website. Make sure you find someone who can do both sides, and has experience working for and with reputable companies.