Q&A with Andrew Steel
Head of SEO Andrew Steel explains his role within Equator, what he loves about the role and the advice he would give to anyone looking to pursue a career in SEO.
Name: Andrew Steel
Position: Head of SEO
Time at Equator: 5 years
Clients: AXA, National Australia Group, Golden Charter, Malmaison, Hotel du Vin, Macdonald Hotels, Village Hotels, Sterling Furniture, ASPC, DM Design and more!
How would you explain your role?
As Head of SEO, my role involves playing a key hand in the strategic development of our clients’ online marketing as part of an integrated approach, the ultimate aim of which being to drive organic search traffic and achieve client KPIs. Our SEO clients operate across a wide range of verticals including some of the UK’s largest financial and travel brands so overseeing all of this keeps me very busy!
What do you find rewarding about being in SEO?
My role is hugely rewarding and always interesting as I get to work on planning campaigns that blend great technical SEO with great content and supporting outreach – and then integrate the aims of this activity with other channels (such as PPC, Display and Affiliates) to ensure maximum efficiency and impact of client budgets.
What does 2016 look like in the world of SEO?
User experience metrics are going to continue to become more important in 2016, structured data too. Google’s introduction of AI into organising search results via RankBrain means they have greater capability to analyse and apply user experience patterning and trends to specific query types and search verticals. We’re also seeing a significant increase in Knowledge Graph entries and Featured Snippets in search results. These offer a great opportunity for brands to gain a bit more visibility within search and while they are generated programmatically by Google, you can help influence them through structured data mark up on pages. These snippets are only becoming more common in search results too, so it’s worth investigating how you can take advantage of them.
What are the key skills and attributes required to be great at SEO?
Being a strategic and analytical thinker. Core SEO skills are fairly easy to pick up and many can be learned from resources online, but to be great at SEO you need to be able to offer something more. Being able to apply the right skills or approaches, in the right situations, with an overall objective in mind – that’s how you can truly stand out.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone looking to develop a career in SEO?
Start a blog. Set up analytics on it. Sign up to the free access levels for a range of tools and start testing and learning. Resources like Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO are a great place to learn some foundational knowledge and the Equator blog is always updated with the latest news and goings on in the world of organic search!
What is your favourite thing about working with Equator?
The people and our clients (as cheesy as it sounds!). I get to work with some of the best and brightest people working in digital in the UK every day. I also get to work on some of the world’s biggest and most recognisable brands which, while at times can be challenging, it’s a challenge I relish and a tremendous opportunity to produce work that has real impact.
Interested in joining Andrew and the team? Check out our current vacancies.