How I got into Digital Marketing?

In case you are either bored interested or have already watched and read the whole internet, this is a short story (true story) about how I got into Digital Marketing.



Some Context

The story begins in 2006 when I was working in IT primarily Server and Network Engineer roles. My ex-girlfriend was coming up to her (6th) driving test and was also just about to launch a massage studio. I decided, the old romantic I am, to build her a website for her business as a present for passing her driving test.

I had never done this before but if working in IT teaches  you one thing it’s how to Google for solutions!


Websites are easy to build for complete beginners, right?

Never having designed or build a website before and armed with a moderate knowledge of Visual Basic (from my many years as a covert Excel ninja king) and a complete confidence that it could be that hard! Well, turns out web design and development are not quite as easy as I had *hoped.

*hope formed around 50% of the plan

Unperturbed by the challenge I set to work, learning CSS, HTML, and the ability to copy and paste JavaScript I built my first website. Once I had ironed out a few issues and my ex (Amy) was happy with the design I was incredibly pleased with myself.

The only thing to do now is wait for the customers to flood in and our wallets stretch at the seems with all the money we would make.


Why is my site not no.1 in Google?

Ummm and hmmmm… shortly after I wondered why we were not getting any response, so I Googled the site and couldn’t find it! My next search was something to the effect of “why isn’t my site in Google”. And there it was, SEO, everything from Search Console (Webmaster tools back then), Google Analytics (GA), sitemaps, content, page titles. OMG!

And so, I started learning more and more and implementing these things on the site, tags, tracking, and such like. Then came the keyword research and Google Ads, and before long (a few months) I was adding canonical tags, event tracking, cross subdomain GA views, etc. The site was optimised for target keywords derived from data driven research.

If I am honest, although it was started with love and kindness, once I found a competitor that was ranked first for the top head terms… I was driven 60% by competition! I learned link acquisition and various techniques while also adding some social into the mix. I cannot recall how long it took, but maybe a year later we smashed the top position!

Traffic has done nothing but rise in beautiful incremental steps for around 10 years now and the business has even featured on television. Although my part was minimal to the hard work Amy put in.


Now Everyone Wants a Website and SEO!

Once I did this for her, I did another for my sister and Dad and some friends from school, all for pizza and beer! Over a couple of years, I realised that I loved and had huge passion for SEO. So, I moved career from a very well-paid career in IT to Digital Marketing. I felt, I could do this every day and love it and let us be honest how many people can say that they love what they do?

The Agency Koozai, was where I earned my first stripes, learning and working in the day surrounded by kind and friendly experts was an environment someone like me could thrive in. They taught almost all employees both Google Ads (formally AdWords) and SEO, so that we could manage both for a single client. And this is how I filled in the many gaps in knowledge and experience by working a full-time job doing SEO and PPC. In the evenings I would come home and spend hours upon hours, weekends every  minute I had spare working side projects.

I lived and breathed SEO and PPC, I loved it so much. The data, the analysis, the story it tells, the technology and the physical act of doing it all brought me immense satisfaction.


And So, My Life Changed Forever!

After that, I moved up the ranks in terms of promotion and job title, responsibility and ultimately my thirst to know more has never dwindled. As such I learned Social, paid social, native advertising and a range of other forms of affiliate work and such like. Over the past 14 years I have done a huge range of things; from conversion optimisation to paid media and SEO as well as some UX.

And this is how I got into Digital Marketing!

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe it will help you to make a move or change something you are doing.

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