Welcome to another engaging interview on Marketer Interview, where we delve into the minds of marketing mavens who shape the industry.
Today, we have the pleasure of chatting with Will Rice, a seasoned SEO and marketing Manager whose expertise spans the digital marketing universe.
Will’s journey is a testament to the power of combining analytical prowess with creative thinking.
- 1 Can you share the story of how you ventured into the field of digital marketing and what inspired you to pursue this career path?
- 2 As an SEO & Marketing Manager, what does a typical day in your professional life look like, and what are your primary responsibilities?
- 3 In your LinkedIn profile, you mention your ability to create data-driven solutions. Could you elaborate on a specific project or strategy where data was crucial in achieving success?
- 4 Collaboration is critical in marketing. How do you approach working with stakeholders, and what strategies do you employ to communicate your ideas and plans effectively?
- 5 SEO is a rapidly evolving field. How do you stay updated with the latest trends and algorithm changes and incorporate them into your strategies?
- 6 Could you share a particularly challenging situation you’ve encountered in your career and how you overcame it?
- 7 What tools and software are indispensable in your SEO and marketing Manager role, and why?
- 8 Given your broad expertise, can you provide insights into how SEO integrates with other marketing channels and disciplines to create a holistic strategy?
- 9 Content marketing is closely tied to SEO. What advice would you give to marketers creating high-impact, SEO-friendly content?
- 10 Can you share a standout campaign or project you’ve worked on that significantly impacted a brand’s online presence or performance?
- 11 What are the most exciting opportunities and challenges in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape?
I started by dropping out of a banking and finance (BSc) degree. I couldn’t get over the irony of studying risk assessment and investment while putting myself in the second most significant debt (probably) I’ll ever be in.
An apprenticeship seemed more logical as I’d be paid to learn… No brainer?
I was the first employee for a digital marketing agency. Five years on, they split, and I went with one of them to be the ‘right-hand man’ at a new digital analytics agency where I now oversee the SEO department. Loyalty pays!
As an SEO & Marketing Manager, what does a typical day in your professional life look like, and what are your primary responsibilities?
As mentioned before, I oversee the SEO department for MeasureMinds. So, everything SEO-related goes through me for both clients and our agency. That being said, because of the time I’ve been with the founder, I’m trusted to manage many other functions within the agency, too.
For SEO, my specialties lie within content and link building. But you can catch me managing all technical SEO activities, too.
For our general marketing, which covers social media, sales, and events! I spent a lot of time organizing and promoting our free Google Analytics 4 conference, GA4ward.
Most important to me is my responsibility to keep my team and others within the agency happy and to get the most out of them as people. This is what I take the most pride in.
In your LinkedIn profile, you mention your ability to create data-driven solutions. Could you elaborate on a specific project or strategy where data was crucial in achieving success?
MeasureMinds is a digital analytics agency. So, everything we do is powered by analytics, even down to the outreach we send out.
Any good outreach specialist will always be A/B testing for the most optimal outreach sequences and templates.
An example of where we’ve used analytics to inform an SEO strategy is for a particular client that was heavily focused on conversions.
We had to understand which pages to optimize first to boost conversions quickly. So, using data-driven attribution modeling, we found the URLs on the site that were important in driving conversions. We focused our SEO improvements here and added CTAs to drive more conversions.
This resulted in a 22% increase in conversions and a 293% ROI on SEO.
Collaboration is critical in marketing. How do you approach working with stakeholders, and what strategies do you employ to communicate your ideas and plans effectively?
Setting KPIs immediately is the best way to develop a strategy. After all, different clients want different things.
Some clients may have a strong need to increase the number of conversions. Another client may be a marketing manager who aims to hit +15% non-branded traffic and needs to build more customer support content. Whatever it is, you must build a strategy to cater to that.
After that, it’s all about educating the client about why you suggest the strategy and why it will help them hit their targets. Competitive intelligence is a great way to do that because you’re demonstrating how something has worked in its niche.
SEO is a rapidly evolving field. How do you stay updated with the latest trends and algorithm changes and incorporate them into your strategies?
This is simple. Articles and ALL of the free info on LinkedIn and YouTube.
Some great websites out there have their finger on the pulse when it comes to new trends. Subscribe to their newsletters and YouTube channels to alert you when a new webinar recording or article is released.
The same goes for LinkedIn. So many people on LinkedIn are publishing new innovative ways to drive traffic. Look out for these people.
Finally, just Google it. I wanted to know how people were preparing for the introduction of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE). I Googled it and found many great ideas about how to prepare, too.
I had built a small but successful content and link-building team at an agency. So much so that sales decided to take on a massive amount of work that would almost quadruple our entire output, but for once, the client alone, this client would start in less than a month.
So, I built a library of training videos to show every step of the process. After carefully recruiting and expanding the team to 30 writers, 3 editors, and 4 SEO execs, we were then able to hit and exceed our targets.
The key to overcoming this challenge was to invest time in people and creating training resources. When managing, you need to empower your team. Don’t throw them in the deep end.
For technical & on-site SEO, ScreamingFrog is a favorite of mine. It’s a potent tool that can be integrated with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Quickly get an overview of technical issues which you can drill down into.
For all-round SEO tools, Ahrefs and SEMrush are great. I mostly use these two for keyword research and various tasks associated with link building.
For managing outreach, Pitchbox is the top dog. Its robust and comprehensive features make it a dream for outreach, but it is expensive. GetSales is much cheaper and gets much of what you need to do.
Given your broad expertise, can you provide insights into how SEO integrates with other marketing channels and disciplines to create a holistic strategy?
As mentioned above, I utilize data within our SEO strategies. The digital analytics aspect of our company integrates very well.
However, my team is very active on social media and has built solid followings for 2 LinkedIn newsletters, our company page, and our profiles. From this, we share our content and build relationships for link-building.
User-generated content has proven an excellent way to drive thousands of social impressions because everybody loves to be seen as an expert!
Content marketing is closely tied to SEO. What advice would you give to marketers creating high-impact, SEO-friendly content?
… Neatly leading on to my following answer… User-generated content (UGC)!
UGC is an excellent way for ANY website to create great white-hat, SEO-friendly content. The best part is that it writes itself!
With Google’s strong push on E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), getting expert opinions is also an excellent idea, primarily where they supply real-life use cases because it makes your content actionable.
But it doesn’t end there. When you share your UGC on social media, tag all the people who contributed AND the company they work for. Everybody is so happy to be involved that they share the content, too.
You finish off with:
- A great piece of content.
- No writing fees.
- Thousands of social impressions.
- Opportunity for great new professional relationships.
A few years ago, I did an SEO project for RingCentral UK. It was an underperforming website, drowning in a concentrated market with low–quality leads and a shrinking sales pipeline.
I developed and implemented a new content strategy targeting all phases of the user’s search and buying intent for two critical services they wanted to promote.
Then, I developed and implemented a comprehensive link-building campaign that secured links from top publishers:
- Hubspot (93 DR | 15.9M traffic)
- TechCrunch (92 DR | 4.9M traffic)
- G2 (90 DR | 5.6M traffic)
- BigCommerce (92 DR | 1.2M traffic)
- Moz (91 DR | 868K traffic)
- FlippingBook (91 DR | 154K traffic)
And many more.
This resulted in a 1324% increase in organic traffic and a 1640% increase in impressions to crucial product pages and saw their sales pipeline grow 4423%.
This ended up winning the US as a client, too.
What are the most exciting opportunities and challenges in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape?
Every SEO is going to have to adapt to the introduction of AI. It’s not going to replace our job. It’s going to help us do it more efficiently. You won’t get replaced by AI. You’ll get replaced by someone using AI.
But for me, the most exciting opportunity in my job as a manager is building a team that feels empowered, respected, and enjoys coming to work.
Tenacious D always said they think they’re the best band in the world because no one wants to hear the guys that think they’re the second-best band. I want my team to think that they’re the best digital marketers in the world.