In case you didn’t already know, here at Embryo, we’ve launched our very own podcast – Never Mind The Keywords. Launched at the beginning of April, we have been speaking to some of Manchester’s best about their careers and examining all things digital marketing!
In episode 3, hosts Megan (one of our client services experts) and Dylan (one of Embryo’s organic content wizards) sat down with our very own Andrew Holland to talk SEO and behavioural science.
Andrew Holland has had a varied and interesting career path, from being a serving police officer to working for the British Boxing Board of Control. He now finds himself as one of the most eminent voices in the world of search engine optimisation. What Andrew doesn’t know about SEO isn’t worth knowing!
As someone who works in social media, I will put my hands up and say SEO isn’t my strongest subject so personally I found this episode particularly interesting. Here are the 5 key takeaways from this episode.
1. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to starting a career in marketing.
I’ve already touched upon Andrew’s interesting career journey. From following his father’s footsteps and spending 20 years in the police force, launching his martial arts school and eventually launching his own marketing business.
The podcast touches on the many different routes that can be taken to start a career in marketing. At Embryo we have people who began their careers in digital marketing in a range of ways. Although apprenticeships and marketing degrees at university seem like the obvious route, as Andrew states – there’s a lot you can take from a lot of subjects that fit with marketing. One thing that stood out, in particular, is when Dylan explained how we can all learn from each other’s experiences. If everyone had the same career journey and the same experiences in marketing, we wouldn’t be able to learn as much as we do from each other.
If you listened to the first episode of the series, you would know Embryo’s MD, Ross, started with a sports coaching degree before transitioning to sales and then eventually starting Embryo in 2015. If that’s not a great example of not needing a marketing degree, I don’t know what is!
2. It’s not all about being number 1 in SEO!
One point that stood out in the third podcast was when Andrew goes on to discuss his views on SEO. He explains that SEO is not only about brand exposure, being in position 1 and driving loads of traffic to your website. Obviously increased traffic is the end goal. However, he goes on to explain that the second side of SEO is brand exploration. A side that many don’t pay enough attention to.
“If they come to your website and still have questions, they’re going to leave” Not every piece of content you write for your website will rank highly and attract new users, however, if it’s informative and keep a user on your website or even better, results in leads/sales, it is definitely worth paying attention to.
3. More businesses should consider behavioural science
Behavioural science and the ‘Messy Middle’ have been a topic of discussion at Embryo for a while now. It used to just be a tactic used by big corporations, however, there is a lot we can incorporate into the way we work.
Andrew explains in the clip below that for years, marketing has been considered simple. A user searches for your product clicks on your website and buys the product. However, it has never been that simple. Understanding behavioural science is about understanding how your customers are shopping and what steps they take in making a purchase decision.
For example, 69% of GenZers use Instagram to find products and 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions. A purchase decision rarely comes down to search, click and buy. With all the channels and information available to consumers. Purchase decisions are full of exploration, education, and evaluation before choosing the right product and this is something that good marketers need to take into account when reaching their audience.
4. The importance of personal branding
Towards the end of the episode, Megan asks how important personal branding is for professionals. Andrew has a very strong presence on Linkedin and he says it’s down to a course he did several years ago by Seth Godin that taught him that people respond to frequency. Put simply, the more times you see a person or a brand, the better you respond to them. Andrew used Linkedin to align his views on SEO by posting daily, micro-blogging as he called it, in order to get more people to understand and appreciate SEO. In doing this, over time he has gained over 14k followers and over 500 connections.
Building a personal brand as a professional is so important in an industry that is competitive. Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever you choose as your space, use it to explore your field and create your brand. Andrew explains that he went one step further for his two children and bought them domain names as a present, a space that is theirs on the internet where they can blog, share their work and eventually show to prospective employers. He goes on to explain that on social networks, you’re the product, and many people have LinkedIn or Instagram accounts however, if you have a website as a secondary source to show your brand, you will stand out from the rest.
5. How covid changed the way we work
When Andrew ran his own marketing company, like many businesses he had to adapt when COVID-19 came into effect. It’s fair to say that not many industries have gone completely back to the way they were before the pandemic. At Embryo, for example, we have a hybrid working structure, we split our time between the office and working from home and a lot of meetings that would have previously been in person are now conducted online.
Andrew explains that as a business owner at the time, he had to cancel contracts with clients and that there were times when he thought “that was it” losing over 95% of his clients “overnight”. However, despite giving up, he continued to grow his personal brand by blogging and posting on LinkedIn.
In the podcast, they focus on the increase in video calls as opposed to face to face meetings and whether this will continue to rise. If the pandemic changed anything, I think it made us work smarter. Rather than travelling for hours to a client’s office, we can now go through their monthly report from the comfort of our homes, leaving more time to focus on the account work. There are many benefits to working in the office, the social side, the speed of communication and the importance of having those face to face meetings will never go away, but I think overall there have been a lot of things we have had to do because of the pandemic that will stick around for a while.
If you want to see the brilliant episode in full, you can either watch it in full on Youtube or find us on please find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts! If you want to find out more about Embryo, please get in touch.