Following on from my previous interviews with young SEOs, today we have Daniel Bianchini.
Daniel is an experienced Search Marketer currently working on a number of SEO projects for clients including Trafalgar, SnowdropKCS and M&G. As well as working for SEOptimise, Daniel is co-founder of an Oxford based online marketing group called OxonDigital.
Tell us about your background, how did you get into SEO?
I first got into SEO back in college when I was building websites that nobody ever visited. I wanted to change that and since I had limited funds SEO was the answer. I began reading every blog that I could find on SEO and implemented various techniques to try and see any improvement. After a while of getting nowhere things started to pick up which only ignited
my passion for SEO.
I started working as an SEO in a professional capacity when I was employed at PC World (DSGi), working alongside the search manager. There I continued to learn and implement what I had learnt through my own research to help them achieve a record return on investment through the search channel.
After a successful time at DSGi I was asked by a colleague to help set up a small search agency called iThinkMedia. As I was young and had no major commitments at the time, I thought that it was a great opportunity to learn another side of SEO whilst also helping to improve my business skills. I stayed at iThinkMedia for 2 and half successful years expanding the business to the size of 7 people and clients that included National Express, Blacks Leisure Group and Mothercare PLC. At that time I decided it was time to move back to my home town of Oxford, and successfully applied for a role at SEOptimise.
Since arriving at SEOptimise, I have continued my learning and have managed to get my first speaking slot at A4U London this October. In the past few months I have founded a local networking and social event called OxonDigital, bringing together digital professionals across Oxfordshire.
You recently spoke at Oxon Digital on tips for web developers and designers, what tips do you have for improving relationships with them and getting SEO work done?
One of the first things I do when starting any SEO project is to go and introduce myself to the development team. I do this because during most SEO projects you will be working closely with the development team, and it is always good to have a strong relationship with them when that time comes.
Ensure that you have a good relationship with the developers. When you start any SEO I would recommend going and introducing yourself to them and begin building relationships. The closer that you get to the developers the easier it will be when you want to make some changes to their platform/website.
Show them results:
If you have asked the development team to make some changes and it has attributed to an improvement in some of the SEO metrics that you are following, then make sure that you let the developer know about it. Once they have seen that the changes they have made have an impact on the business, they will be more receptive to help out in the future.
Give them some opportunity:
Telling the developer what to do might not go down very well with them, but making suggestions and asking them for any possible solutions will make them feel more part of the project.
If you could go back to the start of your SEO career and give yourself one tip, whatwould it be?
This is a difficult question as I can think of so many different things. If I was to pick one it would be to be active in all SEO communities. What I mean by getting involved in the SEO community is going to conferences, getting involved on Twitter and going to SEO meet ups regularly even if it means travelling a little bit.
A perfect example for me was when I went to SMX Advanced earlier this year. I thought the conference itself wasn’t the best, but it was all made worthwhile by a conversation that I had with several SEOs in the pub afterwards.
For me, being involved in the SEO community is the biggest tip I would give myself if I was starting out again.
What ranking signals do you think will become more important to an SEO over the next 12 months?
Maybe not directly seen as a ranking factor at the moment, but I think Social Media will become something that will become more important. There have been lots of tests to see if Social Media has any affect on ranking factors, with the majority returning negative results. I just feel that with the way things are going, Social Media will start to impact the rankings whether that is social shares or shares from an authority in the industry.
If you were hiring a young SEO, what qualities would you look for if they have no hands on SEO experience?
Apart from the standard requirements, including experience using Word, Powerpoint and Excel, a basic knowledge of what SEO is, and having good numerical & written skills, I think you need to have the following qualities:
- Common sense
- An interest in online marketing
- Being a bright individual
A lot of SEO techniques that are used on a day-to-day basis can be taught or picked up via research and testing, but the individual needs to have common sense to be able to use what they have been taught and put it into practice in their jobs.
On a day to day basis, where would you say you spend most of your time? Link building, outreach, technical etc?
My days are generally mixed due to my clients being at various stages of the SEO project.
Finally, where do you see the SEO industry in 3-5 years time? Will it still exist as we currently know it?
I think the core of what we do will remain the same for the foreseeable future. Although with Google constantly changing, tweaking and updating their algorithm I think we need to keep being innovative and pushing the boundaries on what we do. As I mentioned earlier I think Social Media will become a bigger ranking factor that we need to continue to monitor closely.