12 Years of Digital Marketing

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I started my adventure into the world of digital marketing over ten years ago. Technically even before that when I built my first website back in 1999 and used the meta keyword to rank for a range of terms…

Year one

Around two years after my initial foray, a friend showed my partner and I how to optimise a title tag for our recruitment agency. What do you know, it worked. Page 1 rankings on Google and double our Search traffic in as little as two weeks.

We were hooked then. West Legacy Group was born and we knew we had to learn a whole lot more about this SEO thing.

Year Two

Our second daughter was born. I was working for a small agency and got my feet wet with more hands-on SEO and AdWords (now Google Ads) experience.

There I learnt more about technical SEO, the basics of link building and how to start translating technical speak into client friendly words.

We also moved countries too and I joined another small SEO agency at the time.

Year 3-6

I moved on to another agency that literally dangled a bigger carrot. Here I would stay for more than four years.

I learnt a lot more about SEO and SEM here. Managed my own set of clients and experienced first hand what a Google penalty meant for an agency and for clients who came across to us with penalty issues.

Fell in love with SEO audits and recovery analysis and strategies to bring a sites out of the proverbial dog box. (Google calls it the Sandbox)

Speaking about Google Penalties and algorithms updates. This period had Panda, Penguin, Humming Bird, Caffeine and so many of their cousins and variations it was almost hard to keep up with it all.

All these updates had a single objective in mind. Make it harder to rank a website. Force marketers to use Ads. Make more money for Google. They had it good for a while… and then Facebook started exploring social media advertising.

Learnt how one can leverage SEO skills to help in online Reputation Management and work with social entities to protect their brands online.

Web development was almost all about WordPress (Still my favourite CMS). My Twitter account got black listed.

Yes very exciting times it was but eventually even this came to an end.

Year 7

Moved cities. Moved states. Joined a web development company as their only SEO specialist.

Learnt what it meant to produce a good website and how to leverage our developers to move SEO growth along. Learnt more about hosting servers and codes and how to edit server files like the dreaded .htacces (don’t go there, you can break your site so easily)

Also learnt how to break and fix websites.

Met some awesome people. Met some people that lacked ethics or at least stretched the term.

Later that year. Moved cities again.

Year 8

Joined a previous agency. They had grown from a small team to over 100 specialists, sales people, account managers and developers .

Came across and worked on hundreds of different websites. Some small, optimised for just a few words and some really really big carrying thousands of products. I really made a mark here and realised my worth as a digital marketer.

Oh. I hacked a website.  With the owners permission of course. See their web developer refused to give them access. So I found a back door. Cyber security is something of a passion of mine as I see every day how vulnerable websites and businesses are in this digital world.

Year 9

Left big for small. Still stayed in touch with colleagues and friends but a small agency felt more like home.. like a family.

Exposure to so many website platforms gave me the technical know how to optimise and rank nearly any website. My grasp and grounding in html, css,  java and php scripts meant I can do a lot of repairs and ‘tricks’ to optimise a site that otherwise had drastic issues or lacked the basics of SEO.

I also dove more into AdWords here. Learnt again how arrogant some American people  can be and nearly left the industry for good. But I didn’t. I stuck with it and grabbed the digital marketing bull by the horns and held on for the ride.

Speed became the big factor in the world of SEO…. Speed… and of course, that was largely driven by the growth in mobile-internet use.

Year 10-11

I manage a small team of specialists. I build sites. I deal with senior management in both the agency and clients side too.

I learn more and grow my skills as a strategist and technical specialist learning how to develop plans and set realistic targets for any site.

Also learnt that there is such a need for cheaper and more affordable SEO and digital marketing services – this is what we are all about.

Year 12+

My journey continues…

This is our journey and I hope to share yours with you as we grow your legacy together.