Marc Heighway Shared his expertise in SEO
How did you personally get interested in SEO and what drove you the most to run an SEO company?
I have worked in digital and online marketing since 1999. There’s been a lot of changes in that time, and SEO is an entirely different ball game to what it used to be, even from one or two years ago. I ended up setting up a UK SEO company in Southampton and Bournemouth after spending many years working for other people.
SEO had always been something I had been interested in, was good at, and could get good returns on from a business perspective. It made sense to set-up in business myself, go it alone, and start offering SEO services out to other people and businesses too.
The SEO Company was set up in Southampton nearly two years ago, and we now service multiple clients, not just in that city, but also in Bournemouth, the rest of the UK, and some in the United States. The company has grown faster than I expected and now even has employees.
What according to you is the path the SEO industry is taking while going forward?
Interesting question because there’s a lot of debate on this in the SEO industry at the moment. Some people will tell you that SEO nowadays is all about content. I don’t subscribe to that particular stand point entirely as there are so many differing factors that go into getting results online.
In terms of a path the industry itself is taking, the changes that Google are making at the moment to their algorithm and how they rank sites has now made SEO a lot harder. This means that quite a few people are dropping out of the business. For me this is a great direction as there has definitely been a lot of people getting involved in the SEO industry in the past, who to be honest, didn’t really know what they were doing.
It now means that the professional SEO agencies are the ones that are left standing, offering a quality and reputable service to clients. Hopefully that trend will continue on.
How do you typically strategize or initialize a new project?
First off and one of the most important aspects is to really get into the detail with the client. I want to know about their business, how they work, and what their short and long term aims are. Without that it’s impossible to offer any kind of valuable service to them.
We will then look at the competition and market, and come up with a bespoke SEO strategy for the client. No customer is the same, so a lot of the time every project’s different. But at the core of any SEO service is knowing the customer, their market, and coming up with innovative ideas on how to generate them more business, not just from a Google rankings perspective.
Where do you see your company and yourself in the next five years or so?
Most business people will tell you that they have a five year plan. I don’t really operate like that, I am very much planning on a month to month basis. As long as the company grows and the clients are happy then that’s good for me.
Running an SEO company is an enjoyable experience, and due to the way I have set the business up I don’t have to do a nine to five day like most jobs and can pick and choose to a certain extend when I work. The work and life balance is very important to me.
If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?
Don’t stand still. SEO is an interesting concept, because the ultimate goal is to achieve a ranking position in Google, or to generate a certain amount of enquiries, or whatever your online goals are. However, it’s easy to just leave it once you’ve achieved those targets, but the key to remember is that there’s always someone coming after your spot.
You can apply the same rationale to any form of business generally, not just search engine optimization. So my advice is don’t stand still just because you reach your targets. You need to maintain and strengthen all the time. Some people might say “don’t rest on your laurels” – and I think that applies for sure.